Acoustic vs Electric Guitar

electric and acoustic guitars on a rack

Acoustic vs Electric Guitar

Acoustic vs Electric Guitar


  • Acoustic guitars are designed to reverberate throughout a space, while electric models require an external amp. This changes up the styles of music they each excel with. 
  • Prices remain equitable for each type of guitar, though this largely depends on feature sets and the make and model of the guitar.
  • There are hybrid versions of both types of guitars. For example, you can buy an acoustic guitar with an electric pickup or an electric instrument with a hollow body. 

If you are new to the world of shredding out some dope tunes, you may look to compare acoustic vs electric guitars. Many of the best guitars, after all, feature one of these two designs. So what are the main differences between electric and acoustic guitars, and which is best for you? Keep reading to find out.

How Different is an Electric Guitar From an Acoustic?

They are pretty different, which is something you learn when comparing an acoustic vs an acoustic-electric guitar. A standard acoustic guitar features no electronic components if you are wondering how a guitar pickup works, while an electric guitar boasts an input, a pickup, and various circuitry.

The two types also require different methods for both playing and recording, if you are learning the best PA system for acoustic guitar and vocals. Finally, both types ship in a variety of price points if you want to find the best acoustic guitar under $1,500. Here is more information as to how these differences break down.

Amps and Pickups

Electric guitars are made for loud volumes and designed to be plugged into an external amp. There is a reason, after all, why electric guitars are associated with genres such as hard rock music and heavy metal, and acoustic guitars are associated with genres such as folk and country. Electric guitars include all kinds of internal circuitry, including a pickup, various capacitors, and additional tech-forward components that allow for vibrato and other effects. Acoustic guitars, on the other hand, are basically just gorgeous pieces of wood.

Unplugged Playing

Electric guitars are a drag to play unplugged, as you can barely hear them. Acoustic guitars, on the other hand, are built for playing unplugged, so you can expect your playing to vibrate through the room and the rest of the home. The more forcefully you play an acoustic, the louder it gets. On the other hand, playing style does not significantly impact the volume of an electric.

Various Hybrid Styles

Both electric and acoustic guitars can adopt elements of one another for increased versatility. There are many acoustic guitars, for instance, that include pickups to allow them to be played by amps. There are electric guitars with large sound chambers (holes) to allow for natural reverberation. The sky is really the limit here, so shop wisely.

Acoustic Vs Electric FAQs

Which guitar is easier to learn on?

Both offer unique challenges when learning to play guitar, though some suggest opting for an acoustic or a classical guitar, as they are somewhat harder to play. That way, when you work up to an electric, it will play like butter.

Choosing a guitar: What sort of music do you like?

If you like acoustic music, go for an acoustic guitar, an acoustic-electric guitar, or a classical guitar. Some acoustic guitars have steel strings like the one in this Yamaha SLG200S review. If you like that hard rock guitar sound, go for an electric guitar with steel strings or another type of electric guitar string.

What can you play on acoustic vs electric guitars?

You can play any genre of music on each, though the acoustic guitar string or electrical signal will change the basic “feel” of the music, as guitar amps add a certain amount of crunch. 


“The electric guitar is considerably easier to play for a few reasons. First, the action (general setup of the guitar) is much easier. The strings are typically closer to the frets & easier to push down.” (source)

TIP: Make sure to clean and maintain your guitars regularly, no matter the type or design.


Acoustic  Electric
Price Draw Draw
Easier to Play X
Requires an Amp X
Better Natural Sound X



Lawrence Bonk
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