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If you are just starting to learn guitar a million questions must be popping into your head, and one of the most common is if you learn acoustic guitar can you play electric guitar later on?
The answer is yes! If you are learning on an acoustic you can always transition to electric.
In fact, most well-known guitar players made this transition.
Today, we will look at some of the most common questions about learning acoustic guitar and how to later transition to electric.
Is it hard to go from acoustic to electric guitar?
While it is not very hard to go from acoustic guitar to electric there is obviously an adaptation process. An acoustic guitar has thicker strings and a bulky body, and an electric guitar is completely different.
There are a few key differences between an acoustic guitar and electric guitar that you should be aware of.
What is the difference between playing an acoustic and electric guitar?
Here are the main differences you will need to get used to:
- Sound & Tone
- What you need to play
One of the obvious differences between acoustic and electric guitars is the size of the body. An acoustic guitar is big, and when you learn acoustic guitar you will notice a big difference in the body of an electric one.
An electric guitar is not as bulky, and although this might be an advantage because you can move your arms more freely, it does take some time to adapt to that.
Another significant difference is the size of the neck. Acoustic guitars have thicker necks, most of the time in C or even D shape, while some vintage models are known for their V-shaped necks.
Electric guitars tend to have more comfortable and thinner necks that allow you to play faster, and make it easier to play.
This is clearly an advantage electric guitars have, but it will take a few weeks before you completely adapt to this.
One of the biggest differences you will feel when you learn acoustic guitar and try to play electric is the strings. Acoustic guitar strings are a lot thicker, which requires you to apply more strength when pressuring them.
Electric guitar strings on the other hand are usually a lighter gauge, which makes it easy to press the string and bend for example.
Sound & Tone
There is also a significant difference in sound between both instruments. While an acoustic guitar has a very woody and warm tone, an electric guitar needs to be amplified. An acoustic guitar has a natural projection of the notes due to its body, but an electric guitar is not very loud unless it is plugged into an amp.
This means in when you first transition from acoustic guitar to electric, you will need to get used to amp settings, and how to find the right sound.
Additionally, electric guitars have volume and tone knobs that can be used to alter the sound of the instrument. It also takes some time to adapt to this. An acoustic guitar also has a very round sound, and the attack is not as sharp as an electric one.
Finally, the tone of each instrument is completely different. Once you start playing guitar you will notice how easy it is to create different tones, for different purposes. Using guitar pedals you can also experiment with different effects, and create completely unique sounds.
It is also important to keep in mind that certain techniques that are hardly used on an acoustic guitar can be used on electric.
If you are picking an electric guitar for the first time after playing acoustic for some time, you will notice how easy it is to bend a string. There are also other techniques you can use on an electric guitar like using a tremolo bridge to make a vibrato effect.
Another astonishing thing you will notice when you start playing an electric guitar is the number of different accessories you can get. From cool distortion pedals to weird stuff like a talk box, there are tons and tons of different effects you can use to create your own sound.
There are also several accessories you can use with an electric guitar, like an EBow. There are also several different types of electric guitars, pickups, and amps you can mess around with to find your unique sound
What you need to play
To play acoustic guitar you only need a guitar and a pick. But when it comes to playing electric guitar you will need a few more things. You need an amp and a jack as well as a pick.
Once you start getting used to playing with guitar pedals you will also start needing them.
Is it easier to play electric guitar than acoustic?
Overall playing electric guitar tends to be easier especially if you are just learning the instrument. The strings are thinner, and you don’t need as much strength. Additionally, the body of an electric guitar is not as bulky, and it allows you to move your arms more freely.
Can you learn both acoustic and electric guitar?
Yes, you can learn both acoustic and electric guitar. You can either learn while playing both at the same time, or you can start with one which traditionally is the acoustic guitar and then you can move on to electric guitar.
Learning both acoustic and electric at the same time can be beneficial because you learn several techniques used on both types of guitars.
Is it better to learn acoustic guitar before electric?
Although there is not a significant difference, it can be better to start on an acoustic guitar. This allows you to develop a good foundation to later move to electric guitar.
The reason is that the strings on an acoustic guitar are thicker, and it allows you to develop your playing faster.
However, you can still learn on an electric and then start playing acoustic guitar.
Is electric guitar easy to learn?
Learning guitar can be difficult, whether you are learning on an acoustic or electric. Although learning an electric guitar can be slightly easier, it still requires a lot of dedication, effort, and a lot of practice.
This should not discourage you, and in fact, learning guitar is testing yourself, and really asking you what are you willing to do to learn it.
Can you play acoustic songs on the electric guitar?
Yes, you can still play acoustic guitar songs on an electric. However, you need to be aware that the sound will be completely different. For that reason, it may surprise you that the sound is nothing like an acoustic guitar.
However, there are certain ways of making an electric guitar sound like an acoustic guitar. One of them is by using an acoustic simulator pedal. This guitar pedal will make any electric guitar sound just like an acoustic,
While transitioning from acoustic guitar to electric is not difficult it requires some practice and time to adjust. Both instruments are very similar, but they do require you to take some time to practice and get used to them.
If you are trying to learn guitar on an acoustic do not worry, because you can play electric later on. And if you are learning on an electric guitar you will also be able to start playing acoustic.
I have been playing guitar for the past 15 years, and my knowledge and passion for guitars prompted me to start Guitaresque to share my knowledge, tips, and tricks with other guitar players. The sole purpose of this website is to help and inspire guitar players worldwide, to improve their playing and their love for guitars.