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Types of Guitars


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What are the different types of guitars available on the market today?  This page will answer your question without the mind-boggling jargon...
Guitar's can be divided into two main categories, that of Acoustic and Electric.  Below I'll look at each category in detail.


Acoustic Guitars
For most of us, acoustic guitars are the ones we use when playing around the camp fire or with friends and family during a sing-a-long. 

Acoustic Guitars are hollow-bodied, meaning that their not made out of solid blocks of wood, but, like the name suggests, are hollow on the inside.  They are usually designed to be unamplified.  This means that their sound is not produced by electronics or amplification, but by the natural sound produced by the guitar itself.  Some acoustic guitars have electronic added to enable a player to play through a sound system.

Here are the three different types of acoustic guitar:
Classical Guitars - These are acoustic based guitars that use nylon strings.  Nylon strings are smoother on the fingers than the steel strings used by other types of guitars.  Classical Guitars have big fretboards and its strings are slightly further apart than that of acoustic guitars.  Classical guitars are mainly used by people playing classical, acoustic and fingerstyle music.  This guitar is sometimes called the "Spanish Guitar".
Acoustic Steel Stringed - These guitars are similar to classical guitars, but use steel strings.  These guitars deliver a wide variety of different sounds and can be used in many genres of music.  They can have 6 or 12 strings.   Acoustic guitars have better sustain and volume than its classical counterpart.
Acoustic-Electric Guitars - The same as an acoustic guitar, but comes with a built in pickup, microphone or transducer.  This means that this kind of guitar can be connected to an amplifier or sound system.  Sometimes the pickups include volume controls, an equalizer and even a built in tuner.  Acoustic-Electrics are often used by Folk and Gospel artists.
Acoustic Bass Guitar - These are bass guitars that are unamplified and are played unplugged (not connected to a sound system).  They provide a warm, deep and mellow base sound as is often used in genres like Jazz and ballads.  These guitars are often used as backups for electric base by a band's bass player.
Electric Guitars
For our purposes there are two types of electric guitars:
Electric Bass Guitar - Bass guitars are played with the fingers or thumb with strings being plucked or slapped.  These guitars provide deep, bone rattling vibrations of a bass nature.  These guitar are similar in shape than an electric guitar, but is usually slightly larger.  They use four (sometimes five or six) strings and  is used in many styles of music including rock, metal, pop, ska, punk rock, country, blues, and jazz.
Electric Guitars - Electric guitars have no acoustic or 'natural' sound by themselves; they always need to be played through a guitar amplifier.  The action on an electric guitar is very low (meaning its easier to press the strings down) and electric guitars allow for great flexibility in music form.  Electric Guitars are used in many forms of music like blues, disco, techno, funk, R&B, hip-hop or rap.
What guitar for beginners? 
If you want to know what kind of guitar makes a good investment for a beginner player, head over to the Learn Guitar FAQ and the What Guitar for Beginners? questions, where this is discussed in more detail.
Musician's Friend is the online guitar retailer of choice when it comes to pricing and
shipping.  Their products are decently prices (usually lower than you local music store
will be), and they offer free shipping for many guitar related products.  If you're looking
to buy a specific guitar, I highly recommend you check their site out.
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