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Types of Guitars

Updated on October 22, 2011

Guitar is a musical instrument famous for its catchy and distinctive sound. Guitars are perhaps one of the most popular and used musical instrument.

It is a symbol of rock n roll, country music and folk music. Other types of music such as hip hop and R&B include pieces of guitar solos and guitar backgrounds at time.

There are different types of guitars each being used in different types of music. However each of these types has a different, distinct yet similar sound. Below given are the types of guitars:

Acoustic Guitars

These are the most basic and simple types of guitars. The acoustic guitars are made of thin wood and are hollow having metal or nylon strings.

The acoustic guitars are un amplified and do not need to be attached to an electrical amplifier to produce a sound.

They are mostly used in folk, country and rock music but they can be used in all the types of music genres.

The acoustic guitars are further divided into following types:

Acoustic Guitar
Acoustic Guitar
  • Classical Guitars

    The classical guitars have strings made of nylon. They are mostly used for playing folk, country music and ballads. The classical guitars have a wide neck and because of the nylon strings, produce a soft and warm sound which is ideal for classic simple and soft music. 

    Because of their wide neck, people with short fingers have difficulty playing the classical guitars. The classical guitars are also called Spanish guitars as they are mostly used in Spanish classic country songs.

Steel-stringed Acoustic Guitar
Steel-stringed Acoustic Guitar
Acoustic Bass Guitar
Acoustic Bass Guitar
  • Steel-stringed Acoustic Guitars

    As the name suggests, the steel-stringed acoustic guitars have strings that are made of steel.

    These strings can be six or twelve and the guitar itself can be made of different types of woods and shapes.

    There is a large variety of steel-stringed acoustic guitars each differing in shapes, type of wood used and number of strings present.

    The steel-stringed acoustic guitars are versatile and can be used for folk, country or rock music.

    Unlike the classical guitars, they have a sharp, more brassy and driving sound, because of which they are so versatile.

  • Acoustic Bass Guitars

    The acoustic bass guitars have a wide body and produce a warm and basic sound. 

    The acoustic bass guitars are used to accompany the classical or steel stringed acoustic guitars in songs to give a basic deep sound on the back ground. 

    The acoustic bass guitars can be used in the songs of any music genre to give an acoustic bass to the song.

Electric Guitar
Electric Guitar
Electric Bass Guitar
Electric Bass Guitar
Semi-acoustic Guitar
Semi-acoustic Guitar

Electric Guitars

The electric guitars are semi hollow guitars with a long body and a sharp, loud and heavy sound.

Unlike the acoustic guitars, the electric guitars can not be played without an amplifier and have to be plugged with an amplifier otherwise they can not produce proper sounds.

Where acoustic guitar is can be used for country, folk and rock, the electric guitars are made exclusively for rock and metal.

There are two types of electric guitars:

  • Traditional Electric Guitars

    These guitars are used by the front man or the lead guitarist of a band. This guitar produces the melodious guitar rifts of the song.

    The traditional electric guitars started to revolutionize in the late 1950s and 60s with artists like Jimmi Hendrix, Janice Joplin, Marvin gay etc.
  • Electric Bass Guitars

    The electric bass guitars produce a thumping sound which is used to give a background bass to a rock, metal, hip hop or techno songs. This guitar is played by the bassist of the band. In a rock band both the lead guitarist and the bassist with their traditional and bass guitars give the heavy and rocking sound.

Semi-acoustic Guitars or Acoustic-electric Guitars

The semi acoustic guitars are the guitars which can be used as both acoustic and electric. By appearance these guitars are acoustic but they can be plugged with an amplifier to produce a louder and a more driving sound.

The sound of the semi acoustic guitar is an intermediate between acoustic and electric guitars with a little more inclination towards the acoustic sound.

The semi acoustic guitars are mostly played on stage and in rock and country music. The semi acoustic guitars revolutionized in the rock era of 1970s and the early 80s by the late 80s and 90s the semi acoustic guitars were extremely popular.


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