Are Acoustic Guitars Harder to Play?


Every guitar has its performance. Some guitars are easy and require less effort and idea to play, while others are harder and more complex. That said, are acoustic guitars harder to play?

Compared to other guitars, acoustic guitars are harder to play. The hardship exists for multiple reasons; among them is the large dimension of the acoustic guitar. Besides, acoustic guitars also have a wider neck, a thicker string gauge, and a super-high action that needs the knowledge to coordinate sound production whenever you play.

To properly coordinate the sound produced by acoustic guitars needs maximum knowledge of everything concerning the guitar. For example, you need a teacher to help you master basic playing ideas and implement them without a hassle. This article is a great deal to master an acoustic guitar’s different and more detailed aspects.

What Are Acoustic Guitars?

Have you ever come across a hollow-bodied guitar? If yes, then most probably that’s an acoustic guitar. Hollow-bodied guitars have a vacuumed space. The function of the vacuum space is to amplify vibration from the strings acoustically. Besides, the acoustic guitar does not need amplified electronics for the sound to be comfortable heard. The hollow sound body, also known as the sound box, does the amplification. However, the name acoustic generally means steel-stringed guitars.

Acoustic Guitars on Music Shop

Which Are the Reasons Why Acoustic Guitars Are Hard to Play?

1. The Heavy Strings

The string of a guitar is also called ‘gauge.’ You could find a variety of string gauges when buying guitars. Whenever you hear anyone playing with 9’s, they could refer to that they play with nine-gauge strings. Besides, the 9’s gauge string is of high e string. From thereon, the other strings go up the following size.

The possible cause guitarists move up with gauges isn’t intended to make the guitars more difficult. Besides, thicker strings add volume and more tone to a greater extent. The grater gauges usually boost the guitar’s volume. So, depending on your experience, you could have a problem when using a particular gauge.

2. The Heavy Body Size 

The most prominent difference when an acoustic guitar is compared to other guitars is the body size. The electric guitar’s body is usually made of different components to enhance the sound profile of the different instruments. Besides, you could improve acoustic guitars according to the player’s liking. But, you’ll need to pay for the modification.

On the other hand, the body of an acoustic guitar is standard, plus it is usually bulky compared to other guitar types. But the bulkiness normal comes with benefits: it helps in the magnifications of the sound produced. In other words, the larger body-sized guitars produce louder sounds than the smaller sized. This could be the reason for the high cost of the vintage acoustic guitars.

My Recommended: 3 Best Acoustic Guitars for Beginners

3. High Action

A guitar’s action refers to the distance between the string and the neck of any guitar. The distance could determine the pressure to apply on the string before it could get in touch with the fret. However, the levels of any acoustic guitar are proportional to the quality you buy.

For an inexpensive acoustic guitar, it could come in hand with an inferior string action. Also, the neck could influence the guitar’s body. This implies that it’s impossible to lower the guitar’s bridge height or modify its action.

When in your learning period, things could get more difficult after the fifth fret. The reason could be due to a change in the action. However, as you get down the neck, you’ll eventually get to the flatter notes, and the sound produced could become buzzier.

4. Neck Size

The neck of an acoustic guitar is more significant and chunkier than an electric guitar. Although the difference is too small, you can notice it whenever you hold the neck. Also, the experience of using the acoustic guitar could be difficult during early playing. Using your fingers could be more difficult, and you may eventually get hurt when playing around the chords.

But you could be asking yourself, why the neck of an acoustic guitar is more different than the others? The difference comes down to the tone produced. Also, the wood and dimension play a role in the sound production. The neck has significance when the strings are struck. For the relatively slim necks guitars, it will start to warp whenever you apply tension.

Pros and cons of thick necks:

They are sturdyUnconducive for smaller hands
Unlikely to suffer from warpingNot good for playing solo music
Best for gripping 

How Can You Easily Learn to Play an Acoustic Guitar?

Learning guitar could be a hard task whenever you’re a beginner. But, here are methods to easily learn without a hassle.


Use a Student Guitar for the Beginner.

If you are a beginner and you find it hard to learn how to play and master an acoustic guitar, it could be best if you use a student guitar. The student acoustic guitar is usually short and easy to learn, unlike the heavy acoustic guitar.

Also, the number of frets for a student guitar is less due to the narrowness of the neck. In addition, the fret size is lesser when compared to the regular acoustic guitar. So, whenever you find it difficult to learn the larger acoustic guitar, the student acoustic guitar could serve best for you.

Reduce the Guitar’s Action

When the guitar’s action is high, it could become almost impossible to play. To get an easy play, lower the action of the guitar. For that reason, you could check if the guitar has a truss rod. The truss rod is the metal rod on the guitar’s neck. You could use the rod to lower the guitar’s action, straighten or bend the guitar’s neck.

A guitar with a truss could be easy to use, but things may get difficult for you if it lucks. If your guitar has no truss rod, you’ll need to remove the guitar strings, nut, and bridge saddle. When done, you could now sand the saddle together with the nuts per your requirements and fit them into place.

Doing this could help in lowering the guitar’s action. Reducing the action without a truss rod could be best if you’re an expert.

Use a Narrow-Neck Acoustic Guitar.

The easiest way to learn this is by using a narrow-neck acoustic guitar. Besides, most people prefer to use narrow neck acoustic guitar. If you need to master tunes correctly and quickly, the narrow-neck acoustic guitar could make it possible for you.

Replace the Set of the Spring

As discussed earlier, using a greater gauge doesn’t mean it’s difficult to play. But according to your experience, when using the different gauges, you could find one harder for you. Choose a gauge that could serve you best without getting hurt to prevent difficulty when playing.


Naturally, acoustic guitars are hard to play. The most common causing problem is its heavy size. But other methods also influence the hardship when playing, including a wider neck and super-high action. If you want to reduce the difficulty, you must use a student guitar. A student guitar has minimized challenges, and it’s easy to play.

Sourav Biswas

Music is my life and I love to play guitar so much. It's been a part of me for as long as I can remember. I grew up in a musical family, and my parents were always supportive of my passion for music. I am also a freelance writer who has been writing for over 10 years. I have written for both online and offline publications, including Amazon and Medium.

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