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Making switch from Acoustic to Electric

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(@brian-f)
Estimable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 122
Topic starter  

I've been playing for about two years now, but entirely acoustic stuff, and I want to start playing electric. I actually bought a LP Studio a little over a year ago, but I don't play it. It never felf comfortable to me, always a little awkward. The neck seemed so narrow, the strings seemed so limp, and I felt that if I even looked at the pups it would make a noise (no room for error on my part). Well, I learned as an acoustic strummer, so I guess my "style" or approach doesnt fit the electric right now.

So, my thought is this: find an electirc with a closer feel to my acoustic to make the transition easier. After goofing around at the local GC, I realized that the Tele and strats both have the same scale length and width at nut as my acoustic (25.5" and 1-11/16"). They also seemed to feel like the strings were a heavier guage, and the whole set-up felt a lot more natural to me. I like the HSS strat as they offer a wide array of tones, and I like playing lots of different stuff (mostly classic rock, country, blues; some hair metal, etc.).

So now I need to learn some stuff that will translate to electric so I can go play some guitars at the GC before buying. This is very daunting to me as everytime I pick up an electric I feel like I'm holding a guitar for the first time.

Has anyone found the Fenders to make the transition from acoustic to electric easier? Are there other Elecrics that may do the same thing (semi-hollows)?

(My current amp is VoxAD30VT)

Any recommendations on easy songs to learn on electric so I can go play around with some fenders (or other) and get the right guitar for me? (I bought the LP sight unseen)

Thanks for any advice, input, etc.

B


   
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(@embrace_the_darkness)
Honorable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 539
 

Almost any song by Greenday can be learnt in about 20/30 minutes, there is rarely more than 4 chords and a simple strum pattern (I do like Greenday BTW, not ripping on them there!)

And don't forget, as long as you don't crank the distortion/gain up really high, you can play any song you already know on the acoustic in the exact same way on the electric (if you go for a completely 'clean' tone from the amp then it might even sound the same (or close anyway)).

If all else fails; sit with the guitar in your hands and play anything at all, even if its just made up on the spot; even this will help to let you know if the guitar 'feels' right for you!

Pete

ETD - Formerly "10141748 - Reincarnate"


   
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(@dogbite)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 6348
 

I happen to be a Fender strat and tele player
and I play several kinds of acoustics too.
scale length never was a problem; it never occurred to me honestly.
I just went at it. and it was not hard.
I did discover than how hard or soft of a touch was important to each kind (elec/acoust).
but that is true of any instrument.
string bends are way harder on acoustics. I still try.
and my fingers grew stronger.
I like the immediacy of an acoustic. no set up. grab and play.

it's funny. I usually do acoustic versions of electric songs.
ACDC stuff is a riot.

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=644552
http://www.soundclick.com/couleerockinvaders


   
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(@anonymous)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 8184
 

it's gonna take a while to adjust, but once you have, it's just great. i like lp's, strats, and teles all, so i'm not gonna tell you to pick one or the other. just get over the initial adjustment, and you're gonna have plenty of fun.


   
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(@margaret)
Noble Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 1675
 

I don't think you need to learn any new songs to be able to pick out an electric. Just continue to try them out with the chords and songs you know, and buy the one that feels the most natural and has the best sound.

Once you get that baby home you'll surely adjust to it very quickly.

Margaret

When my mind is free, you know a melody can move me
And when I'm feelin' blue, the guitar's comin' through to soothe me ~


   
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(@fretted-fingers)
Trusted Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 47
 

I play both acoustics and electrics. I have a carry-around melody acoustic/electric guitar that's not that much harder to play than an electric. The action is very low for acoustic standards. Almost as low as my electric. *chuckle* It has some dings in it though. Since it's my carry-around guitar. It's fallen over a few times, been dropped. Had things spilled on it. Stuff has landed on top of it. I'm actually suprised that it still holds a good tune. haha!
String bending is a bit difficult, but if you really put some muscle behind them, you can get them down just right. It also makes bending on an electric a breeze.
Sometimes, just for the hell of it, I'll plug my acoustic in and crank up the gain and play some power chords. It still suprises me that I can get some nice pinch harmonics on an acoustic guitar. They aren't up to par with any electric, but they're good for an acoustic.

I also practice scales, and do exercises on my acoustic guitar, so I know I'm always hitting clean notes, and not hiding mistakes with distortion. It really shows in your playing I think. Once you learn a lead on an acoustic and start to play it on an electric, you're gonna be amazed at how good it sounds too. (am I getting way off topic or what?)

Okay, so. You'll find playing an electric a lot easier on the fingers. It will be a bit awkward at first (just as acoustic was awkward for me when I started playing one)
but you'll grow to it quickly. You'll not want to play your acoustic for a while. lol

So, I have a question. Whenever I'm playing on my acoustic, and I add in some natural harmonics, I sometimes put some forward pressure on the neck, to give them an ever so slight vibrato effect.
Anyone else do this? (Not trying to take over this topic. Just would be a nice addition to your posts. hehe.)

This is a block of text that can be added to posts you make. There is a 255 character limit


   
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 vink
(@vink)
Prominent Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 722
 

. I actually bought a LP Studio a little over a year ago, but I don't play it. It never felf comfortable to me, always a little awkward. The neck seemed so narrow, the strings seemed so limp, and I felt that if I even looked at the pups it would make a noise (no room for error on my part). Well, I learned as an acoustic strummer, so I guess my "style" or approach doesnt fit the electric right now.B

There is something to be said for the school of thought that the best guitar is the one you already have.

It is actually a fairly simple matter to put on higher gauge strings and raise the action. Probably the LP has 9's -- you can change them for 10's; you acoustic probably is at 11, so you will be pretty close. You can then raise the action a little bit, and start with that. Not that I want to prevent you from fulfilling GAS, but it seems to be slightly more of a mental block issue than an equipment issue?

I switched from acoustic playing to a strat, and initially it felt like I was just making horrible noise. So, I would say use the "botique clean" setting in your Vox AD60VT as a good starting point, and try with 10s on the LP .. just my two cents, might save your $399 :-)

--vink
"Life is either an adventure or nothing" -- Helen Keller


   
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(@redneckrocker)
Estimable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 174
 

What happened to me is I started on electric, then got an acoustic, played only it for a pretty good while b/c I liked the sound, then when I picked up the electric again it felt completely different. So I played only the electric for a little while to get back used to it, and then finally after some more practice (did I just say the P word?) I can switch between the two easily.

~Mike the Redneck Rocker.

"The only two things in life that make it worth living are guitars that tune good and firm feeling women" - Waylon


   
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 jimh
(@jimh)
Estimable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 144
 

I learned on an acoustic and then got an electric. You're right, it felt completely different. But, easier, in my opinion. Once I was able to do chord changes on an acoustic, doing them on the electric was a walk in the park. I also have an AD30VT amp. I use a Schecter S-1 Elite. It's a HH setup, but I really like it.

Music is the universal language.


   
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(@causnorign)
Honorable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 554
 

I play mostly (90%) acoustic, and I use the electric (unplugged) at night to keep the noise down, and when doing my finger exercises. I find the electric much easier on my fingers but it will never give me that acoustic sound that I like.
Eric


   
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