The guitar is an instrument that comes in many types. Each major category requires a different style of guitar playing. The broad categories are nylon string classical, the steel string acoustic guitar and the electric guitar. Each uses the same standard tuning and all the different types of music can be played on any one of them but each is designed to play a particular style of music. Lets look at the different types and the style of music each is designed to play.
The first is the nylon string classical guitar. It is the closest to the original type of guitar used throughout history. The type of music it is designed to play is of course classical guitar music. It is also used by some folk and country players. It has a full body and nylon strings. There are twelve frets to the body and eighteen frets overall. The neck is wider then the other types of guitars. It has a round sound hole and the bridge is glued to the body of the guitar. A variation is the flamenco guitar. It looks similar but has some differences. A classical guitar is designed to have more sustain while a flamenco guitar is designed to respond quickly with less sustain. The flamenco neck is slightly wider and the strings are closer to the neck and body. The modern flamenco guitar because of the way a flamenco player uses the fingernails in strumming, usually has protective plastic glued to the body around the sound hole. We have many more Guitar Help Articles Now Available.
The steel string acoustic guitar has a full body, the bridge glued to the body and a round sound hole just like a classical guitar. The neck is a lot narrower and there are fourteen frets to the body and twenty frets overall. It’s main use is for country and folk music. It has very strong use as a rhythm guitar even in rock music. It often has a cutaway in the body of the guitar to allow access to the higher frets beyond the body. It is often made into an acoustic electric with transducers under the bridge. By the way they make some nylon string classical guitars today with cutaways and transducers under the bridge for amplification. A variation of the steel string acoustic is the twelve string guitar. The higher strings are doubled and the lower strings have an octave higher string added. This type is mainly used for rhythm. There is one more type of acoustic guitar. It is the arch top acoustic guitar with two violin type f holes instead of the one round sound hole. This style is very seldom used as an straight acoustic today. It is however the basic design of the hollow body electric, described below.
Finally we have the type that most people think of when we say guitar, the amplified electric guitar. The signal that is amplified is taken from the magnetic pickups. The magnetic pickups get their signal right off the steel strings. Since we don’t need a hollow body to magnify the sound, we can have a totally solid body guitar. But in addition to the solid body there are many varieties, including hollow and semi hollow bodies. Electric guitars usually have twenty two frets and two or three magnetic pickups. The solid body can have a double cutaway like the Fender Guitar or a single cutaway like the Gibson Les Paul guitar. The hollow and semi hollow bodies have a body more like a violin. They would usually only have a single cutaway. Semi hollow usually means the body is only half the thickness or less. The top is arched and instead of a round sound hole, you have two f holes like a violin. The strings at the bottom are attached to a tail piece just like a violin. The bridge may not be attached to the guitar but just held in place by the strings so you have to be very careful to make sure it’s at the right position. The solid body is the choice of rock musicians. Jazz musicians prefer the full body electric. The sound that you get out of these guitars is very dependent on the amplification and in the case of the solid body effects. The full hollow body electric is good at producing the mellow sound of jazz. The solid body guitar is great at producing the sustained and distorted sound of rock. We have many more Guitar Help Articles Now Available.