Electric Vs Acoustic Guitar - Which one is best for beginners?
It is time to take up guitar lessons! Nowadays, it is simple to find a tutor online and spend some of your hours at home enjoying music and learning a new instrument. If you do so, after the Coronavirus outbreak is finally over, you will have gained an important ability that will give you countless benefits and joy.
If you are a beginner, or if you want to buy an instrument for your child, you may be wondering if it is better to start with an acoustic or an electric guitar. In this article, we will briefly explain some of the pros and cons of each instrument. Of course, we can already anticipate our conclusion: there is not a single answer, as neither choice is right or wrong! After reading the following, you’ll get to decide which one works better for you and find an online guitar tutor.
The many benefits of an acoustic guitar
Let’s begin by stating that an acoustic guitar has many, many advantages that make it one of the best musical instruments for beginners. The first pro is its simplicity: you buy the instrument, and what you see is what you get! You don’t need an amplifier, a mic, pedals or any other fancy equipment. No interferences, no buzzes, no distortion. You get to focus on your guitar and its sound, and that’s it!
This also implies the initial investment is significantly lower if you opt for an acoustic guitar. Although both electric and acoustic guitars come in many price ranges, with your first electric guitar you’ll need to buy an amplifier, to say the least. And let’s not mention how easy it is to keep playing during a power cut, or if you are outdoors. Once the quarantine is over, you can easily carry around your acoustic guitar with you. You just need a case or strap.
Another advantage of the acoustic guitar is its versatility, as it comes appropriate for many music genres, from classic to country music, blues, jazz, or even rock. And it’s not that hard to play! With a little training, you’ll be strumming chords and playing accompaniments in a short time.
Possible cons for the acoustic guitar
The main disadvantage acoustic guitars have in comparison with electric guitars, is that the former ones are harder to play. Initially, they require more effort: the steel strings are further away from the guitar’s fretboard, and they are heavier to pluck. During your first guitar lessons, you’ll feel your fingers hurting! Until you acquire a firmer picking style and you develop flexibility and strength in your hand, it will take more work. Of course, practice does make perfection, and in times it will get so much easier!
Advantages of electric guitars
Based on the aforementioned, it is easy to deduct the main advantage of electric guitars: they are easier to play! Because of their lighter strings, the smaller body, and the thinner neck, they need a lighter touch and less effort to produce decent sounds. Since the strings are closer together, digitation is easier as well, which means you’ll soon be playing well-known melodies and even your favorite riffs! This scores a huge point on motivation, especially if you love to rock.
Although we mentioned the need for an amplifier as a possible con, it does offer some advantages once you get it: a great sound quality, and the possibility to regulate the sound level. While you may be concerned that your child may turn the house into Lollapalooza once she gets her hands on the guitar, the volume knob can be used the other way: that’s right, to turn down the volume level and let her little brother nap in peace. Hey, you can even use headphones while playing an electric guitar at midnight!
One extra advantage electric guitars offer is they are easier to record. With a soundboard (not even a professional one), you can easily plug in your electric guitar and use many apps to record and edit your practices and performances. This comes great for online streaming, online lessons, tutorials, etc. An acoustic guitar needs an air microphone to be recorded properly, besides the soundboard.
The main disadvantage of electric guitars
Most guitar players that begin with an instrument later want to move to the other one. In that sense, the electric guitar has a huge con: because the acoustic is harder to play, most musicians agree is way easier moving from acoustic to electric than the other way round.
That doesn’t mean your first guitar shouldn’t be electric, but that you should do it only if you are absolutely sure this is the exact instrument you are thrilled about. If you want to explore options, you’d better get an acoustic one and only later move on to an electric. That way, you’ll be able to play them both at ease!
Tips for buying a guitar
So now you know what kind of instrument you want to buy! Still, there are choices you have to make. If you still don’t own a guitar, you can find many instruments online in a wide variety of price ranges. In any case, you don’t need to spend a lot of money to get your first guitar, but try not to buy the cheapest model since it won’t offer you an appropriate sound quality.
Finally, when it comes to size, guitars come in several sizes, so always choose a guitar that suits the player’s hands. However, for young children try not to buy the smallest since it will last a very short time! They’ll overgrow it really soon and you’ll have to get a new one. It is better to buy a medium-sized guitar.
So, have you made up your mind? In the end, both electric and acoustic guitars are great instruments, and you should pick the one you are more interested in learning, the one that gets you excited! Which kind of guitar do you prefer? Please tell us in the comments below!