Electric bass guitar vs acoustic bass

In our review of the best electric bass guitar for beignners, we covered quite a few models that we felt was the best for the money. However, some of the readers might still be confused about whether to get an electric bass guitar vs an acoustic bass guitar. To help you get over this question, below is a detailed comparison guide between these two types of bass guitars.


Differences between electric bass and acoustic bass guitars

In this section, we will list some of the important distinctions between these two modes of guitars.


Use of Amps

An acoustic bass guitar doesn’t require an amp to play so it is easy to just pick up and play. The downside is that they can be too soft when played along other instruments on stage. Hence, using it as a bass will not be as effective as an electric bass guitar. This is the reason you don’t see acoustic bass being used often on stage by most professional players.

Depending on how you intend to use it, this can be either a strength or a weakness.



The tone produced by both types of guitars are pretty different from each other. There is no right or wrong answer here as it is up to personal preference on which tone they prefer. Some say that you can do anything on an electric bass guitar, including producing the same tone as an acoustic but that is simply not true. An acoustic bass has its own tone. Some love it while others are more neutral. The only thing you can say for sure is the tone from an acoustic bass guitar is more single dimension. (See below)



An electric bass guitar has more options when it comes to playing styles compared to an acoustic bass guitar which usually a more one dimensional tone. In addition, the eq shifts in the latter is less dramatic thus also reducing the impact of style changes on the sound. Finally, there is no pick ups that allows you to place your thumb if you are playing an acoustic, which again limits your versatility.


Guitar Wrist Pain

Wrist pain is a common problem for many guitar players. One of the reason is that the guitar can be the thick body which imposes a lot of stress on the player’s wrist. Acoustic bass guitar unfortunately falls into this category. Their bodies are generally thicker than electric bass guitars and hence has a higher chance on causing wrist pain when played over an extended period of time. Of course, you can always do some wrist strengthening exercises to overcome this problem but if you have a weak wrist, you might want to consider this carefully.



On average, an acoustic bass guitar is more expensive, although you don’t need to buy an additional amp.



After understanding the difference between electric bass and acoustic bass guitar, you can better decide what is best for you. If you are buying it for gig playing, I would prefer the former. If it just for sole playing and you love the acoustic tone, then go for the latter.


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