Selecting whether you will play an acoustic or an electric guitar is one of the things you should decide when beginning to play. If you're still thinking about what to start with, here are some things to consider:
Guitar Style Preference
What kind of sound do you want? The general style of music you like most can help you decide. Rock music utilizes the electric more, and folk music the acoustic. Think about what guitarists you like. For example, if you love Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan, you will see both of these guitarists played Fender Stratocasters. But if either Tommy Emmanuel or James Taylor make you want to empty out your piggy bank, you will probably want to play an acoustic.
Cost and Gear
There will certainly be extra cost for add-ons for an electric and these can include:
- Amplifier (can cost as much or more than the guitar) - Cable or cables (you will need more if you use pedals) - Effects units or pedals (you can have more than one)
The difference in strings between acoustic and electric gutiars can also affect how much stress they will put on your hands. Nylon-stringed acoustic guitars, otherwise known as classical guitars, are the smoothestand sometimes preferable for new players.
From there, electric instruments will often have lighter strings, making them easier to play than acoustic steel-stringed instruments. That means that beginners will generally feel more pain in their fingers and hands when they're starting out on an electric gutiar.
But the heavier gaugeed steel strings on an acoustic model will toughen up your fingers and build hand strength faster, which is a benefit of going that route. If finger pain is getting in the way of your playing, however, you can restring your guitar with a lighter gauge yourself or get it done at your local music store.
The weight of your guitar could be a concern, as well.
Depending on the wood used for the body, electric guitars generally tip the scales between 6 and 12 pounds, with materials like alder, ash and basswood on the lighter side and maple and mahogany being heavier. On the other hand, acoustic guitars - because of their hollow or semi-hollow nature - will typically come in under 5 pounds, making them lighter to pick up and to play while standing for long periods of time.
You can learn how to play the guitar regardless of what kind of instrument you have or buy. But here’s something that players learn quickly; if you continue playing long enough, you may actually want one of each!
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