Can You Play Acoustic Songs on an Electric Guitar?


The electric guitar is a versatile instrument that can be used to play a wide range of musical genres. While it is most commonly associated with rock and roll, the electric guitar can also be used to play other styles of music, such as blues, jazz, country, and even heavy metal. But, can you play acoustic songs on an electric guitar?

Yes, you can play acoustic songs on electric guitar, and also you can play electric guitar music on acoustic.

The electric guitar has a distinctive sound that is created by the interaction between the strings and the pickups. The pickups are coils of wire that are wrapped around magnets.

African man and Caucasian man playing guitar

When the strings vibrate, they create a magnetic field that interacts with the pickups, causing them to emit a signal that is then amplified through an amplifier.

In this blog post, we’ll look into the differences between the two guitars and discuss how to play acoustic songs on an electric guitar.

The Differences Between Acoustic Guitar and Electric Guitar

While acoustic and electric guitars are both string instruments, they have several key differences.

Perhaps the most obvious difference is in their design; acoustic guitars have a hollow body that amplifies the sound of the strings, while electric guitars have a solid body with one or more pickups that convert the vibrations of the strings into electrical signals.

Another key difference is how they are played; electric guitars typically require a guitar amplifier to produce a loud sound, while acoustic guitars can be played unplugged.

 In addition, electric guitars typically have more buttons and switches than acoustic guitars, which gives them a more comprehensive range of sounds that they can produce. The two types of guitar also require different techniques to play.

For example, electric guitarists often use techniques such as finger-tapping and palm-muting to create distinctive sounds, while acoustic guitarists tend to use their fingers or picks to strum chords.

Finally, different musical genres often use acoustic and electric guitars differently; acoustic guitars are more prevalent in folk and country music, while electric guitars are more prevalent in rock and blues.

Can You Play Acoustic Songs on an Electric Guitar?

Yes, you can play acoustic songs on the electric guitar, and you can also play electric guitar music on the acoustic.

Acoustic guitars are designed to be played unplugged, without amplification. On the other hand, electric guitars are meant to be played throughout a musical.

Playing electric guitar

As a result, acoustic and electric guitars tend to have different construction and tonal qualities. Most acoustic songs can be played on an electric guitar, but they will likely sound different than they would on an acoustic guitar.

The body of an acoustic guitar is designed to resonate, producing a full, rich sound. The body of an electric guitar is much narrower, allowing the strings to vibrate more freely and create a brighter, twangier sound.

Electric guitars also have heavier gauge strings, making them harder to play for some people. Electric guitars are generally better suited for the rock and blues genres, while acoustic guitars are better suited for folk and country genres.

However, playing an acoustic guitar song on an electric guitar can be achieved with a few changes. Your electric guitar can still produce beautiful musical sounds.

There are a few things to remember when playing acoustic songs on electric guitar.

Playing Acoustic Songs on Electric Guitar

Tune off the Distortion on the Amplifier

The first thing you’ll want to do when playing an acoustic song on an electric guitar is to turn off the distortion on your amplifier. This will help to replicate the sound of an acoustic guitar more closely.

You may also want to experiment with the other settings on your amplifier, such as the EQ, reverb, and delay, to find the perfect sound for your song.

Change the Strings

You may want to consider changing the strings on your electric guitar. Acoustic guitars typically have lighter gauge strings, which are easier to press down.

You’ll also want to use light gauge strings on your electric guitar to make it easier to play.

Use a Capo

A capo is a device that attaches to the neck of the guitar and alters the pitch of the strings. You can raise the guitar’s pitch using a capo without changing the tuning.

This can be a great help when playing acoustic songs on electric guitar, as it allows you to retain the song’s original sound while still being able to hear yourself over the amplifier.

In addition, using a capo can also help to create a fuller sound, as it effectively increases the number of strings being played.

Choose the Right Pickup

The role of pickup on the guitar is to amplify the sound of the strings. The placement of pickups on different guitars can vary, but they are typically located near the bridge or neck of the instrument.

Different pickups can produce different sounds, so you’ll need to choose the right pickups. If you want to replicate the sound of an acoustic guitar, you’ll want to select the neck pickups.

Choose the Right Sounds

Since electric guitars typically have a more comprehensive range of sounds than acoustic guitars, it’s essential to find the right sound for the song.

For example, if you’re playing a soft ballad, you’ll want to use a smoother, more mellow sound. On the other hand, if you’re playing a fast-paced rock song, you’ll want to use a heavier, more distorted sound.

The most important thing is to use your ears and experiment until you find a sound you like. You might even come up with a new sound that you prefer to the original.

Use Palm Muting

Palm-muting is a technique that guitarists often use to achieve a particular sound. When palm muting, the guitarist places their hand close to the guitar’s bridge and lightly rests their palm on the strings.

This dampens the strings and results in a more muted sound. Palm-muting is often used when playing acoustic songs on an electric guitar, as it helps to give the piece a more mellow and intimate feel.

In addition, you can also use palm-muting to add texture and interest to a song. For example, the guitarist can create a more subtle and subdued sound by palm muting the strings during specific passages.

This can be particularly effective in contrast with other, more heavily-textured song parts.

Use Acoustic Simulator Pedal

Acoustic simulator pedals are a great way to get that classic acoustic guitar sound when playing electric guitar. Here are some tips on how to use them:

First, make sure the pedal is set up correctly. Plug the input into your guitar, and the output should go to your amplifier.

Next, select the right setting on the pedal. Try using “normal” or “flat” for a more natural sound. If you want more of an acoustic sound, try the “Jumbo” or “Bass” setting.

You can also experiment with the EQ controls to find the perfect sound for your song. Finally, don’t forget to turn up the volume on your amplifier when using an acoustic simulator pedal – otherwise, you won’t hear the effect!

With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to get great results when playing acoustic songs on electric guitar.

Pros of Playing Electric Guitar on Acoustics Songs

  • Electric guitars offer a versatile range of tones that can enhance the sound of acoustic songs.
  • The variety in the electric guitar can add interest and texture to an acoustic song and help to fill out the sound of a solo performance.
  •  Additionally, electric guitars can be played at a louder volume than acoustic guitars, making them ideal for gigging musicians who need to be heard over a band.
  • Electric guitars are less likely to have feedback than acoustic guitars, making them a good choice for musicians looking to avoid unwanted noise during their performances.
  • Also, electric guitars are much easier to play than acoustics. The strings are closer together, making it easier to form chords. They are also lighter, so your hands won’t get as tired.

Cons Pros of Playing Electric Guitar on Acoustics Songs

  • Electric guitars can be more expensive than acoustic guitars.
  • They also require an amplifier, which can add to the overall cost.
  • Electric guitars can be more difficult to transport than acoustic guitars, as they must be plugged into an amp.
  • Electric guitars may not be the best choice for beginners, as they can be harder to play than acoustics.


You can use electric guitars to play acoustic songs, but they may not produce the same sound as an acoustic guitar. The type of pickups and strings that are used will impact the sound that is made.

Additionally, how the guitar is played can also affect the sound. Acoustic guitars have a unique sound often desired for certain types of music. Electric guitars can mimic this sound, but they will never completely replicate it.

For this reason, many acoustic guitarists prefer to use acoustic guitars for their music. However, electric guitars can still be an excellent option for playing acoustic songs, especially if the guitarist is looking for a different sound.

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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