Is an Acoustic-electric Guitar Good for Beginners?

The best part about being a beginner guitarist is that you can explore when it comes to the choice of guitars without feeling attached to a particular one. However, while exploring is fun, it comes with the challenge of figuring out the guitar that suits a beginner.

Being green in the guitar industry, guitar names can feel overwhelming and it can be hard to identify the difference. To start with, the acoustic-electric guitar and an acoustic guitar belong to the same family but one has additional features. 

Read on to find out whether an acoustic-electric guitar is good for you as a beginner.

Is an Acoustic-electric Guitar Good for Beginners (Quick Answer)

An acoustic-electric guitar is a good option for beginners for several reasons. First, it is a versatile guitar that can be played in the comfort of the house and on stage for live performances. Secondly, the acoustic-electric guitar is similar to the acoustic guitar, only that it has electronic parts fitted in.

If you are a beginner who is looking into having outdoor guitar adventures or gigs, an acoustic-electric guitar is perfect for you. It allows you to go for gigs while still giving you the freedom to enjoy indoor guitar sessions.

Understanding the Acoustic-electric Guitar

It is hard to tell between an acoustic-electric guitar from an acoustic guitar just by taking a glance at both. They are similar in physical appearance. The acoustic-electric guitar has a magnetic pickup, a Piezo pickup, and a built-in microphone.

Another outstanding feature of the acoustic-electric guitar is it requires a preamp for amplifying the signal from the pickup before sending it to the amplifier. The acoustic-electric guitar functions well whether it is plugged in or not.

Pros and Cons of Acoustic-electric Guitar


Sound Quality

Before acoustic-electric guitars were in the picture, the only way one could get amplified sound from an acoustic guitar was to use microphones. Doing a microphone set up for an acoustic guitar is a complex process, and an extra investment. Acoustic-electric guitars are awesome if you want amplified sound.

Luxury of Options

The acoustic-electric guitar is versatile, in that it can be played plugged in or unplugged. Meaning you can play the guitar with or without a power supply. Also, you can use it for indoor guitar sessions and live on stage.

Doesn’t Sound Different

The sound of an acoustic-electric guitar is not different from a regular acoustic guitar. You will still play the same way you would with an acoustic guitar, only with additional electronic features on the guitar.

Freedom on Stage

With an acoustic-electric guitar, you can freely move on stage while performing. This guitar does not confine you to one spot on stage.


Need Power

To play the guitar and enjoy the amplified sound, the guitar has to be plugged into a source of power. Without power, it is just a normal acoustic guitar.

Electronic Parts Break down

Electronic parts are prone to failing, and this is not unusual for acoustic-electric guitars. If one of the electronic parts fails, you cannot play the guitar plugged in. In addition, there are repair costs when the electronic parts fail.

Additional Costs

The acoustic-electric guitar has additional costs such as the purchase of an amplifier and other electronic accessories needed to have an amplified sound. However, there are acoustic-electric guitars that come with an additional kit but at an extra cost.

While the acoustic-electric guitar is absolute fun while on stage, if you do not need to be on stage with an amplified sound, a regular acoustic guitar can do.

How to Choose a Good Acoustic-electric Guitar for Beginners

The checklist for buying an acoustic-electric guitar has some similarities with that of buying any other beginner guitar. However, below are the unique things you should consider when buying a beginner acoustic-electric guitar:


The size of the acoustic-electric guitar is crucial when it comes to comfort when playing. if your hands are small, a ½ size acoustic-electric guitar or a ¾ size guitar might be better for you. Good thing is, even with a small acoustic-electric guitar, the sound is still good and strong.


Some people find it hard to play acoustic guitars because of the steel strings. Steel strings can be hard for beginners. When buying an acoustic-electric guitar, choose one with adjustability so that you can lower the action for easy playability.


It is easy to assume portability, but if you want to do more live performances and gigs, your acoustic-electric guitar needs to be portable. Half-size or ¾ acoustic-electric guitars are more portable than others. Also, the wood used to make the guitar contributes to the weight. For instance, rosewood is heavier than other woods like mahogany. If portability is your priority, try going for lighter wood for your acoustic-electric guitar.


An acoustic-electric guitar is a fine option for beginners who want to play both indoors and on live stages. It is a great guitar to come out of the closet with your guitar skills. The acoustic-electric guitar is similar to the regular acoustic guitar, only that it has inbuilt electronics to help with the amplification of sound.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is an acoustic electric guitar a suitable choice for beginners?

Traditionally, many budding musicians start their musical journey on an acoustic guitar. This classical path has proven to be beneficial primarily because acoustic guitars, though physically more challenging, help develop finger strength and discipline. The effort required to create clean sounding chords on an acoustic guitar acts as a valuable training ground for beginners. In my experience, once you perfect strumming on an acoustic guitar, transitioning to other types of guitars becomes significantly smoother. However, an electric acoustic guitar can also be a great choice for a beginner due to its hybrid nature, offering the best of both worlds.

Are electric acoustic guitars considered easier to play relative to other guitar types?

In contrast to their acoustic counterparts, electric guitars can offer greater ease of play for beginners. One key reason is their more compact build. Electric guitars generally have slimmer necks and are overall more petite as they are not designed to rely solely on natural acoustics for sound production. This design creates a less strenuous learning environment for fresh players. Moreover, the strings on an electric guitar are typically lighter, the neck is more slender, and the body more petite, helping reduce strain for those just starting their guitar-learning journey. When I first started playing guitar, these petite aspects of electric guitar made it less intimidating, thereby making my initial learning experience more enjoyable and less exhausting.

Which variety of electric guitar would you suggest for a beginner?

There is a wide range of electric guitars available in the market, each with their unique features and complexities. However, for a beginner, it is essential to start with a simple, user-friendly model before progressing towards more complicated ones. Personally, I would recommend starting with something like a Fender Squier Stratocaster. This guitar model is beginner-friendly due to its comfortable neck, light body, and easily adjustable features, making it a much-loved choice among novice players. Still, remember, it’s crucial to choose a guitar that feels comfortable for you.

Is an acoustic electric guitar superior to an electric guitar?

The choice between an acoustic-electric guitar and an electric guitar often boils down to personal preference and needs. Acoustic-electric guitars offer the significant advantage of being playable both unplugged and plugged in, providing a versatile playing experience that can adapt to different settings. On the other hand, electric guitars primarily rely on an amp for sound projection. In terms of physical attributes, though acoustic-electric guitars possess larger bodies, they tend to be lighter in weight than electric guitars. As a beginner, the choice expands on your musical goals, preferences, and where you’d like to perform. Do bear in mind that both types are suitable for beginners.


I'm Johnny, the guy behind Guitar Manifesto. I've been playing guitar since my teens and now that I'm in my 40s, I'm all about sharing what I've learned to help you become a better guitarist.

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