I've recently bought an electric guitar and I'm wondering can I make my electric guitar sound like a semi acoustic one... What should my amp settings be. Any help is much appreciated :)

  • 1
    I played with an amp simulator trying to "fake" the acoustic sound. The closest I got was by chaining several EQ effects, very aggressively cutting frequency bands, then shaping the results, then cutting again. The result was more the sound of a mic'd or amplified acoustic rather than that of nice acoustic in a decent setting to a natural ear.
    – Yorik
    Oct 29, 2015 at 19:10
  • It depends how acoustic you want to be. Using low volume and low tone on guitar may sound little bit acoustic see youtube.com/watch?v=YUdq59CRcxk Anyway there are digital effects that try to fake acoustic guitar.
    – teodozjan
    Dec 22, 2015 at 18:06
  • A summary of 4 guitar pedals that simulate acoustic guitar sounds is at songsimian.com/best-acoustic-simulator-pedal-review
    – guitartime
    Oct 5, 2016 at 8:28

5 Answers 5


The way your electric guitar sounds will have a great deal to do with the type of guitar and the type pickups and possible combinations it has. Also the strings you use might affect the tone to some extent.

There are many electric guitars that add an acoustic sounding piezo pickup under the bridge that are intended to provide a more realistic acoustic guitar sound, but the better ones made by Taylor and Parker tend to be on the pricey side. So I am going to assume that you want to use the guitar you have.

You are shooting for a "clean" sound to get closer to the acoustic sound. You don't want any distortion or flange. If your amp has a "clean" setting, use that.

For pickups, it depends on your guitar, but generally using one pickup (versus blending two together) will give you a cleaner, more acoustic like sound. To find the best settings for your particular equipment will require a little trial and error. Listen to each pickup starting with the tone control set in the middle - on both guitar and amp. Once you isolate the pickup that comes closest to the sound you are aiming for, start playing with the tone controls, starting with the guitar tone control, then maybe try tweaking the tone control on the amp.

In my experience, the tone control set closer to the bass or low end tend to sound more like an acoustic than if turned towards the treble end.

Another idea you might consider is using a simulator effect pedal that has an "acoustic guitar" setting on it. These attempt to mold and shape the signal from your guitar's pickups into a more acoustic sound envelope.

Good luck and enjoy your new electric guitar.

  • 1
    I'd be tempted to go for just a hint of chorus, to try to get some of the "resonance" one gets from a nice hollow box. Oct 25, 2015 at 18:58
  • 1
    I think that might sound a bit off. Maybe instead, a reverb effect with a 5-8 second life and no delay would be best. Perhaps cut off high frequencies.
    – shaunxer
    Oct 5, 2016 at 20:06

All responses here seem to assume that Cherubim Anand wants their electric guitar to sound like an acoustic guitar. My interpretation of the question is that they simply wish their guitar to sound like a semi-acoustic instrument, such as Gibson ES-355 or other electric guitar with a solid central block and hollow wings.

Semi-acoustic guitars can, and will, sound like solid-bodied guitars, because there is very little difference, beyond some construction methods, between the two. If you cut an ES-355 either side of the central block you would be left with a solid instrument with two humbucker, or P90, pickups. The bridge, pickups and neck all attach to this central section, and for this reason I believe the hollow sections contribute very little to the overall tone of an ES-355 that is measurable, demonstrable and repeatable.

What may change is the playing style of the player. Semi-hollow guitars tend to be larger and less easy to 'throw around'. Jazz guitarists, and some blues musicians, typically use heavier gauges of string. Some even use flatwound strings. A classic 'jazz' tone would simply be a guitar strung with heavier gauge (think 12s or 13s) or even flatwound strings, the neck humbucker (wound to traditional PAF or T-top specs) or P90 selected running into a totally clean solid state amp, with no risk of breakup. I'm picturing a Roland JC-120 or a Polytone Mini Brute.


The trick is to give the feeling of tight space. Since you want a semi-hollow body and not a full hollow body, like an acoustic, then all you need to do is a emulate an acoustic with less space.

Try this out: Med-High reverb (depends on amp model, but generally around level 6 or 7) Tone knob near to 0 (cut-off high frequency) Medium-high bass, low treble


I haven't had much experience in this area but here is a couple of things I know.

An acoustic guitar has its sound mainly due to the hollow body, wood types, nut and bridge, and the types of pickups. The guitar sounds can also be changed by different effects.

Obviously you can't get a hollow body onto your electric guitar easily so I will pass that by.

Wood types barely affect tone on an electric so I will also pass that by.

The nut and bridge of an electric affect the tone of an electric greatly. I have a hybrid acoustic and electric guitar called an ibanez montage which has acoustic bridges and nuts so it can have an acoustic sound and an electric sound. If you want to mimic an acoustic guitar bridge you could place some type of cloth under the nut and bridge to have a 'softer' bridge and therefore affect the tone slightly. The only problem is that this may mute your guitar instead of doing what you want it to.

The types of pickups can effect your guitars sound heaps. On my hybrid guitar there is two types of pickups, a magnetic pickup and a piezo pickup. These are both used to mimic the sounds of each type of guitar. But they are placed with different wood thicknesses around them to help. The best example of pickups you could use to mimic the acoustic sound is a clip on piezo pickup, otherwise known as a contact mic. Place this on the head of the guitar.

The effects can also effect guitar sound. Duh. I don't have much experience with using effects for this purpose but I will try tell you what I know. I have heard of acoustic guitar simulator pedals in the past but I don't think they would give the best quality sound. From my experience and electric guitar gives more of a crunch in its sound and has more higher pitched overtones. To reduce this crunch a compressor could be used. Compressors are usually used to stop crazy singer from damaging sensitive speakers but their effect could help you. You could use some type of auto tune which should also reduce this crunch. A sort of reverb or echo adjustment could give more of an acoustic sound. Adjusting the eq and tone could also stop these higher frequencies.

Hope this helps. Good luck. :)


Put your pickups all the way to the left or towards you. Tone and volume up (on the guitar). Treble - 7 Mid - 0 and Bass - 10. Clean tone

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