A lot of people ask the question, and want to know “Can You Learn electric guitar before acoustic?” Well the Short answer is yes, But there are 5 reasons why starting out you may want to rethink this…
The most common answer among guitar virtuoso’s to this question is an acoustic guitar is easier to learn to play. This is widely agreed upon in the music industry. Let me explain the reasoning behind this…
Should you learn Acoustic or electric Guitar First?
Everybody who thinks about playing guitar thinks of there favorite “Rock Star”. The way they strut across the stage, with no shirt, long hair and tight jeans. Playing that guitar like it is so easy, and making it sound so loud. A piercing yet melodic tone to your ears. This is what inspires most kids, teenagers, and adults that want to play guitar.
So naturally you want to go out, and buy that beautiful Les Paul. With it’s maple top, mahogany body, and vintage tuners. With Humbucker pickups that have that gritty sound.
If that’s not your cup of tea, maybe its that Black Stratocaster. With a white pick guard, Rosewood fingerboard, and single coil pickups.
But Wait just a minute! Jimi Hendrix, Eddie Van Halen, and Eric Clapton all had to learn the guitar. They were not born being “Rock gods”. No they too had to start at zero, and work there way upward. Like you and I they too started out sounding crappy!
A new guitarist has a lot to learn like; How to hold the guitar properly, How to hold the pick, how to strum. Click the link if you want to learn how to strum a guitar.
A Beginner guitarist needs to learn Chords, chord transitioning, and how to read a chord chart. Click the link to learn how to read a chord chart.
There are so many things a new guitar player needs to learn. It can be overwhelming. So why put yourself through having to learn all that, and at the same time the electric guitar.
One Good Reason to learn the Acoustic Guitar
This would be one good reason to start with an acoustic guitar. Which is the electric guitar has more parts to it. So not only do you need to learn all the basics of learning the guitar. You will need to learn how the electric guitar works.
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Can You Learn Electric Guitar Before Acoustic?
You can learn an electric guitar before an acoustic, but it is not recommended for this reason. Which brings us to the second reason you should play an acoustic guitar before an electric.
An electric guitar has pickups, and 2 or 3 knobs depending on the guitar. These knobs adjust the tone, the Volume and which pickup or pickups. Depending on the selector range.
So with an electric guitar there are many, many variations of sound, volume, and tones to choose from. Making learning to play an electric guitar a timely process. One that can only be done with playing and getting the experience.
Over and above that you need to select which coil pickup you want to play. Learning which position the selector needs to be in to play only the bridge pickup. What position does the selector have to be in to play the middle pickup, and the neck pickup. Also to learn the Bridge and middle pickup.
All a learning curve that a beginner guitarist can learn, but don’t forget after you get a grip on that you still need to learn the fundamentals of guitar. This may be the extra load that tips you over the edge, and makes you set the guitar down, and not pick it up again.
Oh I almost forgot learning how to operate the whammy! Another nail in the electric guitars coffin for the beginner player.
Third Reason to Learn the Acoustic Guitar
The third problem to overcome as a beginner guitar player is the amplifier. There are several knobs to learn on the amplifier. Tone (Lo & Hi) , Distortion, Treble, Bass, Tuning fork, Flanger, Tremelo, Reverb, Chorus, Gain and Volume. That’s just a few.
Then there are different effects to make the amp sound like a British amp, a clean sounding amp, or make the amp sound like an acoustic amp. Don’t forget the input and output jacks.
There is a lot that goes in to learning how to make an electric guitar sound good. So why worry about all that when really you want to learn how to play your favorite songs. Click the Link to learn easy songs on guitar.
The longer it takes you to start playing, the more of a chance you will have, of putting the guitar down. Possibly leaving it to collect dust. You won’t want to pick it up if it becomes more of a burden then fun.
Reason #4 to Begin the Journey with an Acoustic Guitar
So why not just start off from the beginning with an acoustic guitar? Why? because an acoustic guitar is easier to learn. The reason for this is simple.
You have the wood, and the Strings. The way that the acoustic guitar is made. When you pick the strings or strum, the sound comes out of the sound hole.
Depending on the wood that was used when making the guitar creates the tone that is heard. Such as a brighter sound or a Deep Rich tone.
The strings play a part in what the guitar sounds like too. Another aspect is the size of guitar. The bigger the body of the guitar the louder the sound will be. Click to see what strings to choose.
This louder sound can be heard in full size guitars like the Dreadnought guitar. Click the link if you want to see how to choose the best beginner guitar.
Smaller body acoustic guitars work the same. The Sound travels off the strings through the wood, and out the sound hole. When this happens the sound will not be as loud.
This is due to the size of the body of the guitar. Usually the sound is also a lighter sound than the heavier sound of the bigger bodied guitars. Meaning “lighter” more of a treble sound, and “heavier”, more of a deeper bass tone.
So to put it plain and simple as a new guitar player in the beginning you are all exited and reeling. Your going to play like your favorite guitarist, and play all your favorite songs.
Does a Beginner Guitarist need Coordination?
Then when you get ready to play you realize that your fingers are not very strong. You have no coordination between your right and left hand. Things are not quite what you thought it would be. Don’t worry this is normal for all beginner guitarists.
Even Jimi, Eddy and Eric went through the same aches and pains. This is why I recommend you start with an acoustic guitar instead of an electric.
Your passion is to learn the guitar. If you start with the electric it may be to much at once, and the odds are against you having a favorable outcome.
I know that this maybe redundant, but let me get to the 5th reason why you should you should learn acoustic guitar before electric.
Can You play An Electric Guitar like an Acoustic?
Yes and No. I know that’s not the answer you were looking for, let me explain. The reason I say yes is technically you are playing the same chords. The same notes and even the same scales. But that is about it.
When you are playing the acoustic guitar you are learning chord progressions, so you will be able to play the rhythm of the song. Learning if the song is in 4 x 4 time or if you are in a 3 x 4 time.
When your playing the electric guitar you need to know your scales. This way you will be able to hit the correct notes in the A minor pentatonic or blues scale.
When your playing the acoustic guitar you are playing a lot of open chords or using your capo for assistance.
Playing your electric guitar you are way down on the neck playing those BB King type licks.
When your playing your electric guitar yes you are playing some rhythm. About 80 to 90 percent of the time. Then you get the opportunity to perform a solo.
When you perform a solo you are bending string, Playing high on the neck, and playing pinch harmonics. This sounds so cool, but for a beginner guitar player this may be a little bit to much to master. It all takes time. Playing and learning guitar is a life long journey.
So there you have the 5 reasons you should learn acoustic guitar before electric.
- The electric guitar has more parts to learn to make it sound good. You would need to learn how to operate the guitar, and learn basic guitar at the same time.
- An electric guitar has 2 or more control knobs, 2 or more pickups, and up to 5 selectors.
- An amplifier has numerous setting to learn.
- The Acoustic guitar is easier to learn. Wood +Strings = Great Sound.
- An acoustic guitar is easier to learn to play rhythm guitar VS the Electric guitar. (Scales, Solos, Harmonics, Octaves) and more.
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