Every aspiring guitar player fantasizes about being able to shred like Joe Satriani or Steve Vai, but the truth is – that’s not easy. It will take decades for anyone to come even close to the legendary status those two enjoy, but that’s not the reason for you to start trying.
Now, it’s only a matter of question which guitar do you pick up first – an acoustic one or an electric one? We’re sure you’ve heard all kinds of myths, like – the electric guitar is easier to play, so you should start with that one, or acoustic guitar is harder to play, so you should begin with that it instead. Well, we’re here to say that both of those are untrue, and none of them should matter to you.
Here’s what should.
Put Your Heart And Soul In It
As a beginner, you need to make sure your first encounter with the instrument is lovely. You will probably be horrible at first, but that shouldn’t stop you from trying. You’ll get better with practice. There’s no doubt about it. However, if your first encounter with a guitar is not something that makes your inner strings tingle – you won’t get too far.
What we’re trying to say is, instead of worrying about which of the two is easier to play with – listen to your heart. Choose a guitar you want to play. Choose the one near and dear to your heart because that is the only way you’re going to persevere.
Consider Your Budget
We know that if you could choose anything, you’d probably go for a ’59 Les Paul or something similar, but the truth is – most people don’t have a budget for it. So, before you start fantasizing about which axe you want to practice on, you should probably start thinking about the one you can actually afford.
Generally speaking, you’re going to have to set aside more money for an electric guitar because of all the extra gear that comes with it. You’re going to need amps, pedalboards and cables to complete the whole rig. On the other hand, with an acoustic one, you’ll only need to pay for a guitar. So, we guess what we’re trying to say is – if you’re on a budget, go with an acoustic.
Also, the unwritten rule for buying your first guitar is never to spend more than $300. That way, if it doesn’t work out or you get bored – you won’t be dwelling over the money you’ve spent.
Let The Music Guide You
Finally, you have to keep in mind what kind of music you like to listen to and what kind of music you’d like to play. While it is true that music knows no boundaries, you have to admit that being a lead guitarist in a metal band rarely involves holding an acoustic guitar in your hand. So, just think about it and let the music show you the way.
Which Of The Two Is Easier To Learn?
Truth be told, there is a case to be made for which of the two is easier to play.
According to many, including the Guitarist Authority, electric guitars are generally easier to play. What do we by that? Well, assuming that we’re talking about a good, well-adjusted guitar, an electric guitar has a smaller body, thinner neck and uses lighter gauge strings. But, that’s not all there is to it.
Because amplifiers and pickups do all the work of processing and projecting the sound, you will be able to get by with a lighter touch and still produce an actual note. This makes it easier for beginners to relax their hands and work on their precision and timing instead of worrying about their grip strength. Also, lighter gauge strings will be less likely to wreck your fingertips, but we can’t really make any promises in that area. As far as we’re concerned, whichever guitar you pick up – you’re still going to have to bleed a little to learn how to play.
Now, some would argue that an electric guitar isn’t easier to play, or better yet, learn how to play, because you’ll also need to learn how to operate the entire rig. But, whoever isn’t willing to learn the amplifier and pedal basics should just give up learning how to play the guitar, as far as we’re concerned.
If we assume that what we’ve just told you is true, that means that acoustic guitar is harder to play. And since we didn’t lie to you, we can attest to that. Acoustic guitars are more difficult to both play and learn how to play.
In order for an acoustic to make a sound, the wood top of the guitar must vibrate. And, according to guitar anatomy, this means heavier gauge strings, alongside firmer picking and fingering. Furthermore, the body of an acoustic guitar is noticeably bigger compared to the electric one, and the neck is also thicker because it has to support the tension of the heavier gauge strings.
On the other hand, what makes it easier is that all you need to do is pick up the guitar and start playing. There won’t be any amps or pedals for you to worry about. It’ll be just you and your instrument.
Final Verdict – Which One Is Better?
Please, don’t hate us, but there is honestly no good answer to this question. It all depends on what you want to do and what instrument you want to play. You could argue that transitioning from an acoustic to the electric one would be easier, but if you spend enough time mastering the one – the other will come naturally to you.
You could also make the case that starting with an electric guitar is better because it will be physically easier, but then again, the other’s will tell you that the easy way in is not the right way in, so on and so forth.
The truth is, people are never going to agree on this because, quite frankly, there is no right answer. But, let us tell you this. If you love music and you love playing – nothing else matters. At that point, even a banjo will do you good.