Should I Learn Acoustic Or Electric Guitar First?

Most professional guitar players will tell you that learning to play guitar depends on what one wishes to accomplish. This is very true because learning any instrument should come with certain goals that wish to be attained.

Acoustic guitar is essentially a wooden instrument that has strings. It relies on itself to produce sound.

Electric guitar on the other hand is the same as an acoustic guitar, the only difference is that it relies on an electric source to power it up so it can be played.

Most newbies usually ask the question ” Should I learn acoustic or electric guitar first?”

and here’s a good answer:

Learn acoustic guitar first because it is the foundational REAL instrument. You can then easily gravitate to electric guitar.

Learning acoustic guitar before electric guitar is good because it will make your fingers strong and give you a good understanding and knowledge of the real instrument… Which will make you more than ready to take on electric guitar.

What you should Know

Granted, starting with an acoustic guitar can be quite advantageous but we also have to consider various factors when choosing the guitar to learn.

Which is why this section of the post will discuss various things you should put into consideration as well as Know.


One thing that you should take into account when figuring out whether to learn acoustic or electric guitar is the kind of genre you’re into.

You’ll obviously have to consider why you want to learn guitar as well because it should be one of the driving factors as you make your choice.

If you’re into genres that are more accustomed to acoustic guitars, then ofcourse, acoustic guitar should be the very first guitar you learn.

However, if you intend to play for a rock band then you need not waste time on acoustic guitar, jump right into electric guitar.

Tolerance level

When it comes to learning an instrument you have to be able to know what kind of difficulty level you can handle.

For example, acoustic guitars are more challenging to learn and they’ll demand more from you plus, you won’t get away with any mistakes that you’d otherwise get away with when playing electric guitar.

Furthermore, acoustic guitars have more complex frets and the string has to vibrate for it produce sound which means your fingers will have some getting used to when you’re just starting out.

Electric guitars are convenient because they can be easier to learn and various effects can be easily smoothened out making it  easier to get away with playing mistakes.

The truth about Electric guitar

The electric guitar may obviously seem and feel easier to play but that doesn’t necessarily mean it can be easily learnt…. so let’s get that out of the way because most beginner guitar players tend to think electric guitar is the easy way out.

Electric guitars may have easier playability but that should not generalise how easily they can be learnt. Granted, the feel of electric guitars is more easier on your fingers, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that it is still a difficult instrument to learn.

With electric guitar you have to learn how to get comfortable with volume, effects etc.. which call upon a different set of skills.

So you should always bear in mind that while acoustic guitar may be taxing on the fingers, it can be suitable for beginner players that want to get a good understanding of the instrument.

The truth about Acoustic guitar

When you play acoustic guitar for the first time, it will not be easy on your fingers.

Your fingers will hurt for some time but you’ll get used to playing with them after practicing for some time.

Which is why it’s recommended to start out on acoustic guitar. Because it can allow you to get the core lessons that are foundational in guitar playing.

Acoustic guitars unlike electric guitars don’t rely on electricity from amps to be able to produce sound.

Sound is generated by the string vibrations being amplified naturally by the guitars body.

When it comes to playability, string sizes matter. if the string size is thicker it makes it harder to bend the strings and unexperienced fingers will suffer.

Of course with time your fingers will get used and the difference in the strings between acoustic and electric guitars is another reason why playing each instrument differs from the other.

With electric guitars, you’ll also find that the necks are thinner making it easier for you to get your hand around.

The frets being bigger also encourages string bending, with that said, electric guitars are much heavier than acoustic guitars so that’s another trade off.

Final Thoughts

If you want to learn guitar I’d advise to start with acoustic guitar first and then move to electric guitar because acoustic guitars will teach you the fundamental lessons that you’ll be able to apply on almost any guitar. This is not to say electric guitars are easier to learn.

They are also complex instruments but starting out on acoustic guitar can be easier for a beginner.