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I've been struggling with lessons on my acoustic guitar.  I've been told by many people I know who play that it is easier to learn on an electric.  I've been trying to be a purist knowing that if I can get it down on an acoustic then it will be that much easier on an electric, besides most of the music I like is acoustic.  I just about reached my quitting point when I asked my instructor about what I had been told.  He agreed with everyone else's opinion that an electric is easier to learn on.  He wasn't trying to sell me anything either, I bought elsewhere.  Well long story short, I bought an Epiphone Les Paul and I can really fret that thing.  It is much easier than my acoustic.  I will be keeping my acoustic and re-visiting her as I make progress on the electric.  Still prefer that acoustic sound but hitting the wall and not being able to really play anything is a drag.

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This may sound rude, but don't mean it to be. What will be easier when you come back to acoustic? If it is hard to play now, it will be hard to play when you come back; as long as your talking about fretting it, etc. Only thing the electric gives you is easier fretting.
There are differences in playing an electric and acoustic that go beyond just being easier. There are many styles that would never be played on acoustic and the same for the reverse. Physically, the string action will always be lower on an electric. This along with a lighter string gauge is what makes it easier to play. IMO, even if you do learn quite a bit on electric, a move back to an acoustic will be as challenging as it has been for you up to now.

Your profile states you have an Epiphone AJ-200. This kind of guitar is mass produced and will be setup as middle of the road. Environment, like humidity and temperature are other factors that can affect playability. I would have it checked out and setup by a good luthier. Many a beginner has quit because of a poorly setup acoustic.

The reality is the muscles in your fingers, wrist and forearm have to develop. The lower resistance of an electric guitar will not develop those muscles to anything more than handling an electric. I'd suggest you have the acoustic checked out and setup then play it regularly along with the electric. You might even find after a good setup that it is easier to play!

I teach guitar six days a week and I have consistently served over fifty lessons a week for over ten years. Based on my experiences, I think it is a very good idea to try a different guitar if you are having trouble learning on the one you currently own. Generally speaking, acoustic guitars use heavier gauge strings than electric guitars, therefore it takes more hand pressure to fret the notes on an acoustic guitar. As a beginner, you need to simultaneously consider a variety of things (memorization, posture, picking technique, precise left finger placement, etc.) in order to make your instrument sound good. Why complicate the learning process by using an instrument that is difficult to play? After you have learned the basics, it will be much easier for you to learn to play an acoustic guitar, because you will not have to consider the details that I listed above. You will only have to learn to apply more pressure on the strings and you might have to get used to a few other idiosyncrasies of the acoustic guitar. It will no-doubt be easier to learn the acoustic guitar after you have worked thru the basics on your electric guitar.

Keep in mind, switching to an electric guitar is not your only option. You can possibly lower the action on your acoustic guitar and/or you can put very light gauge strings on it (strings that match up to the standards of an electric guitar). You can also try an acoustic guitar that has nylon strings. The bottom line is, the instrument that you learn on can impede on your progress, so it’s worth considering other options.
I agree... A properly set-up instrument should not be difficult to play. Lots of guitars are shipped with a rather high action since the manufacturers know that picky guitarists want theirs "just so", and will adjust accordingly.

It's much easier to "lower" than it is to "raise"....

You can go to
And read the "instrument set up" section. You can then check to see how close to ideal your own guitar is, and have it adjusted appropriately.
Mark, thanks for posting the extremely helpful link to

