Acoustic to Electric - Tips?

I have played acoustic for 10 years and was not expecting such a challenge to pick up an electric. Apparently, my right hand needs more refinement and my left needs to slide around a lot more!

Any tips on making this transition are appreciated.

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Dont press as hard, it should take a lot less effort to play.

You can be subtle w picking etc, let the amp etc deal with the volume, you just concentration on technique and dynamics (not to say you cant dig in with an electric but work up to that and use with discretion…)

Work on being clean, esp with drive, everything gets amplified

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Don’t be seduced by the dark side! Go back to acoustic.:stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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I started with electric in 2020 and then added an acoustic in 2022. I felt like I had to learn to play all over again. Now, I play them both almost every day (usually acoustic in the morning and electric at night) and find that I tend to play each of them a bit different.

On my acoustic, I do a lot of open chord strumming and finger picking. On my electric I gravitate to barre chord rhythm playing and I’m working on soloing and improvisation.

As you learn your way around your electric, here are a couple of tips:

  1. You should be able to press much more lightly on the strings. Try practicing some scales using the minimum of pressure. Try strumming a chord and then relaxing your fretting hand until the sound deadens, then add just enough pressure for it to ring out clearly.

  2. Resist the temptation to play your electric unplugged. It’s easy to get lazy about muting and fingering when you can’t fully hear what you’re doing. Being plugged in will expose any weaknesses and encourage you to use proper dynamics.

Good luck and enjoy the next part of your journey!

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Welcome Jason

Some good advice given so far. Depending what you are playing I would focus a lot on string muting/damping with both hands, especially the picking hand. Electrics are less for giving. A light touch while fretting also reduces string noises when moving around. I switch back and forth all the time, so just take your time, experiment and you’ll be fine after some early adjustments.


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That’s the sequence I took too. Acoustic first, then elec.

My basic feeling from that was, the elec. was easier to play. So what others are saying seems correct.
After some years of elec. I find that keeping the amp clean, w/o many effects helps me play more precisely. Though I do like ‘some’ reverb added on the elec. Other than reverb, If I really gotta have effects, I can add them in later after I’ve learned how to play said song w/o effects.
I also go back and forth between elec. and acoustic. I think this is good.
Playing some real dirty (distortion guitar) song, like say, ‘God Save the Queen’ Sex Pistols on acoustic is somewhat challenging. Example is because that’s what I’m learning right now.
I also go reverse, play a clean song with the amp w/effects on. It gives me different perspective on said song. Something to experiment with.

Also, find a electric/amp combination that ‘you’ like the sound of. I’ve had combinations that I really don’t like the tones I make with them. This made it so I didn’t want to play electric. After finding a combination that I do like. I go back and forth seemlessley.

Good luck.

Most importantly. ‘Have fun’ with the different sounds ya get from the same instrument (a guitar), but different flavor sound. Many more sounds to experiment with imho, with the electric.

Couldn’t be more true! One of the reasons why I wanted an electric/acoustical. Even though I have been thoughtful and aware of muting/damping and other string noises coming through the amp, I figured it would be something completely necessary for electric. Even with the electric/Acoustic the not muted strings with power chords sure does sound through when not muted properly!! Lol. Luckily I was aware, made sure those strings were muted properly and the transition was fairly simple.

Next is an electric…but hard to say when that will happen. One day, one day! :grin:

Indeed It seems I was on the right track.

Rock on!