Can Acoustic Guitar Sound Like Electric?


You could modify acoustic guitars like any other musical instrument to meet your preference. Although it is possible to adjust, can acoustic guitars sound like electric?

It is possible to make acoustic guitars sound like electric. However, you’ll need certain modifications to achieve the results. You could do this by equipping the pickup with the electric guitar amp. Also, you could adjust EQ to initiate high-range frequencies. You should also use a sound hole cover which helps limit feedback, producing more electric sound from the acoustic guitar.

Having knowledge of how to modify acoustic guitar to sound electric is important. When playing music, you may require electric guitars while you only have acoustic. So, you’ll accrue the benefits of changing your acoustic sound to electric. For example, you’ll save money that you would have used in purchasing an electric guitar.

Learn how you can modify your acoustic sound electric here in this article:

How Can You Make Acoustic Guitar Into an Electric?

If you want to make acoustic guitar electric, you could start by changing it to be an acoustic-electric. To turn it, you clip on the pickup or equip the preamp with wireless vibration. But you can also install the pickup into the acoustic guitar.

Woman Sitting Holding Acoustic Guitar

Clip-on Pickup

You can use the clip-on pickup if you want to use the lowest value in changing your acoustic guitar to electric. Most players refer to them as microphone pickups. They are the cheapest and easy to install. But, for the wireless guitar likers, this could not be the option due to the cables used.

Install Vibration Response Preamp

If you want a wireless option for the acoustic guitar you want to modify, installing a vibration response preamp could greatly help. The procedure is easy:

Start by installing the transmitter behind the acoustic guitar bridge. Then, plug the receiver into your PA system or the interface. With everything in place, start playing the instrument.

Installing the Pickup

Install pickup is the most time-consuming task, whether you’re a professional or a beginner. But the time taken entirely depends on the type of pickup you want to install. The two types of pickups you could use for your acoustic guitar are Piezo and Sound-hole. Among the two, piezo is the most complicated and time-consuming when installed. Both of the pickups require drilling when installing, and this could be the reason why they are time-consuming.

However, although Piezo is the most complicated and has difficulties installing, it produces less feedback. While for the Sound-hole pickups, you can easily install them; they are among the best sound warmers.

My Recommended: 3 Best Acoustic-Electric Guitars

How Can You Change Acoustic-Electric to Electric Guitar Tone?

After you’ve modified the acoustic guitar, you could now want to change its tone to sound exactly like that of the electric guitar. You should know that although you modify, there is a difference in the tone produced to that of an electric guitar. The difference is:

  • The acoustic-electric guitar’s sound feedback suffers more than that of an electric guitar
  • The acoustic-electric guitar’ tone is warmer than that of the electric guitar.
  • Also, you’ll find more resonance in an acoustic-electric guitar than in an electric guitar.

However, if you want to modify the tone of an acoustic-electric guitar easily, you can plug the guitar into an electric guitar amp and then adjust the EQ so that it favors high-range frequencies. If you want to reduce feedback, you could use a noise-gate or the sound-hole cover and apply compression to make the tone livelier.

Acoustic guitar playing

Do you want to learn the crucial tips for making acoustic-guitar sound electric? Well, learn the tips here:

  • Use the amplifier of an electric guitar.
  • Adjust EQ so that it favors treble sound but not bass.
  • Add compressions and delay at times.
  • Avoid fuzz, overdrive, and distortion.
  • Place a piece of paper on the fretboard to provide a crunchier tone.
  • Prefer the Piezo pickups but not the sound-hole pickups or microphonic.
  • If you want to limit the sound produced, use the sound-hole cover.
  • You can also prefer using the noise-gate pedal.

Advantages of acoustic over electric guitars:

Acoustic guitarsElectric guitars
Are easy to learn and masterRequire a long time to learn and master
They are cheapThey are expensive to buy and maintain

To get how the tips perform, let us discuss them in detail.

Use the Amplifier of an Electric Guitar.

If you want the sound of an acoustic-electric guitar, the best choice of amplifier to use is that of an electric guitar. Such amplifiers are designed to produce frequencies of electric guitars or models so that the sound produced will be that of an electric guitar. However, if you want no distortion when aiming for higher volume, use a valve (tube) amplifier with lots of headroom. But, you could also use a solid-state amplifier whenever it’s the only option.

Adjust EQ So That It Favors Treble Sound but Not Bass

The sound of an electric guitar is sharper and brighter, unlike that of an acoustic-electric which is warmer and more mellow. So you could adjust the amp’s EQ to favor treble sound rather than bass. This could be the quickest way to make the tone of an acoustic-electric guitar sound electric.

However, you could find some of the amps having an EQ setting. In such an amp, you can adjust the tone. But some of the amps have separate treble, mid and bass controls. Here is how you can use such options:

The EQ– use it to turn controls that favor high-range frequencies, and it could produce a brighter and more defined tone.

Bass– turn it down so that the booming tone can reduce.

Mid– in the beginning, maintain it neutral and adjust it later after the rest of the settings are tweaked.

Treble– if you want the tone to sound sharper, turn this setting up.

Add compressions, delay, and delay at times.

Whenever you want to emulate electric guitar sound, you could use some effects. The recommended and best sound effects are compression, reverb, and delay. These effects entirely depend on the tone you want to use. Compression is the known sound effect that can make the tone sound electric.

Avoid Fuzz, Overdrive, and Distortion.

The body of an acoustic guitar is hollow. The hollow body makes the guitar suffer more of the feedback when you plug the amplifier. This could be due to the resonated sound from the sound-hole. This affects the sound quality; it’s the one responsible for the feedback problems.

The feedback isn’t an issue whenever the tone is clean, but it becomes an unbearable issue whenever you use fuzz, distortion, or overdrive.


The tone of an acoustic guitar can sound electric. But you will need modifications on the acoustic guitar to achieve the sound. You can do so by equipping the amplifier with the electric guitar’s pickup. The adjust EQ so that you initiate higher-range frequencies. If you want to limit the feedback, use the hole-cover. With all that done, the sound produced will sound exactly like that of an electric guitar.

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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