Should You Buy An Electric Or An Acoustic Guitar?

A lot of beginner guitarists ask me, "Lauren is it better to get an electric or an acoustic guitar?" The answer to that question really depends on a few things. The two main points I like to touch upon are:


What's your budget? If you need to stick to the cheaper side, then I would recommend going with an electric guitar over an acoustic. Cheap acoustic guitars are really crap and often times students think there is something wrong with them when it's actually the guitar. You don't know how many students have seen massive improvements in their playing by switching from a crappy acoustic guitar to something in the $300+ range.

If you can't spend $300 on your first guitar, that's not a problem. I would recommend going with an electric as you can get quality guitar at a lower price point.


If you are into folk, country, pop or singer/songwriters, I would recommend getting an acoustic guitar as it's more suited to those styles. If you are into metal, rock, alternative, blues, etc. I would recommend getting an electric as it is more suited to those styles. Eventually, I recommend having at least one of each. Remember, no matter what anyone says, you can never have too many guitars ;)

Those are a couple of things I use when recommending which kind of guitar to purchase to new students. Electric guitars and acoustic guitar also have different playibility as well. Below are some pros and cons of electric and acoustic guitars.

Pros Of An Acoustic Guitar:

  • Large hollow body doesn't require amplification

  • Thicker strings mean calluses develop faster

  • Makes playing anything on an electric that much easier

Cons Of An Acoustic Guitar:

  • Thicker strings mean it's harder to play

  • Big body can sometimes be uncomfortable for small women (buy $300+ thin body guitar to solve this problem)

Pros Of An Electric Guitar:

  • Thinner strings make playing easier

  • Wider variety of styles and colors

  • Easier to do bends, slides and solos

Cons Of An Electric Guitar:

  • Often requires amplification to hear well enough

  • Develop calluses slower

  • Often needs to be set up to stay in tune better

Below is a video where I discuss some the difference between an electric and an acoustic guitar as well as some of my suggestions. Check out, Music Instrument Center for info on other beginner guitar recommendations.