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Choosing Between an Acoustic or Electric Guitar: The Beginner’s Dilemma

Updated: Jun 22, 2023

As a beginner guitarist, choosing between an acoustic or electric guitar can be a challenging decision. Each instrument offers its own unique disciplines and skills, but the good news is that these skills are transferable. In this blog, we'll explore the benefits of learning both acoustic and electric guitar disciplines, highlighting the advantages of starting with an acoustic guitar while emphasizing that no matter which instrument you choose, you can develop all desirable traits. Let's dive in and unlock the magic of learning guitar.


A Tiny Man in a Massive Guitar Shop

Embracing the Best of Both Worlds:


1. Learning Transferable Skills:

Both acoustic and electric guitars share fundamental techniques and musical concepts. By combining the acoustic and electric syllabuses, such as the ones provided by the London College of Music (LCM), you can master essential skills such as improvisation, rhythm, performance pieces, fingerstyle, and pick technique. These skills are not exclusive to either instrument and can be learned and applied across both.


2. Unleashing Your Individuality:

Learning to improvise on the guitar is a magical experience that brings out each student's unique musical voice. It allows you to express your emotions, creativity, and personality through your instrument. While electric guitars are often associated with improvisation, it's important to note that acoustic guitars are equally capable of providing a platform for you to explore and develop your individuality.


Benefits of Starting with an Acoustic Guitar:

While both acoustic and electric guitars have their merits, starting with an acoustic guitar can be advantageous for beginners for the following reasons:


1. Affordability and Simplicity:

Acoustic guitars are generally more affordable than electric guitars, making them a budget-friendly choice for beginners. Additionally, acoustic guitars don't require additional equipment like amplifiers or cables, simplifying the setup process and allowing you to dive straight into playing.


2. Building Finger Strength and Technique:

Acoustic guitars have thicker strings and higher action, requiring more finger strength to press down the strings and produce clear notes. This helps develop finger dexterity, hand strength, and overall technique, providing a solid foundation for future guitar endeavours.


3. Focus on Rhythm and Strumming:

The acoustic guitar's resonance and natural sound projection emphasise the importance of rhythm playing and strumming patterns. By starting on an acoustic guitar, you'll naturally focus on developing a strong sense of timing, groove, and the ability to strum various patterns. These skills are fundamental to becoming a well-rounded guitarist.


Conclusion:

As a beginner guitarist, you can learn and master a wide range of skills, regardless of whether you start with an acoustic or electric guitar. By combining the LCM's acoustic and electric syllabuses, you can explore improvisation, rhythm, fingerstyle, pick technique, and performance pieces. Remember that learning to improvise is not limited to electric guitars – acoustic guitars can provide a powerful platform for expressing your individuality and musical creativity.


While starting with an acoustic guitar is often recommended for its affordability, simplicity, and emphasis on rhythm playing, the most important thing is to choose the instrument that resonates with you. So, whether you're drawn to the acoustic's warmth or the electric's versatility, embrace your choice and embark on your musical journey with passion and dedication. The guitar world is yours to explore, and the possibilities are limitless.

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