Understanding The Different Types Of Guitars

A lot of first time guitar buyers get hooked on the looks and end up buying a guitar that doesn't suit their musical style. That doesn't mean you should pick up an ugly guitar. It just means that looks are not always as important as understanding the different types of guitars. There are three basic types of guitars to choose from acoustic, electric, and semi-acoustic. There are also other sub-categories depending on the style of playing, number of strings, and structure but they all generally fall under the three basic types. To help you figure out what type of guitar you should be looking at let's get down to the absolute basics.

How They Work?

    • Acoustic Guitar: Acoustic guitars produce sound when the strings are struck. The energy of the vibrating strings get transferred to the soundboard through the bridge. The sound of the guitar depends on the length of strings and the tension. Typically made of wood, acoustic guitar have a hole in the face, which helps to amplify the sound produced by the strings.


    • Semi Acoustic Guitar: Semi acoustic guitars are louder versions of acoustic guitars. Acoustic guitars are totally independent and cannot be fitted to any volume enhancing device. This is where semi acoustic guitars are different. They have special electromagnets that pickup the vibration of the strings and convert it into electrical signals. These signals are then passed on to an amplifier to produce the sound. Semi acoustics can be played with or without an amplifier.

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    • Electric Guitar: Electric guitars work similar to Semi acoustic guitars but instead of a hollow body it has a solid heavy structure. What this does is it cuts down the body vibrations and the pickups only take in the vibration of the strings. This produces a sound that's much more crisp and sharp. The electrical signal produced by the guitar strings are transferred to the amplifier where it gets converted into sound. This means an electric guitar doesn't really work without an amplifier.


How They Look And Feel?

    • Acoustic Guitar: Acoustic guitars typically have a hollow wooden structure with a sound hole on it's body. It's typically light and has nylon or steel strings.


    • Semi Acoustic Guitar: They look a lot and feel a lot like acoustic guitars. They also have hollow structure and have wooden bodies. The few distinctive features that set acoustic and semi acoustic guitars are the presence of tone and volume control which are typically absent in acoustic guitars. Semi acoustic guitars also don't have the typical sound hole instead they have two slender openings.


    • Electric Guitar: Electric guitars look far apart from acoustic guitars. They are typically smaller and heavier and come in a variety of body shapes. Electric guitars have a solid body construction and come in variety of colors and designs.


How they sound?

These three types of guitar not only look different but also produce very different sounds and are suited for different styles of music. Your decision to buy a particular type of guitar should be based on the type or the genre of music you would like to play with it.

    • Acoustic Guitar: They produce a typical resonating sound that's produced by the vibration of the strings and the guitar body. The sound produced is suited for jazz, country, folk, and classic music. If you like listening to Michael Hedges and want to create something similar, arm yourself with the best acoustic guitar you can afford.


    • Semi Acoustic Guitar: Semi acoustic sounds exactly like acoustic guitars only louder. Choose this one if you plant to play outdoors or on stages.


    • Electric Guitars: As the sound from an electric guitar is produced entirely by the amplifier, it allows a great degree of manipulation and can produce a variety of sounds with the help of pedals and distortion boxes. This is why electric guitars are much more suited for rock and heavy metal.

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Posted in Music Post Date 09/21/2015






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