22 October 2007

5 Reasons To Prefer An Acoustic Guitar

"Should I buy an acoustic or an electric guitar?" is a popular question on the guitar forums. If you're a newcomer to the guitar then reading my list of 5 reasons to prefer an acoustic guitar will help you to answer that question.

Without further ado let's get straight into the list. I'll be back with some closing words at the end.

1. Feeling
This is the number one reason for me. In my experience nothing beats the feeling of playing an acoustic guitar. The whole guitar and your body resonates with the sound produced and there is an immediacy to the sound that just can't be matched by an electric guitar whose sound comes from an amplifier in a different location.

2. Versatility
An acoustic guitar adapts easily to any style of music. From classical to rock and jazz an acoustic guitar will always sound great.

Of course, you'll have trouble get heavy distortion out of it if you want to be a shredder. But any song can be arranged for acoustic guitar in a way that sounds good.

If you're just starting out you may not know what style you want to play finally. This is another great advantage of the acoustic's versatility; whatever your future musical direction an acoustic will adapt to your growing tastes. And of course right from the beginning it will provide a great support to build your guitar playing and musical skills for any style of music.

3. Simplicity
You can pick up and play your acoustic guitar at any time and in any place. There are no wires to untangle and plug in, no amp to switch on and adjust, no effects boxes to twiddle with. You just pick up and play instantly.

Regardless of where you are in your home you can have your acoustic guitar to hand ready to play as soon as you have two free minutes. This means easier and more frequent practice which is key to making progress.

4. Develops cleaner technique
An acoustic guitar is generally less tolerant of "bad habits". You need to press the strings more firmly and accurately to produce a good sound. Although this seems like more work when starting out, it can only lead to better technique in the long run.

If you're worried about an acoustic guitar being too hard to play, then start out with the lightest strings you can get. As you improve you can gradually change to heavier strings if you want to.

5. No heavy amp to lug to rehearsals or gigs
Once you're out playing with a group you can just turn up with your (electro) acoustic guitar and a cable. Plug in to the mixing console and you're ready to play. Believe me, this beats lugging around several kilos of amplifier, a case full of effects pedals and wires, and setting the whole lot up before you're ready.

So there you have my list of suggestions on why an acoustic guitar is a better choice than an electric guitar.

Just for fairness, I'll be taking a look at the advantages of the electric guitar in a couple of days time. But my recommendation, if you have to choose just one guitar to play on, is to make it an acoustic.

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