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Topic: Guitars, should I buy electric or acoustic?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
Navaira Offline




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Posted: Feb. 28 2006, 13:24

I started getting guitar lessons using an acoustic guitar. Knowing me, I'll get bored next week, but in case I don't... what do you think is a better idea -- to learn to play acoustic and then move on to electric or the other way round? Ideally I'd like to be reasonably good with both...

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The Bell(end) Offline




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Posted: Feb. 28 2006, 13:37

Buy an acoustic, scope for more variety if you sample your recordings ;)

Do you intend to incorporate guitar into your music? :)


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Ray Offline




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Posted: Feb. 28 2006, 15:19

Doesnt matter - just learn as much as you can - play some scales, learn bar chords - start with power chords and work up, but also learn proper chords.  Copy some riffs - but do this up the neck above the 12th fret....This is where the electric comes in - once you are comfortable with playing you will either need an electric guitar or an acoustic with a cutaway - which are expensive, you can practive better with an electric then play later on acoustic.  either way you can have alot of fun - use tabs, they make life easy.  I've been doodling about for 30yrs and i'm still learning.  Learn the blues scale as it is fun, easy to make a nice sound and will boost you confidence and ability (if you practice).  but you need to practice - some one once said to me - keep practicing until your fingers bleed, get some plasters then keep going - i have never done that but I have had to have a day off due to sore fingers.

Use light strings to start with - your fingers wont get so sore.  Use a light plectrum, later go to something like picboy carbon nylons - they last ages.

So to answer your question - you can get very good electric guitars for £150, lower the action and put on light strings - this is your hack guitar for practice and 2nd octave work, buy an acoustic to look nice and play nice.  Try to get one with a cutaway if your trying to play Oldfield riffs

Ray


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hiawatha Offline




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Posted: Feb. 28 2006, 15:52

There is also a consideration about what you plan to do with it.

1) Do you plan to basically sit in the studio and record and experiment?

2) Do you plan to carry the guitar by yourself all over and play it everywhere?

If 2, then you might lean toward acoustic. They are more portable than an electric guitar.


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"In the land of the Dacotahs,
Where the Falls of Minnehaha
Flash and gleam among the oak-trees,
Laugh and leap into the valley."
- Song of Hiawatha
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Alan D Offline




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Posted: Feb. 28 2006, 16:13

Another issue is: how does it feel? Sometimes a guitar can feel as if it's trying to defeat your every move - that you're playing in spite of it. But if you're lucky, a guitar can feel as if it was made with you in mind; as if it whispers, the moment you pick it up and hold it, "I will help you. Take it easy. Just guide me and I'll do the playing." That happened to me the first time I played a Martin DM. Playing guitar suddenly became ten times easier.

I don't think I could ever feel that with an electric guitar myself - but of course that's just me.
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Korgscrew Offline




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Posted: Feb. 28 2006, 17:18

I would say it really depends entirely on what interests you more. Aside from the limits imposed by the number of frets on some guitars, you can play pretty much anything on any guitar (there are a few very specific techniques that only work on one type, but there are very few that I can think of). Some will make certain kinds of thing very difficult, though - I'd not recommend an electric guitar for learning the 'grand tremolo' (the technique used in 'Recuerdos de la Alhambra';) any more than I'd recommend a classical guitar for learning tapping.

You probably won't be learning either of those techniques to start off with though, so it'll likely be other things which guide your choice. If your interest is in lead playing, I would suggest going for an electric guitar. Learning the right touch is something which I would say is very important - without it, all your solos will sound laboured and sour (like those of what seems to be quite a large number of players, and not always novices by any means...). I feel that electric guitars are particularly sensitive to the way they're handled, so it would be the best place to start, otherwise you might find you have a lot to re-learn when you go back to the acoustic guitar. Once you have that ability, you can transfer it to a steelstring acoustic and make the thing sing like you never imagined an acoustic guitar could.
If you're more interested in learning rhythm playing...well...
What's quite good about electric guitars for learning that is that you can string them up with really light strings and set a low action (so the strings are close to the fretboard), which will be easy on the fingers, whilst still sounding decent. The nylon strings on a classical guitar are of course even easier on the fingers, but the necks on classical guitars are very wide, which some people find too much of a stretch (especially when starting out). It's nicer to sit round strumming an acoustic guitar though. An acoustic might also be good if you fancy going to open mic nights, or want to play outdoors at barbecues, on the beach or anything like that. I think strummed acoustic guitar on its own is somehow more satisfying for accompanying songs than a strummed electric guitar (in the context of a band, that can be different), so if you want to accompany yourself or someone else singing, I'd say an acoustic is a better one to go for. That said, perhaps a lot of that will be of little concern to you at the moment, if you'll be just learning the basics on your own for a while.

I think I probably spend more time playing the acoustic guitar than the electric, because it's very convenient to just pick up and play. I like playing fingerpicked solo pieces though, so I can keep myself (and others :D) entertained without accompaniment for quite a long time. If you're just starting to learn lead lines, you may find it more satisfying to play along with CDs on an electric guitar.

