Guitars are one of the best musical instruments of our time. They are also one of the most played instruments, and their versatility is to thank for this. Guitars come in different sizes, shapes and vary in sound quality to suit the different playing styles, ages, and musical backgrounds. Starting as a beginner can be as daunting as choosing the right guitar proves challenging. In this article, we are going to help you choose the right guitar to meet your needs. Here is a guide to the types of guitars!
Acoustic guitars– these are the biggest staple in the guitar family. Acoustic guitars are very beginner-friendly and they come in two types: the steel strings and the classical, which makes use of nylons strings. They are usually made of wood and feature a bridge, soundhole, six strings, fretboard, and tuning peg. The neck of the guitar is made of mahogany and the fret of maple wood. An acoustic guitar is cut out at the bottom to help the user access the
These guitars are unique because they do not depend on external factors for amplification. Acoustic guitars depend on their body and shape for sound amplification. The body of an acoustic guitar is hollow and features a soundhole from which the sound of the strings resonates. These guitars do not employ any effect other than the natural vibrations of the guitar for audibility. An acoustic guitar produces a deep tone and is perfect for strumming. They are commonly used in country music.
Electro-acoustic- as the name suggests, these are guitars with an electronic pick-up or microphone for connecting to an amplifier. The amplifier or pa system simply makes the sound from the acoustic guitar louder. An electronic pick-up can easily be installed and taken out. Others have to be left on your guitar permanently. If you dread the idea of drilling holes in your acoustic guitar, you may prefer to have an acoustic guitar with a pick-up and one without.
Electro-acoustic guitars are mostly used for live performances due to the need to amplify the sound of your acoustic guitar. These guitars take away the gamble of placing a mike in front of your guitar while playing. Some players, however, prefer to use these guitars for practice or in the studio. Some additional features that come with an electro-acoustic guitar include a battery-powered active pick-up and an onboard tuner. Some pick-ups also give you eq options, which is excellent.
Electric Guitars- these guitars first grabbed attention back in the 1950s and took the music industry by complete surprise. Since then, they have totally revolutionized music. Electric guitars feature a thin and solid body, unlike the hollow body of an acoustic guitar. These guitars produce minimal sound on their own hence need to be connected to an amplifier every time they are used. An amplifier helps in achieving both loudness and bass through the metallic volume boost it gives. They are made of wood too and come in a variety of sizes and shapes. They also have six strings traditionally, but some have more strings.
The strings of an electric guitar are thinner compared to those of an acoustic hence the crisp and perfect sound their produce. These guitars produce compelling and sustaining tone, and there is no limit to the sound effects achieved using an electric guitar. Electric guitars are used in jazz, blues, some tines, and rock music for which they are popularly associated with.
Hollow & Semi-Hollow Body Guitar– the names of these guitars give them away. The hollow guitars have large parts of their bodies that are hollow, while the semi-hollow have parts that are solid while others are hollow. These guitars have very thick bodies. The hollow guitars can usually be almost as hollow as the body of an acoustic, but they tend to be smaller in size and thicker.
Hollow and semi-hollow guitars give out warm sound and a mellow tone. The part has been hollowed out makes the sound a bit more open and with less treble. The typical music genres that employ these guitar types are blues and jazz. Jazz musicians are especially fond of these guitars.
Resonator Guitars– resonators sport a look similar to that of a steel top guitar. These guitars are unique in every sense of the word. Unlike other guitars, they lack a sound hole and instead have a metal plate on top of the soundboard. They also have a resonator core made of aluminum that does an excellent job of modifying the sound. The strings of the guitar are made from steel too. The strings of the guitar transfer their vibrations to the metal resonator core instead of a wooden soundbar like in other guitars.
The sound of these guitars is a distinct metallic tone that comes out bright and clear. The guitar is also very loud and can be heard in large rooms and even live performances. Resonator guitars a resonator guitar is popular for music genres that evoke alit of emotion. They can be used in jazz live performances and are quite popular for country music. There are other variations of the resonator guitar that use glass in place of metal slides. You can also come across square-neck resonators.
7 String Guitars– these are unique guitars with an additional string to the common six-string guitars. The first seven strings guitar was designed more than 230 years ago. The instrument was not accepted in Europe as the six-string guitar was rooted there. That was, however, not the case in Russia, where the guitar rose to popularity, and entire playing schools were developed around it. The instrument is still very popular in Russia and parts of South America to date.
The seventh string is added to extend the bass range of the guitar or usually, to the extent of the treble range. The string is, in most cases, a low B. A seven-string guitar has an additional string that is added by either increasing the width of the fingerboard or adding a floating string. When the fingerboard is widened to accommodate the seventh string, the string is fretted by the left hand. When the fingerboard is left unaltered, the floating string lies next to the other bass strings.
Seven string guitars give out a heavier, thicker, and aggressive sound. They are, therefore, a great addition to metal music. They also pair very well with an amplifier.
12 String Guitars– these guitars are also quite unique and are mostly found at the pro level. The guitars have 12 strings, unlike the usual six. However, you will not be playing 12 strings but six. Each string has another next to it, which is usually an octave higher. The additional strings are therefore thinner than the original strings.
Twelve-string guitars are mainly used for strumming. They give a chiming sound when played as they can produce the sound of two different guitars. The sound is also clearer and sharper in the end. They are also tuned just like normal guitars.
Bass Guitar– these guitars are a perfect replacement of the double bass that were once the life of orchestras. Bass guitars are more portable and give higher sound quality than their predecessors. These guitars are built just like normal guitars, but they have four strings. The strings are very thick and big to meet their profile of thick deep sound. These guitars are usually electric with solid bodies and amplifiers, but you can also come across acoustic bass guitars. Some also have five or six strings for a wider variety.
How to choose the best guitar type for you
- Choose a type that suits your style of music – if you are looking for a guitar for metal rock, an electric guitar will be more suited than an acoustic guitar. Acoustic guitars are great for traditional playing.
- Suit your preference – you need to choose a guitar that will fit the color and finish you prefer. The guitar should appeal to the user as it appeals to the ears. Choose something you will feel proud of as it motivates you to play.
- The make – you should check for high-quality materials such as the wood used and the quality of strings. The materials of the guitar will affect the quality of the sound it produces.
- Consider the size – the right guitar should come in a size that you will be comfortable playing. If the guitar is too big, you may not be able to reach the fret comfortably. If it’s too small, you will not be able to lay the strings well.
- Never stop looking – even after you pick your first guitar, it’s important to keep trying other types. You may find interest in something else other than your first love.
- Price – an expensive guitar does not guarantee quality. Also, do not go for the guitar at the bottom of the price chart. Cheap is expensive! You need to do a lot of research before buying your guitar. Also, ensure to buy from a reliable supplier or music shop.