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Five Tips for Being a Smarter Acoustic Player

(Image credit: Cindy Moorhead)

Electric guitar and acoustic guitar are two very different beasts. So why is it so many electric guitarists try to apply the same techniques when they play an acoustic?

In this excellent instruction video, Jim Lill offers five ways that we can all become smarter acoustic guitarists. He points out some of the critical errors electric guitarists typically make when they play an acoustic and offers some great advice on dynamics, chording, soloing and when to use a mic or a D.I. box.

“Playing acoustic guitar is an art and a craft all by itself, different from any other instrument, including electric guitar,” Jim says. “But since acoustic guitars are widely available and you can get them for really cheap and it’s not that hard to learn how to strum a couple chords on them, they’re used really often as a vehicle for other things, like songwriting and singing.

“And that’s kind of where problems happen—when acoustic guitar is being used but it’s not really being thought about. So I’m here to help you think about it.”

One of Jim’s five tips has to do with using open chords rather than barre chords. As it happens, he’s shared 14 of his favorite easy but interesting open chords in previous lessons. You can find the first seven here and the others here.

Take a look at the clip. And when you’re finished, head over to Jim’s YouTube channel for more of his great videos, many of which we’ve featured here. Be sure to give his videos a “like” and leave a note of thanks.

In addition, check out his Back from the Gig podcast, where Jim talks about the life of a gigging guitarist and gives you a chance to ask him questions.

Finally, follow Jim on Facebook and check out his website, where you can find more lessons and MP3s and purchase his e-book, The Graphic Guide to Country Guitar. You can also join his mailing list to get immediate updates on videos.

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