An acoustic guitar is a guitar that uses only an acoustic soundboard (top) and a hollow body to make the sound of the vibrating strings. They are usually strung with nylon or steel strings, which are attached to "necks" on the guitar's body.
The sections below explain the distinctions between different types of acoustic guitars, how to use them, and some of the qualities that can help you pick between similar acoustic guitars (how to choose a specific dreadnought, for example).
A quick guide to types of guitars
There are all sorts of different guitars out there, and the main three types are acoustic, classic and electric. Acoustic guitars are the most popular guitar type – they’re well-rounded and versatile, and can be used for a variety of genres. Classic guitars have a more traditional sound, and are often used in classical and flamenco music. Electric guitars are perfect for rock and blues, and are often used in heavier styles of music.
Each of the three has its own types. And in this article you are going to learn more about all the wonderful types of acoustic guitars.
Section 1: Steel String Flattop Guitars
The most common type of acoustic guitar is the steel-string flattop guitar.
This kind of guitar is mainly used as an instrument in a variety of musical genres, such as blues, country music, folk music, classical music, soul, and rock and roll. It can be played with or without an amplifier because its sound carries well on its own.
Some other instruments that are closely related to this type of acoustic guitar are the lap steel guitar (which is also called "Hawaiian"), the electric/acoustic bass, and the Chapman stick (which was invented by Emmett Chapman).
Section 2: Nylon String Classical Guitars
Classical guitars have six nylon strings that produce a sound that's very different from the steel-stringed guitar.
This kind of acoustic guitar is mainly used in classical music, jazz, flamenco, and some folk styles. The nylon strings are easier on the fingers than the steel ones but don't have as much volume or richness to their sound.
One other instrument that is closely related to this type of guitar is the twelve-string guitar (which has more than six strings).
Section 3: Archtops
Archtop guitars were originally designed to have a round, hollow body and metal strings.
This kind of guitar is used in many styles of music, including jazz, blues, country, bluegrass, folk music, and rockabilly.
Section 4: Tonewoods
A tonewood (or tonewood) is a type of wood that is commonly used in the construction of acoustic guitars. The name refers to the way the wood vibrates and transmits sound waves, not how it sounds when it's finished.
The early guitars types were made with spruce or cedar tops because they are lightweight woods that can produce bright-sounding notes (highs) that will still be heard over an orchestra if played softly.
Since then, many other kinds of wood have been discovered to produce even better tones for this instrument because they give the guitar a more mellow sound when played at full volume. These include mahogany, koa, maple, rosewood, and ash.
Section 5: Laminate vs. Solid Wood Guitars:
A solid-wood guitar is made with a single block of wood for the body, which means it gives off a richer and better sound than one that's made with multiple pieces of wood laminated together. This type of acoustic guitar is often more expensive as well as harder to find, especially if you're shopping for one that has a smaller frame (parlor or "00" size). The best way to get a good idea whether a specific model you're looking at is actually made from solid wood or not is by reading customer reviews on any online retailer website. If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.
Section 6: Different Types Of Dreadnought Acoustic Guitars
The shape of an acoustic guitar's body plays a large part in how it will sound.
A dreadnought body produces a very loud and powerful sound that can easily be heard over an entire orchestra, even if the guitar is played softly.
This type of acoustic guitar has been used since the early 20th century by many musicians playing country music, folk music, bluegrass, blues, and rockabilly. Other closely related instruments are the jumbo guitar (which is slightly larger than a dreadnought), as well as the auditorium and grand concert guitars.
Section 7: Different Types Of Jumbo Acoustic Guitars
If you're looking for a smaller-sized acoustic with rich bass tones, then a j model would be best for your needs.
This type of guitar is a good choice for beginners because it's easier to play and maintain than the larger dreadnought guitars or smaller parlor-style models.
Other closely related instruments are the auditorium, grand concert, and tenor guitars.
Section 8: Other Common Acoustic Guitar Shapes And Styles of Guitars
3/4 Size Guitars - A 3/4 size acoustic guitar is slightly larger than a standard-sized parlor model, but can be just as difficult to learn on as one that is smaller. While these types of acoustic guitars might not sound as bright or project their sound very well (even with amplification), they are still used by many musicians who like them for their warm tone and ease of playability.
In recent years, there have been a few new acoustic guitars types introduced to the market that are expected to become very popular for their unique design and tone. Some of these more modern guitar styles include cutaway body acoustics as well as hybrid guitars. A good example of one type of hybrid guitar is a combination of an acoustic bass guitar and a regular six-string acoustic guitar built into one single body.
There are different types of acoustic guitars available for purchase these days. It's best to determine the specific style of guitar you need based on your own individual playing preferences.
As long as the guitar has a wooden body that is large enough for your fingers to easily stretch across, then it will definitely produce a decent sound when you play it. You can also try experimenting with other types of wood if you don't want to purchase an all-spruce top model because they usually have brighter tones than those made with mahogany or rosewood tops.
Just keep in mind that one type of wood might not make much difference compared to another one when it comes to producing different sounds on this instrument, so it's really up to personal preference at the end of the day.