What Is the Difference Between an Electric and Acoustic Guitar?

The guitar is an extremely versatile instrument that can be used to play a wide range of music, from rock to folk to salsa and just about everything in between. For that reason, guitars Boston MA are an extremely popular instrument for people to want to pick up and learn. However, you have choices as to the type of guitar that you want to play. The most basic choice is electric versus acoustic, but how do you choose? What are the differences between the two?

Guitar Body

One of the most obvious differences between an electric and acoustic guitar is the body of the instrument. While the basic shape is often similar, acoustic guitars have a wider, thicker body that is hollow inside and has a sound hole in the front. Electric guitars are thinner but more solid. They do not have a sound hole because they do not need one.


Perhaps the most fundamental difference between the two is amplification, or the way that they deliver sound. Both types of guitars produce sound with the vibration of the strings. In an electric guitar, these vibrations are converted into electrical signals thanks to special devices called transducers. The electrical signals are then amplified with speakers.

The vibrations from the strings of an acoustic guitar are transmitted into the hollow body. The air inside the guitar body amplifies the sound. The amplified sound waves then exit through the sound hole on the front of the guitar body.

An acoustic guitar does not require electricity to amplify its sound. However, acoustic guitarists sometimes boost the amplification with microphones to reach a larger audience.


Electric guitars are a relatively recent innovation but may be older than you might think. They were first developed in the 1920s. Acoustic guitars, on the other hand, are much older, having been around since at least the 16th century. The staying power of the guitar in its various forms speaks to the high esteem in which musicians of all backgrounds hold it.