Different Types of Guitar
Different types of guitar
Guitars can be broadly categorised into acoustic and electric. Acoustic guitars are those which do not require any cables/electricity and generate their sound purely through the amplification offered by its hollow wooden body. Electric guitars, on the other hand, use electric, which concategorizedvert the strings’ vibration into an electronic signal to be amplified by an amplifier.
Acoustic guitars themselves are, in the modern day, divisible into two broad categories: Nylon strung and steel strung. The nylon stringed acoustic guitars are traditionally associated with more classical and operatic uses – for their ‘delicate’ sound and mainly plucked playing style- and are smaller in size than steel stringed acoustic guitars. Nylon stringed acoustic guitars exist in a number of different forms (romantic, baroque, flamenco, etc.), but the most common, that one will find in a guitar shop, is the classical guitar. This is a simple nylon stringed guitar, tuned to standard EBGDAE tuning, with classical guitar strings (3 nylon-stringedompletely nylon, 3 wound metal).
The other acoustic guitar type is that which uses steel strings. These guitars are more often associated with Country & Western music, folk music, and many other modern-day, non-classical genres. Guitars using steel strings have a (generally) more strumming-based playing intention, with chords being their primary purpose rather than intricate plucking/soloing.
The most typical acoustic guitar is the western guitar. This guitar is large in its body size when compared to a classical guitar, and has much more ‘sturdy’ feeling hardware – this is because it has to be able to cope with the extra tension that metal strings exert when wound tightly. If one were to try and put steel strings on a classical guitar, it would very likely tear the bridge from the body, due to the tension.
In the realm of electric guitars, there are hundreds of varieties and sub-varieties. Broadly though, there are a few categories that can be easily identified and spoken of. Solid body electric guitars are quite as the name suggests. Due to their electrically-driven nature, they do not require the large or indeed the solid body of an acoustic guitar. Therefore, bodies made of solid hardwood came into vogue, and it’s been the same ever since with these guitars.
A characteristic of solid body guitars is that the strings finish up at the bridge.
Another type of electric guitar is the string-through-body. This model is often favored by shredders and soloists, due to the enhanced sustain. String-through-body guitars are, as the name suggests, guitars where the strings pass through holes drilled in the body, where they’re fixed into place on the other side.
Semi-acoustic is our final category of electric guitar. The semi-acoustic guitar has the hollow body of an acoustic guitar, but still possesses the pick-ups of an electric guitar. It is able to be played acoustically (although, it often doesn’t perform at its best in this way) – but the primary purpose of its semi-hollow nature is so that the pick-ups can pick-up a combination of string and body vibration.
The acoustic guitar or simply a guitar is a six-stringed instrument which comes in many shapes and sizes. Since it was invented the guitar has gone through many different phases in its formal use, it styles its nature of sound (Classical, nylon, steel, gypsy). In this article, we will break down the different styles and its uses on the modern phase of music associated with acoustic guitars:-
The Classical Guitar
The classical six-string guitar is unique in that it has nylon strings giving a Spanish music style which is more classified into the gypsy version. It Is mostly used in the melody in the alternative or Spanish scale giving its own style of sound. A wide neck and slightly higher action than the average steel string acoustic guitar. These attributes derive from the classical guitar typically being played with what is known as the fingerstyle technique, which picks and the sound and the melody obtained is quite different from those of other acoustic guitars.
Fingerstyle or classical guitar playing consists of a series of individual notes within a melodic scale played by plucking each string with a single finger or the thumb. This differs from basic rhythm playing in that the player does not commonly use a pick or strum it in a different way of creating a different type of pattern and melody. It is mostly used in Spanish, gypsy cultures where the music is quite different from those rock n roll genres.
The Steel String Acoustic
The most common of the acoustics, the six-string steel string is generally used as a rhythm guitar. The steel string is usually played with a pick in order to strum all the strings at once while playing whole chords as opposed to individual strings. Because of these techniques, the steel string generally has a lower action and thinner neck than its classical counterpart. The steel string acoustic comes in many shapes and sizes, the most common styles being:
- The Grand Concert (or “00”) – the smallest but quietest, most closely related to the classical guitar. The Grand Concert is known for excellent playability
- The Grand Auditorium (or “000”) – slightly larger and deeper than the Grand Concert, resulting in a louder and deeper sound with slightly less playability
- The Dreadnought – the most common size of acoustic, lacks the playability of its smaller relatives but has a much fuller sound
- The Jumbo – similar in style to the Grand Auditorium but much larger, the jumbo is the loudest and deepest sounding of the acoustics, but playability is hindered due to its sheer mass
The Twelve String Acoustic
The twelve strings acoustic is the king of the rhythm guitars. It contains each of the six strings found in a regular acoustic guitar, but each one is accompanied by a smaller string, tuned to the same note but in a different octave. This results in a very full and melodic sound. The twelve strings are played generally the same way as the six-string which makes it a favorite for beginners.
While twelve string acoustics are made in every style, because of its widespread use as a rhythm instrument, Dreadnought and Jumbo are by far the most popular twelve string styles.
The Arch Top Acoustic
The Arch Top is built with many of the same attributes as a violin. It consists of a top that is arched like a violin with two F-holes carved into instead of the common round sound hole. The Arch Top is most commonly used in Jazz or Swing style music and many times incorporates an electric pickup built in.
The Resonator Guitar (or Dobro style)
The Resonator guitar’s most distinct difference from most acoustics is that is made of metal instead of wood. With two metal resonating cones built in instead of the classic sound hole, the Resonator guitar produces a very distinct, loud and tinny sound. The Resonator guitar is most commonly used to play The Blues and Bluegrass and it is often times played with a metal slide.