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What kind of guitar did you learn on?

  • Acoustic

    Votes: 19 59.4%
  • Electric

    Votes: 13 40.6%

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Discussion Starter #1
I had a conversation with a friend earlier today during which we were discussing learning, first guitars, etc. That got me to wondering about the acoustic vs. electric debate for beginning guitarists so I figured it might make an interesting discussion here. The fact that I can't play acoustics worth a damn, despite having bought a couple (they were always sold on), got me to thinking that perhaps I would have been better off learning on one.

So because of all of that today I was wondering if people would answer a couple of questions that might lead to an interesting discussion:

1) Did you learn on an acoustic or an electric?

2) Regardless of which you learned on, do you wish you had learned on the other? If so, why?

3) Now that you are a more experienced player, which do you think is better to learn on?
 

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You need a 'both' option.

I'd like to think I've learned on both. And continue to learn on both. %h(*&


But I started learning on an acoustic. A cheap Giannini classical to be specific. It was cheap so there wasn't a lot of investment required, and 3/4 size so it fit my 12 year old self better. Flat board, wide string spacing, easy on the fingers nylon strings - just make for learnin' on.

But, of course, I couldn't wait for my first electric, once I proved it wasn't just a passing fad a year or so later. And a rented amp (just covering their bases, my folks were LOL).

I'm glad I started where I did - I never play classical guitars anymore but play more than enough on acoustic and electric steel stringers.

Depending on the age, I would recommend either classical or steel string acoustic. Less initial outlay. But I get wanting to start on an electric because they are easier to play and maybe that will be the difference between carrying on with it and not.
 

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Both for me. First guitar I owned was a VamtGe acoustic. Before I got that a friend had lent me a crappy LP copy and a SS amp that looked like it came from a projector. I don't know if that LP was easier to play than the acoustic or not.
 

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I was told it was easier to switch from acoustic to electric. I agree in a way because you have to press a lot harder on an acoustic to get good tone. So I bought a crappy ibanez and a crappy takamine and switched back and forth. LOL
 
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I started on an electric and bought my first acoustic about 4 years later when I went away to work for the summer. Now I am primarily an acoustic player.

As a teacher, I get this question a lot. And it is hard to answer definitively. Mainly it comes down to your goals. If you don't know what your goals are, then I generally recommend acoustic. It seems more versatile to me, and it is easier to transition to electric than the other way around. The other strike against learning on electric is that in the hands of a raw beginner, it can make a gawd awful racket.
 

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1) Did you learn on an acoustic or an electric?

2) Regardless of which you learned on, do you wish you had learned on the other? If so, why?

3) Now that you are a more experienced player, which do you think is better to learn on?
1. I learned on electric. I still have it.

2. Not at all. I would not have stuck with it if I had started on acoustic. Which leads me to #3 haha.

3. I definitely think it is better to learn on electric unless you want to be an acoustic guitarist. The best instrument to learn on is the one you're going to put the time into. If my mom had made me go with an acoustic guitar, I probably wouldn't have stuck with it. Who knows how that would have turned out.

@bw66 since the electric is physically easier to play, why would you recommend an acoustic first? It's easier to transition to electric in terms of everything is smaller, but that's really the only strong point. "In the hands of a raw beginner, it can make a gawd awful racket" - sure, if you let them use their amp before they can make anything sound musical ;). Not to mention they both cost the same (you can find an acoustic or electric for $150 to start on) and 90% of teachers don't care which one a student uses.

By the time an electric player buys their first acoustic, they've usually built up the finger strength and general knowledge of the guitar to play it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
By the time an electric player buys their first acoustic, they've usually built up the finger strength and general knowledge of the guitar to play it.

I disprove this theory. Can't play acoustics worth a damn. I keep thinking I should buy another one and only play acoustic for a couple of months, then switch back and forth between the two.
 

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My first guitar was an acoustic by I moved to electric fairly quickly, so most of my learning has been on electric.

