Choosing the right guitar is tough. There are a ton of different options to choose from, and if you are not careful, you can end up spending big money on a guitar that is too big or too small for you. So we are here to help.
We have put together a comprehensive guide that will get you started in the world of guitars.
We will take you through the types of guitars available, their pros and cons, and what you should look for when buying a new guitar.
Table of Contents
- Different Types of Guitars
- 1. Acoustic Guitars
- Cons of Acoustic Guitars:
- 2. Electric Guitars
- 3. Resonator Guitar
- 4. Double Neck Guitars
- Cons of Double Neck Guitars:
- 5. Bass Guitars
- Cons of Bass Guitars:
- 6. Electro-acoustic Guitars
- 7. Archtop Guitars
- Cons of Archtop Guitars:
- 8. Twelve String Guitars
- Steven Settles
Different Types of Guitars
There are various forms of guitars available in the market to choose from. Playing a diverse variety of guitars in a music store is a great way of apprising yourself with different models and their specifications.
But before going to shop, you should know and learn about different types of guitar.
Here are some of the most popular, along with a few tips for choosing the best guitar for your needs.
- Acoustic Guitars
- Electric Guitars
- Resonator Guitars
- Double Neck Guitars
- Bass Guitars
- Electro-acoustic Guitars
- Archtop Guitars
- Twelve String Guitars
Don’t get confused by all the names and types of guitars. We are here to help you with the job of choosing the right guitar. I have completely explained all these types to you. Let’s dig into it.
1. Acoustic Guitars
The best acoustic guitars have a strong, resonant tone and are made from quality tonewoods.
Buying an acoustic guitar is all about finding the one that feels and sounds best to you, so it’s worth trying out as many as possible to see which one is best for you.
Acoustic guitars have a vast assortment of shapes. The sound will be loud if your guitar body is big. Your guitar should have a good physical fit.
Acoustic guitars can be further divided into two categories depending o the strings.
- Nylon String Guitars
- Steel String Guitars
Nylon string acoustic guitars have traditional, classical sound. Nylon strings are soft on fingers, and they are facile for freshmen to learn.
These guitars have a wider neck, which can be a real struggle to learn on. It is easier for those who have large hands to get the chord with a wider neck.
Steel String guitars have particular sound and quality. Steel-string acoustic guitars are ideal for folk, rock, and country cowboy music.
Cons of Acoustic Guitars:
Acoustic guitars are heavy and fragile as compared to others. They have wider freeboards, which can be difficult for beginners. Due to heavy gauge strings, beginners can feel pain in their fingers.
2. Electric Guitars
Electric guitars are solid or hollow-bodied guitars designed to be plugged into guitar amplifiers. This amplified electric guitar produces a metallic sound. Electric guitars generally come in two main forms:
- Solid-body Electric Guitar
- Hollow-body Electric Guitar
Solid-body electric guitars are those that have no holes or cavities inside.
Instead, the wood used for making these types of guitars is solid throughout, resulting in more sustain when played at high volumes. The drawback of this guitar is that it tends to be heavier than most other guitars.
Hollow-body electric guitars are those that have cavities, which give the guitar a lot of resonance.
These guitars are lighter than solid body guitars and have been around for ages. They have lost popularity over time but remain an option for many players today.
Unlike regular guitars, the strings of this type of guitar are made out of metal. Behind each string, a magnet is presently surrounded by a coil.
When you strike the string, it vibrates the surrounding air and changes magnetic flux around the magnet.
This disturbance in the magnetic field results in electric current production. This current goes through the coils. This signal is fed into an amplifier, and we can hear the unique sound produced by the electric guitar through the whole process.
An electric guitar needs an amplifier which can be costly.
3. Resonator Guitar
Resonator guitars are acoustic stringed instruments that derive their sound from a metal cone (resonator) instead of a wooden soundbox.
The body of the instrument is made of wood, but other materials such as aluminum, brass, or steel may be used for the resonator.
There are two main sound holes present in the fingerboard extension. These holes can be round or f-shaped. Resonator guitars have more sound than regular acoustic guitars.
A resonator guitar does not produce sound by amplifying the string vibrations like an acoustic. A resonator guitar amplifies string through metal coils present underside the bridge.
When it comes to resonator guitars, they can be separated on the basis of neck type.
- Round Neck Resonator Guitar
- Square Neck Resonator Guitar
Round neck resonator guitars have round neck profiles. This standard guitar is preferred and liked by many guitarists. You can play this type of guitar comfortably in a seated position.
While square neck resonator guitars have square necks, they are made to play in your lap. It is best recommended for dobra or bluegrass style.
4. Double Neck Guitars
A double-neck guitar aimed to share one body. This design allows the guitarists to switch with either neck with ease.
The double-neck guitar generally has a standard six and twelve-string neck. If you want a 12-string guitar with the functionality of 6-string guitar, then you should go for a double neck.
Double neck guitars can be found in different designs and styles like v-style, a strat style, a tele style, etc. These guitars have a wooden or steel body, two necks, coil pickups, two control plates, an output jack, and 18 tuners.
