Tag on songs for electric

The songbook has a tag for “acoustic”. I would really like one also that says “electric” or even “electric suitable”.

I only have an electric, a lot of songs for acoustic don’t work so well on electric, being able to filter those out would be great so you have a chance to see if songs are worthwhile to play on electric.

Or maybe I have it wrong and they’re all fine regardless of instrument? In that case I’d love to hear some ideas on how to make acoustic songs work better when played electrically.

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I don’t know about wrong, elec. vs acoustic is just different.

Myself, I go back and forth. Acoustic songs I’ll do on elec. Elec. song’s I’ll do on acoustic.

fwiw, Many times I’ll do a acoustic song on elec. Keeping the amp clean imho is a real step towards having what I do seem to sound reasonable.
I find doing distortion elec. music harder to do on acoustic. But it can be done. I think of the song Revolution vs Revolution 1 (granted there’s still distortion guitar in this version too), by the Beatles. A good example of a distortion elec. song, done with a acoustic, horns + . A tempo change between the two versions does somthing to the song to make it work too.

Keep on playing with your idea.
I think it’s worth pursuing.


This is my thought! I only have electric. I play a 12th century tune with a clean and balanced tone setting on my amp model. I like a small amount of reverb, and I also tend to roll off the frequency response above 5-6kHz to help clean the chime that I don’t hear in most acoustics. The tune is one I have a recording of done in some reed wind instrument, but I have heard it on lute as well.

I think the trick to getting your example to sound ‘good’ is getting the EQ settings right. This means guitar tone knob, amp bass/mid/treble/presence, and also an external EQ if needed. I have had pretty good success with almost anything I have tried that is traditionally played on acoustic.

Avoid thinking of a tune as being for a specific instrument. It is good to think beyond sounding like the original. Go for sounding ‘good’, not identical and you will find settings you really like. Sounding like the original is fair to learn how they did it, but sounding ‘good’ is the goal for applying your personal influence to a tune.

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Hi sptronx.
If you’re using a Katana amp it has a Acoustic sim in the settings.
I’m guessing other amps do as well.
Maybe give that a try .

Well yes. That’s a good idea. But what I was kind of getting at was that I’d like to be able to find songs where the arrangement as shown works for electric since I’m honestly not good enough to know how to make a given song work.

What does work for me seems to be:

  • Compression (i have a cheap pedal doing it).
  • Less gain (reduces the “organ” effect that the electric often has)
  • Play smaller chords, big chords sound bigger on electric.

Yeah i do (along with a tube amp) and it does work allright. My point was more that I’d love to find songs arranged for electric over having to rearrange stuff to make it work.

Simon, you’ve not mentioned where you are in terms of grades and modules, which might help provide a more context relevant answer.

If in the early grades, essentially working on the 8 basic open chords (before power chords are introduced) and strumming, then I think you can play the songs on either electric or acoustic.

You just need to give a little attention to an appropriate amp setting, as @sequences shared.

As you said and as suggested keep the gain dialed way down, adjust the tone controls, and you can play the electric the same as the acoustic. For the purposes of learning, even recording yourself playing (and singing if you do that, though it is not essential) and sharing in AVOYP, you don’t need to worry about fx on the electric. You can of courses add a little reverb and delay on the Katana, I suggest subtle, and it may improve the sound of the electric. But really not essential for the purpose of completing the early grades to lay solid foundations.

When I think electric I start thinking about rock music in all its various forms. When you get to the power chords you’ll find song suggestions, riffs/licks that will benefit from more gain, be more fun to play on the electic.

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I’ve done all the beginner stuff. So I suppose I’m intermediate?

I can do all the open chords and all (well most of) the A/E shape barre chords, power chords and so on. Currently trying to get better at CAGED and pentatonic/lead stuff.

I very much enjoy justins work, but again - so much of it is taught on acoustic which is fine, this is a totally egoistic post coming from a place where I was looking for cleanish electric songs to work on.

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@sptronx I’m not sure what this

actually means (What is “the songbook”?), but one way of quickly trying to find electric guitar song tutorials by Justin is via the JustinGuitar Songs youtube channel.

If you look through the playlists (https://www.youtube.com/@JustinGuitarSongs/playlists) you will find some (punk, electric riffs, funk) that will have electric-friendly lessons. You can also just look at the videos page (https://www.youtube.com/@JustinGuitarSongs/videos), which lists all the song tutorials. From the video thumbnails you can generally see if Justin is holding an electric or acoustic guitar.

Hope this helps.

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Good ideas thanks.

What I mean is that if you click “songs” at the top of the website and then expand “tags” on the left under filters. There is a tag called Acoustic, I wish there was one called Electric (or an ability to set not equal to acoustic).

Ah, got it. I agree 100% that an “electric” tag would be very useful.

I think I am getting that you’d like a tag saying what guitar Justin used for the lesson? That would be easier than looking through the lesson pictures! :slight_smile:

However , I suggest experimenting with your gear to get to the point you know what settings will sound like. I felt really lost for a while until I did that and wanted recipes to set up my gear to get a sound. Since the variation in gear is so vast, you won’t generally find exact settings and will need to fiddle a bit. This does sound more like copying the original than creating your own, but it trains your knowledge and ears to get what you want and at that point, you won’t need the tags because you will just go do what you feel like hearing.

You mention “arranged for electric” in a couple places. I don’t see a difference needed for electric versus acoustic/classical. A very clean electric is much like a recorded acoustic. You will get differences in equalization due to the way the pickups are designed, but you can adjust that to your liking (as I was saying above). @DavidP said what I would have said for setting up the amp for clean. If something isn’t sounding right, post back here is some details and we can point you in the right direction. If you want to hear an example of an acoustic song played on a metal guitar, then you might be able to coax me into posting a quick recording of that 12th century song for you. Maybe on a couple different guitars so you can hear the difference…