Electric guitars, despite their loud image, are the quieter of the two types - in situations where you have to be really quiet, an electric guitar that isn't plugged in (or plugged into an amp simulator) is far less likely to disturb others than even the most quietly played acoustic guitar.

I suppose at the end of the day, the best thing is having a guitar - what kind you get is secondary!
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Ray Offline




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Posted: Feb. 28 2006, 17:41

Korgy is right on....I play my electrict unplugged all the time - but i'm a bit lucky to have a hollowbody.  So I got the best of both worlds - low volume and 22 useable frets that I can pick up anytime.  And  I don't distub others (as my playing is so bad!!! Hee Hee!;)  You can pick up a hollowbody for a couple of hundred quid too.  Happy plucking, Ray  :p

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MusicallyInspired Offline




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Posted: Feb. 28 2006, 21:44

For me I chose electric because it's much more versatile with regards to composing and recording. I can make all kinds of different sounds. I can make a whole song out of just guitars. I can even sort of semi-emulate an acoustic (but not very well). Whereas with an acoustic I couldn't do so much.....electric was definitely my best choice for starting out, but I still desperately need an acoustic.

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"The beauty in life is in the embracing of the variety of things. If all the world was blue there would be no colour blue."
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stevenmd779 Offline




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Posted: Feb. 28 2006, 21:54

You can get good recordings off of an electric without a microphone so that's good for recording. Also if you do harmonics (which I mostly use because of they don't hurt my fingers) an electric guitar is good because harmonics tend to be quiet. With electric you can get some wah, and whammy bar tequinique in, but on acoustic you can do precussion tequiniques. I chose an electric guitar because I found one for 50$ at a flea market first.

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Navaira Offline




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Posted: Mar. 01 2006, 04:32

Thanks for all the answers! Whoa, I sure asked my question in the good place :)

Thing is, as I now played for the massive two days, and only held one acoustic guitar in my hand, it's difficult to say which one I like more. I intend to mostly work in my home studio and incorporate guitars in recordings (less Oldfield, more Marr is what I'm heading for). I'm going to try and learn to play while singing, too; not really as lead guitar, more as singer-with-guitar. This suggests I should go for acoustic, but then what I've read yesterday suggests it's easier to learn to play electric...

I suppose I should rephrase my question: is it easier to learn to play acoustic and then add the electric guitar or the other way round? or, as Korgscrew says, it doesn't matter as long as there is a guitar at all? :)


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Sonilink Offline




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Posted: Mar. 01 2006, 07:44

Quote (Navaira @ Feb. 28 2006, 19:24)
I started getting guitar lessons using an acoustic guitar. Knowing me, I'll get bored next week, but in case I don't... what do you think is a better idea -- to learn to play acoustic and then move on to electric or the other way round? Ideally I'd like to be reasonably good with both...

it depends what you want to play, acoustic are great for folk, soft rock (...and not so soft)  wheras eletrics are good almost evrywhere!

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Ray Offline




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Posted: Mar. 01 2006, 11:58

Electric is easier to lear to play.  Strings are closer and it's softer on your fingers.  R

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Navaira Offline




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Posted: Mar. 04 2006, 16:47

Thank you guys for all your replies and suggestions :) What I am now doing is learning the acoustic (since it's harder...) and then when I can play more songs than one (Morrissey's "Everyday is like sunday" -- his easiest song -- has a grand total of four chords including C and G) I will think of what guitar to buy for myself.

Anyway. How to stop my fingers from aching? :/ My guitar tutor says I should not play when my left hand fingers are aching but they're now aching for most of the time... can I speed up the moment when calluses develop? I've read something about putting one's fingers in surgical spirit but I'm, err... a bit cautious when it comes to internet wisdom...


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The Bell(end) Offline




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Posted: Mar. 04 2006, 17:26

Urine.

Seriously.

My friend plays guitar, and has used it before :)


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hiawatha Offline




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Posted: Mar. 04 2006, 18:44

Quote (The Bell(end) @ Mar. 04 2006, 17:26)
Urine.

Seriously.

My friend plays guitar, and has used it before :)

Does your friend play for "Planet P Project"?

--------------
"In the land of the Dacotahs,
Where the Falls of Minnehaha
Flash and gleam among the oak-trees,
Laugh and leap into the valley."
- Song of Hiawatha
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ktran Offline




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Posted: Mar. 05 2006, 02:26

On one of my acoustics, I use a set of silk-and-steel strings, which give a softer feel than regular steel strings, and I find it easier on me, as I'm primarily a classical and electric player.

You can also have a look at the action/string height on your guitar. I find that some budget guitars have an excessive amount of string height. Alternatively, your neck might be out of adjustment. But I'm suspecting that you just have to suck it up and keep playing until it stops. Don't overdo it though. If your fingers are really really hurting, it's a sign to slow down.


k
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