How to make an acoustic guitar an acoustic electric guitar

Written by blake guthrie
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How to make an acoustic guitar an acoustic electric guitar
A sound hole pickup

Installing a sound hole pickup is the easiest way to make an acoustic guitar an acoustic/electric. Many acoustic guitars are sold with pickups already installed under the bridge. If yours doesn't already have a pickup installed, here's a quick way to electrify your acoustic.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Sound hole pickup
  • Amplifier or PA system.

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  1. 1

    Measure the width of the sound hole on your acoustic and compare it to the width of the pickup. If the measurements don't match, check for grooves in the sides of the pickup. Chances are it will fit, unless you have a smaller-model guitar, such as a kids' or backpacker acoustic guitar, or an older-model folk guitar. The sound holes on modern regular and jumbo-sized acoustic guitars are standard.

  2. 2

    Make sure the pickup you purchase has a cable attached to it, with a quarter-inch insert plug at the other end. This will connect you to the amplifier or PA system. This cable will run from the pickup in the sound hole, along the outside of the guitar and into the amp.

  3. 3

    Insert the pickup into the sound hole first, then plug in the cable. The most popular types of sound hole pickups will fit right in without having to use fasteners or screws. This allows you to turn the pickup a few degrees in either direction to suit your strumming and picking style.

Tips and warnings

  • Make sure your pickup is a nonpermanent, self-installing sound hole pickup, such as the Dean Markley ProMag, the most common form in use.
  • Any pickup that needs to be permanently wired and requires holes to be drilled in the body of the guitar should only be installed by a professional luthier. Attempting to do this kind of work yourself may result in a severely damaged guitar.

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