Upgrading from classical guitar

Hello. I am currently playing a classical guitar for like a year and almost a half.edit:i have to mention that i used it as an acoustic, doing justin’s tutorial.
I bought a classical because i wasn’t sure if i was gonna stick to playing guitar.
But now i want to upgrade and i don’t know wether i should choose and electric or an acoustic.
My biggest concern is whether i can get or not a similar tone to the acoustic from an electric. (like if using no gain will sound like that)
I am into blues, rock and i also like Metallica(i generally like all types of music)
So what do you think?

Thank in advance and sorry for any grammar mistakes. :call_me_hand:

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Welcome to the community Ionita. :slight_smile:

It’s hard to say which you “should” choose because the only one who can really answer that is you. You know what you want to do with it, so that determines your choice. Of course, there is a third option which you didn’t mention… get both! :grin:

But if you already have a classical guitar then perhaps an electric would be better? The classical can continue standing in as an acoustic until you can get an actual acoustic.

About your concern, you can make an electric guitar sound a lot like an acoustic. It’s not really as simple as just lowering the gain though… a clean electric guitar tone generally sounds like a clean electric guitar tone, not like a acoustic. There are amps (and pedals?) that can make an electric sound more like an acoustic, but in my (limited) experience none of them quite get there. They never have that natural organic feel like a real acoustic does, instead sounding like an electro-acoustic plugged in.


Plug an electric into the right amp, throw in a touch of reverb and it’ll sound quite acoustic like.

Its not quite the same (because acoustics tend to use piezo pickups etc) but its close enough and it also allows you to play with gain/distorion etc if you want.

An electric usually has a ‘smaller’ fretboard with lower action and lighter strings for faster/easier playing , switching between acoustic and electric can be a challenge at first.


Short answer: no. Long answer: electric guitars are designed to be amplified, with or without gain. Unplugged solid-body electric guitars have a weak sound, probably OK for noodling, but no enough for meaningful practice/music. Unplugged hollow-body electrics are louder, but still don’t have the exact same tone as legit acoustic guitars do. The same applies for a “clean” setting on an amplifier - you won’t get any distortion, but still won’t sound similar to an acoustic.

I’d say if you’d like to play music that was originally designed to be played with electric guitars (like Metallica, as you mentioned), go for an electric.


Thanks for the replies everybody. I wasn’t expecting suxh detailed answers.
I have more question still.
What if i want to get into john mayer which i am aware is pretty hard. He uses both acoustic and electric i would say equally so just in this case what should i pick?

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Hi @Noobix and welcome to the community.
There are skills you can learn and use on electric that you simply can not / will not be able to on acoustic. String bending is one obvious example. Playing rock sounds is another - which is of course dependent on amplification too.
You can play an electric guitar with a very clean and pure sound. It will not sound like an acoustic guitar but it will sound very nice. And you can play acoustic style music quite well on an electric guitar. It will feel different for sure, but can be done.


What you really want to do long run is get an acoustic and an electric. And then maybe another electric.

There’s no right answer. Based on what you said this is what I would do though, knowing what I know now.

Get an electric. And get a decent modelling amp that does great clean tones (Fender cleans with reverb for Mayer) and crunch/gain tones for metal and rock. Lots of fans of Yamaha THR, Boss Katana and Fender GTX. I have a fender GTX and I think it’s amazing.

And then later, when GAS strikes again, get a steel string acoustic. You already have an acoustic :grinning:.


Thanks everybody for the great answers :call_me_hand:

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@jkahn is right. I think you would be happiest with an electric right now. It is quite versatile, will allow most of what you sound interested in and in the short term your nylon string can sub in for an acoustic. Eventually, as you get better, you can determine if you need the steel string as well, which you may well want.

But at this stage, go electric, learn a lot, play a lot. It will be the option that gives you the most.

This is from a guy who isn’t playing electric, I done gone classical and steel.

Whenever I’m in a guitar buying dilemma, I go to a guitar store, one with friendly sellers btw. By playing and having fun, eventually, you’ll know which one is the right one. I gravitate more towards steel strings acoustics, and whenever I play electric, oh is so nice and effortless, because steel string acoustic needs a bit extra strength.