The guitar is one of the coolest instruments to play, but picking the right one can be a tough choice for beginners. The acoustic guitar is the standard version many schools start beginners on, but the sound and look of the electric guitar are very appealing to certain musicians. Although acoustic and electric guitars both have six strings and the fundamental techniques are similar, there are a few key differences that might influence your decision to choose one over the other.

How does it feel?

The thicker the string, the harder the guitar is to play as it is harder to bend the string when strumming. Electric guitars have thinner strings and include a magnetic guitar pickup that turns the pluck of the metal strings into vibrations that convert into voltage, and from voltage to sound. This weak signal gets projected through an amp, producing a much better sound. These guitars also have a thinner neck and bigger frets making playing more ergonomic. Hands can easily wrap around the neck and the frets only need a light touch to sound phenomenal. The only downside to the feel is it is considerably heavier and it requires the player to lug an amp around.

On the other hand, an acoustic guitar naturally amplifies through its own body by transferring the strings’ vibrations to the soundhole into the world. To avoid sounding tinny and weak, the strings on an acoustic are thicker and run from light to heavy gauge. 

Which guitar is easier to learn?

One of the classic parts about the acoustic guitar is it requires no additional accessories to function. While you can use a pick to help strum, many guitarists simply use their fingers. This makes the guitar hassle-free and more portable than an electric guitar. You also don’t need to learn how to adjust the volume, pedals, and a host of other technicalities. 

This doesn’t mean acoustic is the ultimate choice, it comes down to preference. Acoustic guitars come in different sizes and there are short-scale guitars are better suited for younger players due to the shorter distance between the nut and bridge (parts of the guitar) and reduced string tension. The wide-body may be harder for children to wrap their arms around, thus a smaller-bodied acoustic is recommended.

What kind of music do you like?

Chances are a certain musician inspired you to pick up a guitar, perhaps because you loved the sound they produced or they looked incredibly cool playing it. Regardless, seeing what your inspiration plays or knowing the music you resonate with more may help with your decision.

Although acoustic guitars have become heavily associated with country music, you can play country on either instrument.

Acoustic or electric tend not to be too important in the end as long as you learn the fundamental chords and scales, you’ll produce a beautiful sound.


Learn to play the guitar

Learning to play the guitar is a skill that will bring fun and opportunity to your life. As you grow, there will be opportunities to perform for others or for your friends and family. We will stick with you along the way. Heritage Music is a leading music school helping upcoming musicians of all ages learn how to play the instruments they love. Our university-trained instructors encourage students to continue down the path of creativity, mastery, and refinement. Over time, our students learn and develop to create their own styles and sound. For many guitar students, the curriculum offers the ability to extend their learning and excel.

At Heritage Music School, Surrey guitar teachers, students and families are discovering how guitars can enrich their lives. Contact us at our Surrey or Langley music schools today with any questions you have about lessons, fees and schedules, or for a free music assessment.