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  1. #1

    Acoustic vs. Electric

    So tonight's thoughts had my mind wander off on the good ol' acoustic vs. electric debate, which will rage on for as long as music will live. I'm talkin' about any instrument here, although the most popular ones will be pianos and guitars. No doubt, the further our technology goes, the more we'll try and recreate instruments into electrified embodiments. Can playing something electric ever resonate the same way as something acoustic, though?

    I grew up with a mix of instruments around the homes I lived in, although I didn't take a liking to the guitar until long after I had moved out for college. Out of sheer preference, though, I took a real shine to the acoustic guitar, and shredded my baby soft fingers while toking on its glorious steel strings. It hurt like hell, and people told me to start off with an electric to build up callouses, but I always had to do things the hard way. Eventually I got some killer callouses, making it worth the pain.

    While I think there's nothing like feeling the waves of sound rock your body while cradling an acoustic guitar, a fascination has recently grown with electric guitars that resonate in a different way. There's something fiercely powerful about an amp putting out a clean, grinding sound that doesn't assault the ears. The body is so much heavier, causing this primal, guttural feeling to emanate. I'm still intimidated by the complexity of the process in which one gets the sound they want out of an electric, so I wish to learn more. As my skills with the acoustic have grown, I find myself wanting to spread my wings more to make myself a more complete musician. I'd mention my time with pianos, but I don't want to ramble on too much here, so I'll leave it for a later post.

    So naturally, I think there's a place for both. I couldn't ever say which is better, although history probably favors acoustics. They both bring something special to the table, and heck you even have hybrids nowadays. Certainly, acoustic appeals to me more, but that doesn't mean I have to scoff at electrics. What are your thoughts?

  2. #2
    IMO it is quite pointless to discuss this matter as a "X" vs "Y", whoīs better? type of argument because in the end everything will end in a preference, someone will say they acoustic over electric and others will say they prefer the opposite. In the end both sounds great and can be quite harmonious together in musical pieces, is just a matter of putting them together and see how well they work.

    Iīm not a guitar player but both can sound really pleasing. I see acoustic being preferred for solos in many musical genres from country to even flamenco. I see electric guitar being a little more complicated since you need to know about the sound balance in your amps so the sound produced isnīt loud, bad or too ear jarring. I see electric not working too well by itself, it need a group of instruments and its sounds together to sound pretty IMO

    Cheers.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by AineCleine View Post
    IMO it is quite pointless to discuss this matter as a "X" vs "Y", whoīs better? type of argument because in the end everything will end in a preference, someone will say they acoustic over electric and others will say they prefer the opposite. In the end both sounds great and can be quite harmonious together in musical pieces, is just a matter of putting them together and see how well they work.

    Iīm not a guitar player but both can sound really pleasing. I see acoustic being preferred for solos in many musical genres from country to even flamenco. I see electric guitar being a little more complicated since you need to know about the sound balance in your amps so the sound produced isnīt loud, bad or too ear jarring. I see electric not working too well by itself, it need a group of instruments and its sounds together to sound pretty IMO

    Cheers.
    Well, that's your opinion and you're certainly entitled to it, but there's more to the topic than the title states. Maybe "and" would have been preferred over "vs", but it's not a big enough issue for me to change it. It's more a subtle question to myself, "Can I feel the same way I do about acoustic with electrics?" If I run under the assumption that people will read my entire post, then I don't need to worry about this becoming an X vs Y argument; that is assuredly not my intention.

    That being said, I do agree that electrics are enhanced greatly by accompanying instruments, whereas an acoustic can stand on its own. That makes me want to explore the electric guitar as an individual instrument, to see how it can be done. If we talk about pianos, though, the conversation changes a fair bit. An electric piano still sounds fabulous on its own, whether it's imitating an old Steinway or creating its own digital twist. What's the difference in perspective there?

  4. #4
    Rattlesnake Flavored RedSavage's Avatar
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    ELECTRIC ACOUSTIC MUTHA FUCKAS

    Gallantly shreds off into the sunset, switching between acoustic and electric-amp.

    /end debate



    ---Buuuut in all seriousness right now I'm just at the point where I'm toying with different sound effects. The acoustic to electric is an interesting effect, as it resonates a bit differently. Though I'm finding that hooking an acoustic to a goddamned bass amp makes some sounds from hell--in a good way. I've got my eye on an old thigh high Mako, but eh. Need to buy this other amp first. I forget what it's called. It's on layaway.

    Oh, and the guitar is a Takamine G-Series. Pretty sweet. Got it a few months ago. First guitar ever. YEAH BUDDY~

  5. #5
    Senior RainWizard's Avatar
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    In regards to drums, acoustic is much better. I have never played an electric set that I've preferred.

    With guitars, welllll, I prefer the sound of a distorded electric, but a nice acoustic guitar can go down well.
    "Disciple of the cross and champion in the suffering, immerse yourself into the kingdom of redemption. Harden your mind through the chains of the divine; Make way for the shepherd of fire"

  6. #6
    Senior SirCoffeecup's Avatar
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    Electroacoustics for the win. Best of both worlds in one package.
    But really though, both are good and not quite comparable imo.
    Sure, electrics have a wider range of sound they can produce, but they can't nail the acoustic sound.

