Acoustic or Electric Guitar: Which One Is Best for You?

Tips on style, cost and playability to guide your decision-making process.

By Nick Stoubis

Selecting whether you will play an acoustic or an electric guitar is one of the things you should decide when beginning to play. If you’re still thinking about what to start with, here are some things to consider:

Guitar Style Preference

What kind of sound do you want? The general style of music you like most can help you decide. Rock music utilizes the electric more, and folk music the acoustic. Think about what guitarists you like. For example, if you love Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan, you will see both of these guitarists played Fender Stratocasters. But if either Tommy Emmanuel or James Taylor make you want to empty out your piggy bank, you will probably want to play an acoustic.

Cost and Gear

There will certainly be extra cost for add-ons for an electric and these can include:

  • Amplifier (can cost as much or more than the guitar)
  • Cable or cables (you will need more if you use pedals)
  • Effects units or pedals (you can have more than one)


Electric instruments will often have lighter strings, making them easier to play than acoustic steel-string instruments. But nylon-string acoustic instruments are very easy on the fingertips and are more ideal for fingerpicking.

You can learn how to play the guitar regardless of what kind of instrument you have or buy. But here’s something that players learn quickly; if you continue playing long enough, you may actually want one of each!

Learn more about the electric guitar and the acoustic guitar and if you’re not a member of Fender Play yet, click sign up for a free trial.

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