The guitar is one of the most reputed musical instruments worldwide. For a lot of musicians and beginners, the guitar is the first instrument that they learn to play. Guitars are available in two different styles, although there are multiple types of them, we will categorize them as electric guitar and acoustic guitar. You can play a rhythm form of the guitar without any additional equipment or electricity.
Whereas, you need multiple instruments (sometimes just one device) and a source of power to play electric guitar. Both of them have their charm. Both are similar yet completely different from each other. Let us understand out of the two, which type of guitar is more comfortable to play and which one should you start learning. Visit All Stringed, where you can learn the basics of both electric and acoustic guitars.
First, let us understand a few dissimilarities between the two instruments.
Although they might look similar to a layman, both of these guitars are opposite in many ways. The main structure is the first and foremost point. An acoustic guitar will have a hollow body that mainly comprises of wood. The body is hollow because the vibration caused by plucking the strings must travel through it. The amplified sound that it makes is because of its empty nature. An electric guitar is also usually made of wood. But it is not hollow.
In an acoustic guitar, the player plucks or bends the strings to create music. A six-string layout is the most common. The thickness of the cords differs as they make different types of sounds. You can use your fingers or a plectrum to make music. You would need an amplifier to play an electric guitar. You will have to plug in the guitar to the amp and that amplifier to the electricity source.
Now, if you are willing to buy a guitar and are unable to make up your mind to which style you should purchase, then consider the following. An acoustic guitar will cost less in comparison to its electric counterpart. The average cost of an acoustic guitar is between USD 70 to USD 150. This price includes the actual instrument, spare strings, a tuner, plectrums, and a guitar case. Some of the most popular brands are Yamaha, Epiphone, Fender, etc.
On the other hand, an electric guitar can cost you somewhere around USD 300 to USD 700. You will have to purchase an amplifier, or your electric guitar will be of no use. An amp can cost between 50 – 200 USD.
The significant difference between the two is how easy or difficult it is to carry them. You can transfer an acoustic guitar in its portable case. You can easily take the instrument out and start playing it. Whereas, you will have to shift the electric guitar in its wooden box. You will require the amps as well. If you are willing to play at a concert or an event, you will have to set up all the equipment. It would be best if you also had time to check whether the sound is correct on the amp or not. Tuning the guitar is necessary before playing it. There are a lot of technicalities involved in setting up an electric guitar. But, with practice, you can learn and excel in it.
With practice, you can learn to play any music on both types of guitars. You can also learn any song and master it on both of them. Every guitar generates a different sound. An acoustic guitar is suited for rhythmic tunes. There are many different styles and tricks that you can learn on an acoustic guitar. After learning all the chords, you will be able to recognize and play any tune. It is difficult to master every music on an acoustic guitar as it is a little complicated. Practice will make you better at it.
An electric guitar, on the other hand, is more versatile. You have the luxury of playing more complicated tunes with the help of an amplifier. As it is an electronic device, you can cover more songs with ease. You can also experiment with different sounds on an electric guitar. By altering a few settings, you can create a different and unique sound of your own.
Which guitar should I learn?
Now after going through all these aspects, if you are not able to make up your mind, then the following might help you.
- Know your style: You are learning the guitar because you have a liking for a particular music style. If you prefer rock and heavy metal music, then go for an electric guitar. If your style is more like soft and country music, then practice more on an acoustic guitar. There is no hard and fast rule that you cannot play a particular genre on a different musical instrument. Musicians around the world use Indian musical instruments like the Tabla and the Sitar in Rock music. Pandit Ravi Shankar collaborating with the Beatles is an example. Similarly, you can use an electric guitar to play softer music like the Blues.
- Choose both: The legends have not limited themselves to playing a single type of musical instrument. Pink Floyd’s David Gilmore is one of the greatest guitar players ever; he can easily play the bass guitar and the rhythm guitar. So, do not confine yourself with just one type of guitar. An electric guitar will give you the freedom to choose between a clean channel and a distortion channel, which means that you can break into a guitar solo or strum a rhythm on the same device. Similarly, practicing an acoustic guitar will make your fingers sore. You will have to learn the technicalities to excel in it. But, once you learn the basics, you can move onto an electric device later.
In conclusion, both of these guitar types are incredible instruments, and you should love them both alike. Learning to play them both have their respective pros and cons. But, it is possible to play both even if you learn only one of them.