What is an Acoustic Guitar? The Complete Beginner’s Guide

what is an acoustic guitar

An Acoustic Guitar is the most common fretted musical instrument that generates sound by vibrating strings over an empty chamber of the guitar’s body. In the Guitars Family, Acoustic Guitars are the guitars that produce sounds by vibrating steel strings. 

For many enthusiasts, acoustic guitars are a form of appreciation, and they enjoy playing with them. These guitars come with several benefits ranging from pocket budget to features and fun levels. Their pleasing sound in the concert or street play attracts listeners.

The acoustic guitars do not need amplifiers; thanks to acoustic guitars built, they even sound higher. Those who are beginners in the domain must opt for an acoustic guitar for practice as it will not cost much and extra for the amp

What is an Acoustic-Electric Guitar?

An Acoustic-Electric Guitar has the same build as the Acoustic Guitar, but there is an electronic setup in acoustic-electric guitars. Acoustic-electric guitars offer the option to plug into an amp, mixer, PA system, EQ/volume controls, and a built-in tuner.

acoustic electric guitar

The technology put into the acoustic-electric guitar is appreciable. It sounds whether connected to an amplifier or not. The same acoustic sound is produced that every one of us loves the most. 

This article will let you know the similarities and differences between these two types of guitars. Although there are more similarities than differences, we are going to make every aspect clear. 

Similarities between Acoustic and Acoustic-Electric Guitars:

The acoustic and acoustic-electric guitars have almost similar build, sound, and functionality. Let’s discuss some superficial similarities in them. 

1. Need for Amplifier:

The acoustic and acoustic-electric guitar body is hollow with a sound-hole and can be played acoustically. Its sound-hole resonates and produces sound with higher volume and hence, does not need an amplifier.  

Usually, an acoustic guitar can accompany a singer with enough volume, even unplugged. It will not muffle the singer, but its sound is hearable even when someone is singing near it.

2. Number of Strings:

As both instruments are similar, they have the same number of strings. Mostly, they are equipped with six strings. For creating a significant effect, every string is doubled with another string to make an identical pitch. 

number of string

The players used either fingers or a pick to play their guitars. It depends on the kind of music, the type of guitar used, and the player’s choice.

3. Material Used:

The material used in acoustic and acoustic-electric guitars is often precisely the same. A guitar manufacturer will release a similar acoustic version, but to make it acoustic-electric, feature it with amplification. 

We could say that acoustic-electric guitar offers versatility and can be modified. However, you cannot expect much from the standard acoustic guitar. 

Differences between Acoustic and Acoustic-Electric Guitars:

Due to several similarities in the acoustic and acoustic-electric guitars, it’s challenging to differentiate between them. However, we have covered up some points that will clear your mind about both. 

1. Option for Amplification:

Well! From the amplification perspective, acoustic-electric guitars have a built-in option to amplify sound. There is no option available for amplification in the acoustic version. To amplify sound on acoustic guitar, you will need an external mic and pickup.

Although you are playing in your room or the office cabin in your free time, you don’t need to amplify the sound. However, some beginners who have acoustic guitars use a similar method for sound amplification. 

2. Effects and Volume Controls:

Acoustic guitars are limited in terms of effects and volume controls. You cannot add effects or change the tone to enjoy it. Also, there are limitations to its volume control. Without an onboard pickup, it cannot produce high volume sound. 

effects and volume controls

Acoustic-electric guitars, along with amplification features, offer built-in EQ and adjustable volume control. Both the EQ and volume control allow guitarists to produce lovely tones.

3. Physical Appearance:

One another difference is present in their design and shape. You may notice clearly that the acoustic guitar is curved smooth at the upper side of the chamber. However, in the case of acoustic-electric guitar, there is a small cutaway in that part.

The cutaway is made to provide built-in electronics. Also, it can change the sound character and help in reducing volume and resonance, sometimes.

Acoustic vs. Acoustic-Electric: Which one to Choose and Why?

Many guitar players have queries in their minds and doubt when choosing between acoustic and acoustic-electric guitars. Even the experienced guitarists face difficulty in making the selection as they have experience in producing compelling sounds.

Although it depends on everyone’s choice, we will still help you choose the one right for you. There are several factors that a person must remember before going to buy a guitar. 

1. Size and Shape:

Though acoustic and acoustic-electric guitars come in the same shape, handling and performance are different. Make sure that the guitar you choose must fit into your playing style comfortably.

size and shape

Acoustic guitars are shaped so that, if bigger, they can’t be held easily while playing. Acoustic-electric guitars, on the other hand, are easy to handle and play. 

Moreover, if a smaller acoustic guitar is chosen, you will have to sacrifice sound. In the case of acoustic-electric guitar, small size can fulfill sound projection and its quality.

2. Performance and Playability:

In terms of performance, both acoustic and acoustic-electric guitars perform very well. Both of these guitars are played using steel strings. For beginners, the strings can hurt fingers due to toughness; you can adjust and loosen them a bit. 

If we talk about performance on an ease basis, acoustic-electric guitars come first. They are relatively easy to use than acoustic guitars.

3. Pricing:

Yes, quality does matter, and hence, the one with high-end features will be priced. The overall characteristics of acoustic-electric guitars are better and thus are a little bit expensive than acoustic. But it is related to the brand you are buying; otherwise, every part of both guitars are the same.

Final Words:

Well! That’s all about acoustic and acoustic-electric guitarx. We have discussed all the aspects of these guitars. You might now be able to differentiate between them. 

As for choosing an acoustic or acoustic-electric guitar, we would recommend acoustic-electric one. But again, it all depends on your budget and needs.

Leave a Comment