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Electric Guitars for Beginners lessons

Electric or acoustic?Now back to the original question of whether learning on an electric or acoustic is more suitable for beginners. This is a very interesting question that causes many disagreements between us guitar teachers as well. There are advantages and disadvantages of learning on either type of guitar, so I will try to list them all, and after you get a chance to read the pros and cons of both sides, I'll give my opinion as well. And don't skip forward, read the article in full, I want you to see things objectively before you hear my subjectivity.

So, lets start off with the electric guitar.

Advantages of learning on an Electric Guitar:

  • Holding down chords is easier, as the width of the neck will usually be shorter on electric guitars.
  • The strings on electric guitars are much softer than acoustic guitars, which makes playing the guitar easier on your fingers.
  • Learning to play barre chords is easier on the electric because of the lightness of the strings.
  • You can plug headphones into your amplifier, so you won't drive your household crazy 😉

Disadvantages of learning on an Electric Guitar:

  • You need to buy an amplifier as well, which is extra $$$.
  • Finding the right tone is not that easy for beginners who know nothing about electric guitars and amps, and a bad sounding guitar might put them off.
  • Being able to play something on an electric will not mean that you can play it on the acoustic guitar as well.

Pros of learning on an Acoustic Guitar:

  • If you can play something on a steel string acoustic guitar, you'll be able to play it without any problems on an electric, something that cannot be said vice versa.
  • Many people (your household) will prefer the naturally soothing, calmer tone of the acoustic over the distorted, amplified electric.
  • You don't need to buy any cables, or an amplifier to start playing.

Cons of learning on an Acoustic Guitar:

  • Much tougher on your fingers than an electric. Absolute beginners will probably only be able to play for about 20 minutes before not being able to fret any strings any more, due to the immense pain shooting in their fingertips. Of course, this only lasts a couple of weeks, until you start developing calluses.
  • The harder strings also means that playing chords, especially barre chords will be much harder.
  • More string buzzing due to the harder strings.
  • Wider fretboard, something beginners will not always enjoy.
  • More brittle than electric guitars.

So, now you know both sides of the story. You want to know my opinion?

Ask yourself what kind of music you like, from there you'll be able to decide what type of guitar is used most in that genre. If you like rock and metal, you should obviously get an electric. If you are into country, classical, or maybe aim to be a "campfire guitarist", get an acoustic. It's simple.

If you absolutely can't make up your mind, read on.

I learned to play on an acoustic guitar initially, and started playing an electric later on. I am quite comfortable with the fact that even someone like me, with over a decade of experience, sometimes can't play something on an acoustic, but gets it on the first go on an electric. Sort of wants me to take beginner guitar lessons all over again No, seriously, the electric is much easier to play physically, there's no doubt about it.

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