Acoustic Guitar Types
If you’ve purchased an acoustic guitar before or are one of the experienced players, you may not yet know the types of instruments you can play. Some brands offer a more substantial range than others; for example, Fender offers seven different models, while Epiphone and PRS (both owned by Gibson) have only two.
Yamaha is the only brand to show four different models. In addition, other brands such as Seagull (owned by Takamine), Jasmine (JP), and D’Addario also offer guitars in various types and materials.
Most manufacturers of acoustic guitars use more than one type of material for their models. For example, PRS uses solid mahogany for its models, while Takamine does not. Some guitars only use an acoustic guitar type (such as the famous Dreadnought) and others with a broader range of classes (such as the Seagull Cedar Top).
If you’re unsure about what to buy, it’s best to go with a familiar brand whose models match your style and budget. The features and specifications of one brand’s model may not match those of another brand’s model with the same name and price.
To give you an idea of the different types used in acoustic guitars, We have compiled the most common ones.
Wood-Based Acoustic Guitars
The following type of guitar is at least 75 percent wood. Generally speaking, the higher the percentage of wood used in an acoustic guitar, the more expensive it will be:
- Solid-Body – 75 percent wood: The term “solid body” refers to models that don’t have hollow areas inside them. These models are usually made from quartersawn mahogany and solid basswood, maple, and ash.
- Solid top – a hybrid of the three types above: This type of acoustic guitar is not entirely solid wood; it is a mix of solid mahogany and maple. This type offers more “crack” than the models listed above because two different types make each part of the guitar.
- Semi-Hollow Body – 50 percent wood: These guitars have hollow areas inside them but also have a solid back, so they still retain some or all of their tonal properties (coil-winding pickups or other electronic devices may be installed).
- Thinline Body – 50 percent wood: These guitars have solid tops, hollow bodies, and optional pickups. They are designed to look more like electric guitars.
- Semi-Acoustic body – an acoustic guitar with some of the tonal qualities of an electric guitar: These are the most common acoustic guitars by volume. They usually have six or 12 strings and sound similar to acoustic-electric guitars. Most semi-acoustic models come with a pickup, which allows you to amplify them through an amplifier when you need to project your sound for performance purposes.
These are the common acoustic guitar types; others include the amplified acoustic (the electro-acoustic guitar) and those that don’t fall into any specific category.
Selecting A Guitar
A guitar is an important instrument, and you want to make sure you get one that sounds right to your ears and feels comfortable in your hands when you play it. Go to a music store or shop online before you buy one to try several out, and be sure to have someone who knows how to play the guitar accompany you when you test them out.
Acoustic guitars are generally easier to play than electric guitars and can be used without amplifiers, which makes them especially useful for playing around the house or taking along with you on vacation, camping trips, and other places where it’s not easy or possible to bring along a whole bunch of equipment. Here are some things to look for when selecting your guitar:
- Make sure the guitar is in tune from the outset. If not, ask to have it tuned up before you start playing. If you like how it sounds when it is played in tune, then play it. On the other hand, if you don’t like how it sounds, select another one until one suits your ear.
- Decide if you want a dreadnought or a standard acoustic guitar. If you’re a new player, the better choice is probably the dreadnought style because it’s easier to play than the standard acoustic guitar. But the choice is really up to you and will vary depending on your needs as a player and your skill level.
- Find out how much you’ll have to spend on an acoustic guitar. Usually, that means comparing how much it costs in your area and adding in shipping charges. Try not to go above a specific range of prices for each model because you’ll end up paying more than you should if you have to ship the guitar a long distance.
- Check out any strings that come with the guitar. Even if it’s electric, there’s a good chance the strings that come with it will fit your instrument and work well for you. But strings can break, so it’s worth going ahead and buying new ones, even if they’re included with your guitar.
- Consider whether or not you’ll need a case for your acoustic guitar when deciding which model to buy. Most acoustic guitars don’t come with a case, but you can purchase one. Some guitars stores will even sell you guitars that have bags included in the price. If you already have a carrier for your guitar, find out if the one you have will fit the instrument you like.
- Make sure the guitar is comfortable to hold when playing it. Take it in your hands and feel how it perceive to have it against your body while keeping the neck because that’s the way you’ll be playing it. Also, grip the guitar’s neck from top to bottom and side to side, and put your fingers on each string and play different chords to see how they feel when they are played all along the fretboard.
- Make sure the guitar is comfortable to play for long periods. If you’re buying it for a child, consider whether or not it’s something they’ll be able to hold and play with their hands for an extended time.
- Check the body of the guitar to make sure the soundboard is as flat as possible. You can do this by laying a straight edge on top of the surface. Any bumps will affect how your guitar sounds when you play it. However, if there are bumps that cannot be fixed after the sale, ask whether or not there is a warranty on your guitar.
Avoid buying guitars that are poorly made. These have cracks or other damages that will make the instrument more minor than what you paid for it.
Playing the acoustic guitar is a way to express yourself. It helps you to let out your emotions and is a great stress reliever. When you learn how to play the acoustic guitar, you can enjoy a world of music and sounds that will inspire you for years to come. While it is true that there are many nuances to playing the acoustic guitar, the most important thing is to have fun with it. If you practice enough and put your heart into learning how to play it, great music is sure to follow.
Q How long does it take to learn the guitar?
That all depends on your motivation, desire, and dedication. If you are determined, you can learn it in a short period. Focusing on making you happy using your time is the most important thing about learning any instrument. Just pick an instrument and start playing one day at a time.
Q What is the best type of guitar for learning?
The answer to this question depends on where you are in your musical development and what you want from it. If you’re a beginner, starting with a nylon string is the best choice as it allows you to focus on fundamentals and strumming techniques instead of worrying about tuning, fretting, or complex chord structures.
Q What will my first guitar be?
The right first guitar is a personal choice. There are numerous guitar manufacturers, models, and sizes to choose from. You can get a classical or steel string acoustic with or without onboard electronics. It’s up to you. Give it some thought and see what appeals to you.