Am I hurting or helping my learning by practicing with more than one guitar?

It sounds crazy, I know, but I have more than one guitar even though I am an absolute beginner. I doubt anyone else in history has done that, right? :wink:

As I am fortunate to work at home, I have put a guitar stand by my desk … I can pick it up and strum a few chords when I have a few minutes to spare.

And I have 2 other guitars sitting around… All together, I have one electric, one acoustic concert, and one acoustic dreadnaught. The three instruments feel really different. (The electric feels much easier after torturing myself with an acoustic’s stiff strings and higher action!)

The electric is my primary interest by far but it is much easier to just pick up an acoustic and play it, so most of my practice time is on an acoustic.

So the question is… am I doing myself a disservice by experiencing several different instruments? Is it better for me to eliminate all but my favorite guitar?

I hope the answer is no, because picking up an acoustic when I have a spare minute has gotten me to practice more. More time with any guitar in my hands seems like it has to be the right answer, but I am open to being corrected.

Hi and welcome to Community. Of course there are lots of differences between all those guitars but because you are just starting I think it’s okay to use any guitar in close proxomity. Probably would be easier learning on just one but doesn’t mean it’s impossible to learn on various ones :wink: all the best.

It’s very dependent on the individual. What’s most important is quality practice, where you are working on improving your basic skills. And example of that would be doing the one minute chord change exercise.

When I started learning, I bought several guitars thinking the guitar I had was the problem with me not progressing as a beginner. Turned out the problem was I just wasn’t practicing or playing enough. So for me, an extra guitar was not helpful. From what you describe I think you have the right answer.

Hey! Welcome @GrooveStranger ! I would never worry about having too many guitars! I think it is great and the most important thing in my mind is having instrument(s) you love, so you want to pick it up and play.

I am 1yr along and have 4 guitars. One is only a few days in my possession, but they all have purpose and a reason to exist in my life.

I do notice switching from electric to acoustic (at this beginner stage) takes adjustment, and the new guitar is nylon with crossover proportions so different yet again! But I don’t think it is a problem. Learning to do things on different guitars will only help your adaptability.

Can’t you get a small practice amp and leave it hooked up to the electric next to your desk, so you can play the guitar you want to whenever?

Hi Matt, welcome to the community!
There’s nothing wrong with having more than one guitar :guitar: :guitar: at your stage, I don’t think that there are many who haven’t.
If you’ve got a favourite out of the two acoustics and you feel that you won’t play the other one much then it might be worth remembering that when you get interested in another one!

Hi Matt

When I went through the old Beginners course I used both electric and acoustic. I learnt each of the lessons new techniques on the electric, slightly easier with lower action and thinner strings but I would always consolidate those skills on the acoustic, higher action and thicker string erg a little harder to play. Even if I moved on to a new lesson with the electric, I would keep working on previous lessons skills until I was happy I had nailed them on both.

So IMHO no it will not do you any harm, BUT if you have not had your acoustics set up correctly get it done by a pro, it will make a world of difference. I spent 6+ months trying to get a clean barre chord (the Old Dreaded F as it was known then) on the acoustic, very frustrating and I thought it was my technique, as it was fairly consistent on my Affinity and Washburn HB. Got my old Encore acoustic set up at a local shop and nailed that F in the shop, when I went to collect it.





Thanks everyone, I appreciate the feedback! Glad to hear I am probably not setting myself back.

@Jamolay I have considered getting a small amp so the electric is close at hand. It still might happen, it’s just a matter of space and hassle.

@TheMadman_tobyjenner that practice method sounds good to me! My dreadnaught is a good make (though old, and purchased used) and I have done my best to give it a good setup … but I am also pretty sure it could be better!

Look at something like the Blackstar Fly3. Very small, ok at low volumes. Leave it hooked up and no hassle. Even runs on batteries.

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Or something like this:

Matt worth having a pro set up first time round and then self maintenance after that. I tend to play all my new guitars for a while before they start to get or sound a bit loose and the get my trusted local luthier to set them to factory spec. Once he has set them I now they will be very playable and will just need the odd tweak.

My dreadnaught was $50 so I consider it my beater that I’m using to learn setups. :slight_smile: Kills me to spend $100 on a pro setup, though I know it’s wise. (I’m also actually concerned that it may be un-set-up-able… I think it may have run out of truss rod adjustment. But, that’s all a side topic.)