What is the Difference Between an Electric and Acoustic Guitar? (A Quick Guide)

Acoustic and electric guitar. Vintage vector black e

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Musical instruments in modern music studio

Could you picture a world without the guitar in current music? Most likely not. It is now one of the most popular instruments globally. Why? One explanation might be that it can produce various musical styles, from country and rock to jazz and classical.

You may be aware that guitars come in a variety of forms. They are available in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors. Naturally, guitars may be classified into two broad categories: acoustic and electric.

Please keep reading to find out what the difference is between them.

Difference Between an Electric Guitar and Acoustic Guitar

String Instruments Beside an Amplifier

An acoustic guitar is generally the first picture that comes to mind when folks think of guitars. It’s easy to tell the difference between an acoustic and an electric guitar. Acoustic guitars don’t need an external amplifier to sound good; they play without one. Electric guitars need an amplifier to convey their sound adequately.

An acoustic guitar’s headstock always has a circular hole when it comes to appearance. These are known as “sound holes” because they aid in modulation, making the vibrating string sound louder and clearer. 

Acoustic guitars may seem heavier and bulkier than electric guitars, yet they are hollow and lighter. The soundhole and the hollowness are both elements of the overall acoustic design.

But wait, there is more: the acoustic guitar can be used as a classical guitar. It has a somewhat distinct look, most notably a substantially larger neck. Acoustic guitars may have steel or nylon strings; the classical guitar’s three strings are nylon.

Acoustic guitars are often used in folk songs, calm music, and other genres. Acoustic guitars provide incredible strumming and plucking sounds.

If you look at an electric guitar, you’ll notice that it seems hollow, but it’s more robust and heavier than expected. The name refers to the fact that they are intended to work with electric sound amplifiers. Volume and sound modification control are commonly provided via buttons, sliders, switches, and knobs. The only hole in this guitar is the female plug hole that links it to the amplifier.

Electric guitars are linked with rock music because of their piercing tones. Electric guitars are known for their mastery of lead and lick playing. With gadgets and distortion devices, it may generate a wide range of intriguing sounds.


Boy Wearing Black Jacket Holding Electric Guitar

As a beginner, learning to play the guitar can be difficult if you don’t know which one to start with. Using an electric guitar instead of an acoustic means that the hands and fingers aren’t put under as much stress, making learning easier. Once a new player becomes used to the electric guitar’s knobs and sliders, the electric guitar may be easier to play since the strings are easier to push down.

With acoustic guitars, beginners will have a harder time pushing the strings, especially with capos and the spread of the fingers. The guitar’s portability, on the other hand, is priceless. Despite their bulk, you won’t need to bring any additional equipment to play them whenever you choose. 

Another thing to note is that acoustic guitars are less expensive and easier to maintain. Believe it or not, there are electric acoustic guitars referred to as “elecoustic” guitars. Unlike acoustic guitars, they have pickups and microphones or transducers built into the soundhole.


classic guitar


Electric Guitar Acoustic Guitar 
1. Requires an amplifier. You can play it with no additional equipment.
2. Don’t have a soundhole  Has a soundhole
3. Use Steel strings. It uses both steel and nylon strings.
4. Heavy  Lighter because they are hollow
5. Used for rock music. Used for Folk and Mellow music
6. Have knobs, switches, and buttons It has no switches, knobs, or buttons
7. Known for the guitar leads and licks. Known for strumming and plucking
8. Easier to play for beginners  Hard to play for beginners
9. Expensive  Cheaper 


Frequently Asked Questions

Is It Better to Start With an Acoustic or Electric Guitar?

Choose a guitar that you’ll love playing. To begin with, the guitar you choose must be appropriate for the kind of music you want to study. If you want to study music best played on an acoustic guitar, start with one. If you wish to perform electric guitar music like “Rock,” start with it.

Imagine trying to play rock on a classical guitar. Not only will it feel incorrect, but it will also sound awful. A classical guitar cannot produce large, fat, distorted guitar tones.

Are the Chords on an Electric Guitar the Same as Those on an Acoustic Guitar?

Electric guitar chords are identical to those on acoustic guitars. Because the fretboards of electric and acoustic guitars are identical, all the notes and chords are the same.

Note: The only reason guitar chords change is once the instrument is tuned differently.

Can I Use Water to Clean My Acoustic Guitar?

No, you can’t clean the guitar using water, as it might cause warping and ringing in the wood, which will be seen when you use polish. Your instrument should be kept dry to last a long time.

Is It More Difficult to Play an Electric Guitar or an Acoustic Guitar?

As mentioned in this guide, the increased string tension on steel-string acoustic guitars makes them more difficult to play than electric guitars or nylon-string acoustic guitars.

Wrap Up

Having read about the differences, I know there is that one type of guitar you are thinking about. The choice of a guitar does not mean that you have committed yourself to a certain genre or form of music. The choice you make here isn’t going to be the final one, so don’t worry about it too much. 

I guess you’ll begin with one kind of guitar and then go on to another. To become a better musician, one must learn to adapt to the changes in their personality. As your skills improve and your desire to play grows, you’ll naturally find yourself in this position.

Jim Henneberry

Jim Henneberry

I love playing my guitar, and my kids got hooked along with me.
This is a family thing now - why don't you join the family fun? :)