Do I 'need' an acoustic guitar

Obviously I don’t ‘need’ one I suppose, or do I??

I have a Yamaha Pacifica 112v and a Gibson Les Paul Standard 50’s. It ‘feels’ like I should get an acoustic for something different and well just cos I don’t have one.

I like mostly classic rock and indie music, been learning to the point I know all the open chords and on the minor pentatonic.

I know the likely answer will be go to a shop and play some but I don’t have any near by, I have had a look online and like the look of the Yamaha APX600

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I’m a firm believer that we should try to use as little gear as possible because that will keep us focused on learning how to use what he have rather than thinking that the next piece of gear will somehow solve our problems.

That being said, I also think that having both an acoustic and electric guitar can be really beneficial in our guitar learning journey as each of them will challenge you in different ways and ultimately make you a better player.


I suppose my answer is do you see a use case for one or will it likely gather dust after a few weeks when the novelty has worn off?

In my case I was having another attempt at learning guitar, already had a nice electric guitar but I decided there might be less distractions with acoustic and that might be what I needed. This turned out to be true and I barely touch my electric guitar now, I get so much simple pleasure from my acoustic. It’s so satisfying just to pick up and play without thinking about amps and effects. I’m by no means suggesting the same will be true for you, or even saying that everyone must own an acoustic guitar, just how it’s worked out for me.

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Thats a good summary of where I am I guess

I suppose I wont truly know that unless I had one haha
The vast majority of music I like is electric, but as you say it feels slightly easier to just pick up n play an acoustic. Possibly the same songs as on electric but certainly some different too

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To answer your original question more directly I would say that for someone that has no interest in acoustic guitar, they don’t need to own one, but for everyone else, I think it is a great complement to electric and almost a necessity.


You can be well served in the classic rock world you mention with an acoustic guitar. I’m learning a load stuff by John Fogerty/CCR and Neil Young at the moment.

In terms of listening to music, I listen to a lot of hard rock and metal, which is less of a good fit, but realistically a lot of that stuff is waaaaay above my level right now and any time in the near future. I get far more joy out of playing what I’m playing than I would floundering at what my idols play

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Each time I have picked up an acoustic, it felt off. Nut was too wide, action too high, body too thick. You really do need to pick one up in person and see how it goes. Last week I was traveling to my Granddaughter’s wedding. Her hubby-to-be took me into a local custom shop and I picked up a resonator. I couldn’t play it - strings too far apart, action too high, no way to palm mute, couldn’t push hard enough to bend 2 frets.

I have plenty of music to play using acoustic, but I will just stick with a clean channel and PU switch set to both HB pickups for now. I get a pretty sound and it feels appropriate for acoustic in nearly all cases. I won’t need to get my hands accustomed to a very different feel on neck, strings, and bridge while I am still trying to get these things to feel natural with an electric. To resolve the problem of needing to do some setup, I simply don’t turn off the power or unplug the guitar. it is sitting right here ready to go.

I would also add that you already have the basic sounds you need - HB and SC guitars in your collection. I do too, and I can do most anything I need with those.


I think all of this is fair comment. If you’ve got used to playing an electric then you probably have probably have expectations that raises the bar for what an acoustic guitar needs to feel like. I suppose I was enough of a beginner that I didn’t have these expectations, and even now I couldn’t tell you if the action on mine is high or not, it’s just what I am used to playing. That said, even with acoustics, there is a lot of choice on shape and size, it just might not be the model that looks good on the internet that’s the right one

[tongue in cheek] I’ve said this before to similar questions, you’re asking a passionate guitar community if you should buy a new guitar and expecting us to say no?? [/tongue in cheek] :slight_smile:

Serious answer, I think as others have said it’s about seeing a use case for one above all, there are plenty of rock bands who do acoustic songs, whether recorded or at live shows. Personally I think it’s a great complement to have both electric and acoustic. Notwithstanding lack of faff to just pick up and play, it can enhance and open up your playing significantly, you can “get away” with less on an acoustic than an electric and things like dynamics come to the fore.

