Variations of Acoustic and Electric Guitars

Whether you are just getting started, or are a seasoned player of guitar, there are several types of electric and acoustic guitars to choose from. You need to pick the type that will suit your personality and mood.


image from Flickr

Here’s an article I read that talks about the different types of guitars.

Because electric and acoustic guitars are so familiar, it is easy to overlook the broad range of guitar types in existence. Not every guitar is the same, and playing techniques can vary, giving any guitar player the opportunity to try something new and different. Those who are learning how to play guitar, and even those who have played for a while, should take the time to examine the many options available.

Types of Electrics

Electric guitars come in solid body, semi-hollow body and hollow body varieties, and typically have six steel strings. There are variations on the electric guitar, though, that may or may not be familiar to all players.

· Additional strings, in a variety of amounts, modify the sound and playing style of electric guitars. Seven-string and twelve-string electric guitars are commonly known variations of the standard electric guitar. There are also eight-string electric guitars, as well as variations in the strings used. For example, most seven-string electric guitars have a low B string, but some play§ers prefer to use an octave G paired with the regular G, a modification that allows for some of the elements of twelve-string playing to be incorporated into a seven-string guitar.

· Electric guitars also come with multiple necks. The most common neck variation is a double-neck, but some guitars even come with three, four or five necks.

Types of Acoustics

Under the heading of acoustic guitars, the most common types are flat-top, archtop and classical.

· The Flat-Top guitar, true to its name, has a flat top and back, along with steel strings. The flat-top is the type of guitar most often seen in use by folk, country, blues and bluegrass musicians.

· The Archtop guitar has a curved top and either a flat or curved back. Generally, this steel-string model features f-holes, similar to a violin.

· The Classical guitar is similar in appearance to the flat-top, but it usually has a wider fingerboard and is strung with nylon strings.

Acoustic guitars, however, cover a much wider range than just those three basic guitars. Among the other types of acoustic guitars are:

· Resonator guitars are similar to flat-top guitars, with the exception of the metal resonator mounted in the top. Typically, resonator guitars have two sound holes, either small round holes or f-holes, although some resonator guitars have three or four sound holes. The idea behind a resonator guitar is that an aluminum resonator cone inside the body would increase the volume of the guitar. (see video below)

· Twelve-string guitars are flat-top guitars with twelve strings, generally arranged as six pairs of strings like a mandolin or lute. The highest pair of strings is tuned together, while the two strings in the other five pairs are tuned at octaves.

· Russian guitars are acoustic guitars with seven strings, rather than six. Popular among Russian guitarists in the 19th and early 20th centuries, the guitars were typically tuned to an open G major.

· Acoustic bass guitars have steel strings and are tuned the same as an electric bass guitar.

No matter how many guitars a player has seen, it is highly unlikely that they have seen or played them all. There are so many variations of acoustic and electric guitars that it could take weeks, to touch them all, and years to master even a few. The vast variety, however, allows even the most veteran player to never be bored with the instrument.

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Although the massive variety of guitars available can make choosing one difficult at first, from what I’ve seen, most of us don’t need to worry about it too much because once you get into it, the tendency is to want to have several different types 🙂

Check out this cool video about the Resonator type guitar, it may inspire you as it did many others to get into using one. Some think they’re a bit twangy, but that’s what others love about them. The video is by Dave’s World of Fun Stuff and it’s only 6 min 15 sec, so check it out! It gives some interesting insight into the workings of these magnificent creations: