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Author Topic: Who else sucks at playing electric guitar?  (Read 137 times)
Silence Dogood
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« on: July 17, 2021, 04:17:36 PM »

I started on electric when I was 18 and for a long time it was all I played.  About 15 years ago I got heavily into acoustic music and sold all my electric gear.  I've made a few attempts in recent years to get back into electric, but all those years of acoustic playing seem to have altered my playing style more than I knew.  When I pick up an electric now I'm lost and find I can't do much of anything.   

I've gone through several electric guitars in the past few years while trying to figure all this out.  My last attempt was a big jazzbox-type guitar; I figured since it was closer to an acoustic I might be able to get into it.  Nope.  I sent it back and now have my amp up for sale. 

I think I've officially given up and am just going to play acoustic all the time.  There is a type of freedom in discovering what one is good at and what works.  Acoustic guitar is certainly a lot simpler than having gear and gadgets all over the place. 
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ducktrapper
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« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2021, 05:00:18 PM »

The best advice I've gotten on the playing of electrics is to remember that you're not really playing guitar, you're playing the amplifier. The guitar is merely the controller.    

Speaking of which, these are awesome! My RS-4 through this little thing is amazing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZZyoUV3cHs
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B0WIE
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« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2021, 06:49:23 PM »

For me, playing acoustic for a few years made me a better electric player than 25 years of playing electric alone. I don't consider myself a great, or even "good" player but I can get by. Acoustic gave me better understanding of chords across the fret board, forced better technique, stronger fingers, etc. I don't play much electric now but when I do it feels easier than it ever did. A lot of this was from practicing classical on acoustic. Even if you're not finger picking electric, the left hand skill, the timing, etc carries over.

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ducktrapper
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« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2021, 10:15:45 PM »

For me, playing acoustic for a few years made me a better electric player than 25 years of playing electric alone. I don't consider myself a great, or even "good" player but I can get by. Acoustic gave me better understanding of chords across the fret board, forced better technique, stronger fingers, etc. I don't play much electric now but when I do it feels easier than it ever did. A lot of this was from practicing classical on acoustic. Even if you're not finger picking electric, the left hand skill, the timing, etc carries over.



I didn't own an acoustic guitar until I had played for almost five years. Mostly a rhythm player, transferring those skills back and forth seems pretty easy. However, when playing acoustic, no matter what style of music I'm attempting to play, any solos or fills sound straight out of Fenderland.  
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Silence Dogood
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« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2021, 02:30:17 PM »

My problems on electric seem to be the opposite of what I've heard many people say over the years.  I can't tell you how many times I've heard it said that one can "hide behind effects" while playing electric.  The implication here is that one can play sloppily on electric and the effects/amp will hide it, and that more nuance is required to coax great tone out of an acoustic guitar. In my experience playing sloppily on electric through an amp only "amplifies" the mistakes -  it does not hide them.  I find that I can really dig in on the acoustic, play hard, and get great sound: but I lack the ability to be nuanced on electric and tend to overplay and beat the thing to death.  But mostly I just think everything sounds better on an acoustic guitar.  Sometimes I'll even drop mine down to a low tuning and play metal riffs, and it always sounds more interesting to me than an electric guitar.  
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ducktrapper
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« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2021, 02:40:44 PM »

My problems on electric seem to be the opposite of what I've heard many people say over the years.  I can't tell you how many times I've heard it said that one can "hide behind effects" while playing electric.  The implication here is that one can play sloppily on electric and the effects/amp will hide it, and that more nuance is required to coax great tone out of an acoustic guitar.  I find that I can really dig in on the acoustic, play hard, and get great sound: but I lack the ability to be nuanced on electric and tend to overplay and beat the thing to death.  But mostly I just think everything sounds better on an acoustic guitar.  Sometimes I'll even drop mine down to a low tuning and play metal riffs, and it always sounds more interesting to me than an electric guitar.  

I don't know that you can hide poor playing or sloppy technique behind the effects but as shown by guitarists, like The Edge from U2, you can certainly have them, using various delays, distortion, reverbs and sustains etc., enhance some really simple playing and make it sound rather amazingly complicated. The other thing to use more liberally when playing electric is the greatly increased sustain that you can obtain. Play less. Make one note go a lot further. And, of course, a good amp is a must.  
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B0WIE
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« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2021, 06:15:57 PM »

I don't know that you can hide poor playing or sloppy technique behind the effects but as shown by guitarists, like The Edge from U2, you can certainly have them, using various delays, distortion, reverbs and sustains etc., enhance some really simple playing and make it sound rather amazingly complicated. The other thing to use more liberally when playing electric is the greatly increased sustain that you can obtain. Play less. Make one note go a lot further. And, of course, a good amp is a must.  

^This. For me, playing though an amp makes mistakes really stick out, especially because that signal is naturally compressed and has a lot of sustain from the amp's circuitry.

What Duck said about playing less is huge, IMO. Let the vibrato, sustain,, etc fill the space for you. Acoustic makes you work a lot harder to emote. That electric will do a lot of the taking, just let it breathe a bit.
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« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2021, 10:34:54 PM »

I suck at it...  but I've sucked at it longer and more consistently than any other instrument.

I think it is usually a mistake to compare the two (acoustic and electric) because they are, for the most part, different instruments.

Ed
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unclrob
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« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2021, 12:30:39 AM »

I've always played both plus bass never drew  difference except the electric was loader.
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« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2021, 06:40:08 PM »

Although I started on acoustic guitar and eventually picked up the electric guitar.  They are, to me, different instruments. They each have a place in my life, but over the last decade or so, I have played more electric. In the great guitar purge of 2015, all the redundant acoustics went away. I have a much harder time parting with electric guitars because I perform with them. I can't remember the last time I took an acoustic guitar to a gig. I have a very convincing acoustic guitar simulation in my Kemper Profiler if I need that sound for a song or two.

Reflecting on the past few weeks, I played electric guitar every day. I'm not sure if I picked up an acoustic except to hand one to somebody.

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Paraclete
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« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2021, 05:35:49 AM »

It’s been a long time since I played electric.  I was really into blues until carpal tunnel made that blues bending extremely painful.  It’s interesting the comments about hiding mistakes in the noise of electric.  I both agree and disagree with that.  It’s easy to hide sloppy technique.  That precision i need for classical guitar is kind of overkill on an electric, especially with such a fast neck. But then again, yes, bad playing is still not entirely hid under all that distortion!   
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