Changing from Acoustic to Electric

by Alex


Hey. My name is Alex and I have been playing on classical and acoustic guitars for over 12 years now, but I've never tried an electric. Are there any key differences when switching to an electric to the way in which it is played?

So if say I wanted to play a song I normally play on an acoustic on an electric, would I be able to play it exactly the same way and still get acceptable results or would I need to make some sort of an adjustment?

Thanks in advance


Hey Alex

You'll be able to play a song on an electric guitar the same way you play it on an acoustic.

In standard tuning the open strings are the same - E A D G B E.

Playing electric guitar can be even easier for you, because the strings on it often have less pressure and they are located closer to the frets. So your fretting hand will make less effort and your fingers will be able to move faster around the fingerboard.

Due to some design differences playing the highest notes at the end of the fingerboard is more comfortable on electrics too.

Of course you might feel a little unaccustomed the first time you play. It will take some time to get used to your new instrument, because probably it will have a narrower neck, different body shape, weight and so on...

More good news for you is that in order to play electric guitar with a "clean sound" you can get it just by plugging your guitar directly into an amplifier. But in order to get a more delicious tone, I suggest you use some delay or reverb along with a chorus effect.

If you want to learn about guitar effects and how to connect them in the right way, check out the guitar effects order page.


Switching from a classical to an electric guitar might be more problematic if you're going to use your fingers to pluck strings instead of a plectrum. Electric guitars are similar to acoustics, but have less space between the strings, and while playing one string you can accidentally brush an unwanted nearby string.

Picking the strings with the plectrum brings brighter and "bigger" sound when playing through the distortion pedal, with the plectrum you can also perform many cool guitar tricks such as: 'palm muting', 'power sliding', rakes, pick tapping, sweep picking...


Have a good time playing

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