The Different Types of Guitars

Guitars are dime a dozen but the right kind can make all the difference. I remember by brother telling me this when I was but 7 years old. He was starting his band and often jammed in our garage where he also kept 3 to 4 different guitars. Though he has long left that life behind and settled for a cushy desk job with a family to take care of, his words ring true more so than ever. While deciding on what to write for this week, I decided to have a go at the kinds of guitars, differentiating between them on the way they sound.

You already know of the two many types, acoustic and electric. The difference in sound produced by the two are equally well known but what is not known is that there are many more subtypes within these two broad classifications.

Acoustic Variations

If you have never played a guitar before then an acoustic guitar is the perfect place to start.

The word acoustic itself refers to sound and its variations. This kind of guitar depends on the shape of the body for its overall sound signature. The sound produced therefore originates from the guitar and does not include any effects. Basically, such guitars make natural vibrations that then composed in tunes make music.

Another key feature of any acoustic guitar is that they are almost always made from wood. While mahogany is the preferred choice, sometimes rosewood and even maple is used.

Some common acoustic guitar types include the Classic guitar that is quite popular among beginners. Then there are flamenco guitars that are also classical in origin but with thinner and crisper sounds. Steel-top guitars are just as popular though they are larger than classic versions and more durable too. Other common variations of the classical design include the 12 string guitar, resonator and archtop. Acoustic bass guitars are a hybrid version and I do not include them among acoustic because to me the sound is not completely natural.

Electric Variations

An electric variant is not all that much different from an acoustic guitar other than the fact that they are made with an electronic pick-up within that amplifies all vibrations it receives. What this means is that without an amplifier to produce the sound, you really won’t hear any of the subtle variations or even the sound produced when playing such a guitar. They are not complete with an “amp”!

Moreover, because such guitars rely on amplification to produce the sound, they are more intricate instruments naturally costing more than acoustic versions. Besides, every mistake is equally amplified meaning it needs some amount of prowess to master. This is probably the reason why beginners are advised not to start with electric guitars.

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