The Acoustic Guitar: The Basics

The Acoustic Guitar: The Basics

The acoustic guitar is one of the most widely used among all the traditional types of guitars.

Made of a thin type of wood, the acoustic guitar is generally large and hollow and does not make use of external or electronic amplification, unlike electric guitars. It’s sound is produced through the transmission of the vibration of the strings to the air.

When the strings are struck, they vibrate. This vibration creates sound waves that resonate through the body of the guitar.

The acoustic guitar makes use of either bronze or nylon strings that are plucked or strummed manually or with the use of a plectrum/pick(same thing).

The strings vibrate at different frequencies depending on the length of the strings, their mass and individual tension, which can be adjusted by using the tuning pegs located on the guitar’s head.

Different Acoustic Guitar Types

The Classical Guitar

Known as the father of all guitars, the classical acoustic guitar generally has a small body, a wide fret board, a flat neck and nylon strings. The strings, which give off that unique guitar sound, allow for easy strumming, plucking and playing of scales and chords.

This is why many beginner guitar players prefer the classical guitar for their first instrument.

The Steel Guitar

Compared to the classical guitar, the steel string guitar – which is also called the folk guitar – has a larger body. It gets its name from its steel strings, which make the guitar sound richer, stronger and louder.

Therefore, this type of guitar is ideal for mainstream music; if you want to rock out, you could easily do so with the steel guitar. This guitar type has a longer neck and a lower body, so it is easier to do solos and other kinds of high-fret work.

The Bass Guitar

The acoustic bass is the father of the electric bass. It has a large and hollow soundboard responsible for the guitar’s low and deep sound. The bass guitar commonly has four strings, but there are some bass guitars that feature six strings.

The bass guitar functions to provide rhythm and harmony and to establish the beat of the music. However, it is also used as a solo instrument for Jazz, funk, Latin and rock music.

The Twelve String Guitar

Like the name implies, this guitar type has twelve strings, which doubles the sound the guitar produces. This impressively rich and full sound is what draws people to this guitar type. However, it is a lot more difficult to play, making it a big no-no for beginners.

Should you buy an acoustic guitar?

If you are interested in taking up the instrument,then absolutely. The acoustic guitar is versatile, so you can take it with you anywhere and play when the mood strikes or when the situation calls for some music.

Unlike the electric guitar, you do not need anything else to play; all you need is the guitar itself. There is no need for amplifiers or extra cables that you need to lug around.

Plus, acoustic guitars are generally cheaper than electric guitars.

Choosing an Acoustic Guitar

In the end, if you do choose an acoustic guitar over its electric counterpart, make sure that you get one from a respectable manufacturer.

There are many guitar makers out there that offer discounted prices, but there is no guarantee that you will have your money’s worth when you buy one of these cheap acoustic guitars. While branded guitars can be expensive, you will love the sound your chosen guitar will produce.

This will also ensure that your choice will last a long time. If you are unsure about which brand to get, Then research branded guitars. We have information on affordable,quality branded guitars here on guitarmuso.

Once you have narrowed your choices down to some brands, test the guitars that you like. Pay attention to the sound – do you like its middle and high registers? Does it have enough bass resonance?

The sound must agree with your ears – don’t settle for just anything that makes a sound. Another point to consider is how the guitar feels in your hand. Are you comfortable? Is it heavy? Too light? Etc.

It also helps to inspect the guitar for defects: warping, chips, cracks and other similar defects.

Although small, these can affect the guitar’s performance. An acoustic guitar is a big investment – especially if you are a budding songwriter – so make sure you are completely happy with what you are investing in and you will make the right choice.