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Acoustic guitars basic guide

Guide to acoustic guitars

This article is a step by step guide on everything you need to know about acoustic guitars, from its history to its transformations over the years.

This is one of the most representative instruments of the plucked stringed instruments family. Its sound is unmistakable and has transcended through an unlimited number of musical genres over the years. It is a perfect instrument to begin to venture into the world of music, as there is a lot of music written and recorded to be performed on it.

In this guide we are going to show you different types of acoustic guitars, so you will know which one suits you best according to your musical tastes, additionally we will show you some purchase options, which will have different budgets that go hand in hand with your wallet.

How does an acoustic guitar work?

The acoustic guitar is made up of a soundboard, a neck on which the fretboard is located, with a hole in the center of the top and six strings. This guitar is mainly used in genres such as blues, rock and pop.

Some sources claim that the guitar has Greco-Latin origins, others say that the Arabs introduced it during the Muslim conquest of the Iberian Peninsula and later it evolved in Spain. What is certain is that evidence has been found of numerous instruments similar to the guitar since 1000 BC, undoubtedly a very popular instrument.

The acoustic guitar is a type of guitar with nylon strings and wire, but can also be made of metal, whose sound is generated through the vibration of the strings that are amplified in an acoustic boxof wood or some acrylic material. Generally, the term “acoustic guitar” is a term used to refer to the guitar that artists use to perform genres such as folk, pop and rock.

Differences between acoustic and classical guitars

Although both the acoustic guitar and the classical guitar are instruments that can be called by the same name, in general, this denomination has some very clear differences.

Classical guitars use nylon strings, which are used to interpret classical or folkloric works typical of the culture of each country. While acoustic guitars use metal strings, which are used to play genres such as folk, country, pop, blues and rock . Although this is a generality, it doesn’t mean that you can’t play classical pieces on an acoustic guitar, they just have different and more characteristic sounds for each of the above mentioned genres.

The sound of nylon strings is sweet, soft and dull, while the sound of metal strings is bright, piercing and strong. The tension of nylon strings is lower than the tension of metal strings, that is why nylon strings are easier to press.

The fretboard is wider on the classical guitar, with a difference of about 10 mm, therefore the strings are further apart. The string spacing of the classical guitar is a bit wider, a difference of about 6 mm, as well as the frets are wider, these features benefit the bass response and sustain.

The body of the classical guitar is smaller than that of the acoustic guitar, this makes it easier to hold. Finally, the classical guitar is usually cheaper than the acoustic guitar. Here is a video so that you can better appreciate the difference in sound between an acoustic guitar and a classical guitar.

Nylon String vs Steel String Guitar! - Which One Should You buy?

 

Types of acoustic guitars

There are many types of acoustic guitars, in this section we are going to show you the most relevant and used ones, taking into account parameters such as their design, measurements, sound, among others.

Parlor

This is a guitar with a slim design and small body, similar to a classical guitar, it lacks pickguard and usually has 19 frets. This guitar is characterized by being easy to carry, comfortable to play and having a sweet sound.

Guitarra_Parlor

Concert

This guitar has a larger body than the Parlor, even though its size benefits more the amplitude of the low register, it is characterized by having a bright and sharp sound. This guitar has a pickguard and usually has 20 frets.

Guitarra_Concert

Grand Concert

This type of guitar is the smallest, it is characterized by having little depth, a rounded top and a moderate volume. It is considered to be a guitar suitable for children or people with small hands. This guitar has a pickguard and usually has 20 frets.

Guitarra_Grand_Concert

Auditorium

This type of guitar is also known as “Orchestra”, it is characterized by having a large size, a balanced sound in all frequencies and excellent qualities to study technique in the hand that corresponds to the neck. This guitar has a pickguard and usually has 20 frets.

Guitarra_Auditorium

Dreadnought

This type of guitar is one of the most popular nowadays, and represents a special style called “Bluesgrass”. Its size is big and it generates a powerful sound, with a lot of volume and highlights the low registers. This guitar has no pickguard and usually has 20 frets.

Guitarra_Dreadnought

Jumbo

This type of guitar also has a large body, although it stands out more in the lower part. Like the Dreadnought, it has a lot of volume, as well as excellent sustain and deep tones. This guitar lacks a pickguard and usually has 20 frets.

Guitarra_Jumbo

With this information you now have a better idea of which acoustic guitar is best for you, whether it is for aesthetic reasons, comfort for your hands, the sound you are looking for or the type of guitar that best suits your musical tastes. Now we continue with some of our recommendations, we have different proposals that will surely fit your pocket.

Advantages and disadvantages

If you are a beginner, it is likely that you are still not sure why you should buy an acoustic guitar over an electric guitar, beyond your aesthetic or musical tastes.

That is why we are going to show you some advantages and disadvantages that will help you make the right decision. First of all, if you can play something on the acoustic guitar, surely you can also play it on the electric guitar, a fact that doesn’t always work the other way around. The tone of an acoustic guitar is unique and unchangeable, you won’t have to mess around with swapping pickups and moving tone or volume knobs.

Last but not least, you will save a lot of money, it’s no secret that an electric guitar will cost you a little more, besides having to invest in maintenance, amplifiers, pedals, cables and so on.

Among the disadvantages we can find that it is technically more difficult for the fingers to play the acoustic guitar, however, this difficulty is felt more than anything when you are just learning to play, if you already have practice surely will not be a compelling reason for you. The strings are harder, the frets are wider and in terms of care, acoustic guitars are more fragile.

Now that you know this information, we also recommend that you take into account the type of music you want to play, as this directly influences the motivation you will feel to learn this wonderful instrument. Here are our buying suggestions.

Recommendations from the blog

If you are a guitarist who wants to start studying and try your luck with this instrument, we recommend that you don’t invest too much money in a guitar, but of course that it is a guitar of excellent quality. That’s why we recommend the Yamaha F310.

You can check its main competitors like the Cort AD810 or the Epihpone DR100, but we assure you that it is an excellent option, and the best of all is that you can get it with prices between 100 and 150 euros.

If you are a guitarist who wants to go big, and you are willing to invest a little more money to be able to study with a high-end acoustic guitar, we recommend the Epiphone EJ200.

You can check its main rivals like the Epiphone Hummingbird or the Epiphone AJ220S, but we assure you that it is an excellent option, the prices of this model are between 350 and 450 euros.

That’s all, we hope you can make your best purchase decision and this information has been helpful for you.

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