Are Acoustic Guitars Harder to Play Than Electric?


is acoustic harder than electric guitar?

Many new guitarists wonder if playing acoustic guitar is harder than playing electric guitar. If you’re starting out on the instrument, or considering buying your first acoustic guitar, the answer is certainly important.

Acoustic guitar can be more difficult to learn than the electric guitar at first. This is due to the fact that acoustic strings tend to be thicker, heavier, and require a bit more pressure and effort to fret compared to electric guitar strings.

I break things down a bit further in my latest YouTube video:

However, as usual, there’s more to the story. Read on to discover how sometimes, acoustic guitars can be easier to play than electric.

Why is Acoustic Guitar More Difficult?

Acoustic guitar is generally considered more difficult because acoustic strings are thicker, heavier, and a bit higher off the fretboard than the strings on an electric guitar.

However, these factors are only noticeable for the first few months of playing. If you practice acoustic guitar consistently, these aspects of the acoustic guitar become commonplace, and you’ll quickly adapt to them as you gain skill on the instrument.

Is Learning Guitar Even Worth It? (... x
Is Learning Guitar Even Worth It? (The TRUTH)

What Kind of Acoustic Guitar Is Easiest to Play?

So we just mentioned that in general, the acoustic guitar can sometimes be a bit harder than the electric. But there is one kind of acoustic that’s not only the easiest of all acoustics, but even easier to play than most electrics. Can you guess what kind of acoustic guitar is easiest to play or start out on?

Classical guitars are easiest to play and start learning on for beginners. This is because the strings are made out of nylon rather than steel, making them soft and much easier to fret than steel string acoustic guitars.

What Kind of Acoustic Guitar Is Hardest to Play?

If classical guitars are the easiest, what’s the hardest acoustic guitar to play or start out on for beginners?

Steel strings acoustic guitars are in general a bit harder to start out on for beginner guitarists. This is due to the thickness and weight of the strings, and the pressure required to fret them. 12 string acoustics in particular would be quite difficult for a beginner, as they require fretting two strings for every one string that you’d need to fret on a regular 6 string acoustic guitar.

The Best Acoustic Guitars for Beginners

The best way to make learning acoustic guitar easier is to start out on a high quality instrument.

If you’re new to the acoustic guitar and looking for an instrument that’s easy to learn on, but won’t break the bank, then check out my recommended guitars for beginners on a budget.

With the right instrument, it won’t even matter that the acoustic is a bit harder to learn than the electric. Because, let’s be honest, acoustic guitar is way cooler too 🙂

Ready to Get Better at Guitar, Faster?

Whenever you’re ready to take your guitar playing to the next level, check out my favorite resources below:

Best Strings

Elixir Nanoweb Acoustic Guitar Strings

  • Unique polymer coating allows strings to last for months or years at a time, making for an exceptional value.
  • Provide the perfect mix of boom, range, twang, and brightness that acoustic music is known for.

Best Guitar

Martin D-18

  • Beloved by everyone from Paul Simon to Gordon Lightfoot, the D-18 is one of Martin’s most legendary guitars ever.
  • An excellent, premier quality acoustic guitar for bluegrass, country, folk, rock and more. This is what I play myself.

Free Guide

Chords, Tabs & Lessons for 100 Songs

  • This free guide from Acoustic World gives you chords, tabs, and video lesson for the 100 best songs to learn on guitar.
  • I spent hours putting this together all by myself to help you get better at guitar, faster!

Free Book

Fingerpicking vs Flatpicking Guitar

  • Learn which picking style is right for YOU by exploring examples, history, and popular players of each style.
  • Discover essential techniques and pros and cons of each approach.

Corbin Buff

Corbin has played guitar for over a decade, and started writing about it on Acoustic World in an effort to help others. He lives and writes in western Montana.

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