Should I begin with an Electric Guitar or Acoustic Guitar?

Many will simply answer this question by saying that an electric is easier to learn on compared with an acoustic.

However there are many factors to consider:

Always choose the type of guitar you are excited about playing and work within the parameters of your budget. You will find the easiest guitar to learn on is the type you are really most interested in playing. Electric guitars are physically somewhat easier to play; acoustic guitars have heavier gauge strings which require slightly firmer picking and fingering. Remember that over time your desire to play another type of guitar will naturally occur; most importantly, only select a guitar you know is fully adjusted for easy playability.

If you are a real beginner, your experience with you first guitar is vital to your long term success. Finally choosing the right guitar means deciding which type of guitar you personally find exciting and will be the most motivated to play. It will be the one you will look forward to practising and playing. If you just want to play the guitar but are not sure what type to choose, then determine a budget.


closeup of electric guitar


Starting with an electric guitar is generally more expensive than an acoustic guitar because of the need for an amplifier and many other extras. If the electric guitar is really what you want but is outside your budget, then a little more time and savings will be well worth the wait. Always remember the kind of guitar you WANT to play is the easiest to learn on, as you will be more likely to establish good practice habits early in the process.

For some, the extra effort that it takes to plug into an amplifier and turn it on may be enough to keep them from playing as often or taking advantage of a spontaneous moment to pick it up and play. Acoustic guitars have heavier strings and the body is much larger and sometimes has a thicker neck to support the strings.

However some people find the immediate accessibility of an acoustic very appealing, making them more apt to pick it up and play more often.

Don’t worry that by choosing one over another you have locked yourself into that type of guitar for the rest of your life.

Many players who start with one kind of guitar will, in time, gravitate to the other. Motivation for learning and playing changes over time and will occur naturally as your skills develop and the desire to play becomes internalised. You will most likely develop skills on both the electric and acoustic and enjoy a lifetime of learning and playing a variety of musical styles.

Plying a guitar well is not about strength but about control. If you watch any professional musician you will notice how they appear to effortlessly finesse their instrument. The easiest guitar to play is always the one you are truly interested in. Think about it and carefully consider everything before making your choice. If you are undecided, then take longer in your consideration.