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This is weird: electric v. acoustic

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(@minotaur)
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Joined: 16 years ago
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I have a old Arita 6 string acoustic I got from someone many many years ago. It's still serviceable, though by the end of the year I want a new one (don't know which brand yet). I also have a Jackson Dinky hardtail. I started lessons in January with the acoustic, but came to realize that most everyone was using an electric, so I went and got the Jackson. I like it and have been told it's a good ax. I've also heard and read that electric is easier than acoustic.

Oh yeah? Well, I only occasionally use the acoustic, but I find that the things I have trouble with on the electric, like strumming and chord changes and hitting strings and notes properly :roll: are not a problem on the acoustic! I can change chords, make them ring and not buzz, my fingers land where I want them to...

What is going on!?

It is difficult to answer when one does not understand the question.


   
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 Nuno
(@nuno)
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They are different instruments. Each one has a way to be played. Sometimes you can play them in the same way but usually they don't sound good. For example, a six strings open chord with distortion can sound very strange.

They also feel different, and the way they propagate the sound is also different.

Even I consider the Spanish or nylon string guitar as a different instrument as well.

People say the electric are easier because normally they use a lower string gauge but all depends on what do you want to do with each instrument.


   
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(@minotaur)
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Yes, they do feel different. Very different. I can barre better on the electric, but I can make open chords and finger-pick better on the acoustic. One of the reasons I got the electric was because I heard they are easier to play and learn on. And I'm not sorry . I'm playing pretty much the same things on both... I just alternate them because I like the two different sounds, though I play the electric clean. I have no desire or plans to shred or lead or solo. I like rhythm, finger-picking, and melody with chords. I guess if I improve and perfect myself on the electric, the acoustic will sound fantastic! :lol:

It is difficult to answer when one does not understand the question.


   
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(@clau20)
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My first guitar was an electric and as a beginner, when I tried to play something, it was NOISE and not music coming out of it... So I turned off the amp and played my electric unplugged to learn and not have to hear those crappy sound coming out of the amp...

I got an acoustic after that, and that sounded much better! But after a few months of practicing, the electric sounded good with the amp.

You'll learn to control your electric guitar, and it'll sound good with time.

" First time I heard the music
I thought it was my own
I could feel it in my heartbeat
I could feel it in my bones
... Blame it on the love of Rock'n'Roll! "


   
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 Cat
(@cat)
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Thet truly ARE different animals...

After moving Down Unda...NONE of my amps/synths/whatever worked on the 240v/50Hz juice. So I turned to the two acoustics I had but never really played all that much...a nice Martin and an Epiphone. I put a set of .09's on the Epiphone, retweaked the truss...and I SWEAR it plays like my studio Ibanez.

I began to "notice" different overtones...and fed chordings off of them. Integrated with "electric rock" needs a lot of attention paid to the dynamics...but GREAT stuff comes out of the corelation.

Suggestion: get the old HUTERS album...the one with "Satellite" on it...or the "Close To The Edge" (Yes).

Under it all...the more you stretch your capabilities...the better you'll feel with a guitar in your hands!

Cat

"Feel what you play...play what you feel!"


   
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 Nuno
(@nuno)
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There was an article in the main site about learning with electrics or acoustics... Here it is! Read it, it could be interesting.

For fingerstyle is better the acoustics. To me the electrics have the strings very near each other (probably it is only one millimeter nearer). And perhaps you are only considering playing rhythm but perhaps in the future you can do some trial on lead. It is funny too.

And I agree with Clau. The first days with an electric basically you only produce noise!


   
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(@minotaur)
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Topic starter  

There was an article in the main site about learning with electrics or acoustics... Here it is! Read it, it could be interesting.

Thanks for the link. I'll definitely read it.
For fingerstyle is better the acoustics. To me the electrics have the strings very near each other (probably it is only one millimeter nearer). And perhaps you are only considering playing rhythm but perhaps in the future you can do some trial on lead. It is funny too.

I was going to say that it feels like the strings are closer on the electric, but I thought that would sound crazy. I'm glad to hear someone else say it. I think that's the reason I think acoustic is better for finger style. On the electric I keep hitting the adjacent strings.

