Beginner Guitar Lessons: Should I Play Electric or Acoustic Guitar? | Guitar | Lesson | Beginner

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In this free beginner guitar lesson, Berklee Online instructor Thaddeus Hogarth explains what you need to consider when you’re purchasing your first guitar. He says that if the musician who inspired you the most plays an acoustic guitar, you should buy an acoustic guitar. If the musician who inspired you the most plays an electric guitar, you should buy an electric guitar. Sounds simple, right? Not quite! Check out Thaddeus’ advice in this valuable beginner guitar lesson.

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About Thaddeus Hogarth
Born in the U.K. and raised in the West Indies, Thaddeus Hogarth is an associate professor in the Guitar department at Berklee College of Music. A two-time winner of the Independent Music Award for R&B/Blues (2001, 2006), he has been a prominent guitar player and singer-songwriter on the New England music scene since 1990, when he graduated from Berklee. He leads his own group, the Thaddeus Hogarth Band, featuring David Buda on bass, Joey Scrima on drums, and David Sparr on keyboards. They have shared the bill or stage with such legends as Tower of Power, Average White Band, James Montgomery, Fred Wesley, and Johnny Winter, and were recently hand-picked to represent Bose nationwide for the launch of its revolutionary live music amplification technology.

His work also includes collaboration with the reggae legend and Grammy nominee, Sister Carol. Prior to this, Hogarth was the principal singer-songwriter and guitarist for Heavy Metal Horns, known for their original heavy hitting funk-rock grooves and full brass sound. The band released two CDs with international distribution—Heavy Metal Horns (Square Records) and Horns In The House (Polystar Japan/Danger), in addition to garnering awards such as Best New Band (Boston magazine, 1990) and Outstanding Club Act (Boston Music Awards, 1992). Since then, he has released four award-winning solo CDs and a live concert DVD, and is the author of “Funk/R&B Guitar: Creative Solos, Grooves, and Sounds” (Hal Leonard/Berklee Press). His music and voice can be heard worldwide in full-length and independent short feature films, commercial television, PBS, and MTV. Billboard magazine describes Hogarth’s music as “Soul Terra Firma,” and the Boston Globe calls him a “guitar virtuoso.”
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  1. Youre telling me this is NOT Adam Duritz?

  2. 9 out of 10. No, 99 out of 100 guitars are just sitting in a corner. Your first guitar should be an electric. Why? Because 12 gauge strings will just not be played because the strings just hurt your fingers too much. You can set up electrics with 10 or even 9 gauge strings. Plus 10 gauge strings can be bent so much easier. I have a hollow body Epiphone electric, so you can still practice without the amp. OH BTW Epiphone guitars suck. Then I've got a Taylor acoustic. I love the Taylor and even with the heavier strings, I like playing it more than the electric. The lowest price on a Taylor is about $1000.00. But I've played Yamaha's and others that really sound good. The reason I said that the Epiphone sucks is because, the "gold" plated metal hardware has turned green. This doesn't sound like gold plated to me. Second the high "E" and low "E" strings both slip off the rollers with both 11 and 10 gauge strings when I'm "hitting it hard." Not something you want happening on stage. Third, the damn neck is too fat. And I have big hands. It is way thicker than the Taylor. Maybe that's why I like playing the Taylor more. Fourth, I've only had the guitar for maybe a year and a half and the 3 position switch for the pick-ups is already not functioning half the time. And when I got the guitar new, the plug-in socket wasn't tight. So the plug-in fell inside the guitar and you can't imagine how hard it is to replace accessories sticking your fingers through the "F" holes. And lastly, the intonation of the Epiphone is sooo off, that playing it at times makes me feel like I'm eating lemons.  Intonation is bad string placement by the factory that bridge tuning will not fix Or in other words I can never ever tune this guitar so that every chord sounds in tune. The intonation on the Taylor is spot on and they had to get it right from the factory because Taylor acoustics aren't bridge tunable.
    So there you have it. Take along someone you know that plays every day and don't buy the prettiest guitar. Let your friend guide you. Buying a guitar will take at least the whole day. Eventually, you will find a guitar that talks to you, buy me, buy me, When I played the Taylor, that's what happened. I already had a Takamine and a Estaban acoustics. The Takamine was a piece of crap in my opinion so I traded it in and the Esteban I gave to a kid in my neighborhood.
    It takes 3 months to get finger tip calluses and finger strength. Look at it like a heroin addict. It may seem at the beginning that there will never be an end, but time heals everything. JUSY DON'T STOP PRACTICING !

  3. Thaddeus! You were my private instructor years ago at the summer program!! Now you're on my you tube advertisements! Wow!!!!! Great stuff man!

  4. first, or not

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