How to Choose a Guitar

The guitar is the most popular instrument in the world, and it has been said that it is one of the easiest to pick up and learn, while being one of the most difficult to master.

There are hundreds, if not thousands of different types of guitars. The first instruments resembling the guitar are believed to have originated three-thousand years ago. Since then the guitar has seen many changes and modifications. The first wooden stringed instruments were the guitarra morisca and the guitarra latina. Both of these guitars are early four string versions of the modern acoustic guitar. The guitsrra morisca has rounded back and a wide neck and the guitarra latina has a thin body, both instruments are smaller than the modern day guitar. Today, there are three main classifications of guitar: electric, acoustic, and hollow body. Within these classifications there are numerous variations and styles. There are also lesser known types such as the resonator and lap steel/slide guitar. This article will go over the different types of guitars and will hopefully help you choose the right kind for you.

Acoustic – The acoustic guitar is the most basic type of guitar. Six steel strings strung to a large wooden hollow body. When picked or strummed the strings vibrate the bridge holding the strings which then vibrate the top piece of the guitar, amplifying the sound. Acoustic guitars are constructed from pieces of wood pieced together. Types of wood include maple, spruce, and basswood. The acoustic guitar requires very little hassle, no need for amps, cables, or effects pedals. Even though the guitar uses no amplifier, acoustic guitars can still be fairly loud generating sound from their large wooden hollow body. Acoustic guitars are mainly used for country music, pop, and folk music.

Electric – The electric guitar unlike the acoustic guitar can be plugged into an amplifier and instead of a large hollow body electric guitars are characteristically known for their solid body. The pickups which are magnets wrapped in copper wire transfer the sound of the guitar into an amplifier. The electric guitar offers the player endless amounts of customization. There are thousands of different types of guitar amplifiers each with their own unique features. Additionally, effect pedals can be used modify the sound of the guitar. The first commercially successful electric guitar was developed by Leo Fender. The Stratocaster and Telecaster developed by Leo Fender are still some of the most popular electric guitar models in the world. The electric guitar is excellent for playing loud music with a band or playing with other amplified instruments.

Other types of guitars – Besides the normal electric and acoustic guitars there are many variations. The hollow body or jazz box guitar has the wooden hollow body of the acoustic guitar but also uses pickups which can be used to amplify the sound of the guitar. There are also semi-hollow body guitars, which contain a solid block of wood in the center and hollow sides. These semi-hollow and hollow body guitars are mainly used for jazz music because they provide a nice warm sound, while also having the ability to be amplified.

Today in our current age the idea of the guitar, a piece of wood with strings attached has been experimented and modified in countless different ways, from twelve, and seven string guitars, to self tuning instruments. The important part is to find a guitar that fits your style, something that makes you want to play, whether it be acoustic, electric, or something else. Remember, practicing and learning how to play the guitar are really the key aspects for making music not the hunk of wood in your hands. Playing and learning about the guitar is like a journey and as you spend more time on the instrument you will find out more about its features and uses.

Sam Price