Choosing Between an Electric and Acoustic Guitar

Menachem Moscovitz
Aug 28, 2018 · 2 min read

Menachem Moscovitz is the executive director of Mesivta of Las Vegas in Nevada and the chief cantor of high holidays at Flushing, New York’s Ahavas Yisroel Congregation. Beyond his professional activities and duties to his congregation, Menachem Moscovitz enjoys playing the guitar.

Individuals interested in learning to play the guitar must decide whether they want to begin with an electric or acoustic model. Electric and acoustic are the two most basic categories a guitar can fall into, meaning there are a number of more nuanced variables and subcategories that may need to be considered when choosing a model. However, there are a few basic elements to keep in mind when searching for a beginner guitar.

For starters, while any type of guitar can range in price from highly affordable to thousands of dollars, beginner acoustic guitars can generally be purchased for a lower price than an electric model. Similarly, electric guitars can be played on their own, but require an amplifier and cable to function properly, whereas acoustics are designed to be played without accessories. It should be noted, however, that many acoustic guitars can indeed be plugged into amps.

Playability, of course, is an important subject to consider. While nylon strings can greatly improve playability of acoustic guitars for young and first-time players, acoustic strings are usually rougher than electric strings. Acoustics also have a higher action, which is the space between the strings and the fret board, meaning guitarists must press down harder when playing on an acoustic than on an electric.

Finally, musicians should consider the type of music they would like to play on guitar. Any genre of music can be played on either model, and passionate guitarists will likely buy multiple models and styles over the years. With that said, it makes little sense to invest in an acoustic guitar if a person is interested in covering bands that primarily use electric guitars, such as Black Sabbath or The White Stripes. On the other hand, musicians interested in playing folksier, singer-songwriter fare would be better suited to the intimate quality of an acoustic guitar.

Menachem Moscovitz

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Rabbi Menachem Moscovitz leverages his training to serve as executive director of Mesivta of Las Vegas.

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