Did you know that it’s easier to play an electric guitar in the beginning instead of an acoustic? After you can play some songs or maybe you want to get into a Finger picking style, then get an acoustic.
Let’s go back to the 60’s and 70’s and just about everyone that played guitar started on acoustic. You’ll hear many big name guitarists say to start on acoustic. I believe that’s what started this trend. Now remember that many of these guitarists play many, many hours a day. You’ll see them hunched over the guitar with the guitar on their knee craning their neck to see the front of the guitar. Not really a good position for posture, your back, neck and shoulders. I believe there’s a better way
Why Electric guitar solves a lot of playing problems
I believe that electric guitar solves a lot of physical playing problems. No. 1 is the strings are a lot smaller which doesn’t beat up your fingertips. They’re easier on your hands. When use the least amount of pressure to push a string until it touches the fretboard you won’t be digging the string into your finger. Most beginners push really hard with their thumb and are using way too much pressure. The callous is the body’s way to protect your fingertip from the constant over pressing. I don’t have callouses and teach several guitar students a day and play a couple gigs a week.
To test out how much pressure you’re placing on the string take your thumb off the back of the neck when you’re playing chords about 20% of the time. When you play without the thumb pressing then put the thumb back on you’ll see how much we push with the thumb. You can practice playing one note without the thumb on the neck and using very light pressure and getting a clear tone. Also, make sure your finger is very close to the fret, not it but right inside of it will help get a clear tone.
Strings make a big difference
The next idea I think will really help is to get smaller gauge strings. I recommend that you buy a set of 9’s. The number is the size of your first string, the thinnest one. One of my favorite guitar players is Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top and he uses 8’s and I don’t think anyone would accuse him of having a thin tone. Another “feel test” you can do is take your first finger on your left hand and just push the string as lightly as you can until it touches the fret board, you can feel the wood under your string. Once it touches the fretboard don’t keep pressing. You’ll see how little pressure you really need to get a clear tone.
Find a guitar neck that fits your hand
Another helpful playing factor is it’s a guitar neck that fits your hand. Acoustic guitar necks are usually a lot wider and thicker. Much easier to play your hand in the needed positions. The guitar neck will be what you feel for 100% of the time you’re playing so find a neck that feels really comfortable in your hands. Most of the lower price Fender Squires are a great fit and have a comfort, contour body that lays against you.The acoustic can be bulky and awkward at first.
Try a guitar strap
I like to use a guitar strap so that whether I’m sitting or standing. This gives me a great place hand position and I can angle the neck up more. I won’t have to lean down or extend my neck to see the fingerboard. Not realizing you’re in an uncomfortable position could be the reason you’re not practicing more. If these ideas are different to you try a few and see if it helps.
But my experience as a guitar teacher is when I switched my beginners to electric guitar there was a noticeable leap in how fast they were learning. I noticed they weren’t complaining of their hands hurting.
Smaller strings will be easier on your hands. Use light pressure with the thumb off the back of the neck while pressing to practice in the beginning. Smaller gauge strings are easier on your hands. Go to a guitar store and try a bunch of different guitars until you find a neck that feels just right when you’re holding.
Do you struggle with pressing too hard or your hand getting worn fatigued after a short time? Let me know if this helps.