Types of Guitars
The term guitar is used for a number of different types of
guitar, with different sounds, techniques and uses. Although most people will probably conjure up an image of an electric or acoustic guitar in their
minds when somebody mentions the word guitar,
there are several other sub-categories of
guitars. Let us look at the main types of guitars.
An acoustic guitar produces its sound by allowing the strings
to vibrate and then be amplified by a large hollow body section. Almost always constructed of wood (due to its excellent tonal properties),
they are usually flat-topped and flat-backed. The exception to this rule is the newer type of acoustic guitars that will use a flat wooden top,
bonded to a shaped composite back as well as
Acoustic guitars have been the backbone of modern music
since the 1950s, and remain one of the most versatile instruments available. They are relatively easy to play, and make excellent first
instruments for beginner musicians.
An electric guitar is simply a guitar that uses a pickup to
send the sound of the plucked string via a cable to an amplifier to produce its sound. Electric guitars range from simple
acoustic guitars that have been fitted with an after-market pickup, to
technologically advanced instruments which
contain electronic circuitry.
Most people will think of a name such as
Fender when they discuss electric guitars, or Gibson guitars. The Fender
Stratocaster and the Gison Les Paul are the standard that all guitars
aspire to be. Since the early 1960s, the
electric guitar has done more to define modern music than any other instrument.
guitars are acoustic, and are very similar to standard acoustic guitars. Where they differ is in the way
in which the neck is constructed, and the types
of strings that are used. A classical guitar has a much wider neck than an acoustic guitar, and
uses tuning pegs instead of machine heads, to
apply tension to the strings. Additionally, most classical guitars will have a much
Electric Bass Guitars
An electric bass guitar will have much in common with a
standard electric guitar. Almost all of the fitting on an electric bass
guitar are the same as those found on an
electric guitar, except they will have been up-sized to handle the thicker bass strings.
Once again, usually a 4 string set is
used, although some advanced electric bass guitars will have five, six or sometimes seven
Acoustic Bass Guitars are quite rare; they are constructed in
the same fashion as a standard acoustic guitar, except they will be fitted with bass strings and have a very large body. Usually this will be a standard 4
string set, although some newer acoustic bass guitars may come with five,
six or even seven strings. Due to the fact that bass strings are much thicker, and therefore will
vibrate less when plucked or strummed, an acoustic bass guitar produces
very little actual volume. For this reason most acoustic bass players use
a microphone to amplify their playing.
These are the main types of guitar, although
there are several more variations, including electro-acoustic, resonator guitars, and
12 string guitars among
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