So you’ve been wondering; what’s the difference between an electric and acoustic guitar? We’ve all been there at some point in our guitar journey, so as some one who was in your position what seems like a lifetime ago, let me explain:
The biggest difference between an electric and acoustic guitar has to do with their sound and design. Electric guitars generate their sounds with electricity, while acoustic guitars produce sounds through vibration by strumming the strings.
That’s the main difference in it’s simplest form, but of course, you’ll find many others when you compare electric and acoustic guitars. In the rest of this guide I’ll give you more details.
Similarities And Differences Between Electric And Acoustic
Electric guitars create a powerful sound to emphasize the message behind each song.
Acoustic guitars produce a sound that’s a little bit more subtle and pleasant to some.
Electric and acoustic guitars share many qualities, but they also differ from one another in many ways as well. To get a further understanding of what makes them so similar and different, here is a chart that will display all of the characteristics behind both guitars:
|Both guitars will often consist of six strings.||The body of an electric guitar is thinner and smaller. Acoustic guitars are bulkier and hollower.|
|Both guitars come with tuning pegs that will adjust the sound of the guitar.||Electric guitars use transducers, which allow vibrations from the strings to turn into a signal that will amplify the guitar's sound.|
|They are divided into sections called “frets,” which are pieces of metal that are on the neck.||Acoustic guitar sounds are created through strumming the strings that create vibration with the sound being projected through the sound hole.|
Benefits Of Playing An Acoustic Guitar
Owning an acoustic guitar can be great for more reasons than one.
Here is a list of reasons why an acoustic guitar is great to have and why it can be beneficial down the road.
An Amp Is Not Required To Play Them
You don’t have to contend with the hassle and worry of bringing cords and amps with you everywhere you go with an acoustic guitar. You can take it with you on a whim by putting it in your case, go.
You Can Fingerpick The Strings Much Easier
On an acoustic guitar, fingerpicking is another way you can create the tone that you want. This will provide many different tunes and is best when looking for numerous options to get the sound you're looking for.
It’s The Best Guitar To Start Practicing On
When first learning to play the guitar, it’s recommended that you start with an acoustic guitar. That is because of the way that it’s designed and how thick the strings are. You'll be able to hear your mistakes, which allow you to change the tune to correct them. The more you practice with it, the better you’ll become.
Acoustic Guitars Allow Different Tunings
The option to try out different tuning on an acoustic guitar will help you look for the best sound that will help the music flow.
You Can Use A Capo
The capo is a small device on the neck of the guitar that you can adjust to change the pitch of the guitar. This additional feature will help provide more options in experimenting the sounds of an acoustic guitar.
You Can Use The Sliding Technique
The purpose of the sliding technique is to place an item against the strings while playing the guitar to create a variety of sounds that have a vibrato and glissando effect.
This is another way to better understand the sounds coming from the guitar that will help you create the sound that you’re looking for to make a beautiful song.
Having an acoustic guitar will be the stepping stone to learn how to play music while improving your skills to become better in the long run.
Benefits Of Playing An Electric Guitar
For those who are looking for an instrument that will give the right amount of velocity and robust energy, an electric guitar would be the best choice.
There have been many great artists and bands who have used electric guitars. Some of them include:
- Jimmy Hendrix
- The Beatles
- Chuck Berry
- Many more
These artists have made record-selling music because of this powerful tool. This is enough to validate the reason why having an electric guitar would be great.
To have a better understanding as to why it is recommended to have an electric guitar, here is a list of the benefits that come along with them.
Electric Guitars Allow The User To Control The Volume
Electric guitars come with the option to turn the volume up or down. Having the option to be in control of the volume will give the player more leeway in finding the right sound while also avoiding disturbing others around them.
The Player Can Learn Easier Due To Its Design
The design of an electric guitar may be a little complex, but it also makes it easier to learn how to play it as well.
Because the strings on an electric guitar are thinner, this makes it easier for the player to push down to play various tunes. The neck of the guitar is thinner as well, giving the player more room to position their fingers on the guitar to control the sound it makes.
Great Sound Quality
For anyone who is looking for a guitar that will provide a clear and concise sound every time you play it, an electric guitar would be the go-to instrument.
Through the amplifiers, the sound of the electric guitar will intensify and give off a forceful, powerful sound. This will capture the attention of not just the player but the people listening.
Electric Guitars Designs Rock
Electric guitars have many creative and flashy designs that can come in a variety of different styles and colors. It's not just about the sound that will set the tone for each electric guitar that will speak volumes, or pluck volumes!
Knowing some of the best features and qualities that come along with an electric guitar will be enough to convince anyone that it is worth playing.
Acoustic Guitar Cons
So yes, I love acoustic guitars. But it has to be said, it has certain drawbacks over it’s electric counterpart.
Here is a list of cons that come along with playing an acoustic guitar. We’ll get to the cons of electric guitars after this.
You Can’t Change The Sound Of An Acoustic Guitar With Electronics
Since there is not an option to use electronics with acoustic guitars, the variety of sound effects will be limited.
Not Enough Bass For Heavier, More Powerful Songs
Unlike electric guitars, the sound of acoustic guitars is only meant for a tune that is smoother and simpler.
If you’re looking to play something that you can jam and rock out to in a strong and powerful way, an acoustic guitar would not be recommended.
