If you’re buying a guitar, or thinking of taking lesson,s one of your biggest decisions will be choosing between acoustic or electric guitar, and there are advantages to both. An acoustic guitar typically costs less than an electric guitar, which can influence your decision if cost is a major factor. Expect to pay between $200 to $400 for a basic electric guitar, although better quality instruments can cost a lot more. An acoustic guitar will typically cost between $100 to $300 for an instrument aimed at beginners.
It’s also a lot easier to just pick up an acoustic guitar and start playing it. An electric guitar comes with pedals, volume control and an amplifier, requiring more of an effort for spontaneous playing. An acoustic guitar is easier to transport too, and can be played just about anywhere without that need for setting up equipment beforehand. Traveling with an acoustic guitar is clearly easier, whether you’re driving, flying or even hitching a ride and the lighter weight and portability appeals to many beginners when faced with choosing between acoustic or electric guitar. Electric guitars are generally heavier than acoustic guitars, but are smaller in size.
However, an electric guitar is arguably more versatile, and if your goal is to play rock or pop music, it may be a better choice. In fact, you can play just about any genre of music on an electric guitar, other than classical and folk. The volume and tone knobs, as well as the multiple pickups mean that you can produce an almost unlimited range of effects, and musical techniques such as bends and vibratos are relatively easy to perform. And since the strings on an electric guitar are thinner, they are set closer to the instrument’s neck, making them easier to fret. However, if you just want to practice strumming along to a few favorite songs, or plan to take your guitar to the beach or the campground, and don’t take playing the instrument too seriously, acoustic is probably the way to go.
If you need guitar lessons, that may be a factor when it comes to choosing the right guitar. Acoustic lessons are easier to set up, and you may want to look around your local area to make sure lessons are offered, and that you can afford them. Check online classified ads, or ask at your local music store, school or college for some suggestions for reliable and experienced teachers.
If you just can’t choose between an acoustic or electric guitar, one of the best ways is to visit your local music store and play around on several different instruments. Ask yourself what styles of music you like to listen to, and what genre of music you see yourself playing on the guitar. Of course, there is nothing to stop you from buying one of each type of guitar if your budget stretches to that, and you’ll be following in the footsteps of many other famous musicians who mastered both types of instrument.
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