Acoustic Guitar Lessons in Miami | Should Beginners Start on Acoustic or Electric?

Acoustic Guitar Lessons in Miami

Acoustic guitar lessons from Dyce Kimura

Acoustic guitar lessons in Miami from Miami’s own Dyce Kimura. I just wanted to do a video blog today to cover a topic that a lot of people ask me, which is, should I start learning on acoustic guitar or electric guitar? That’s a very common question, especially for beginners. I just want to say this to set the tone that a lot of people think they should start learning on acoustic guitar, and I have a lot of experience teaching all different ages, men and women, boys and girls, and everything in between, and it’s been my experience that people learn the fastest and the easiest on electric guitar as opposed to learning it first on acoustic guitar.

After many years of giving acoustic guitar lessons in Miami, I am going to go through the reasons why it is easier to learn on electric guitar in my opinion, but I also want to say that this is not set in stone. You could get very good learning on acoustic guitar and you could get very good learning on electric guitar. The bottom line is if you are committed to learn, you are going to learn. So whether you are committed to learn on acoustic or committed to learn on electric, if you just do not quit, you are going to get good. But there are some variables or differences between acoustic and electric that can make it easier for the first couple of months which will be obvious from taking acoustic guitar lessons in Miami.  The biggest challenge when you are first learning to play the guitar is finding the notes, finding the fingerings of the chords. This is my acoustic guitar. It is Martin HD35. A lot of people think that the acoustic is easier because you don’t have to plug it in. I don’t know why they think that, but they think it is easier just because it is simpler. And they call it a normal guitar. They say “I do not have an electric guitar, I have a normal guitar”. I want to say the acoustic guitar is a normal guitar, but I also want to say that the electric guitar is also a normal guitar. Both guitars are normal. There are no abnormal guitars in this scenario, just to be fair to the acoustic and electric guitars. Both guitars are equally normal or abnormal.

Acoustic Guitar Lessons in Miami

The myth is, it is easier to play the acoustic than it is to play the electric. So what is it easier to play the electric as opposed to the acoustic? And why do people who are taking acoustic guitar lessons in Miami tend to think the other way around?

For one, the electric has thinner strings and so they are easier to push and play.

This is an electric. A Fender, Stevie Ray Vaughan signature, (at least it used to be, before I modded it). The neck is smaller so it easier to grab. The strings as I said are lighter so it’s easier to push. And because it is electric, the sounds jump out easier. Believe it or not, for those taking acoustic guitar lessons in Miami, the electric guitar can do all the same sounds an acoustic guitar can do, and more. So if you are sitting in a room and playing, the electric guitar can have all the nice gentle tones, the nice acoustic soft tones that the acoustic guitar has. And it can do over driven tones that are more fun for a teenager. There is a lot more instant gratification.

The disadvantage of taking acoustic guitar lessons in Miami, is acoustic is a lot more mobile than the electric. You could take the acoustic to the beach, you could take it to a picnic, you could take it to your friend’s house, you could take it from your room to the couch, and it’s mobile. But if mobility is not what you desire. If what you are desiring to do is to learn to play the guitar no matter what, you should probably want to embrace the electric.

Now, a main question I ask people when they go to start taking acoustic guitar lessons in Miami is, what kind of music do you like? So if you tell me I mostly listen to James Taylor, and Jack Johnson and Jason Mraz, and Simon and Garfunkel, then I would say clearly, you need to take acoustic guitar lessons in Miami. Neil Young, even Sheryl Crow, these people are prominent, dominant acoustic players. If however, you like Stevie Ray Vaughan, Guns N’ Roses, Green Day, and Metallica, then I would strongly urge you to play the same type of guitar your heroes play. In other words, play electric. I also want to say, I personally play both acoustic and electric, all day long, all the time. Matter of fact, let me show you some of my guitars – I don’t think all of them are on the stand right now- but notice all the way to the left you could see my base, then a few strats and a 335. I have a Yamaha Nylon String classical, that’s a Taylor 814 next to that, and then a Telecaster, a Les Paul, there’s all different types of guitar. I even have a Ukulele. I play everything with strings. I play base, acoustic, classical, and electric, I’ll play whatever. I’m a committed guitarist and I’ll play anything.

So just to recap, the electric is easier than acoustic guitar lessons in Miami because for one, the neck is smaller so it is easier to play. This is especially true for women, girls, or for children, you can have a way easier time playing the electric than the acoustic. Also the strings are thinner so it is a lot easier to play. These two are huge variables. In case you don’t understand, I assume you are watching this video just to do some research and learn, so let me help you with that.