  7. #7
    Senior Tiido's Avatar
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    To me it is mostly about tonality and not related to playing the instrument itself. Sometimes I like sound of one, sometimes the other, and sometimes totally synthesized sound that only vaguely sounds guitarish.
    But then again I am more of a "enter my notes to my software and lef software make my hardware play sounds" king of guy. One thing that frustrated me to no end when I was in a band playing a real instrument was the inability to maintain consistency during play, consistency I would get from machine haha.
    I would like a MIDI guitar but I hear they all suck, particularly when it comes to lower notes.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Rory View Post
    Well, that's your opinion and you're certainly entitled to it, but there's more to the topic than the title states. Maybe "and" would have been preferred over "vs", but it's not a big enough issue for me to change it. It's more a subtle question to myself, "Can I feel the same way I do about acoustic with electrics?" If I run under the assumption that people will read my entire post, then I don't need to worry about this becoming an X vs Y argument; that is assuredly not my intention.

    That being said, I do agree that electrics are enhanced greatly by accompanying instruments, whereas an acoustic can stand on its own. That makes me want to explore the electric guitar as an individual instrument, to see how it can be done. If we talk about pianos, though, the conversation changes a fair bit. An electric piano still sounds fabulous on its own, whether it's imitating an old Steinway or creating its own digital twist. What's the difference in perspective there?
    I guess I should had read your post a little more carefully. How silly to get driven out just by the title. Couldīve used a better title but the point is that is an interesting conversation so no worries on that, my fault

    Electric and acoustic piano is a pretty interesting discussion cause will acoustic produce such a beautiful sound electric ones can produce very similar sounds to the acoustic one while being way easier to transport. Again I think the acoustic one shines for itself and the electric one shines with a group of sounds together. I donīt know why always when someone says electric piano I think of a clavinet

    The idea of electric instruments is to find new sounds while staying close to their acoustic version, thatīs the beauty of music.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by CoyoteCaliente View Post
    ELECTRIC ACOUSTIC MUTHA FUCKAS

    Gallantly shreds off into the sunset, switching between acoustic and electric-amp.

    /end debate



    ---Buuuut in all seriousness right now I'm just at the point where I'm toying with different sound effects. The acoustic to electric is an interesting effect, as it resonates a bit differently. Though I'm finding that hooking an acoustic to a goddamned bass amp makes some sounds from hell--in a good way. I've got my eye on an old thigh high Mako, but eh. Need to buy this other amp first. I forget what it's called. It's on layaway.
    Lmao, good stuff. Why choose when you can get the best of both worlds? :u /winner See, I have no idea how to toy with sound effects and the like. I really need to get out there and make some friends with cool equipment, as I'm more of a hands on learner. I've got an okay amp, but I can never ever come close to anything clean sounding. Some people tell me I need more equipment, which makes me look at my invisible pile of cash longingly.

    Quote Originally Posted by AineCleine View Post
    I guess I should had read your post a little more carefully. How silly to get driven out just by the title. Couldīve used a better title but the point is that is an interesting conversation so no worries on that, my fault

    Electric and acoustic piano is a pretty interesting discussion cause will acoustic produce such a beautiful sound electric ones can produce very similar sounds to the acoustic one while being way easier to transport. Again I think the acoustic one shines for itself and the electric one shines with a group of sounds together. I donīt know why always when someone says electric piano I think of a clavinet

    The idea of electric instruments is to find new sounds while staying close to their acoustic version, thatīs the beauty of music.
    S'all good, I wasn't totally 'with it' last night and the thread title is shoddier than I'd have liked. -.-; Anyhow. That's a nice way to put it, with your last line there. Finding new sounds... but I think that's applicable to acoustics in some way, too. Different strings can really hurt or strengthen a guitar's sound, and there are some pretty funky acoustics out there that have their own distinct twang (like d-hole guitars). Maybe more relevant to electrics, but it's not entirely of their domain.

    I think the main reason why I'm getting that eating feeling to try and experiment, is because I heard how interesting it was to pair my acoustic guitar with electronic sounds. In my experience, I tend to not enjoy when an electric is stripped away to be the only instrument, so I wonder what I could do myself to make it shine like an acoustic does. I'm sure plenty of people have done it, unintentionally or not (I don't really -know- music like so many people do), but it's the kinda thing I want to try with my own hands. Is it a perfect, crisp sound setting, or a style of playing? Brings us back to that question of resonance, I suppose.

    Maybe I'm just grasping at straws. I have no problem with being proven wrong.

  10. #10
    Senior JiJi's Avatar
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    I think it's an odd question I see both as different instruments. I primarily play acoustic now day because of album writing, and I've took a break from my ibanez. But I play so differently on both different playing techniques and genres.

 

 

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