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Difference Between Electric and Acoustic Guitars

electric_guitarElectric vs Acoustic Guitars

The difference between an electric guitar and an acoustic guitar is somewhat a no-brainer. Apparently, electric guitars will require a sound amplifier to project the sound effectively. Acoustic guitars can stand alone, and make beautiful acoustics, even without some electronic device to amplify it. When people think of guitars, an acoustic guitar will often be the image in mind.

In terms of appearance, acoustic guitars always have a round hole in their faces. It is called a sound hole; it helps with the sound modulation, increasing the sound volume of the vibrating string. The acoustic guitar may often look bulkier than most electric guitars, but it is hollow and lighter. The hollowness, along with the sound hole, is part of the design to produce acoustics.

An acoustic guitar can be a classical guitar. It has a slightly different appearance, particularly the neck, which is much broader. Acoustic guitars can either have steel or nylon strings; the classical guitar uses the latter for three of it’s strings. Folk songs and mellow music genres favor the use of acoustic guitars, but it’s not uncommon to see acoustic guitars in other genres as well. Acoustic guitars produce great strumming and plucking sounds.

Electric guitars are not hollow, as they are rather more solid and heavier than they look ‘“ they typically look smaller than the acoustic ones. They are specifically designed to be partnered with electric sound amplifiers, hence the name. They will often have buttons, sliders, switches, or knobs that assist in controlling volume and sound manipulation. There is no sound hole for functionality, and perhaps, the only hole it has, is the female plug hole that connects the guitar to the amplifier.

Electric guitars are known for their sharp sounds and are associated with rock music. The guitar leads and licks are forte of electric guitars. Due to it’s electric nature, it can produce a variety of interesting sounds, with the help of gadgets and distortion devices.

Beginners who want to learn how to play guitars may have some trouble deciding which one to initially use. Considering the learner getting over the knobs and sliders of the electric guitar, the electric guitar may be easier to use, because it will not result in sore fingers, as the strings are easier to press down. It also has a smaller neck and body, which helps greatly with learning, because the hand and fingers are not as stressed as when learning with acoustic guitars.

A beginner starting with acoustic guitars will have more trouble with pressing strings, particularly with capos and the spread of the fingers. However, the portability of the guitar is invaluable. Bulky as they may look, you won’t need to carry extra equipment to play it in any place you like. Most importantly, acoustic guitars are significantly cheaper and easier to maintain.

It should be mentioned that there are also electric acoustic guitars, which are sometimes referred to as ‘elecoustic’ guitars. They look very similar to an acoustic guitar, complete with the sound hole, but fitted with pickups and a microphone, or transducers.


1. Electric guitars require amplifiers to produce sound effectively, while acoustic guitars rely on their innate hollow design and sound hole to produce sound.

2. Electric guitars use steel strings, while acoustic guitars can use both steel and nylon as strings.

3. Acoustic guitars are more associated with folk and mellow music, while electric guitars are more associated with rock music.

4. Electric guitars have knobs, buttons, and switches, whereas acoustic guitars have none of those.

5. Acoustic guitars are generally great for strumming and plucking, while electric guitars are known for the guitar leads and licks.

6. Electric guitars are generally easier to play, especially for beginners. Acoustic guitars are harder to use due to their size and hard-to-press strings.

7. Acoustic guitars are generally cheaper than electric guitars. Acoustic guitars are easier to maintain as well.

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  1. Good article, and Stumbled… though I might add a consideration of the relative sex appeal of each instrument. Guitar’s much better than piano and flugelhorn for charming the object(s) of your desire, but whether it’s best to use an acoustic or electric’s open to debate, ey?

  2. A good overview of the basics. And your points about starting with electric guitar are accurate. Another take on it is that it’s easier to switch from acoustic to electric than the other way.

    In other words, starting on acoustic gives your hands a strength and agility that will be more than adequate for switching to electric later. Doesn’t necessarily work the other way around.

  3. Starting on acoustic gives your hands a strength and agility that will be more than adequate for switching to electric later. Doesn’t necessarily work the other way around.

    Read more: Difference Between Electric and Acoustic Guitars | Difference Between http://www.differencebetween.net/object/difference-between-electric-and-acoustic-guitars/#ixzz0e45h5jRB

  4. There is an argument for both, I think, and is really dependent on the type of music you wish to play.

    I started learning on an acoustic, and whilst I find the shift to electric from acoustic technically easier – smaller frets, longer neck and lighter strings – there is so much to learn about electric guitars, you can’t produce the same sounds as an acoustic, you certainly can’t use it as a drum ;), there are pickups and knob and bars that all produce unique and interesting sounds. I think becoming proficient with either instrument is a real art form.

  5. Acoustic guitars are not significantly cheaper than electrics. If anything acoustics tend to be more expensive because they are hand made.Unless you are talking about real cheap guitars which I would not recommend for a beginner.Cheap guitars are more difficult to play because they don’t stay in tune well and the action[the hight of the strings in relation to the fret board] is usually too high. This causes great strain .on the fingers When a beginner plays an out of tune hard to play guitar they get discouraged. If you are serious about learning guitar I would recommend getting a good guitar. Just think about all the money we spend on stereos and TVs today. Why not invest at least half of what you might pay for a good TV on what might give you considerably more pleasure. Everything you learn to play on guitar will usually sound better on a well built quality guitar. I personally would recomend an acoustic guitar. This way you can pretty much play when and where you want. I recomend spending at least $400 dollars on an acoustic for a beginner that is serious about learning the instrument. Keep it in a case and keep it properly humidified. Doing this will not only give you years of enjoyment from the guitar but if you want to upgrade latter the resale value of that guitar will be high and you can put that money towards your new guitar. Go to the music store.Play many different models and find the one right for you. If you can’t play enough to make a desicion ask players that might be at the store what their opinion is. Let the salee clerk know that you are serious and don’t just let them sell you what ever product they need to move. Do research. Find out what to look for in a well constructed guitar. Playing guitar can give you years of enjoyment and enrich your life. Don’t approach the purchase of your first guitar like you would a pair of shoes

  6. I want to buy a guitar
    I am beginner.so pls suggest me..

  7. I am essentially a beginner and I own both acoustics and electric guitars. I have a cheap Strat style electric that I purchased through Monoprice. It’s my favorite because it is very easy to play and I like the tone. I own a far more expensive Gretsch that is not nearly as easy to play.

    The one acoustic I own is a very inexpensive Washburn and it is pretty easy to play and the tone is very good.

    The other thing that I like about the electric guitars is that with the amp and pedals there is an endless range of sound that you can get out of the guitars. As a beginner, it helps to keep things interesting.


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