If you're thinking of learning to play guitar, you may be displeased with a recommendation to start with acoustic guitar and learn electric guitar afterwards. "I want to play in a band, not serenade a cowgirl!" And it's true that the acoustic guitar doesn't perform well in a band setting. However, there are a number of reasons your teacher or potential teacher might recommend that you start with the acoustic guitar. Here are the pros and cons of starting lessons that way.
For a beginning instrument, an acoustic guitar is usually an affordable option. In addition, beginning instruments are often better quality than you'd get if you looked for the cheapest, junkiest electric guitar on the market. If you buy a cheap, badly made electric guitar, you could be letting yourself in for electrical problems, whereas with an acoustic guitar, what you see (and hear) at the point of purchase is usually what you get.
- Hand strength
It's true that an electric guitar is physically easier to play, because the strings are easier to hold down and you don't have to push them as far. Your teacher may want you to start with an acoustic guitar for this very reason. The fact that you're required to exert some effort in order to produce a result can help train your hands to play with better technique, whereas if you started on an electric guitar you'd have the opportunity to develop lazy, sloppy technique.
You can play an electric guitar anywhere you have a plugin... and the amplifier you want... and so on. But you can play an acoustic guitar anywhere on the planet (although if you're outside and the weather is much below zero, your fingers will probably disagree). This mobility allows for greater freedom in practicing and means that you can't use "not having anywhere to practice" as an excuse for not getting any work done that week.
- Physical difficulty
If you're young, have small hands, or otherwise find it a physical challenge to manipulate the strings of a guitar, starting with an acoustic may just be too much of a discouragement. It can also cause some very painful fingers while you're waiting for calluses to form. If you use an acoustic, make sure you start with nylon strings; leave the steel strings for the cowboys.
If you have an electrical guitar, you can practice with headphones so nobody else can hear you play. With an acoustic guitar, although the volume of sound is quieter, anyone nearby (in the same room or the next room over) will be able to hear you play. If you live in a crowded apartment and your family isn't supportive of your playing, the electric guitar may be a better choice for you.
These pros and cons demonstrate that your teacher isn't just being mean by saying you should start with an acoustic guitar. In addition, you now have educated points you can use to argue against that decision if you feel acoustic guitar isn't for you.
To learn more, visit a company like Welch Music.