To capture the hearts of the masses with a guitar like Taylor Swift, or to leave a legacy like Jimi Hendrix it helps to make sure you’re starting off the right way—which includes making the best choice on what type of guitar you should use as a beginner.
So what guitar is right for the beginner: acoustic or electric? The truth is there is no clear cut answer for what is best for a rising star. There are, however, things to consider that might make the learning curve easier.
The Ease of Electric Guitar
Finger and hand strength become an obstacle for any newbie. Youngsters and beginners can really benefit from starting to learn with an electric guitar because it requires less effort and saves your hands from hurting.
Electric guitars allow you to move your hand around more easily and with less fatigue. They are often considered easier to play because the strings are thinner and not as tough to push down. Acoustic guitars have thicker strings that will require more pressure for picking to get a full sound.
The fact that the amplifier for an electric guitar generates the sound for you helps create a more constructed sound with less effort. It might not sound like a huge deal to have an amp to help create sounds, but it is. Simply put, you just don’t get that extra help with an acoustic.
A natural scale acoustic guitar can also be too big for some people. An electric guitar has a thinner neck so you can get a good grip and wrap your hands tighter for better finger positioning. Of course, you can start with a modified acoustic guitar, but it’s always nice to kick off with an original sized guitar so you don’t have to readjust your skills when you graduate to the next level.
Advantages of an Acoustic Guitar
Depending on your personal guitar goals, you might consider starting with an acoustic. Some argue that by starting with a more difficult guitar, you can go back and forth from any guitar because you’ve already mastered the more difficult of the two styles of instrument. Acoustic guitars also offer the freedom and convenience of just picking it up to play verses needing power to jam.
Generally speaking, if you want to learn the basics to become a songwriter, strumming is more conducive with an acoustic. But, if you want to jump into the band scene, have solos and learn lines, an electric guitar should become your new best friend.
Another thing to consider is price. While you can get some fairly cheap electric guitars, acoustic guitars are generally a bit more affordable. There are exceptions to this but overall, you will find that acoustic guitar has a lower barrier to entry. You just need the guitar, strings, a guitar tuner, a strap and perhaps a pick. With an electric, you need all of those things but also an amplifier and a cable.
In summary, the following may help you to make your decision:
- Due to thinner strings, smaller necks, and am amplified sound, electric guitars are generally a bit easier to play
- Acoustic guitars can be played anywhere; no amp or power required
- Getting started with an acoustic guitar generally doesn’t cost as much
Unless the above mentions are game changers, you should go with your desires and what will be the most fun for you. You should decide based on what suits your tastes better because that’s the ultimate test. If you gravitate toward songs like “Dust in the Wind,” an acoustic could be your go-to. If you’d like to rock out like Jimmy Page, you’re in the market for an electric guitar. Either way, you won’t be making the wrong decision.
The bottom line is you need to purchase a good guitar that you will want to spend serious time with. If you can’t decide and have a few extra bucks, then try out both!