Types of guitars

Navigating through the different types of guitars can be frustrating at first.

I remember when I was a newbie, I though getting an electro-acoustic guitar was the way to go, because that way I would have an electric and acoustic guitar in 1 package. Not quite.

Here are the main types of guitars.

Acoustic guitars

The acoustic guitar is an ancient instrument, whose history can be traced straight back over 4000 years.


They are steel-stringed instruments used in about every style of music. These would be the most typical guitars newbies begin with.

The acoustic guitar's top, has a strong effect regarding the loudness associated with the guitar. Woods that actually are great at transmitting noise, like sitka spruce, are generally used for the soundboard.

Acoustic guitars have natural amplification, as the sound resonates within the body cavity, and is released through the sound hole. Some acoustic guitars have built-in pickups, which allow amplification through an amplifier as well. These are called electro-acoustic guitars.

Acoustic guitars come in several forms, here they are from smallest to largest:


Range – Sometimes called a mini jumbo, is three-quarters how big is a guitar that is jumbo-shaped.

Parlor – Parlor guitars have little bodies that are compact making it convenient for players who find large human anatomy guitars uncomfortable.

Grand concert – Mid-sized body shape which is not as deep as other full-size guitars.

Auditorium – Similar to the dreadnought physique, however with an even more pronounced waist.

Dreadnought – The classic electric guitar physique. The style was designed to produce a deeper sound than "classic"-style guitars, with very resonant bass.

Jumbo – The largest guitar body shape that is standard. The large body provides more punch and volume.

Classical guitars


Classical guitars are actually acoustic guitars, but the distinction is still made.

Electric guitars


Electric guitars work differently than acoustic ones. Electric guitars need some form of amplification to give off their sound.

Bass guitars


Bass guitars can be electric or acoustic. They only have 4 strings, which are tuned much lower than that of a normal guitar.

Other guitars

The term other guitars doesn't do it justice, since there are loads of guitars that are not part of the typical range of guitar. Here they are:

7 string guitar


Most guitars have 6 strings. Advanced players will use 7 string guitars. The extra string is an added low string, usually tuned to B1. This gives the guitarist more options with regard to playing low notes.

12 string guitars


12 string guitars have 12 strings in the six courses of a steel stringed guitar, which produces a chimy, chorus like effect. The tuning of each set of double string is usually the same note 1 octave apart, but different tunings exist.

If you think changing guitar strings is a pain, you ain't seen nothing until you change strings on a 12 string guitar.

Double necked guitars


You may have seen double necked guitars at concerts, being used by extravagant showmen. They have a very distinct form, in that the body is attached to 2 guitar necks.

Guitars made of special materials

People have experimented with building guitars out of all types of materials, including stone, 4 x 2 logs, etc.

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