Why do I need an Acoustic?

Discussion in 'Gretsch "Roots" Acoustic Forum' started by Randy99CL, Sep 16, 2021.

  1. Randy99CL

    Randy99CL Country Gent

    Feb 17, 2020
    I've collected quite a few guitars but they are all electric. I love the necks on most of them, they're not too big or bulky and are mostly comfortable and easy to play. I own four semi or hollowbodies that sound great unplugged and make me think I don't really need an acoustic guitar.

    A year ago I bought one cheap acoustic when it was on an irresistible sale but the neck was twisted and unplayable so promptly returned it.

    So why do most players say we all need an acoustic guitar? I don't plan to sit in any folk "jams" and would probably rather play my G5129 there anyway.
    What is different about the playability of an acoustic that makes it a must? What am I missing out on?

  2. G5422T

    G5422T Country Gent

    May 24, 2012
    For the same reason everyone needs a Tele.

    When you find "it" you'll know.


    And you'll love every minute with it.
  3. blueruins

    blueruins Country Gent

    May 28, 2013
    Savannah, GA
    If you can’t hear the difference what good would an explanation do:D
  4. Gretschzilla

    Gretschzilla Electromatic

    Apr 20, 2021
    Saint Paul, MN USA
    For me, I like the sound. It’s louder than my Smoke so I can do a little more with it. I guess the acoustic feels like a ‘must have’ because I can better hear the little things I do to give my playing character. I can hear those things quite well when my electrics are plugged into my amps. But my Smoke does not project nearly as dynamically (unplugged) as my Taylor acoustic.

    I think if you play a high quality acoustic, you might talk yourself into it. It’s just… different. But maybe not a must have for everybody.
  5. oneforsorrow

    oneforsorrow Synchromatic

    May 15, 2020
    You never know from where inspiration will come.
  6. section2

    section2 Country Gent

    Dec 21, 2016
    If you're happy without an acoustic, then you don't need one!

    I like to use my acoustics for recording, and for playing unplugged around the house. As nice as my hollow bodies sound unplugged, my acoustics sound richer and fuller and louder. I do find that my dreadnought is bulky enough that I don't often pick it up, though. I've really been enjoying my new parlour guitar, which is just the right size for everyday playing.

    But that's me. I got into playing guitar to accompany myself while I sing, so I get plenty of use out of the acoustics. My brother, on the other hand, is a lead guitarist (and a better player than I'll ever be), and he has no need for an acoustic. He loaned his acoustic to a bandmate of mine 25 years ago and never asked for it back. So to each their own!
  7. radd

    radd Country Gent

    Dec 27, 2017
    Playing guitar
    If an acoustic does not touch you in some way, you don’t need one.

    I played my Tennessee Rose much of the afternoon and loved it. I just put my Martin D-18 back in its case after playing it this evening and picked up my iPad and saw this thread. Both guitars are very different yet both were wonderful experiences.

    I can’t explain what the sound of a good Dreadnought does for me, it is truly intoxicating.
  8. NJDevil

    NJDevil Synchromatic

    Jul 9, 2014
    Commack, NY
    This exactly with the exception I do not have a Smoke so I'll replace that with my 5126("woodier" sounding than my Black Phoenix).

    Then there is the easiest answer that if you are hearing songs played with an acoustic and if you would like to create the same, then you too would then need the acoustic. However, there are a ton of uses an acoustic has for "just the electric guitar player". Here are a few:

    The tone and resonance is a completely different dynamic which will allow you to hear material you play on your electrics in an entirely different way.

    -- You want to hear mistakes. Yes, we all make them and subjective? Yes, but the mistake is identified easier/better by really letting you hear what you wanted vs. what you played. The foundation of your playing comes out easier on an acoustic.

    -- It will allow you to experiment with your attack and you will be surprised just what you can do vs. what you have been doing.......there are a ton of specifics I could provide with this.

    -- I solo a lot but I practice many of the solos first on the acoustic. It brings out the required fundamentals and there isn't anything but your fingers, wood and strings to tell you if you are on the right path. Can you do the same on the electric? Ehhhhh, kind of but really with nowhere near the same "transparency".

    This is just a few bits but many of us are inclined to hear what we want out of our electrics. Why? Many possibilities. 1 is tone....oh the tone is perfect so my playing must be great. Right? Usually not. The tone supersedes the quality of what we wanted to play and then we don't hear our mistakes.

    Neck profiles are varied throughout the acoustic world so don't let that detract you from getting one. Look at a few Guild models as I remember some of their acoustic profiles 1 11/16" wide at the nut vs. my Taylor which is 1.75" wide.

