Can an acoustic guitar player learn electric?
Great question on Quora: Can an acoustic guitar player learn electric?
I think this is very common in church worship teams.
There are a lot of acoustic players out there. Acoustic is great for worship leaders. You can play at a simple level, and focus on leading. Not on intricate guitar.
But many acoustic players join the worship band, then see a different way to serve. Electric guitar. Electric brings a lot of texture to a band, adds a lot of energy and dynamics.
But it is a leap from basic acoustic strumming. Here’s how to approach the change.
Where do I start? – 18 FREE LESSONS!
The main things to learn are
- Which tones work in a worship band
- Strumming: it’s different in electric playing
- Chords that work
Take a look at the FREE lessons that cover these basics:
1. Electric Worship Tones
First learn how to set your electric guitar, effects and amp to get the five most useful tones for a worship band
- Basic guitar control settings
- How to get a great basic clean tone
- How to get a useful crunch distortion tone – just breaking up
- How to get a metal style power chord distortion tone
- How to musically use delay pedals in worship
2. Modern Open Chords, Electric Style
Learn how to play the six chords in the key of E – E, A, B, C#m, F#m, G#m- that make up hundreds of songs.
I recommend having a look through these, as I teach them a little differently. I show you the substitues I use to make chord changes easy, and which have a ‘modern sound’ to my ears. Watch the demos at the end of each video for examples of how the right hand strumming pattern is different to what you would do on acoustic. Then practice along to the mp3 backing tracks.
- E Major – substitute: E5
- A Major – substitute: Asus2
- B Major – substitute: B5add11 (nice sound, that!)
- C# Minor – substitute: C#m7 (a nice, ringing voicing PLUS one of my favourite backing tracks)
- F# Minor (substitute F#m11) and G# Minor (substitute G#m#5 and yes you read that right)
3. Power Chords
These energetic chords are just the job when you need to convey ‘power’, ‘majesty’, ‘confidence’ in praise songs. They are a uniquely electric guitar sound. You can’t get the same tone on acoustic.
Pay close attention to the palm stop and palm muting techniques, and the pick-hand rhythm approach in these lessons. You’ll see straight away how different it is to normal worship song strumming on acoustic guitar.
These cover the six chords you need for the key of G. But they are movable shapes. They can be moved around the neck to play in any key.
- How to play G5 power chord
- Palm Stops – How to stop chords ringing out and get choppy rhythms
- How to play C5 and D5 power chords
- Rock Chugs – Palm muting to get a percussive sound
- How to play an E5 power chord – and a track based on Hillsong United ‘One Way’
- A ‘growly’ alternate G5 power chord shape
- How to play A5 and B5 power chords
- How to move these power chords to other keys
Hopefully, these free lessons will give you a great grounding in your move from acoustic to electric guitar.
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You’ll at the very least understand how the role of electric guitar is different. We use different rhythms, and use different tones from the instrument itself. We blend in with the other instruments in a way that gives them space and us space. A lot of this comes from our pick hand technique.
Obviously, this entire site is about taking this further. Learning how to add dynamics to songs, what ideas to play over loud praise and quiet worship, how to create a guitar part from scratch, how to handle spontaneous worship.
Please do sign up for the free 7 day trial and get a feel for how the premium lessons can help you become a better electric worship guitar player.