So you want to play electric guitar? Most guitarists would agree that it is easier to learn the basics of guitar on an acoustic guitar, but that’s not the style for every taste. Regardless of which style you choose learning guitar will take practice.
Even though most guitar players consider the acoustic guitar easier to learn on, many consider the electric guitar easier to play. One of the main reasons is the string gauges used on electric guitar. The strings are much more forgiving to the fingers on an electric guitar. Less pressure on the fingerboard is required to obtain a clean sound and guitar beginners often find it less frustrating because of this.
Not only is the electric guitar easier on the fingers but another benefit for the beginner electric guitar player is loudness, or lack thereof, of sound the electric guitar produces. It is possible to practice quietly without waking the neighbors.
But isn’t the point of learning to play the electric guitar to be heard? Well, yes, after you practice, of course. Who heard a full Marshall stack guitar amplifier turned all the way down? The electric guitar is definitely meant to be heard!
Another advantage of electric guitars, which may not matter to beginners of electric guitar playing, is the ability to completely customize the sound. There are limited methods of changing the sound qualities of an acoustic guitar. Short of a changing the type of string, there is not much more you can do to influence the tone of an acoustic guitar unless you add a pickup.
The beginner electric guitar player, however, has many options. First, electric guitars with more than one pickup give you an option to change the tone of your sound by selecting the pickup. A pickup closer to the neck gives a warmer tone while the bridge pickup sounds more “metallic”, or trebly. Then there are the tone knobs. These do exactly what one would expect; they adjust the tone of the sound being amplified by the pickups. Usually there is a tone knob for each pickup.
Beyond the simple adjustments the beginner electric guitar player may additionally choose to change the pickups in the guitar. The pickups are simply magnets and wire wrapped around the magnets to detect the vibration of the strings. It may be hard to imagine how a few magnets and wires would have a noticeable impact on the guitar’s tone, but ask any guitar technician and he or she will tell you the pickups have more to do with influencing the electric guitars sound than any other component on it.
We came all this way and we have not discussed the amplifier. There is no need for the beginner electric guitar player to invest in a large or expensive amplifier. A small practice amp is the best option for new electric guitar players. They are cheap and allow you to get the basics down before upgrading to something bigger and louder. And nowadays, these practice amps often come with a variety of guitar effects built in to the system.
After all, nobody wants to listen to the guitar scales for beginners practice player at full volume! Save the large speakers and high wattage amplifiers until you are a bit better.
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