Guest Article: Maurice Richard
3 Reasons You Would Want to Start Learning on an Acoustic Guitar
By Maurice Richard
Playing guitar is definitely one of the coolest things that you can ever do.
It's the most popular instrument in our culture when it comes to all styles of music and is dominated by electric guitar.
However, when you think about it, an acoustic guitar is the go-to instrument in social settings.
If you are at a kitchen party, or at a campfire, or when jamming with your friends you break out acoustic guitars, not electrics.
If you want to be a famous rock star then maybe focusing on electric guitar is the way to go but for the rest of us, acoustic is the way to go.
The thing is learning on acoustic tends to be more difficult for many reasons and although I would typically recommend starting on electric there are good reasons not to go this route.
Here are 3 more reasons why you would want to start learning on an acoustic guitar right away.
1. It Motivates You More Than Electric
I have taught a lot of people to play guitar and one thing I have noticed is that people tend to practice more if they like the guitar they use.
Over time I also found out that many people prefer the sound and look of their acoustic guitars and would rather use that instead of starting on an easier electric guitar.
That took me by surprise. It's easier to learn on electric, I know that for sure, but these people did not want to go that direction.
If I pushed people to use an electric they were less motivated to pick it up and practice. So even though it is physically easier, that did not translate into actual results.
So, if you absolutely love your acoustic guitar and you are willing to do a little more work in order to learn with it, then use it!
For people like you I stopped recommending starting on an electric and success rates went up! Use what motivates you most!
2. You Already Own One
Obviously if you already have an acoustic guitar it would make sense to start with that.
You do not have to spend any more money, you likely already started playing with it and you are probably comfortable with it.
The only problem I have with this is that your guitar may not be a good fit for you.
Most people buy what they call a beginner guitar thinking they are made for people starting out but they are just cheap. They are entry level and not made to help beginners.
They are cheaper so if you are not successful at playing you will not lose a lot of money, however starting on a crappy guitar is a sure way to not be successful.
So, it can be a catch-22 unless you are absolutely determined to succeed and you love your guitar and will do whatever it takes to make it work.
If your guitar is hard to play I highly recommend looking into buying a higher quality one that fits you better.
3. You Want To Play With Friends
You could have friends that play electric guitar and jam along with them. However, that is not typical, especially as you get older.
If you can play acoustic guitar you can play with anyone. Electric or acoustic. Does not matter.
I've been teaching a long time and I've found out most people who want to play together want to do it socially. At a house party, or on the back patio or at the cottage campfire.
That's acoustic guitar territory and if your goal is to play at these types of social gatherings then learning on acoustic is definitely the way to go right off the bat so you can be ready when the opportunity comes.
Things To Watch Out For When Choosing To Learn On Acoustic Guitar
One thing you have to be fully aware of is that learning to play guitar on acoustic will be more difficult than learning on electric.
Just looking at the construction of an electric guitar versus an acoustic you will see that the body is wider and thicker on acoustics and you will also notice that the neck is usually thicker. The strings are also further from the frets on an acoustic so makes it harder to push down and make a clean sound.
When you put it all together it makes it more difficult and a bit more frustrating to learn on acoustic.
Be prepared for this, approach it with determination, and if you stick with it you will overcome and successfully learn to play.
About The Author:
Maurice Richard is a professional guitar teacher that operates out of the city of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. He has been a member of an elite guitar teaching mentorship program since 2007 and has taught many people how to learn to play acoustic guitar.
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