The other big variable different from acoustic guitar lessons in Miami is that the electric guitar is electric. As the name infers, an electric guitar is electric. I want you to compare it to other things in your life that are electric. For instance, you ever try to learn to type on an old fashion type writer that doesn’t plug into the wall, and you have to actually hit those keys hard enough to drive that key, to punch it into the paper to type the words. Now a days I am typing with my wireless, Bluetooth, Mac keyboard. Effortless; my hands just fly on the page. It even auto corrects. So basically, electrically, it is so much easier because electricity does the work for you. In other words, when you play acoustic, you have to physically manufacture and generate your volume, and that energy to make the song come out of your instrument. But with electric, it pretty much just jumps right off the neck. It’s the same thing with anything else in life like a vacuum cleaner. You just plug it in and use it.

There’s huge advantages to sound. This is my electric, and notice how pretty and clean these tones are. And compare that to an acoustic (which I will do right now), you have them very similar. By the way, a lot of people who are taking acoustic guitar lessons in Miami are surprised when they hear that. They come into my studio for like a consultation or whatever, and I play both instruments in this way, and they are surprised that the electric can sound so good, so gentle. I just want to make that clear to you, because a lot of people have this stigma that electric guitar means hard rock or something distasteful in their opinion. And it does not have to be that way. As a matter of fact, when I really talk to these people, it turns out that a lot of their favorite bands have dominant electric guitars, for instance, the Eagles. It is gentle done, it is nicely done but there is definitely electric in there.

Dyce’s Acoustic Guitar Lessons in Miami

Acoustic Guitar Lessons in Miami

Acoustic Guitar Lessons in Miami

Everything that you learn in the electric guitar can be transferred over to the acoustic with acoustic guitar lessons in Miami. In terms of these frets are in the same place as these frets. And these strings are the same tuning and name as these strings. So a song that you have learnt on acoustics, can be transferred and played the same way on the electric and vice a versa. Now that’s just for beginner level. As you get more advanced, there are definitely techniques that you play on electric and it is only for electric, and techniques you learn on acoustic that is mainly for acoustic. However, things that you learn on acoustic can generally be transferred over to electric. But not everything learned on electric can be transferred over to acoustic but most of it you can. But with acoustic guitar lessons in Miami, everything you learn on acoustic can be transferred over to electric. And every string instrument is the same. For instance, things you learn in base can be transferred over to guitar, and things you learn on electric guitar can be transferred over to acoustic. The bottom line is you end up being a guitar lover, a guitar aficionado, a guitar player at heart, you are not going to really care. Like me. I play acoustic, electric, nylon or classical. My particular case in case you are wondering, I learnt to play on a classical guitar, and not only was it acoustic but it was nylon string, it was big and very cumbersome and difficult. I did that for six years until I switch over to electric. I made it through because I did the thing I said at the beginning of the video, I just didn’t quit. No matter what the odds, no matter how difficult it was, no matter how hard the challenge was, I didn’t quit. When I was five years old I told my parents I wanted to play guitar and they finally got me a guitar when I was six, and I was listening to Guns N’ Roses, Appetite for destruction at the time, and they got me guitar lessons to go learn how to play Mozart, which I did. And I hung in there for six years, and then finally I got a job, and I bought my own guitar and went on to play Guns N’ Roses. It took me a long time, but notice I didn’t give up. So that tends to be the principal rule here. If you don’t quit you are going to eventually find what works for you and how it is going to work.

