Is it better to practice with acoustic or electric?
When it comes to exercises or practicing technique I use my acoustic. I find acoustic is harder to play. So that is what I practice with. I think practicing with acoustic will make me better all around.
I find most things harder with acoustic such as chord changes and picking out notes or different strings. Is it easier to transfer what I learn from acoustic playing to playing electric?
Does anyone else feel this way or is it in my head?
If you have both I guess it is what works for you.
My approach when going through the old Beginners and Intermediate Courses was to learn new techniques, chords etc on my electric but consolidate them on my acoustic. The electric was easier to play so it help me to pick thing up quicker (but at no time did I try to sprint). Having “mastered” a new skill on the electric and applied it to songs, I would then follow that up and repeat on the acoustic, knowing if it was working on that, I pretty much had it nailed.
But I’ll add a rider - if you have not done so already, get your acoustic set up correctly and preferably by a pro. It will make it a shed load easier to play.
As a beginner I’m finding it better to practice on acoustic but mostly because I can just reach for it and play. There’s no amps or settings to fiddle with and get distracted by (but maybe that’s just me)
Ultimately though it’s best to use whichever makes you happy because that’s what will keep you coming back to practice.
In the beginning I found that practicing on my acoustic inhibited my learning due to the finger pain. I could only practice 10 minutes at a time. I found a cheap used electric guitar and used it to learn my chords and practice my chord changes relatively pain free. This extended my practice sessions to 20 to 30 minutes. I then reintroduced my acoustic to better build up my hand and finger muscles since the finger pain had subsided. I now use my acoustic much more than my electric.
Yes, it is always best to practice.
I often times just grab an acoustic because of the immediacy of it not having to be plugged in, etc. If either instruments are properly setup, there shouldn’t be much difference in general.
i would encourage you to play with both. I started playing only acoustic and the technique for acoustic is a fair bit different to that of an electric. With an electric, less is more, quite the opposite for the acoustic.
I struggle with electric because I have focused almost entirely on acoustic. I know it’s just time I need to put into electric to get better but in hindsight wished I had played both in the early days.
I’m probably in the both camp too but must admit I also thought I should persevere with the acoustic early on as the hard yards must pay off down the track (I’m sure I read/heard that somewhere) but really feel now like it hindered my progress significantly due the difficulty of learning new techniques and brutality of the strings on soft fingers which made practice less enjoyable. I now have my acoustic in the lounge so I can quickly grab it if feeling inspired but my guitar room is set up to easily get going with my electric in seconds so I’m not put off by any hassle of using that. In truth I play electric 95% of the time now, but the acoustic is always handy for if I only have 5 mins or wanna mindlessly run through some scales on the couch
Pretty sure he does mention that electric is easier to play for beginners, but I don’t think he actually recommends either as “better”. It would, after all, be a bit pointless for someone who’s primary interest is acoustic guitar to be doing all their learning and practice on electric. So it depends what the player’s goals are.
Personally, I do most of my practice on acoustic. It encourages me to practice since I can just grab it whenever I have the urge, without the prior set up required by my electric. If I can learn and get a technique down on acoustic then I can almost certainly do it on electric too, something which isn’t always the case vice versa. Finally, I find that acoustic is much more revealing of mistakes and bad form, something which electrics can disguise which results in me feeling better than I actually am.
That used to be a non-issue for me coz’ I am mostly acoustic anyhow. I have the electric, and I like the long neck and the low action that it provides. My better half objects to the shrill metallic sounds coming out of it, as she is highly sensitive to high pitch sound. So the Ibanez hollow body I have stays mostly in the Gig bag. The acoustics can be loud, even the Orchestra model, quite a bit smaller than the Dreadnought, and certainly my singing can be as well.
As I have moved a way from big strummy numbers though, and went for fingerstyle, that consideration decreased somewhat.
So if neighbours and partners are forgiving, best to practice on what you would use if you play your songs for an audience.
If they are less forgiving, look for something that can play more quietly, but still afford you the playing and practice experience that you need for your goals and ambitions, at the hours that you have available for practice. (Here in Germany that is a real issue, after 22:00 is a NO-NO)
Yamaha has so called silent guitars where you can set them up with a headphone, and the acoustasonic range (Fender) provides for those who would like the e-guitar feel (neck mostly) without the need for any amplification of headphones.
Do you have a preference to which you enjoy more? Or which is the one that fits your guitar goals more?
If so play that one. Really think about it, but don’t play one because you think you should or you hear it is easier. Play what you want to play. If your goal is to play steel string acoustic, practice on it. If your goal is electric, don’t worry about the acoustic. If you want both, swap as you feel you want to.
As CT says get it set up properly, it shouldn’t be all that much more difficult.
Another possibility (and this is something that Justin has also talked about), is that of course you don’t have to plug in/amp your electric, which then makes it pretty similar to an acoustic in terms of ‘grab and go’. That’s how I mostly played with my electric the first several months of learning. I do have to admit though, that I much prefer the sound it makes when amplified (and thus enjoy the experience more). To that end, I have it set up now where it’s always plugged in to the amp, so now the only step I have to do is to turn on the amp, which is acceptable to me in terms of a compromise
Well, if you have a solid-body electric, you will need to play it with more force in order to be able to hear it reasonably well (especially things like hammer-ons). However, when you plug in, you will find that much less force is needed to achieve a powerful sound due to the amplification.
+1 whatever guitar makes you pick it up every day and have an productive practice session. Some days you may want to practice on acoustic other days you may want to practice on electric. There’s benefits from practicing on both and the type of music you’re learning.
And stronger for the dreaded F chord. I’m pretty sure Justin even said on the F Chord lesson practice with the electric for technique and acoustic for building strength.
I don’t think that’s entirely the case as the learn more section says choose a guitar that suits the music you want to play. I think its more about a buying a starter guitar when you have no inclination of the type of music you want to play, so between a cheap electric and a cheap acoustic, he’s recommending an electric.