Introduction to the Various Guitar Types
Learn about the various types of guitar. Here’s an introduction to the various guitar types, very useful if you intend to buy one for yourself.
Buying any musical instrument such as a guitar is a huge decision and also an investment for life. To top it, there is an added pressure of choosing the right kind of guitar!
There is always a sense of excitement and a thrill when you go to buy your very own guitar. It is a decision you take after much deliberation and the joy of owning a guitar for life is a dream for many music lovers. But to choose amongst the array of choices with such a wide variety of guitar’s can be very confusing and troubling. You do not want to end up buying the wrong kind and then regretting it. So, it is very important that you do a proper study of the various different kinds of guitars, to make it easier for you to choose your favorite among them.
Types of Guitar
Choosing a guitar solely depends on what you would like to play on it. Following are some of the different types of guitar that you can choose from: Classical, Acoustic, Steel, Electric, Twelve-string, Bass, Archtop
Most beginners do get started with an acoustic guitar, and it is also ideal for contemporary music.
These are dependent on their body shapes and structures to generate the sounds. Acoustic guitars are generally made out of wood, with the neck usually made from mahogany, and the fret board made from maple or rosewood. The strings are usually made of steel or nylon. Unlike electric guitars, don’t need external devices to enhance sounds.
Acoustic guitars are commonly found all across the world. The body of the acoustic guitar is large and hollow due to which the sound emanating from the strings is amplified when it comes from the sound chamber.
Lately there have been many variations of acoustic guitars available.
Classical guitar is also alternatively known as Spanish guitar because of its origins from Spain. They are traditionally used for playing classical music apart from many other diverse styles. It is usually made of wood with a large hollow sound box and the strings are made from nylon. Due to its flat, wide neck, it makes it easier for the guitarist to play scales and some other chord forms more easily with less interference from the adjacent strings. Classical guitars are best for playing classical or Spanish music. Flamenco guitars are almost similar to the classical guitar with very few exceptions.
Classical guitars produce whole sounds which are very pleasing to the ear. Flamenco guitars, on the other hand, produce crisper and thinner sounds than the other classical guitars.
These are similar to the classical guitar, but have much more solid construction. The bodies are significantly larger than the classical guitars, and they produce a warmer tone than the classical guitar.
Twelve String Guitar
As the name suggests, the twelve string guitar has twelve strings, six regular strings and six thinner strings. The second set of strings are tuned an octave higher, hence the strumming is loud with a depth of sound. It is a little hard to play and is a little more expensive than other guitars. However, these produce a semi-chorus effect which is very pleasant to the ears.
An Archtop guitar can either be acoustic or electric and derives its inspiration from instruments like the violin and the cello. The strings of the Archtop guitar are made of steel with a hollow or semi hollow body. An archtop guitar usually has the f-hole design, and are quite popular amongst country and jazz musicians.
Where a Twelve string guitar has twelve strings, the Bass guitar on the other hand comes with four or five strings. The strings are thicker and these guitars have a longer scale length. They are tuned just like the bottom four strings of the guitar but an octave lower because of which the kind of tones you can play on a bass guitar may be limited. Acoustic bass guitars are bass guitars without electronic pick-ups!
Coming to electric guitars, which also happens to be quite popular, these guitars employ electronic pick-ups to amplify the vibrations of the guitar strings.
These pickups convert the energy of the strings into electrical impulses, rather than directly converting them to sound, so that they can be amplified. The amplification is achieved using electric amplifiers.
Unlike acoustic guitars, these don’t use the body for sound resonance, so is you play them without an amplifier, they will make little or no sound at all.
Another important component on an Electric guitar is the control knob, and there can be multiple knobs. These are used for changing the volume or the tone of the guitar.
Some guitars may have knobs to select the pick-ups, as some electric guitars may use multiple pick-ups to produce different tones from the guitar.
Use the tone knob to shift from a bass-intensive sound to a treble-intensive sound or vice versa.
Most expensive guitars may also come with whammy bars, which are used to shift the notes without changing the finger positions on the fret board. Experienced guitarists use this feature a lot when performing rock and roll songs or even ballads.
If you are a beginner or intend to own a budget electric guitar, it is advisable to select one without whammy bar, as it may cause the strings to go out of tune.
So electric guitars need to be plugged to an electric amplifier for a good sound output, and to hear the various effects. They are very commonly used for rock, jazz, blues and pop music.
There are two basic shapes of the electric guitar, namely:
These design variations allows the player to try out various tones. However, an amplifier is important for an electric guitar, without which the guitar sounds very low and soft.
There is no doubt that the guitar is one of the most popular musical instruments today. But then there are different kinds of guitars that are available aimed at different kinds of guitar players. They all are different in terms of playability, overall appearance and sound quality.
Are you confused about which type of guitar you should buy? It is not surprising that you are. Buying the right kind of guitar is very important but it solely depends on what kind of music you prefer playing on a guitar. There are many varieties of guitar you can choose from such as Classical, Acoustic, Bass, Archtop guitar etc. Each of these has their own unique feature and specializes in playing varied tones and music. So, if you want to pick a guitar, just go ahead and choose the type most comfortable for you and keeping in mind your kind of music.