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What are the different kinds of guitars?

An Introduction

The guitar is one of the most popular musical instruments today. There are different kinds of guitars that are available out there for different guitar players. Guitars are different in terms of playability, overall appearance and sound quality. Here are some of the types of guitars that guitar players or aspiring guitar players can choose from:


If one wants go get into the guitar world, you can start learning with an acoustic guitar.

Acoustic guitars are dependent on their structures and body shapes in resonating sounds. Unlike the more modern electric guitars, they don’t rely on other external devices in making sounds. The natural vibrations of the strings are resonated by the body of the guitar.

Acoustic guitars are generally made out of wood. The neck is usually made from mahogany and the fret board is made out of maple or rosewood. There are many kinds of acoustic guitars, here are some of them:

  • Classical

Classical guitars are very popular. They are usually the choice guitar for beginners.

The strings are usually made from nylon. These are usually played in a standard sitting position and used in playing classical music. Classical guitars produce think and whole sounds which are very warm to the ears.

Flamenco guitars are almost similar to the classical guitars; however, these guitars produce crisper and thinner sounds than the classical ones.

2) Steel-top

Steel-top guitars are much similar to the classical guitar. These, however, are constructed to be more resilient. The parts of the steel-top guitar are reinforced and their bodies are significantly larger than the classical guitars. They produce a warmer tone than the classical guitar.

3) 12-String guitar

A normal guitar usually has 6 strings, but the 12-string guitar, as its name implies, has 12 strings. Each string is accompanied by another string with the same note but is usually tuned in a higher octave. This kind of guitar produces a semi-chorus effect which is very pleasant to the ears.

4) Resonator

This type of guitar is similar to the steel-top guitar, but the steel in the middle of the soundboard is used to resonate the sound from the vibration of the guitar strings. This produces a very thin and distinct sound. These guitars are usually used in playing the blues. There are also variations of the resonator guitar; the square-neck resonator guitar is played on the lap like a piano or organ. The round neck resonator guitar is played like a common guitar. Resonator guitars work very well with glass or metal slides.

5) Archtop

The archtop guitar is inspired by other instruments such as the violin and the cello.

An archtop guitar usually has the f-hole design. Jazz players prefer archtop guitars.

Some archtop guitars can reach prices of about $25,000 USD.

6) Acoustic Bass

Acoustic bass guitars are bass guitars without electronic pick-ups. The body of the guitar is used to produce the sounds. These are usually 4-stringed guitars but there are acoustic bass guitars which have 5 or 6 strings.


Electric guitars make use of electronic pick-ups to amplify the vibrations of the guitar strings. They are usually connected to electric amplifiers. Electric guitars usually have a solid or semi-solid body type. They don’t use the body for sound resonance and thus, they usually make very little or no sound when played without an amplifier. The concept used by electric guitars is- the energy of the strings are diverted into electrical impulses are not directly into sound to be able to achieve an amplified sound.

Electric guitars usually have control knobs for changing the volume or the tone of the guitar. There are also pick-up selectors in electric guitars. Many electric guitars use multiple pick-ups to achieve the best guitar sounds. These pick-ups gather and produce different tones from the guitar. The tone knobs are usually used to shift from a bass-intensive sound to a treble-intensive sound or vice versa.

Some electric guitars also have whammy bars. These bars are attached to the guitar to shift notes without changing the finger positions in the fret board. Whammy bars are used to produce “crying” guitar sounds. This is a very useful tool in doing rock and roll songs or even ballads. The use of the whammy bar in less expensive guitars is not advised because it may cause the strings to go out of tune.

These are some of the basic types of guitars that are available out there for everyone.

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