“The electric guitar is just too intimidating…” As a guitar instructor, I have heard this phrase more than a few times. I always answer this statement the same way stating that “physically the electric guitar is much easier to play due to the much lighter (smaller) strings on the instrument”.
Now, if you watch guitarists on Youtube and see how their fingers fly across the frets and run up and down the neck, I can understand why you may feel that playing the electric guitar is very difficult. Just remember that these players did not start out playing at this advanced level. Everyone started out as a beginner the same as you or me.
All the chords and scales that we use on the guitar are the same for both the acoustic and the electric guitar. The application can be different but the basics are the same. So, when deciding if you want to take up the guitar you need to understand that you CAN not only learn how to play BUT with good practice habits you can learn to play VERY WELL. It all relates to time and how much effort you are willing to put into playing. Be sure to read the blog post here at Guitar Animal on developing a good practice schedule for some help in this area.
When I first meet a new student in my private guitar classes I will ask the student “What types of music do you want to learn how to play?” I then make sure that the type of guitar the student has matches up with the types of music that the student wants to learn.
If the student wants to play Metallica songs but has a steel string acoustic guitar then we need to address this right at the start. Note: (playing Metallica songs requires an electric guitar with humbucking pickups.)
I also will assess the playability of the new student’s instrument to make sure that it is tuned and adjusted correctly and that it is playable. After all, if I cannot play the students instrument than how is the new student going to be successful learning to play on it?
Let us get back to our original question of the “intimidating electric guitar”. Let the type of music you wish to learn to play dictate what type of guitar you purchase. If you like acoustic type music then get an acoustic guitar, on the other hand, if you like electric stuff then go with an electric guitar. I know, many students like some of each so let’s address this. If you listen to about 60 percent electric and 40 percent acoustic then start with the electric guitar. If you’re listening preferences are opposite then start with an acoustic guitar. More than likely, if you stick with playing the guitar then you will own both an acoustic and an electric guitar. Remember, with practice, you too can be a great guitar player. NO FEAR!