I want to talk about pricing a little bit. Costs have come down so much in the last couple of years, you can get a very high quality instrument for a very low price if you are looking for  acoustic guitar lessons in Miami.  As a matter of fact, I just did a review on YouTube of an Epiphone PR150 which I believe it depends on where you are looking but it around the $150 range, as of the recording of this video, its August 2016, so with inflation you can never know where prices are going to end up. But I also recently did a review of a very good beginner electric guitar fender squier, it’s also on my YouTube channel, just a few videos back, and that is $130 roughly ($130/$140 depending on where you buy it). Now the electric, you need to buy the guitar, you need to buy a cable, like this, and you need to buy an amp. A good cheap amp that is going to be worth the money I like the Peavey Vypyr. I’m going to be doing a review on that shortly actually. If you look on my channel you’ll find a review of the peavey vypyr. That runs right now for $129 and then the guitar is another $130 plus you are going to need a cable, just $10, plus a tuner which is roughly another $10, so maybe with shipping you are looking at $300 total if you get everything like through Amazon, for about $300 you can get a basic beginner guitar package. For the acoustic, you can get an Epiphone PR150 for about $150.  You’ll need a tuner for about $12, but that’s just about it. You’ll need pics and strings, but it is a little cheaper to get the acoustics. Like I said earlier, if you are really committed you should probably get both. But if you can only buy one, I think you should start on the electric and don’t take acoustic guitar lessons in Miami. Go to your local music store and try to play both and maybe make somebody like a Salesman teach you a chord and try to sit there and strum it and really picture yourself sitting with that instrument for 30 minutes a day or an hour a day and see how it feels like. Put a strap on it, see what it feels like to stand up and play it or to sit down and play. And get some outside help. Get some other advice about acoustic guitar lessons in Miami.  But it’s kind of an old idea that you have to start on acoustic. It’s kind of like a seventies idea or like a baby boomer idea. It’s now 2016 and people are embracing electricity more and more. I’m happy to say an electric guitar is not considered to be wild, crazy, dangerous and out of control or something that should be avoided as a beginner. It’s no big deal, you just plug it in the wall and use it, just like any other appliance in your house.

Pro Acoustic Guitar Lessons in Miami

So that is what I wanted to discuss in terms of acoustic versus electric. I just wanted to leave you with this, the main thing that I think you should consider for acoustic guitar lessons in Miami is not just ease and playing your instrument, but who are your favorite guitar players. If you are hesitant to throw down the cash on either the $300 electric or $160 acoustic, then first do a little research and find out who your favorite guitar players are, and do they play acoustic or electric. So if you want to play Metallica, Pearl Jam, and Red Hot Chili peppers, anything mainstream like that, that’s rock, or pop or alternative, you definitely want to be playing an electric guitar. If you end up listening to a lot of Dave Matthews and Jack Johnson, Jason Mraz, and purely acoustic stuff, then play acoustic and take acoustic guitar lessons in Miami.

There are other things to consider too. For instance if you are more of a singer, and you are like a singer/ songwriter, the acoustic might be more conducive to what you are trying to do. If you are going to go the acoustic singer/songwriter route, and you really do plan to play in like open mics and cafes, then you probably want to get an electric acoustic and take acoustic guitar lessons in Miami. And that’s an acoustic that has an electric port to plug into. So you can plug it into the PA system of the club you are playing. If you are not a singer that opens a lot of doors because you can have an electric and play and have a lot of fun. But if you are not sure, then maybe start on electric.  Another thing you can do is if you live near a major music store that has a 30 day money back policy, you can just throw down the $300 and buy the electric guitar with the amp and the cable, and just keep it in condition and try it for a month, take lessons and everything, and if it is working for you, you keep it, and if it is not just return it and get a 100% refund, and get an acoustic and try that and see if that works for you. So there is really zero risk. You could put it on a credit card and just try it out. A lot of students have done that. If you come to my place for acoustic guitar lessons in Miami, I can let you play both my acoustic and my electric and you can make an informed decision. But I am telling you, most people before they buy the guitar they come see me and they book a free lesson. I let them play an acoustic and then I let them play an electric, and usually at the end of the lesson they’re like I want the electric, it’s easier. Out of 10, 9 will walk electric. 1 out of the ten want the acoustic. I usually support their decision either way. But I do tell them the acoustic is going to be more work, especially for children and girls, just because of the effort it takes to play that size instrument for acoustic guitar lessons in Miami. But like I have said, if you are committed, you should get both. By the way it is healthy in your development to play both acoustic and electric simultaneously. In other words, do not bet everything on one style.

A great technique that you should do in terms of getting good, is take a cheap acoustic and put it on the couch in your living room. Don’t put it on the stand or in the case, leave it on the couch. And when you are watching TV and it is commercial time, you can strum a few chords and sing a song. Or when it’s right down the couch and your family is going out and your mom has to spend an extra ten minutes to get ready, or your wife is taking an extra 20 minutes to fix her hair, you can strum a few chords and you don’t have to carve out time to practice or to take acoustic guitar lessons in Miami. You can just start having it accessible. It is portable so that is good. It is good to have both. Long term having both is a better bet. Feel free to leave a comment, like, and subscribe. I try my best to respond to your comments. Thank you so much, I am out.