Funkydog guitar lessons blog
Tips, practice tools and advice to help you get learning guitar fast
So you’ve decided you want to learn to play the guitar and buy your first instrument. If you’ve already visited a good music shop, you’ll have probably been overwhelmed with choices and prices. This guide is to help you narrow down the choice between the acoustic and electric guitar and help you figure out the exciting first step in buying a guitar.
Acoustic and electric guitar. What’s the difference?
The acoustic guitar doesn’t need an amplifier to make it sound great. The large body of the acoustic guitar provides a natural amplification. That being said, if you want to play a gig you’ll definitely need a microphone or an electro-acoustic (an acoustic guitar with a pick-up inside the body so you can plug a lead into it).
There are two popular types of acoustic guitar. One is what you’d traditionally think of and that you hear in most popular music styles. It has steel strings, quite a bright sound and that is generally played by a pick or plectrum.
The other type is what can be thought of as a classical guitar. It has nylon strings and can be often heard in Western Classical Music, Flamenco and types of Latin music. This type of guitar is often played using fingers and generally requires a high level of technique to play effectively.
The electric guitar, unlike the acoustic, has a solid body. Without an amplifier, the electric guitar will be very quiet when played. The electric guitar uses pickups (basically magnets which pickup the vibrations of the strings and transfer it into an electrical signal) to amplify the sound of the guitar. The guitar is plugged into an amp which receives the signal from the pickups and the volume can be cranked up!
Which guitar should I get?
You might prefer an acoustic if you:
There is still so much choice out there when buying a guitar. You’ll still need to think about the brand, the price and what feels good to you. Hopefully this guide will have narrowed down the choice a little bit so get yourself to your local instrument shop and try out some different guitars. Have fun!
Matt - teacher and owner of FunkyDog Guitar Lessons