After years of thinking I must one day take up guitar, I finally made the decision to do so.

My first step after deciding to learn was to try to find out more about the many different types of guitars.

Acoustic vs. Electric
As I understand from my initial reading and miscellaneous conversations with musicians from years past, an electric guitar is easier to play and more comfortable because less finger effort is required to push down the smaller diameter strings. Some people even recommend starting with an electric guitar for that reason.

Electric guitars can be set up to play with headphones. Electric guitars don’t make much sound without amplification, so it is easier to practice without interrupting the lives of others.

With electrics it also seems that there is less concern about the environment they are kept in. Humidity and temperature may not be a big concern for an electric guitar body’s solid chunk of wood or plastic, whereas some acoustics made out of thin pieces of wood can have problems in very dry or very humid places if care is not taken in their storage.

My Choice
Though I expect to end up owning more than one type of guitar eventually, I want to start by getting the kind of guitar I am most interested in playing and not base my decision on what seems practical or easier.

I have decided I want to start with a steel-stringed acoustic guitar or more specifically an ‘electric acoustic‘, which is an acoustic guitar with built-in electronics to aid in amplification when needed.

I expect I will experiment with an ‘easier to play’ electric guitar at some point in the future, but I feel strongly that an acoustic guitar is the place to start for me and will likely be more suited to my composition interests.

Also, I don’t want to learn on something that is somewhat easier to play and then be faced with an additional handicap if I should have the opportunity to pick up a regular (acoustic) guitar in my early training. On top of all that, it’s not really appealing to me to be reliant on electricity at all times if I want to get a nice sound out of my first guitar.

Incidentally, classical guitars hold some appeal for me as well because of my interest in fingerstyle playing, but that is not the path I am choosing to take at this time. Classical guitars are acoustic guitars of course, but with notable differences in the neck and strings compared to a steel-string guitar.

I am sure this is an oversimplification of the differences in guitars and there are of course many different subcategories and hybrids within the acoustic and electric division.

Now that I am certain I want an acoustic electric, maybe I have whittled my options down to only a thousand or so different current guitar models.

-Kin’en

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