and Kevin, thanks to you for asking the question! My own journey as a learner over the past couple years has taken a lot of twists & turns. Believing that I could not learn acoustic, or even six-string, I started with an electric bass. The distance between frets seemed a mile long, but learning about notes on the fretboard was a good start. I moved into electric guitar, thinking again that it would be easier to fret notes with my small, weak hands, and that I could concentrate on other things than muscle strength to begin with. Made some progress, learned some basic chords, but not as much progress as I'd hoped. Finally after 2 years of trying many different instruments (expen$ive!!!) and learning more about what a difference a set-up can make, I tried again with a QUALITY acoustic, one with a good set-up... voila... the sheer beauty of its sounds inspired me so much that I *could not* put it down, and began practicing every morning and night! That is when I began to make real progress. Every player has to find their own path, and in the unfolding of that journey, discover a truth unique to them in terms of what works.
Hi, Kevin,
I have taken up acoustic guitar recently for the 2nd time in my life ( 1st attempt was in mid '60's! I have read your post & some of the other replies. Personnaly, I think you will regret your decision to go "electric"! It sounds like you really like the Acoustic style, but got discouraged. If your able to return the Strato....., I would. Beginning on Acoustic is difficult & painful, but So Rewarding. The Tonal Quality is So much Mellower & Rich, a way of life, it's organic (Fine, Beautiful Woods). Sure, i'm biased but, it sounds like that's what you really want too! Go back to the acoustic, take it to a Luthier an have it tuned. If that doesn't work for you purchase a better Acoustic ( Martin, Gibson, Guild, Yamaha, ovation, etc). My new Martin is Acoustic-Electric, cuz I wanted to plug it into my Mac & Amp. Etc. But I love it, only had it a month now but what-sound! & I can't even play, yet. I'm learning at a steady pace this time around, think I was stoned the first time didn't take; I'm older now.........Rethink your position, Acoustic Guitars Roc..........Good luck, gotta go.........
If you ever want to play an acoustic then I think it's too soon to change to electric. Everybody runs into roadblocks and don't think it will be any different with an electric. An electric might seem easier but playing guitar is a lot more than just how easy you can fret a note. When you hit a roadblock you must be mentally prepared to stick with it until that roadblock is passed, because there's another one coming. But with each difficult thing you master you will be that much better.
I play a Martin and at about 8 months I had a setup done. The difference was night and day. But by then I had built up a lot of strength in my hands and fingers. And don't fret about Barre chords yet. It takes most people from 6 to 12 months to learn to play barre chords. You want just fall into it like a G chord, it takes a certain technique.
But after you learn all this stuff on an acoustic. Not only can you go back and forth at will but just think how much better the electric will sound.
When I started to learn guitar a couple years ago, I did the same thing--I bought an electric, thinking it would be easier, even though I was probably really more interested in acoustic styles. Of course, when you're playing through Hal Leonard book 1, it probably doesn't really matter. But after a few months of that I decided I'd rather be playing an acoustic (not that I'll never play the electric again), so I went out and found an inexpensive guitar that was set up decent--the action wasn't too high, and it was strung with light gauge strings. My opinion is that, if you want to play acoustic, then you should play acoustic. But make sure the action's set properly, and use light or extra-light gauge strings. I like the Elixir coated strings, personally--I think they're easier to play, sound great, and are probably easier on the fingers.

All that being said, the world won't come to an end if you switch to electric, and if it keeps you playing, then that's a good thing.
I agree Dave....I started out a couple of years ago on a cheap acoustic and found it to be difficult to an electric, found it easier to learn on, but really preferred acoustic sound and music...broke down about a year ago and bought a decent acoustic (Taylor AE), had the shop set it up for me; it was like night and day from that first the sound, tone, range, and ease of play...I think the guitar itself has made me a better player not only because of the ease of play but also because I just love to play it and practice a whole lot more than before! Kevin, get your acoustic set up properly or buy you a good one....if you love acoustic music, you'll have a hard time picking up that electric again!! Btw, I also switched to the Elixir strings and found them just as Dave did....easier on the fingers and sound great...
With my very limited knowledge on guitars this is what I've learned though experience:

Very few guitars have an exact (real good) setup when purchased. This includes the more expensive instruments. I'll use myself as an example. I reside in the Los Angeles, Ca and I'm lucky because there's a few good luthiers in the area. I own a Martin HD28 and decided to take it to a luthier to see if the action / tone could be improved. I ended up talking to him for a while before I decided to leave my guitar. When I returned what I thought was a good playing guitar now plays like butter. Simply amazing. It cost less than $100.00 and was worth every penny.

I don't consider myself a guitar player, I'm someone who is on a journey to learn to play the guitar. My recommendation would be take your acoustic to a good luthier and have them set it up. What a difference it will make. Your fingers will work harder than playing an electric; however, if the acoustic is set up properly, the work load is greatly reduced.

Enjoy your electric!



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