TAC Family Forums

Share your wins, get unstuck, or see how others use the TAC Method to create a fulfilling guitar life!

  • Electric vs Acoustic

    Posted by Dean-Staff on March 10, 2022 at 11:45 am

    Hi Everyone, I’ve only just started TAC this week, but I started to learn to play in October when I picked up a used Acoustic Guitar. My fingers are not long, so was having trouble fretting the Low E and A string, and I would get frustrated and stop playing. So I did some reading and found people recommending to learn on an Electric (In particular a Strat) because the neck is a little thinner, and the Strat in particular is more “Ergonomic”. My goal is to play well enough that I can jam with friends. I figure once I’ve picked up the basics and built up some muscle memory, I “Should” be able to switch back and forth between Acoustic and Electric.

    I’m just curious to know if anyone else on here is using an electric rather than an acoustic guitar?

    • This discussion was modified 2 years, 1 month ago by  Dean-Staff.
    Marquita replied 2 years, 1 month ago 8 Members · 20 Replies
  • 20 Replies
  • Loraine

    Member
    March 10, 2022 at 12:09 pm

    @Dean-Staff Welcome to the TAC community. I’ve often heard that electric guitars are easier to play for the same reasons that you mentioned, and I know that many others also use electric to learn on. Enjoy your journey with the TAC community.

  • Bill_Brown

    Member
    March 10, 2022 at 5:44 pm

    Speaking for my self @Dean-Staff 🤔 Guitar is guitar😱 What you do on one, you should be able to do on the other😎

  • jumpinjeff

    Member
    March 10, 2022 at 6:26 pm

    I found them to be like Lions and Tigers: sure they are both cats but lotta differences too. I only play acoustic and I feel like a fish out of water when I pick up an Electric. String scale, string tension and the whole feel of the instrument is sooo different for me. Let us know how you fare. I am always curious about others experiences.

    • Dean-Staff

      Member
      March 10, 2022 at 7:13 pm

      @jumpinjeff I’m hoping that the basics, like dexterity, strumming, and Chord transitions will carry over from one to the other, I know I’ll have to get used to the differences in the physical characteristics.

      • jumpinjeff

        Member
        March 11, 2022 at 8:05 pm

        If you pressed me to say…I would say generally yes but specifically no. Because they react so differently to attack and fingering I can only say generally they will carry over. The things absolutely the same are learning the fretboard…where the notes are located, getting familiar with chords etc. and ear training.

  • ted_h

    Member
    March 11, 2022 at 8:33 am

    Hi, @Dean-Staff! Welcome to TAC! I play both. I actually think I spend more time on electric than acoustic, but that’s just where I’m at in my guitar journey these days. πŸ™‚ When I post things on TAC I usually play on the acoustic, but the group’s been tolerant of a few electric postings as well!

    My wife is also learning to play guitar, and she’s been playing on an acoustic guitar for a few minutes until her hands get tired, and then switching to the electric because it’s so much easier to fret. You’ll find the barre chords much easier on the electric, I think.

    I find it fun to play the TAC acoustic exercises on the electric guitar, and fun to try to play electric stuff on the acoustic in an “MTV Unplugged” fashion. πŸ™‚

    Go to a music store and try out a few different styles of electric guitar before you buy one — the necks feel a lot different and you may find one more comfortable than another. In general, the Fender-style necks are narrower across the fretboard at the nut and have a tighter radius (the fretboard is a little more curved), whereas the Gibson-style necks are a little wider at the nut and a little flatter across the fretboard. Your hand and finger shape might make you gravitate more towards one than the other. Try playing some of the “30 Days To Play” things on different guitars and see what feels best!

    Good luck with your potential guitar acquisition! πŸ™‚

    • Dean-Staff

      Member
      March 11, 2022 at 11:31 am

      Hi @ted_h

      Thank you for the encouraging words. My hope is to be able to play both acoustic and electric with some proficiency. I already have 3 guitars. 2 Electric (Squier Affinity Stratocaster and a Squier Affinity Telecaster (My favourite body-style) and 1 Acoustic (an Alvarez RD20SL), so I’m not likely to purchase anything new for a little while now. πŸ˜› I play left handed, so jumped on a couple of used guitars on FB Marketplace when I saw them. None of them were particularly expensive. I paid the most for the Squire Strat, but only because it came with a Hard case too.

      While I’ve only been taking the TAC for a week I agree with you it’s fun to play on the Electric. I’m doing the 30 Days to Play now, and have to admit I do prefer the Blues on an electric anyway. LOL.

      Cheers!

      • ted_h

        Member
        March 11, 2022 at 9:32 pm

        That’s awesome, @Dean-Staff! I play on a Tele a lot and I love it! I just can’t get enough of how it sounds with the neck pickup. πŸ™‚

        Whatever you play, have fun doing it! Cheers!

      • Dean-Staff

        Member
        March 12, 2022 at 10:03 am

        Hi again @ted_h! Agreed I just love the Tele sound. One thing I seem to have discovered, (or at least this seems to be my observation) It doesn’t matter where your Tele is made, (China, Indonesia (Like mine), Mexico, or America) you can get that true Tele sound. I’m going to eventually upgrade the electronics in mine and replace the pickups for some Fender GEN 4 Noiseless Pickups, but that’s a little ways off. I need to learn to play first.

