Are Acoustic Guitar Batteries Interchangeable?


acoustic guitar | Sandy Music Lab

If the battery in your acoustic guitar has stopped working or is low on juice, you will need to replace it; otherwise, your sound won’t continue to reverberate. If you don’t have an extra battery at hand, you may look for other options, including batteries from a spare acoustic guitar. But are acoustic guitar batteries replaceable, and can you transfer a battery from one guitar to the other?

Acoustic guitar batteries are interchangeable as long as both guitars use the same type of battery. Most guitars use a 9V battery, and you can transfer the battery from one instrument to the other. However, you should always ensure your guitars use the same type of batteries before you attempt a transfer.

In this article, I’ll explain why acoustic guitars have batteries and cover how to change the battery in your acoustic guitar. I’ll also explore how long your batteries should last. 

Why Acoustic Guitars Have Batteries

When people think of an acoustic guitar, they think of an instrument they can play regardless of access to electricity. People rarely think of batteries and acoustic guitars in the same sentence. 

If you’ve never played an acoustic with a battery before, you may wonder why a guitar designed to be played without electricity requires a battery. 

The answer is simple. Some acoustic guitars come with a pickup system or onboard microphone in their design. 

This addition is incredibly useful for performers. It allows them to directly plug their guitar into an amplifier or PA system so that the music they are playing can reverberate across a space. 

This is also where the batteries come in. 

The most common pickup systems produce a relatively weak signal. A preamp is needed to boost that signal to line level, and the preamp can’t work without a power source – hence, the need for a battery. 

The battery acts as a power source for the preamp, allowing the music you’re playing to be amplified. 

Most guitars use a standard 9V battery. However, some acoustic guitars may require a different type. This is why it’s essential to know what battery your instrument uses before you plug it in.

If your guitar needs a 9V battery, I recommend the POWXS 9V Rechargeable Battery from Amazon.com. These four rechargeable batteries are very long-lasting – each battery can last up to 1300 recharging cycles, which means you’re unlikely to need to buy replacements anytime soon. It is also highly affordable. 

Why Acoustic Guitars Need Pickups

Essentially, acoustic guitars need batteries because they have pickups – but why do they have pickups in the first place?

Again, it’s a relatively simple answer. 

Without a pickup, the only way to amplify the sound of an acoustic guitar is to play your instrument in front of a microphone. This may seem like a good solution, and in a recording environment, it is. 

When you’re recording in a sound-controlled studio, playing an acoustic in front of a mic allows the recording equipment to capture both the natural characteristics and subtle overtones unique to your guitar. They help create a warmer, more genuine sound. 

However, in a live environment, the situation is different. 

Using a mic as an amplifier has two major drawbacks:

  • Mics tend to capture additional, environmental sounds as well as the music from your guitar. Not only can this affect your performance, it can also increase the risk of feedback disrupting your show. 
  • A smaller – but still significant – reason is that using a microphone forces you to stand in one place. You can’t move around while playing your guitar, which interferes with the natural playstyle of many artists. 

How Long Should Acoustic Guitar Batteries Last?

There are several factors that determine how long the battery in your guitar will last, including how frequently you use your guitar, how intensely you play it, and how often you leave your pickup plugged in. 

In general, the batteries in your acoustic guitar will last between 100 and 170 hours. However, you should always check to ensure that the battery has enough juice before using your guitar during a performance. 

You should take all the steps possible to extend the life of your guitar batteries. This way, if you do forget to check them before you appear on stage, there’s a lower risk of your batteries dying in the middle of a song. 

Here are some tips on how to extend the lifespan of your guitar batteries:

  • Turn off any unused features. This reduces the amount of “work” your battery needs to do, helping it last longer.
  • Confirm that you’re using a lithium-ion battery. You can also buy 9V alkaline batteries; however, these tend to have a shorter lifespan. 
  • Unplug your pickup when you’re not looking to amplify the sound of your guitar. As soon as your pickup is plugged in, the battery takes it as a sign to start working. So, unplugging it also allows your battery to rest.
  • Replace your battery if you notice that it’s starting to get tired. One way to identify if the battery is losing its power is if the amplified sound of your guitar starts to deteriorate or sound scratchy.  

You can also refer to this YouTube video from Studio 33 Guitar that explores why unplugging your guitar is an essential part of increasing your battery life:

Additionally, this YouTube video from Lisa McCormick explains why your guitar has batteries and what precautions you can take to protect both your battery and your guitar:

How To Change the Battery in Your Acoustic Guitar

As mentioned above, if your battery is dying, or if you don’t know how much time your current battery has left, you should change it before going on stage. Additionally, if your battery dies while you’re on stage, you’ll need to replace it with an extra battery or the battery from another instrument. 

No matter which situation you find yourself in, you’ll need to know how to change the battery in your acoustic guitar so that you can return to your performance. 

Here’s what you’ll need to do:

  1. Make sure your guitar is unplugged from the amp or PA system.
  2. Attach a capo to the first fret of your fretboard to protect the guitar strings. I recommend the WINGO Guitar Capo from Amazon.com. This option comes in three colors and can be used for both acoustic and electric guitars. It’s made of high-grade aluminum and silicone to protect your instrument from damage. Additionally, each capo comes with 5 high-quality medium picks. 
  3. In most cases, the battery is located inside the soundhole. If you have a small hand, you can reach in and feel for the battery directly. However, if your hand doesn’t fit inside the soundhole, you’ll need to unwind and detune your guitar to reduce the tension in the strings and make reaching into the soundhole easier. 
  4. Once you reach into the soundhole, feel around for a fabric bag. The battery will usually be within this bag. 
  5. Unsnap the battery from the wires. 
  6. Attach a new battery to the wires.
  7. Put the battery back into the fabric bag and attach the bag to the soundhole like it was when you opened it. 
  8. Tighten your strings if you have unwound them. 
  9. Take off the capo.
  10. Retune your guitar. You should return it even if you did not have to untune it – the process of removing and replacing the battery can cause the strings to be disturbed. 

You can also refer to this YouTube video from KLOS Guitars on how to change the battery in your guitar:

However, not all guitars have their batteries inside the soundhole. In some guitars, the batteries are installed into the body within a battery box. If this is the type of guitar you have, changing the batteries is very easy. 

Here’s what you’ll need to do:

  1. Make sure your guitar is unplugged from the amp or the PA system.
  2. Open the battery compartment or box. Some guitars may have battery compartments that are closed with a screw. So, you’ll need to unscrew the cover. 
  3. Remove the battery and replace it. Some of these battery systems don’t have any terminal determination, which means it doesn’t matter which end of the battery goes in first. All you need to do is take a battery of the right size and capacity and put it inside.
  4. Close the cover, screwing it on if necessary.

You can also refer to this YouTube video from Martin Guitar to get an idea of how to replace batteries that are installed into your acoustic guitar’s body:

Final Thoughts

While the idea of a battery in a guitar may seem counterintuitive, it can actually be an extremely useful addition for performance. If necessary, you can use batteries from one acoustic guitar in another acoustic guitar, as long as both instruments use the same type of battery. 

The battery in your guitar should last between 100-170 hours, as long as you don’t overuse it. However, if you’re unsure how much juice it has left, replace it with a new one before entering a performance. This reduces the risk that it will stop working part way through a song.

David Sandy

Hey there! My name is David Sandy and I'm the founder of Sandy Music Lab. I've been playing guitar for several years now and created this site to be able to share and explore music with others. Check out my recommended guitar gear!

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