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Acoustic versus Electric – Winner Takes All

by recycler on July 17, 2012

The great debate is finally put to rest!

Join us as we discuss which is better: Acoustic or Electric—and finally put the argument to an end with a definitive answer.

Round 1 – The Sound

Acoustic: The acoustic instrument started it all. Long before there were electric instruments, or electricity even, people have been playing acoustic guitars, pianos, drums, and, well, everything—creating beautiful and awe-inspiring music.

The world’s great composers worked with acoustic instruments, nothing but man and man-made instruments producing the sounds of our history, telling the stories of the human experience. And composers and musicians still use acoustic instruments today to create wonderful pieces of harmony—across all genres of music.

If you have heard the warmth and depth of the perfect acoustic guitar, you know that the acoustic sound is one that isn’t going away.

Electric: The bad boy. The rebel. The outlaw. The electric instrument provides an edgy and dangerous sound—one that kicks butt, rocks out, and never asks questions. It can be manipulated and stretched with amplifiers and sound pedals and synthesizers; creating sounds no one has ever heard (just think of that!) or mimic most any sound.

It lacks the warmth of acoustic guitars (but can get near close in imitation) but adds something to music that acoustic could never dream. For some genres, it is the only sound that can work; while others it might not fit.

Winner: This was a close call. Both electric instruments and acoustic instruments offer something the other can’t; however, the sounds of electric drums and keyboards are not enough to put them over the top of the legendary acoustic sounds of man. This one goes to acoustic instruments!

Round 2 – Cool Factor

Acoustic: OK, so the acoustic sound is great, but is it cool? Of course “cool” is ineffable, subjective, and nebular, but somehow we all have an instinct sense of what cool is and what is not.

Acoustic instruments are like hipsters. The coolness of the acoustic instrument is based around the fact that acoustic instruments don’t try to be cool. In their indifference, acoustic instrument try to take on a simple and unassuming cool factor.

However, they are a bit dated (classic?) and, besides drums, generally for a softer side of music, like folk (though the strings are still able to rock pretty hard). What acoustic instruments have in nonchalance and class, they lack in edge.

Electric: Catching the cool factor of electric instruments gets complicated. The electric guitar, for example, is hands down the coolest instrument available. The sharp edge of an amped axe is unmatched when it comes to raw coolness.

Rock music, the medium of cool, is nothing without the electric guitar.The Blues, the father of Rock, evolved because of the electric guitar. On the other hand, the electric keyboards and drums are both kind of lame. They have their niche, but all in all, they scream cool like an accordion screams cool (the accordion is not as popular an instrument, so it doesn’t count as much against acoustic instruments).

But is the squaresville quality of electric keyboard and drums enough to destroy the abundance of cool oozing from the electric guitar?

Winner: So which is cooler, the classic cool of acoustic instruments or the modern edgy cool of electric instruments? Both families of instruments have strong points, increasing coolness, and both have real cool killers.

However, no amount of dorky instruments can take away from the totally, over-the-top, unparalleled cool of the electric guitar. This one has to go to electric, which reinvented cool.

Round 3 – The Decision

It all comes down to this! While acoustic instruments have the sound, as the originators of music, the instruments that started it all—the electric class has the cool, which redefined music and made Rock and Roll possible. So without further ado…

The Decision: It’s a draw! Just kidding. We’re giving this one to the acoustic.

Both electric and acoustic instruments are important and both can make amazing sounds, sparking within its listeners every emotion; however, the breadth of the acoustic sound and its ability to still be cool after all theses years (even if not as cool as the electric guitar) gives it the edge over the edgy sound of electric instruments.

The symphony, for example, just would not be the same with plugged in violins and cellos—not to mention the inability to electrify wind instruments! And where electric is the preferred sound of rock, acoustic instruments can still get the job done.

Put this one in the books, acoustic instruments are still king!



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