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 might be even easier for you, because the strings are less tightened and they are often 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...

The more good news for you is that to get the "clean sound" on an electro you just can plug it directly into an amplifier. But for getting a more delicious tone, I suggest you use some delay or reverb effect. Adding the chorus effect is often enreaches the tone. The flanger effect sounds nice in certain situation too.

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

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

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

Have a good time playing

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This article was last updated on January 18, 2024