The Strings Can Hurt To Play With
For people who are just starting on an acoustic guitar, expect your fingers to be numb with pain and a tingling sensation. The strings on the guitar are thicker and harder to play, which can be rough for beginners. Often time though, you will form calluses.
Solos Sound Better On Electric Guitar
An acoustic guitar is not the way to go when you’re looking for a solo moment that you can show off and rock out to.
Most solos are meant for a dynamic and charismatic moment. With an acoustic guitar, you won’t be able to achieve that sensation.
They Are Bigger Than Electric Guitars
Electric guitars are slimmer and lighter in weight than acoustic guitars. You won’t be able to perform as many stunts and cool solos with acoustic guitars.
These are factors that need to be considered when looking to play with acoustic guitars, especially if it’s for the first time.
Electric Guitar Cons
Even though electric guitars are capable of producing an amazing sound with great features that are beneficial, it also comes with its cons as well.
Here is a list of some disadvantages that come along with owning an electric guitar.
Electric Guitars Are Twice As Expensive Than Acoustic Guitars
Because of the unique design of all electric guitars, that means that it is going to cost twice as much to afford one.
The guitar by itself is expensive enough, but because it comes along with other accessories, such as cables and amplifiers, the cost of everything all together is enough to empty your pockets.
When Traveling With Electric Guitars, You’re Taking The Entire Set
Unlike with an acoustic guitar, you’re moving around the guitar, the cords, and the amplifier wherever you go.
The set-up of every location you take your electric guitar equipment with will be different, making it harder to find a suitable, consistent place to practice or perform every time.
More Difficult To Tune For Beginners
Setting the tone for electric guitars, for some, may be a tad bit tricky. At least initially.
The tones from an electric guitar are not as smooth and tender as those of an acoustic guitar. So, the player may spend more time adjusting the sound of the guitar to get a better feel for it.
Electric Guitars Aren’t Suited For Softer Songs
For people who are looking to play a tune that revolves around music that is soft with a simplistic melody, an electric guitar should not be the first choice. Unless you’re making a metal love song. 🙂
Even though these disadvantages may seem minor, down the road, it can become a bit of a burden. These are factors that need to be considered for those who are interested in playing electric guitars.
After taking the time to thoroughly conduct the research on all aspects of an electric guitar, having all of the details will help determine whether an electric guitar is right for you or not.
The Various Types Of Electric Guitars
The numerous designs of electric guitars are one of the many reasons why it is one of the most popular instruments in the music industry.
Knowing the different types of electric guitars means knowing the different kinds of brands that there are. To have a better comprehension of the uniqueness behind some of these brands, we will provide a little insight into some of the best types of electric guitars.
Fender Solid Body Electric Guitars
One of the most popular electric guitar brands is Fender Musical Instruments Corporation, also known as Fender for short. Fender has produced some of the best designs for electric guitars since the 1940s.
Here is a list of electric guitars that Fender has made:
- Fender Stratocaster
- Fender Telecaster
- The “Super Strat”
Each brand comes with a specific set of unique features that make it easy to manage playing these guitars. Fender electric guitars are the best place to start looking at an electric guitar with an incredible design and a magnificent sound.
Another brand of guitars that will be sure to play an excellent tune is Gibson guitars.
Gibson guitars display an amazing tune with their designs being displayed with nothing short of creative craftsmanship.
Here is a list of the best Gibson guitars ever created:
- Gibson Les Paul
- Gibson SG
- Gibson Flying V
- Gibson Explorer
- Gibson Firebird
The Gibson guitars are designed to give a crisp and strong sound that will keep the flow of the music going in a simplistic way. It is one of the highly recommended guitar brands to invest in for something with style and fluency in music.
Other Brands Of Electric Guitars
The Fender and Gibson guitar brands are at the top of the list of the best brands of guitars to own. However, there are other types that exist with the same purpose of playing a consistent tune of music with impressive and amazing designs as well.
There are two different electric guitar types. These electric guitar types include:
- Semi-Hollow Guitars-Semi-hollow guitars provide a certain level of resonance with the purpose of the tone being hollow, which amplifies the sound that comes from it to be balanced between simple and strong.
- Hollow Body Guitars-The electricity that comes from hollow body guitars is amplified while emphasizing the details of the acoustics with its fine craftsmanship and smooth design.
Knowing the various electric guitars and their details will help provide a better insight to help you find the right guitar with the right tone and genre that will be suitable for you.
Different Kinds Of Acoustic Guitars
Just like with electric guitars, acoustic guitars have different models and styles as well. With each model comes a different style and tune. Looking at the various kinds can help determine which one would be suitable for you.
To gather a better understanding of each type of acoustic guitar, here is a listof some of the different kinds of acoustic guitars:
- Steel String Flat Top Guitars
- Nylon String Guitars
Each style comes with its unique features and qualities, providing a variety of different tones and designs. Being aware of the qualities that each guitar has will narrow down the choice of what would be best for you.
The Difference Between Acoustic And Electric Guitars, Final Thoughts
Now knowing the differences between electric and acoustic guitars will help give more of an in-depth perspective on how great both of them are. With multiple options to choose from in terms of style, tone, and genre, find the right guitar that would be best for you!
Last Updated on March 15, 2021.
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