    Seriously dive into it, try many, and get one. In time, I really think you will be thrilled with what it does to your playing.
  9. Rusty Chops

    Rusty Chops Electromatic

    Sep 8, 2021
    Redding, CA
    Depends on who you hang and play with.
    In acoustic circles, the nuances cost more money if you want that really nice acoustic thing.
    It takes on a life of its own.

    I started on acoustic (decades ago) and have had some great ones.

    I discovered that electrics have “power steering,” and remembered that when I got old and arthritic.

    Don’t presently own an acoustic. When I go camping I have a low wattage battery amp.
    I use a maple necked guitar for the power steering.

  10. G5422T

    G5422T Country Gent

    May 24, 2012
    Playing and mindset.
    Craig Encinitas and Archtops like this.
  11. Archtops

    Archtops Country Gent

    Mar 4, 2021
    So you can sit strumming in the park and wow the chics with your beautiful acoustic and angelic voice.
  12. dougmon

    dougmon Synchromatic

    Jan 9, 2013
    Why do you need an acoustic? I can't say why exactly. You just do.

    Ok, seriously, you're not always going to want to set up an electric. And if you play some familiar stuff on acoustic, it's possible that you'll hear things in a different way that could change your electric playing for the better.

    Also, serenading the one you love is way more effective on an acoustic.
  13. G5422T

    G5422T Country Gent

    May 24, 2012
    Well, that's what I did with mine 50 years ago. It worked very well.

    One fact, my Martin has aged far better than I over 50 years.

    Better than the chicks too.

  14. juks

    juks Country Gent

    Nov 26, 2020
    Fremont, California
    I've never owned a true acoustic. I had a cheapo resonator that somebody had added a piezo in. But traded that in. I would want to have a full metal body resonator that has factory build pick up.
  15. wabash slim

    wabash slim Gretschified

    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    My acoustic is always at hand for when the Muse strikes.
    It's great for when the rest of the house is asleep.
    Take it anywhere, anytime.
    My Martin Backpacker will even double as a canoe paddle.
    Acoustics were around before electrics. They're the progenitors.
    A hollow body is just an acoustic with electronics stuck on it.
    They're a different experience than an electric.
    What else could you use when the power goes out?
  16. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Admin Post
    I don’t think that stating we all need an acoustic is a bit broad. The only guitar I have which is even slightly an acoustic is my Godin Nylon Duet. In all the years I’ve played, I have only had one flattop and a few floating-pickup acoustic archtops. For playing alone, any of my four Gretsch are more than adequate. If I want something very quiet, I grab one of my Teles.

    I see the various flavors of guitars as different instruments in the guitar family, much like a trumpet, vs a cornet, vs a flugelhorn. If you can play one, you can transition to the other fairly easily, but each requires its own approach. I can play a flattop successfully, but I’m a lot more comfortable with a thin archtop.
  17. Randy99CL

    Randy99CL Country Gent

    Feb 17, 2020
    Thanks for most of the responses!
    Sorry I didn't make myself clearer. I'm still a beginner and still struggling to learn and build up my arms and hands.

    Quite a few teachers recommend beginners buy both Elec and Acoustic. Something about the A being harder to play with higher action, thicker strings and different spacing so helps with overall fingering, hand and finger strength?
  18. calebaaron666

    calebaaron666 Friend of Fred

    Aug 15, 2018
    Portland, Maine
    It’s easier to spoil house parties, backyard BBQs, or any and every other variety of social event when you bring an acoustic guitar. Just start singing and playing “Friend of The Devil” or “Free Bird” and see what happens.
    People just LOVE it.
    Archtops, radd, Viking Power and 7 others like this.
  19. NJDevil

    NJDevil Synchromatic

    Jul 9, 2014
    Commack, NY
    Nice Randy! As a beginner, you are doing the most wise of actions and that is asking questions!!! Beginner-intermediate, intermediate, recording pro......it doesn't matter what the skill level as there is always one more thing out there to learn we previously didn't know.

    I'm pretty advanced in the gym in both experience and skill, and as good as I think I am, the next day presents the opportunity to get better. Asking questions really is the practice of the wise!!

    Have fun playing!!
    BuddyHollywood, mrfixitmi and G5422T like this.
  20. thunder58

    thunder58 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    Admin Post
    @Randy99CL , just put a Martin in your hands .... like a D-18 / D-28 /D-35 / D13e ...... you'll get it , believe me ;)
    Archtops and mrfixitmi like this.
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