Nylon String Acoustic Guitar
This type of guitar is the most common type used by beginners. The main difference here is that it uses nylon strings instead of steel strings. These strings are more flexible and have a very bright sound than steel strings, giving your music a “pretty” sound rather than an “aggressive” sound. Generally, they have the same tone as steel strings but with lower action and a lighter feel than steel-string acoustic guitars, making them easier for beginners to play.
First, let’s take a look at the anatomy of an acoustic guitar.
The Anatomy of the Nylon String Acoustic Guitar
Fretboard: This is the part you play the strings on your guitar on. The body of the guitar receives vibrations from your string that cause it to produce sound. Guitarists place their fingers on this fretboard and play notes by sliding them along the attached lines.
Headstock: The headstock consists mainly of a metal plate, a metal tuning peg, and two screws. This allows you to secure the instrument to a top such as a stand or a wall.
Bridge: A “bridge” is where the strings are fastened and caused to vibrate by a soundbox. The bridge has two main parts: the saddle (which amplifies the strings’ vibrations) and the nut ( which allows you to tune your guitar).
Steel String Acoustic Guitar
These guitars have more metal in them compared to nylon string acoustics in that they are made out of heavier gauge metals such as steel and sometimes rosewood. In addition, they also have a slightly sharper sound than steel-string acoustics.
These guitars are often used in traditional genres of music such as country, folk, jazz, and blues. But they are also great for beginners who want to learn rock, heavy metal, or any other type of genre. These guitars only use steel strings that provide a louder and more aggressive tone than nylon strings and have a shallower body compared to nylon-stringed acoustics.
The neck is usually wider than nylon string acoustic necks which provide more room for movement. The frets are usually larger too to help with playability on these instruments. If you’re lucky, you may have a set of these in your guitar arsenal.
The Anatomy of the Steel String Acoustic Guitar
When we look at the anatomy of a steel-string acoustic guitar, the neck is located at the top and consists mainly of one piece of wood wrapped in fur (shaved down). This enhances the quality of sound that the guitar can produce. There should be no seams on guitars with rosewood on the fingerboard.
The rest of the neck is usually made as follows; The head and tailpiece are located on either side. The head and tailpiece help to clamp the strings and make tuning easier. The neck is built into the body of the guitar for stability.
The fretboard is where you place your fingers to play the instrument. The soundbox is where you place your fingers to play the instrument. The bridge or tailpiece holds fret wires to raise and lower notes, enabling you to traverse up and down the neck on the guitar.
The pickups are typically used for electric amplifying your voice but can also be used for other musical instruments. These are all of the main components that comprise an acoustic guitar. While there is more to it than this, this explanation should give you enough information to begin playing.
There is more to add to the types of acoustic guitars in terms of shapes and sizes.
Dreadnought guitars were designed by CF Martin in 1916 and are among the world’s most popular acoustic guitar shapes. They are larger than a classical-style guitar, and their sound is much louder. Dreadnought guitars have an intense bass tone.
The anatomy of dreadnought guitars consists of a 25-inch scale length which is slightly longer than the standard acoustic. An archtop guitar’s body is usually hollow or semi-hollow with an “f”-shaped soundhole. This body shape is used for bass, rhythm, and sometimes lead guitar parts, making it incredibly versatile.
The parlor guitar is a smaller-sized guitar that was designed and built by the Gibson Guitar Corp. Like the archtop, parlor guitars are an example of a dreadnought-style instrument. Parlor guitars are typically smaller in size, but they can also be more prominent than an archtop.
Parlor guitars have a 25 3/4 fret scale length which is slightly longer than the standard acoustic. They can be made from laminated woods such as maple or mahogany. A cutaway design on the upper body allows for easy access to the higher frets.
Jumbo acoustics are the largest body style of acoustic guitar that are available to buy. They feature a large concert body style, similar to an archtop guitar.
The anatomy of jumbo guitars consists of the classic dreadnought design. The neck is typically mahogany, and the fretboard is also mahogany or rosewood. Some jumbos can have a cutaway on the upper portion of their body, allowing more accessible access to the higher frets. A solid spruce top provides for excellent sound projection, and they often feature electronics for amplification. Jumbos can come in left-handed designs as well.
Auditorium guitars are designed to suit a large size crowd, similar to parlor guitars. They feature a larger body than jumbos and have a cutaway on the upper portion of their body.
The anatomy of auditorium guitars is the same as that of jumbos. They can also be made from laminated woods, as well as being made in left-handed variants.
Auditorium guitars — also called “orchestra” or “concert” guitars — are the most common type of acoustic guitar. Typically, they’re easier to play than classical guitars due to their shorter scale length, and they’re generally good for playing fingerstyle because of their dreadnought shape. Conversely, they don’t really do well for strumming purposes since their larger bodies tend to overwhelm the sound unless used in a very controlled manner.
Grand Auditorium Guitar
Grand auditorium guitars are a type of acoustic guitar built to be comfortable for players who sit down when playing an instrument. Grand auditorium acoustics were first introduced by Martin in 1995 and were designed by their head luthier John Carruthers. Since then, they have spread across different brands such as Fender and Takamine.
Grand auditorium guitars tend to be the most versatile in size, shape, and tone. They can have similarities to dreadnoughts with slightly longer scale lengths. The body is typically more slender than other acoustic guitars but can also come in jumbo styles. The body is covered in a thin top, allowing for louder notes and a spruce soundboard, giving the guitar more clarity. Grand auditoriums can also feature cutaways that allow players to access the higher frets.
The Classical Guitar
The classical guitar has many benefits. It can be seen as a more efficient version of the steel-string acoustic that allows fast and easy movement between chords, making it easy for beginners to play their first song with ease. It is used in many different genres of music but is most common in classical, Spanish, jazz, and rock styles of music.
Classical guitars are generally smaller in size, making them easier to travel with and play at gigs.
Classical guitars have a very light, pure, and beautiful tone.
These guitars are also trendy among guitarists because they have a smooth top with a rich tone.
The main differentiating factors between an electric and classical guitar are size, sound, and cost.
The fretboard is where you place your fingers to play the instrument. The soundbox is where you place your fingers to play the device. The bridge holds fret wires to raise and lower notes, enabling you to traverse up and down the neck on the guitar.
Archtops are the archetypal American-style guitar. These guitars were popularized by players such as Chet Atkins, Merle Travis and Jimi Hendrix. Archtop guitars are usually built like a Jazz guitar with an arch-shaped soundboard larger than a regular acoustic guitar. The main differentiating factors between an electric and acoustic guitar are size, sound, and cost.
The main difference between archtop guitars and other guitars is that the guitar is built to take in some of the string tension pressure. This can make the instrument easier to play and increase volume and sustain in the sound. Archtop guitars also tend to feature a larger body size than other guitars, which allows for a bigger sound.
They’re generally used for jazz performances. These instruments tend to have a more mellow tone due to the lack of a large body, and they also have f-holes that allow the sound to resonate better.
Acoustic guitars are a staple of every musical genre. They’re especially important for beginner musicians who may want to get started with an instrument that is easier to play than others. It’s challenging to find a single type of acoustic guitar that will suit all playing styles, but if you know what you’re looking for, it’s not hard to make the right choice in terms of dimensions, scale length, and a number of strings.