How Many Types of Guitar Are There?
Guitars come in all shapes and sizes, and they all come in various shades, woods, looks and strings, but ultimately always fall into a specific category. Let’s see them.
Types of Acoustic Guitars
Steel-stringed acoustic guitars are the most popular, ancient, and memorable ones, but there are more options to consider.
The steel string acoustic guitar is the ideal instrument for all composers, for beginners and can also be the precious trophy of an entire collection. It is versatile, rich in tone and resonance and is a must for any guitarist of any level. The steel strings are what gives the acoustics its versatility towards any musical genre. You may even have heard of his nickname “flat top”, given to him because of his flat face. They are suitable for playing in very tight spaces, but also in large ones; pickups, built-in microphones and amplification are required.
The classical guitar is often referred to as a Spanish guitar due to its origin. They are considerably smaller than steel string acoustics, but have a thinner waist which makes them much more comfortable to play while seated. Many solos and finger selection styles are a classic git repertoire. Another difference from the classic is the neck, which is wider, without the higher frets and inlay points. In addition, it has nylon rather than steel strings, which produce thick, soft tones.
This is another nylon string instrument very similar to the classical guitar. The main difference is the versatility for a specific musical genre: flamenco. A flamenco acoustic guitar must be built for intercepting sounds, multi-note plays, and for fast runs up and down the neck. Strings are tight for low action, and while hum is usually an unwanted trait on many guitars, it is the norm for flamenco. Sounds are crisp, highs are bright, lows are deep. The neck is also much thinner than a classical guitar, lighter and more open.
12 String Guitars
Obviously, this guitar doesn’t have six standard strings but 12. The second set of strings are thinner than the standard ones and are positioned right next to the corresponding standard string, which produces the same note except one octave higher. 12-string guitars are excellent for full-bodied chord progressions that can often ring out in a way that feels like there are two guitars playing.
A resonator may not sound like conventional acoustics at all because there is no hole. Instead, a large perforated disc is mounted on the guitar and houses a resonator cone. The cone is essentially a non-amplified spun aluminum amplifier or speaker. But how does it create sound? The bridge is mounted by a spider (an aluminum spring) placed on the disc, usually on the edge or in the center. The spider collects the vibrations that are measured through the cone to project the sound.
10 Things a Beginner Guitarist Should Know
Types of Electric Guitars
Electric guitars have different body styles, are made with different types of woods and each one adapts to the type of music being played. Here are all the types of existing electric guitars.
Solid Body Guitars
This is by far the most common type of electric guitar sold and played because it is the most versatile. Depending on the skill level of the musician and the extra accessories, you can play anything from jazz, indie, blues to rock, country to heavy metal. As the name suggests, the guitar is a solid piece of wood that lacks the hole, a characteristic of its acoustic cousin. For this reason it is less prone to feedback than semi-acoustic electric models, which emit a completely different sound. Pickups and electrical components are mounted on the guitar against the inside. The body shapes of the most famous solid guitars are Les Paul, Stratocaster, Telecaster and Gibson SG.
If you want to go semi-acoustic, your musical orientation is probably towards jazz and blues. Semi-acoustic guitars look more like a traditional solid-body electric guitar, but will have different shapes, sizes, body depths and splits. Empty or semi-empty chambers provide acoustic fullness and warm tone than solid-body electric ones, but are more prone to unwanted feedback. Generally, rock and heavy metal musicians never play a semi-acoustic electric guitar, but blues, indie and jazz do. A semi-acoustic guitar has louder tones and volumes played disconnected than a solid-body electric guitar, but it must be plugged in and amplified to project the best sound.
The electric-acoustic guitar is a little different from the semi-acoustic one. It is basically an acoustic guitar and can sound great when played natural. They can be built with pickups, built-in microphones or highly sensitive Piezo sensors to pick up vibrations to amplify, send to a mixer or other recording device. As for the look and shape of the body, it features the typical sound hole of an acoustic guitar, but is surrounded by electronics.
Archtop or Arcuate guitars
Arched guitars, both acoustic and electric, look the same. To the inexperienced eye, they might appear like huge violins; this is thanks to the violin-shaped holes or the wings equipped on the soundboard of the guitar. Internal sound blocks have been integrated into hollow body guitars to deliver a soft, warm tone that jazz players love. On an electric guitar, the arches feature pickups. The full-bodied arches offer the warmth and tonality of the acoustic counterpart when unplugged, but its slim twin can minimize unwanted feedback better than the full-bodied one when plugged into an amplifier. The only downside to the thin headband is that it sacrifices resonance and acoustic tones as it delves into the depths of electrical amplification.