I may have misspoken: I'm not totally against doing solo. I know there are songs that require some solo. Later on I may get into it, just not now.

It is difficult to answer when one does not understand the question.


   
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(@minotaur)
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I can't wait to get a new acoustic 6-string. I have a 12-string, which contrary to popular belief is not that hard to play. You can't do fingerstyle, or a lot of individual notes, but the sound of a 12-string is great for rhythm... really fat and ringing. When it's in tune. Out of tune it sounds like, as someone once said, cats fighting. :lol:

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(@vic-lewis-vl)
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I've always thought the strings are closer together on an electric than an acoustic, so I measured them. The results were surprising. On my Fender Telecaster, the distance between the two E strings at the nut is 3.6cm - on my SPT acoustic (which I still know nothing about, but that's what's on the headstock) it's 3.5cm. At the bridge, it's 5.6cm for the Tele, and 5.5cm for the acoustic. On my Squier Tele, distances are 3.4cm and 5.3cm. I was surprised to find the acoustic actually had less room between strings than the Tele, and even more surprised that the Squier Tele's less than that. Perhaps that's why I've always found them pretty easy to play?

I'd be interested to see comparable results for Les Pauls, Strats, etc....and Minotaur, why don't you do a similar comparison with your acoustic and electric guitars?

:D :D :D

Vic

"Sometimes the beauty of music can help us all find strength to deal with all the curves life can throw us." (D. Hodge.)


   
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(@david_mohn)
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You can't do fingerstyle, or a lot of individual notes, but the sound of a 12-string is great for rhythm

I beg to differ. I've been playing 12 strings for around 15 years, and you can very much fingerpick. Just takes practice. :D


   
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 Nuno
(@nuno)
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I'd be interested to see comparable results for Les Pauls, Strats, etc.
My Strat 3.5 and 5.2, my Les Paul 3.4 and 5.1... curiously I thought the Strat were closer... My Martin 3.7 and 5.4. (Always neck and bridge.)

My Ramírez is not here now but the neck is much wider.


   
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(@minotaur)
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You can't do fingerstyle, or a lot of individual notes, but the sound of a 12-string is great for rhythm

I beg to differ. I've been playing 12 strings for around 15 years, and you can very much fingerpick. Just takes practice. :D

I guess I should have said I can't do it (yet). :wink:

It is difficult to answer when one does not understand the question.


   
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(@notes_norton)
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Acoustics and Electrics ARE different instruments and they should be played differently. Charlie Parker (great saxophonist) said, "You don't play the sax, you let the sax play you." Good advice for any instrument.

Find out what the instrument in your hands in capable of doing, and bring out or exploit what it is that gives that instrument its own voice and means of expression. This might not be apparent at first, but as you put time in on the instruments, you will be able to discover this if you are looking for it.

As far as one being easier than the other, forget about that. Some things are easier to do on electric, others easier on acoustic.

My main guitars now are acoustic/electric archtops (no block of wood inside the body) and while they are closer to electrics than acoustic, they are definitely different from my wife's Parker or my ESP solid body guitars.

So to paraphrase Charlie Parker, you don't play the guitar, you let the guitar play you. Find out what it will do well and do that, find out what it won't do well and avoid that. Pay attention to this as you learn about each individual instrument, and you will become a better player for it.

Insights and incites by Notes

Bob "Notes" Norton

Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com Add-on Styles for Band-in-a-Box and Microsoft SongSmith

The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<


   
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(@minotaur)
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I'm really glad to hear all this. These aren't things you hear in a music store or class.

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(@blueline)
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There certainly is a huge difference. Think of it this way, you have to pull the sound out of the acoustic but you have to manage the sound (or tame it) coming out of the electric. Each has different temperments as yo are finding out. I found the same problem when I first started playing. After playing my acoustic as the main instrament for several months, I move to my electric and found that I sounded terrible. It took a long time for me to understand that they are two different animals.

As you've learned, you can't play the electric exactly the same way. The electric also has the additional burden of learning how to shape your sound with effects. You can't just turn everything up to 11 and expect it to sound good all the time. (Sounding good being relative of course).

Teamwork- A few harmless flakes working together can unleash an avalanche of destruction.


   
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