        The funny thing is that the cost of the upgrade will be more than what I actually paid for the guitar. I got it at steal for $180, and the pickups are $230 alone. But I’m already emotionally attached to it and don’t think I’d ever sell it.

  • Skyman

    Member
    March 11, 2022 at 9:10 am

    You can find acoustic guitars with similar neck profiles as an electric.

  • the-old-coach

    Member
    March 11, 2022 at 12:46 pm

    Dean-

    I agree with Ted_h about the Fenders. One of the guitars I have is a Fender CD-60s. It’s not an expensive guitar- but seems to be well built, and- (to me anyway)- it sounds great. Amazon has it for ~$260-290. I really LOVE the way it is “easier” to play than many others. The neck is DEFINITELY “thinner”, smaller, and curved somewhat. I’ve played a few electrics- (not a LOT of them– and I don’t own one at this time)- but this is maybe as close as your gonna get with an acoustic. And it won’t break the bank.

    If you’re considering buying an electric- (anyway)- just so you can learn easier on an acoustic- one of these may be worth a try– instead.

    Somethin’ to chew on…….

    the-old-coach

    Added edit- Dean– (this is my opinion only)–

    If you really want to learn how to play your 6-string guitar “better”- and don’t mind a crap-load of extra concentration, accuracy, difficulty, and focus in every Daily session……… buy a 12-string😜. Over time, it’ll make a better 6-string player out of you, that’s for damn sure. (spoiler alert- there are “hidden” messages in this paragraph)🙃

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 1 month ago by  the-old-coach.
    • Dean-Staff

      Member
      March 11, 2022 at 1:51 pm

      Hey @the-old-coach, thanks for the tips. A twelve string would be cool… eventually. Right now I have 3 guitars (I started collecting them as soon as I started to learn πŸ˜› )

      I actually have a good friend who used to play the twelve string, so I can probably get some tips from her later.. she’s actually learning to play the Electric base right now, so she and her Hubby can jam on their weekly music nights. My hope is to someday soon join them.

  • the-old-coach

    Member
    March 11, 2022 at 4:39 pm

    Sounds fun!

    I’m thinking the “jist” of your original post was about finding a guitar that is “easy-er” to play– as you start out here in TAC– and have around to be also “easy-er” as the more strenuous lessons come along in here.

    It will be less strenuous, easier on the hands and fingers, and MUCH more fun if the guitar in your hands feels great and plays with a LOT less effort than another.

    Give some thought to finding one that is designed to play easy.

    Being the broken-record that I am- find a Fender with that slimmer, smaller neck, and play it. It’s not a Martin or a Gibson, but it may just be your favorite in the end.

    My two-bits….. (and I’m runnin’ out of quarters)… possibly to the delight of many.

    the coach

    • Dean-Staff

      Member
      March 11, 2022 at 5:24 pm

      Actually my original post was really to see if anyone else was using an electric vs an acoustic guitar for TAC. but I probably rambled a bit so the question got lost. all good…

      I have two Fenders. A Squier Affinity Strat, and a Squier Affinity Tele. The Tele is my favourite, but I’ve been told the Strat is the most ergonomic to learn on. Besides I need to restring the Tele this weekend, was doing some setup on it today, and could not get the intonation setup, no matter what I did the when fretting at the 12th fret it was always VERY sharp. I know the guitar was a few years old and the strings may be original to the guitar. (This is another part of learning to play that I have discovered I really really like. I love learning to do the setup myself, and not relying on a guitar tech to do it for me)

      Anyway I really appreciate everyone taking the time to respond to my post. I am seeing there is a really nice community here, that makes everyone feel welcome.

      • ted_h

        Member
        March 11, 2022 at 9:40 pm

        Hello again, @Dean-Staff!

        Does your Tele have six screws to set the intonation (one for each string), or does it have three screws and three of the barrel saddles (one barrel for each pair of strings)? Mine had the old-school barrel saddles and I could never get the intonation right. It was my least favorite guitar because of that! But then I learned that you can get “compensated” barrel saddles that allow you to move the break point forward or backward for each string in a pair and I was able to get the intonation much better. That’s when it became my favorite guitar!

        If you go that route, I got the “Wilkinson Compensated Brass Saddles” for about $15 and it made a huge difference! Maybe the best money I ever spent on guitar gear!

      • Dean-Staff

        Member
        March 12, 2022 at 9:53 am

        Hi @ted_h My Tele has 6 separate screws to set the intonation. I’ve set the neck relief (The action was a bit too low and I was getting fret buzz) I’m eventually going to replace the bridge saddles with Highwood HG bridge Saddles because the height adjustment screws don’t protrude out the top, and you are less likely to scrape your hand on them while playing. But for now I’m convinced the issue is the old strings.

        My Strat has the same saddles, and with new strings I was able to setup the intonation with no issues.

  • Marquita

    Member
    March 11, 2022 at 11:18 pm

    @Dean-Staff I hear you but want to encourage you to watch these videos:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BJKYjXe6ACE
    and
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pl6f_XwMhMM

    They changed my mind about what small fingers can do… best to you!

    • Dean-Staff

      Member
      March 12, 2022 at 10:07 am

      Hi @Marquita Absolutely amazing!! and definitely and inspiration to this old guy!

      • Marquita

        Member
        March 12, 2022 at 10:40 am

        She and the little children from Korea from the other link truly changed my thinking.
        Now I just need to get the posture/positioning of my arms and hands, and I think I can progress even more.😉

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