So you wanna play guitar, huh?Congrats. It’s about damn time.Just like every guitar player before you…You’ve finally reached the point where just listening to your favorite songs is no longer enough…Because you know deep down…the only thing that will make you truly happy in this world…Is to actually start PLAYING those songs, with your own two hands…on a real guitar.
Just like every wannabe air guitar player before you who decides to start playing, but gives up before ever getting started…
There’s a good chance you feel a bit intimidated and overwhelmed by:
the absurdly large field of gear to choose from, and…
the shameful lack of resources explaining the BIG PICTURE in a way you can easily understand.
And so for this post, the BIG PICTURE is exactly what you’ll get, so you can see that the process of getting started on guitar is not nearly as complex as everyone makes it out to be.
Electric vs Acoustic Guitars
The very first question the every guitar newbie asks is.Should I start on an acoustic or electric?And while internet forums are filled with endless debates on this topic.The truth is that no single answer to this question is right for everyone.
Our heroes are the reason we all start playing guitar in the first place.So if your biggest heroes play electric guitar…Play that.
And if they play acoustic guitar…Play that.But what you should NOT do, is try to learn both at the same time.So then what if your favorite guitar player is Jimmy Page, or Eric Clapton? Or some other player who might be well known for his work on both instruments? What then?Or what if you just like a lot of different music in different genres?
The biggest advantage of choosing the acoustic guitar is.There are very few decisions you need to make in order to get started.
All you really need to do is:
Choose a guitar in your price range
Make sure it’s strung up and tuned
Grab a pick (or not)
And you’re ready to start playing.One common warning you’ll hear online as a reason to NOT start with acoustic guitar is that the strings are much stiffer, and harder to press down upon.And that is 100% true.
Your fingers will start hurting quicker
You won’t be able to practice as long
And it will be MUCH harder to hold chords at first
But all 3 of these things are actually GOOD. And here’s why:Even though things will be harder in the beginning, you need to build up your calluses and finger strength eventually anyway, so you might as well get it out of the way ASAP.And while it will be harder to hold chords…at first…it will force your hands to find a way to hold those chords in the most efficient way possible. Using the most leverage, with the least amount of effort.Many people who start out on electric guitar, and then transition to acoustic guitar, find that they are not even able to cleanly play a simple open chord.
On the other hand…When you start on acoustic, you’ll find the transition to electric to be much easier, because your hands are stronger, and you’ve already built some good technique.Makes sense?And one final argument as to why you should start on acoustic is that you will most likely develop a better ear, early on.Because you get used to hearing the clean, unadulterated notes, without all the distractions of effects to mask things up.And now, for some counter-arguments…
Unlike acoustic guitar, which is fairly simple to get started with…With electric guitar, there’s a virtually endless number of gear and effects…That are really as important to learn as the actual instrument itself.The major upside here is that your ears learn to be acutely aware of TONE, from the very beginning.In contrast, acoustic guitar players may never really develop that same ear for tone, because it’s never within their control to actually change.The downside with electric guitar however…is that all these effects can easily become a distraction that prevents you from actually learning how to play.And that pretty much sums up all the pros and cons.So all that’s left to do next is choose one option or the other, and buy something that fits your price range.