Which Guitar Is Better for Beginners: Acoustic or Electric?
Ok, let me stop you right there. There is no “easier” guitar to play if you are just picking up the instrument for the first time in your life. Acoustic and electric guitars are entirely different, despite being very similar if that makes sense.
Despite having a similar shape, a fretboard, and strings, they are not only different physically; they require a different set of skills and techniques, as well as various accessories. And besides, they produce unique sounds.
So, which one is better then? That is entirely up to you and your aspiration for music. Bear in mind the guidelines below and choose wisely.
Acoustic Guitar: Pros & Cons
Acoustic guitars are thought to be the default instrument for any guitar newbie. To my mind, this view is a bit outdated, but it does have reasoning. Acoustic guitars are a bit simpler because they involve little to no accessories (such as an amplifier or pedals) and allow you to focus on actual playing, and improve basic techniques (natural harmonics, fingerpicking, tuning) and your sense of tone and sound. Acoustic guitars are also significantly cheaper and more mobile – in order to play, you only need the instrument itself, no electricity is involved.
However, physically, acoustic guitars are rather heavy and have a broader profile making it harder
and less comfortable to hold and play. They are also limited in the variety of sounds, genres, and
Electric Guitar: Pros & Cons
For all of you fans of rock, rock-n-roll, blues, metal, and other modern genres, that have electric guitar sounds in their core – there is simply not much of choice for your first guitar, is there? You can and should start with an electric guitar if this is what you want to play. As electric guitar techniques are unique, there is no reason to learn the basics with an acoustic – it would be a real waste of time.
Axes are more comfortable to play as they are smaller, with a lighter body and thinner neck, while
strings have less action and tension. The electric guitar sound is also way more versatile in terms of techniques and genres. Your practice can be improved and enhanced not only by additional
accessories but with the development of your techniques.
And yes, an electric guitar is more complicated to set up. It requires proper tuning, proper condition, and set up of pickups and bridges, the right amplifier, and so much more. Yet, you don’t need to know all of this when you start. A simple, basic setting will be more than enough for a beginner, and you can explore and learn on the go.
Does the Size Matter?
It depends on who will be playing. If the beginner guitar you are looking for is intended for a kid, you might need a smaller guitar of ¾ scale length. The ¾ size refers to the length of the guitar neck of 25.5”. Some adults prefer a smaller scale too, if they have smaller hands, or need something more compact for traveling. Generally, though, if you are an adult beginner, I would go for a full-scale guitar size (40-41”).
Which Electric Guitar Is the Easiest to Start Playing?
I wish there was a simple answer. Well, if there is, I do not know. All jokes aside, though, there are just as many guitar types as beginner guitarists with their own needs, desires, and preferences in genres. Choosing one axe like a Fender Special American Tele or Epiphone Les Paul Special II would be utterly wrong.
What I would recommend, though, is to look for something with decent tonewood and hardware, as
well as a relatively basic pick up configuration. It will make your initial experience more
straightforward and simpler. The good thing about electric guitars is that you can upgrade them as
your practice evolves.
What Is A Suitable Price For A Beginners Electric Guitar?
The price of beginner electric guitars lies in the range of approximately $150-500. Those axes around $150 are pretty basic and don’t use the best quality wood or hardware, but are pretty decent as the first, basic option. As with any guitar, the higher the price, the better quality you get. If I were looking for my first axe all over again, I would aim at the cost of around $300. For this price, you can easily get a good quality guitar that will be with you for several years.
Beginner Vs. Advanced Guitar
The main difference between a beginner and an advanced guitar is not the price (though it does
matter) but their quality. Advanced guitars are made from high-quality tonewood, exceptional
hardware, and sophisticated, powerful electronics.
All of these have a great positive effect on the quality of sound and tone. Beginner guitars are made from cheaper materials and come with less exquisite electronics. However, cheaper doesn’t mean bad. There are still great things you can do with a beginner guitar. With excellent skills, anyone can make a $300 Fender sound like a $5,000 one.
What Accessories Do I Need?
Overall, you don’t need many accessories at the beginning. As you are just starting, forget about all those pedals and distortion tools. What you need is pretty basic: extra cables and strings, electric tuner, guitar case, a strap, and a stand.
The essential ones I’d say would be extra strings (because they break more often than anyone would
like) and a tuner. As for the latter, I would always recommend an electric tuner for a beginner as it is simply easier to operate.
As you improve, you might want to expand your set. At this point, you’ll probably need a
maintenance kit (for minor tweaks), a cleaning kit, a capo (for further experiments), and a drum