Learning Acoustic Guitar or Electric Guitar for Beginners

Classic GuitarNot long after you decide that you’re finally going to teach yourself the guitar, you run smack into your first major decision.

Do you choose acoustic guitar lessons 0r electric guitar lessons?

One of the most frequent questions that comes up then is “What’s the difference between acoustic guitar lessons and electric guitar lessons”?

The difference between the two, has more to do with the instruments themselves, their cost and their ease of use, rather than the actual teaching and learning.

The two instruments are constructed differently, both instruments have six strings, are tuned the same and you’ll also notice that chord and scales are the same for both. But, that’s where the similarity ends.

The acoustic guitar produces sounds without amplification due to its shape and form. Electric guitars, on the other hand, require a pickup and amplifier to make sounds that can be heard at a reasonable volume.

Electric guitars are generally considered easier to play than acoustic guitars for a number of reasons:

They tend to have thinner (lighter gauge) strings requiring less pressure to form the chords
They normally have narrower necks making it easier to reach all strings
The strings tend to have less of a stand-off (distance between the neck and the strings), requiring less travel and thus less pressure)
The body of an electric guitar is thinner than an acoustic making it easier for some people to hold and play the instrument.
If hand or finger size or arm length are a concern for you, you might want to keep these points in mind when making your choice.

You should also consider the music style you prefer. While both instruments are versatile in the right hands and can sound great in most if not all styles of music, acoustic guitars are favored for classical, Spanish, and similar genres. Electric guitars on the other hand are more prevalent in rock (hard or soft), heavy metal styles as well as blues, jazz and country.

So what kind of lessons should you pick?

Aside from certain physical considerations that may dictate a specific choice, it really boils down to what you feel – what turns you on.

As a matter of fact, you won’t have any problems in the beginning as learning guitar basics can be done just fine on both and the right guitar for you can serve you well for years to come.

I recommend though that you not set your mind on one or the other until you’ve taken the time to go to a local music shop and have held both electric and acoustics to see which you feel more comfortable with.

Be sure to check the finger pressure required on the strings and, something that’s often forgotten, how the guitar feels between your body and your right arm. Great string feel and cool looks won’t mean much if you have trouble holding, strumming or picking the guitar.

Oh, and – Take your time to get a good feel for the instruments. Remember, You’re the client! If anyone tries to hurry you along, I suggest that you move on to another shop where you’re business will be more appreciated.

Once you’ve done your research, start with whatever instrument floats your boat.

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