The Age Old Question (At Least Since The Invention Of The Electric Guitar In 1931)
We hear this question almost every time people call for guitar lessons for their kids: "Should we buy them an acoustic guitar or an electric guitar?" The answer varies depending on both who you ask and who the guitar is for. In this edition of the Right Start Music Blog, we will try to help you make the decision that is right for your child so they can get the most out of guitar lessons and have the most fun possible!
The Benefits Of Acoustic Guitar For Beginner Guitarists
Acoustic guitars have some benefits for beginner guitar students. Anybody with experience playing both acoustic and electric guitars will tell you that acoustic guitars take more effort to play. Once you get accustomed to the feeling that acoustic guitars have, they don't feel difficult at all. But at first, it is more difficult to hold the strings down than on electric guitar. This is a negative for younger students since it is harder to play and thus can be more discouraging if it is difficult to get a good sound from the guitar (ask your Right Start Music teacher for help to know if this is the case with your child). However, for students who are able to handle it, it is a benefit. If the student gets used to playing acoustic guitar, the transition to electric guitar is incredibly simple. It will almost feel like the guitar plays itself! But if a student starts to learn on an electric guitar, the jump to acoustic guitar can seem like another mountain to climb. So this aspect of acoustic guitar can be a benefit to some guitarists while being a detriment to other students.
The Benefits Of Electric Guitars For Beginning Students
Electric guitars have their own distinct benefits for some students. As discussed above, electric guitars are much easier to get a good sound out of than acoustic guitars. The student does not need to have nearly as much hand and finger strength in order to hold the strings down to produce the desired sound and resonance on an electric guitar. This means that electric guitars are better suited for many younger students who have smaller hands and have not "grown into" an acoustic guitar yet. Lessons can definitely seem to progress faster for many students when they play on an electric guitar for this simple reason.
Additionally, electric guitars can be plugged into an amplifier which can change the tone and overall sound of the guitar. Guitarists often love playing with the different tones that can be dialed into their amp, and younger students are no exception as they typically like to "rock out" with the high gain sounds so common in rock and roll music. Also, there is a volume control on both the guitar and amplifier, which can be both a good thing and a bad thing. We think it should be turned up, but some neighbors may disagree!
Taking The Guitar Student's Musical Interests Into Account
The first step in choosing between acoustic or electric guitar is determining what the student is physically able to handle. As discussed above, an electric guitar may be necessary for younger students. Beyond that, however, the single most important factor is the student's musical interests and goals. If your daughter wants to play guitar and her favorite artist is Taylor Swift, most likely she is going to be interested in an acoustic guitar. If your son wants to learn guitar and his favorite artist is Metallica, we'd be willing to bet that he is most interested in an electric guitar.
At Right Start Music, our goal is to see our students grow to love music and become great musicians by practicing their instrument and playing the music they love. Our recommendation is always to buy your child an instrument that they are going to want to pick up and play. We have some female students with pink guitars that are not necessarily the best guitar, but if the fact that it is pink makes them want to pick it up and play more often, that is a better choice than a guitar of higher quality that she will not pick up. The point is for lessons to be fun. That way, students will want to learn and practice, and that makes all the difference in the world. So to sum it all up, first you must determine what your child is physically capable of playing, then decide what his or her musical interests are and then buy the guitar that they will be most likely to pick up and play on their own. When you see your child grow to love music, there is nothing else in the world like it!
We Are Here To Help You Make The Right Decision
We can make buying the right guitar a breeze when you set up your FREE consultation in your home. Whether you live in Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach, El Segundo, Torrance, or Palos Verdes, we can point you in the right direction to find the best place to buy the guitar your child will love. We can even help you pick out the exact model guitar that will be the best fit for them. Give us a call at (310) 927-1733 to see how we can take the hassle out of getting started with guitar lessons and get your child paired with the perfect guitar teacher who can relate to them and make learning acoustic or electric guitar fun and easy!