However, IMHO acoustic is better for learning because it doesn't really allow for cheating; you get out of it what you put into it. Also, an acoustic can be more convenient in that you can just grab it and play whenever you like (other than late night playing if noise is a concern) without setting up any other equipment.
 

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I inherited a Giannini classical guitar from my oldest brother when he moved out west.
I played the shit out of the for years until I got my first electric.

The wider board on the classical had me stretching more than I would on a regular guitar.
By the time I tried an electric, I thought, "This is easier to play!".
The nylon strings are a bit easier on the fingers when starting out too.
 

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I had a conversation with a friend earlier today during which we were discussing learning, first guitars, etc. That got me to wondering about the acoustic vs. electric debate for beginning guitarists so I figured it might make an interesting discussion here. The fact that I can't play acoustics worth a damn, despite having bought a couple (they were always sold on), got me to thinking that perhaps I would have been better off learning on one.

So because of all of that today I was wondering if people would answer a couple of questions that might lead to an interesting discussion:

1) Did you learn on an acoustic or an electric?

2) Regardless of which you learned on, do you wish you had learned on the other? If so, why?

3) Now that you are a more experienced player, which do you think is better to learn on?
1) Electric (because Page, Frehley, Rhoads) is what I started with, but I quickly started playing Classical (because Rhoads did) as well after a couple of years of solely electric. Never really played or learned squat on acoustic. Didn't fit my style whatsoever. I was/still am geared toward heavier rock, Metal, and Heavy Blues. Started to seriously play Acoustic maybe 3 or 4 years ago, so close to 30 years since I began this journey.

2) If Classical and note reading and some finger style technique due to Classical count, then I guess a learned on both. Otherwise, no, I'm glad I learned on the Electric. That's probably why I'm a lead guitarist through and through. But I've been digging into rhythm and bass for some time since I started

3) Just from personal experience, it depends. Whatever you begin with (IMHO) will dictate what type and style of guitarist you are in the future. All depends on the person. But purely for strength and finger conditioning options, I'd say Acoustic. But it can be both a blessing and a curse, as well as Electric or even Classical.

This is just my own personal reflection and obsevation, everyone will have a different take for sure. It's what worked for me though. YMMV
 

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Electric for me. Back when I was learning, all the acoustics I played were just too hard on the fingers.

I was always a bigger fan of electric guitar anyway so it did help keep my interest when I was learning.
 

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My first guitar was an acoustic but I never really learned how to play it.

Fast forward nearly 20 years and I bought my first electric and have been determined to learn how to play...still a long ways away from actually claiming to know how to play but I'm getting there.

I still use both but definitely use the electrics more.
 

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Beatles - electric
 

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Started on a shitty acoustic, after a year got an electric so I progressed better. It's not a matter of acoustic or electric being better, it was all about the action and playability, ie I had no trouble playing well set up acoustics.

I generally recommend starting on whatever makes you happy, usually dependent on perceived preferred styles of music, but all other things being equal, a well set up and properly sized acoustic makes a great starter guitar for hands that can handle the string tension. Failing that, a well set up and appropriately sized nylon string fits the bill. Non-electric guitars eliminate the need for connecting cord and amp and are generally less inclined to require repairs. Many students quickly get a second guitar anyway, usually of a different variety.

In some instances a student just has to put up with whatever the family can afford, and wait patiently for a better choice to come along. We may not like it, but music in society is still a privilege, not a right.
 

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I disprove this theory. Can't play acoustics worth a damn. I keep thinking I should buy another one and only play acoustic for a couple of months, then switch back and forth between the two.
Ever played a parlour size with 11's?
 

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I wanted to learn how to play guitar about 15 years ago. Bought a decent Martin dreadnought style. It was awkward to hold and boring to play. I had always wanted an electric but thought they were something you graduated to after you mastered the acoustic.

Bought my first electric about eight months ago (on a whim) and have learned more in that time than I ever did having owned an acoustic for about ten years. So, I'd say, I learned (and am learning) on an electric. Wish I'd bought one years ago.
 

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I found a dread was far too big for me. Try something a little smaller
 
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