One of the most common questions we get is, “What guitar is right for the young beginner: acoustic or electric?” The answer is surprisingly easy, but first, let's look at the differences.
Finger and hand strength are a challenge for any beginner...especially kids. Electric guitars allow young students to move their hands more easily and with less fatigue. That's because the strings are typically thinner and not as tough to push down. Plus, most electric guitar necks are slimmer and feel more comfortable to smaller hands.
On the other hand, acoustic guitars bring freedom and convenience. Just pick it up and start to play! Plus, they sound pretty all by themselves. First position G to C chords make music on an acoustic. On an electric, they're likely to sound boring and frankly, dumb. Let's not forget that a student level acoustic will probably cost less than the equivalent electric with an amp.
So what's the answer?
The short answer is, “Whatever type the student wants”. The biggest obstacle to learning an instrument is staying interested. Our heroes make it look so easy, when in fact, it takes a lot of work.
It's going to take time. So no matter how naturally skilled and dedicated a beginner is, staying with it is the single most important key to success.
Need some hints? If the student's bedroom wall is covered with posters of Kiss, a nylon string classical is unlikely to inspire. Likewise, if they can't stop talking about the upcoming Ed Sheeran concert, it might be misguided to outfit their journey with a solidbody electric guitar.
As Mr. Spock would say, “Live long and practice”.