The question of trying is absolutely the default, but if you can’t do that before buying then ensure you’ve bought from somewhere with a good no quibble returns policy if you don’t get on with it.

And PS - Yes of course you should buy one, happy NGD in advance :wink: :rofl:


Surprised it took so long hahaha

I’ll be probably buying from PMT in Bristol
Likely this one Yamaha APX 600 Electro-Acoustic Guitar Black | PMT Online

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I decided to start on acoustic, back in the days, but initially only to bridge the time till I’ve got some basic skills. I always wanted to play electric rather than acoustic. Very early in my journey, I then started to alternate between acoustic and electric and I love it. I guess, I benefit a lot from switching guitars as there are slightly different techniques to learn. I have to admit, that meanwhile, I love playing on acoustic, the easiness to grab the guitar, without fiddling around, is very satisfying and I fell in love with the acoustic sound anyway. I’d say, nothing to lose, if you buy a reasonable acoustic, maybe a pre owned one could be an option too.
Edit: I just saw, Mark posted while I was typing…


In my case I started playing an electric guitar and then after 6 months I got my first acoustic guitar.
Once you learn open chords it’s more enjoyable playing the acoustic than the electric in my opinion.

I practice every other day with each guitar and I feel like I’m improving by doing so just because some techniques are more difficult depending on what guitar you are playing.

I practice power chords with my acoustic and it’s fun. I use a lot of muting and different strumming to make the songs sound interesting.

and by the way, one more guitar never hurt anyone…


go for it—I never thought it would happen but I play acoustic far more than my electrics -just so easy to pick up and not flaff around. Having said that i`ve been eyeing an SG as my LP sounds lovely but is so damned clumsy (for me anyway) -always need more.
EDIT oops replied to wrong person–nevermind


You’ve gotten some great advice. I have 2 electrics, a cheapie and a nice used PRS but I always wanted an acoustic. I don’t have much in the way of guitar stores near me either but when I’ve gotten near one I’ve gone in and tried a few out and haven’t yet found “the one”. I do know I DO NOT like the size of the dreadnaught and find the smaller concert size fits me better. I hope to find one next week though when the hubby and I go on a road trip and just happen to be passing the largest store in the US.

If I can’t find something I like there then maybe it isn’t for me. I do want to try playing Dylan and John Denver and other stuff on an acoustic though.


Yeah I don’t like the look of dreadnought etc guitars, but never tried them by picking up. I just feel i wont get on with them if that makes sense.

From reading the reviews of the Yamaha above it seems like it’s a good fit size wise for me, and I like the looks of it

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That Yamaha does look like a decent starting point Paul. I’ve bought (and returned!) through PMT before and they’re good so you’d be in good hands imo.

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Hi Paul,
I’d say go for it… you obviously have “The Itch”, so scratch it!!! :joy:
Seriously, I switch between electric & acoustic regularly & love both types. I don’t think it’s a “need”, just a desire. So, if you want it & can afford it there’s no reason not to buy one!
Have fun & Happy NGD in advance!!!


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I was mostly looking into playing Alt Rock grungy type music and punk. So I was for sure getting a sett up like you have. But then I reallized an acoustic literally had already fell in my lap. Unless it happened thisway I would have probobly been like you, unsure if I needed one. Now I have both electric and acoustic and I am so thankful I have an acoustic. I am pretty suprised how much I enjoy it. I just sit in the back yard with my wife and the dogs sometimes and play it its super fun and I will absolutely be upgrading when I get my second acoustic.

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In the rock songbook, Justin often talks about tracks with different layers of guitar. Often, there is a layer of acoustic guitar and a layer of electric guitar in the song.

So, if you want to recreate some rock songs that you like for fun (basic home recording) - start by recording the acoustic part then add the layer of electric on top. Here is an example of what I mean on Youtube.

That kind of song with multiple guitar layers is pretty fun to play. The goal is just to have fun.