3 Things That Make Acoustic Guitars More Difficult To Play And Learn On

by Maurice Richard
Senior Instructor at Halifax Guitar Lessons

Acoustic guitars are typically the guitar of choice for most people who start learning to play.

Most of the time it’s because that’s what is recommended by salespeople and people who can already play guitar.

Plus, you aren’t going to be able to take an electric guitar to the beach or campfire and play with your friends.

Acoustic guitars can be cheaper too when you look at the total cost of an electric plus amp and other items you will need.

However acoustic guitars are more difficult to play and therefore more difficult to learn on.

Here are 3 things that make them more difficult to play and learn on.

acoustic guitars are more difficult to learn on

1. Thicker Body

Acoustic guitars are self-amplified so they need something to get that sound out. They have a hollow body so that the vibrations from the strings can be projected loud enough to be heard.

This requires an acoustic guitar to have a thick body. The louder you want it to sound the thicker the body.

This can pose problems for someone who wants to learn how to play guitar.

Holding a guitar in your hands and trying to play it for the first time is going to feel awkward for most people. It’s just not a natural thing for you to do.

Having to reach around a thick body on an acoustic guitar makes it even more difficult and awkward. The thicker the body the harder it can be to hold the guitar steady as well.

You can minimize this problem by finding a thin-body acoustic guitar and that is what I recommend for most people who want to learn to play on an acoustic guitar.

2. Strings Are Higher

This is a bigger problem than many people realize.

That’s because most people are obsessed about the sound they are making even when they first learn play.

For whatever reason playing guitar seems to be one of the only instruments people think should sound flawless – even if they are just starting out.

Starting on an acoustic means it is going to be even harder to get a good sound because those strings are further from the fretboard and much be pressed even further and harder to make them sound good.

Because the sound will not be very good a lot of people can get discouraged and think they are not very good or progressing much.

This is more than a physical barrier to learning. It affects people on the mental and emotional level and is one thing that makes it more difficult than just about anything else.

3. The Neck Is Wider

The majority of acoustic guitars are designed with a wider neck than electric guitars.

The strings are also thicker so it gives you a bit more room to get them down cleanly. Some of them even have extra wide necks, like a classical style guitar, and are even more difficult to play so be careful what you buy.

A wider neck makes it harder to learn and play for many reasons. Chords are the foundation of playing acoustic guitar and most of them require you to span the fretboard and stretch your fingers on various strings.

The wider the neck, the more you have to stretch and when you are not used to it can be daunting. It’s hard enough to learn all the new chord positions at the beginning so this adds another level of difficulty.

It’s certainly not impossible to learn with an acoustic guitar or even one with a wide neck. You just have to be patient and give yourself a break if it goes slower than you were expecting.

right teacher will help overcome challegnes learning acoustic guitar

Make It Easier To Learn Acoustic Guitar With The Right Teacher

Because they are more difficult to learn to play it is very easy to get stuck and frustrated with an acoustic guitar.

What most of you need is a little help and direction to know how to overcome these challenges and be successful. The best way to do that is to take guitar lessons in your local area.

You want to be sure to find a highly trained guitar teacher who has been trained to teach and who has experience teaching acoustic guitar and also has proof that they have had success teaching others just like you.

The right teacher will know everything I shared in this article and be able to teach you the right way to overcome each of them and help you succeed.

There is never any guarantee of course, but it will increase the odds of success dramatically.