Cons of Double Neck Guitars:
Double neck guitars can be uncomfortable, confusing, and very hard to learn for beginners. They are also expensive, heavy, and difficult to hold.
5. Bass Guitars
A stringed bass guitar is similar to an acoustic or an electric guitar but has a low pitch sound. It is manufactured in a way to produce low notes bass and has up to 8 strings.
Bass guitars have body, neck, and headstock. The strings present in this guitar run up and down the base from the bridge up to the neck.
They are attached to tuning pegs on the head. Just like an electric guitar, bass guitars also require amplifiers and speakers.
There are many varieties of bass guitars available nowadays. Some of them are:
- P-style Bass Guitars
- The Jazz Bass Guitars
- PJ Bass Guitars
- Humbuckers Guitars
One of the most popular was the P-style bass, which appeared in the early 1950s. They didn’t have frets at that time, but later frets were added to turn your electric bass precision.
The other most famous is The Jazz Bass, which are highly demanding of jazz musicians. It has a smaller neck than the p-bass guitar and has two pickups.
Another one is PJ Bass which is very versatile. They are highly used in punk rock music. It has two volume controls and tuners, which are best for beginners.
Humbuckers are double coil guitar that sounds lower, warmer sound. They are paired with active electronics, which give versatile pickups.
Bass guitars have been famous in history and also have an important position in the rhythm of modern music. They are famous in metal, country, pop, jazz, punk rock, and gospel music.
Cons of Bass Guitars:
You need really strong fingers to play bass guitars. Otherwise, you will end up having uncomfortably swollen fingers.
6. Electro-acoustic Guitars
Electro-acoustic guitars are generally known as semi-acoustic guitars. These guitars have specially designed pickups to reproduce the sound of subtle nuances of the acoustic guitar.
It is best for music where you need acoustic guitar sound but electric guitar amplification. This electro-acoustic combo guitar can serve the best purpose.
The electro-acoustic guitar allows you to add in an amplifying device or a PA system. It generally works with one of the two types of pickup systems.
Piezoelectric pickup is present underneath the saddle. The actual string vibrations touch the piezo or magnetic field and convert the vibrations into voltage fluctuations.
These fluctuations produce the sound that can be heard on the speaker.
These guitars have a built-in blender and equalizer that help you to find the best-desired sound. Electro-acoustic guitars can be found with up to six strings. They are versatile and popular in modern music.
Electro-acoustic guitars have limited tune range because they are basically derived from acoustic guitars having low depth and bass. Beyond these, they are more costly than acoustic guitars
7. Archtop Guitars
The Archtop guitars are specifically designed to play Jazz music; hence are also known as prototypical jazz guitars.
The reason behind the name given to this guitar type is because the top of it is actually curved. They are louder and clearer than classical acoustic guitars. Archtop creates a heavy mid-range sound.
The Archtop is very popular among bands and rhythm instrumental music. It has a pickup for a clearer sound. You can blend microphone and pickup together and create a piece of modern jazz music.
By owning an Archtop guitar, you can have a warm, mellow sound of the pickup and a crisp high sound of the acoustic instrument both.
Cons of Archtop Guitars:
Archtop guitars were excellent and widely used in jazz, but they had a big response problem.
The feedback is when the sound that is coming out of the amplifier is picked up with large body size. It re-amp, creating loop sounds.
But this issue can be resolved if you buy a semi-hollow body Archtop.
8. Twelve String Guitars
Twelve-string guitars have six courses of two strings and are normally in octaves. They are the same as six-string guitars or acoustic guitars, but it is prepared with double up each string. The space between strings is narrower in these types of guitars.
Twelve String guitars sound resonant and like two guitars playing simultaneously. If you are handy with 6-string guitar, then it is a very good option for you. It is best for bands trios but not suitable for solo.
Strings have more tension in these guitars, so many guitarists low it down by one tone.
Twelve-string guitars are not best for beginners to start with because it is harder to fret the notes. It has a wider neck, which is a problem for smaller hands.
In addition to these, there are many more types available depending on strings and techniques. Different guitars are used for different music styles.
Each has a specific tune, chords, and design which produce unique sounds. Classical acoustic nylon string guitars are best for beginners and students as they are easy to learn, handle, and play than other guitars. But you need strong fingers for this.
As for experienced professionals, you can go for electric, twelve strings, and electro-acoustic guitars, which have more clearer and professional sound suitable for modern music.
But here to mention, these are only our recommendations. You can go for any kind of a guitar which you like.
But make sure to invest in high-quality guitars because cheap guitars do not produce quality sound. Read all information provided before buying a new guitar for you.
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Steven Settles is a professional content writer with over 7 years of experience in writing for different niches, including brand reviews, technology, fitness, and more.
Currently, he is working as a content writer for WorstBrands, where he provides insightful reviews of different products, including home appliances, outdoor gear, fashion, and kitchen products. In his free time, Steven enjoys traveling and exploring new places.