Your Child’s First Guitar: Acoustic vs. Electric?

Instructors at City Music's Lesson Studios can get your child off to a great start
Instructors at City Music’s Lesson Studios
can get your child off to a great start.
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A common question we get at City Music is: “Should my child start on an acoustic or an electric guitar? Shouldn’t he/she learn the basics on an acoustic, before starting electric?”

This is a valid question, and while we can’t say unequivocally ‘yes’ or ‘no’, we can give you pointers to help guide you.

Electric and acoustic guitars are essentially the same instrument: they both have six strings, they both are tuned to the same six notes. Beyond that, the electric/acoustic properties lend the two guitar types to different situations and different interests. 

Acoustic guitars:

  • do not need amplification to be heard
  • can be played anywhere
  • are perfect for smaller, strictly acoustic groups
  • come in a variety of sizes, shapes to enhance comfort
  • are suitable for any kind of music, but most popular with pop and country styles

For the younger beginner, a 3/4 size guitar is just the thing.  It is not a ‘toy’ but a scaled down instrument that is suitable for children, and is also an ideal travel size for adults. City Music offers acoustic guitar packs that include everything needed to begin playing.

Electric guitars:

  • need to be plugged in to an electric amplifier to be heard fully
  • have slim bodies and contoured shapes that can make it easier to hold
  • necks and fret-boards are thinner; some players find chord formation easier
  • strings do not require as much pressure to create a solid chord sound
  • can play any genre of music, but are typically used for rock, blues and metal

A smaller practice amplifier is all you need to get started with any electric guitar, which also come in smaller, scaled down sizes for the young beginner.  Like the acoustics, electric packs are available, which include everything needed to get playing.

So, back to the question:  “What type of guitar should my child begin on?”  The best answer is:  a properly sized guitar of the type they imagine themselves playing.  Who do they admire musically?  What are they asking for?  It is your young students’ dreams that will inspire and carry them as they learn; it will be more likely they will keep on playing.

Stop in to City Music and let us show you how your child can get started with a brand new, name brand guitar that is just right for them.  Shopping local, you can see, feel and hear the difference for yourself.  And, ALL City Music guitars are set and ready to play as soon as  your gift is opened!