Choosing Your First Guitar: Acoustic or Electric Guitar?

Are you unsure about whether to pick an acoustic or electric guitar for your first guitar? Are you wondering whether which guitar would make it easier to learn? Or which one would suit you better with what you want to play?

Choosing the right guitar is an exciting step as a beginner guitarist. So let’s see how we can help you with your dilemma.



The acoustic guitar is obviously easier to learn on
First of all, I want to clarify this common myth that the acoustic guitar is the easier guitar to learn on compared to an electric. I’m not sure where this myth comes from, maybe because the electric guitar is a newer instrument, people think it’s harder to play. Or because it has dials on it, they think it’s more complicated for beginners.

When actually the most important thing when you first start learning how to play the guitar and the struggles you will have are mainly based about your fingers and hands. You will need to build up your finger strength, and build up the toughness of your finger tips and figure out where everything is on the guitar. Where the fretboard frets and and where the strings are too.

Now with the acoustic guitar, the strings are thicker than the electric guitar which means they are harder to press down, and to bend and do other things with.

Also on the acoustic guitar, the body of the guitar is much bigger too. Which means you have to lean over the guitar more to see the frets and where the strings are, giving you more back and neck ache.

With the electric guitar, because the strings are thinner, easier to press down. Which gives time for your fingers and hands to build up strength. And the body of the guitar is much thinner, it’s much easier to see over. Both of these contribute to you being able to play it for longer periods of time. And when you are practising for longer, that means you can get better quicker.

Now that still doesn’t mean you should definitely start with an electric guitar just because it is on the face of it, easier to play. So let’s look at the big reason why you would choose an acoustic guitar over an electric.

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Choosing an acoustic guitar as your first guitar

Choosing your first guitar is a really exciting step and that is why it’s so important you pick a guitar that really excites you.

  • When you think of the music you want to play, what is it that you like?
  • Do you only ever want to play acoustic style music? Campfire songs, finger style?
  • Or would you want to venture into playing some electric guitar music too?
  • If you only ever want to play acoustic music, then getting an acoustic guitar is a great idea. That is the guitar that you are really passionate about, to play the sort of music you want to.
If you ever want to play electric guitar music, then choosing an electric first will give you a slight edge based on the fact that it is slightly easier to play.

The most important thing is that you pick the guitar that excites you the most. That you come home from work or school, and it makes you excited just looking at. And makes you want to play all day long.

If you want to solo or improvise

Another big reason to get an electric guitar is if you ever want to do any solo or improvisation on the guitar. You may or may not have noticed the number of frets on the acoustic compared to electric guitar is slightly different. On the acoustic guitar, often beyond the 12th fret, the fretboard is over the body of the guitar making it much harder to play. Whereas on the electric guitar, you have much easier access to the whole fretboard. This makes it a lot more flexible when it comes to improvisation work.
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My advice

My advice is that you should get both guitars, an acoustic and an electric guitar if you ever want to play both type of music.

Get an electric guitar first, and then once you get some targets that you set for yourself, then get the acoustic.

If you only ever want to play the acoustic guitar, then get the acoustic guitar, and get one that you feel comfortable on and that you feel excited about. Remember it’s your effort and practise that will make you and your guitar sound amazing. And that’s the most important thing.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this article and hope this helps you towards finding the right guitar for you!



About Author: Darryl Powis – a guitar school owner and instructor in London, England. If you are looking for the best London Guitar Lessons, then get in contact with us on our website.