Truer words could never be spoken. A guitar is like that old school buddy who will be your companion till the end. And you will have many wonderful moments and priceless memories with it. Your guitar is your healer, it is your guide. It will take all your problems away and give you nothing but peace and bliss. Famous guitarists have also opined that-
“When I have downtime, music is a big part of my life. Not so much singing, but I play the guitar.” – KJ Apa
So, we guess that you need no introduction or any more applauses about this amazing musical instrument. Therefore, we will come straight to what we want to elaborate on and that would be about the different types of guitars. Guitars have at least twelve variants and we will cover each one of them. Stay tuned and scroll down to know everything about them.
1. The Classical Guitar
Also known as the ‘Spanish guitar’ or the ‘Nylon-strings guitar’, this is a type of acoustic guitar where the strings are made of nylon and the fretboard is made up of hard wood like spruce, mahogany and its likes. The fretboards are wider in classical guitars and there is low tension in the strings which makes it perfect for the beginners to play and learn. Finger techniques are much convenient with this type of a guitar. These guitars are used to play mellow jazz, flamenco and classical music.
2. The Steel-Stringed Acoustic Guitar
This is an acoustic guitar whose strings are made of steel. These are the most popular and commonly used guitars and they have several body shapes and types namely the Jumbo, Dreadnought, Parlor, travel, symphony, concert, orchestra and auditorium. These guitars have a flat body and their tone is quite brighter and louder. Pop, rock, blues are played on this type of guitars and they are always chosen by the beginners to begin their journey with the guitar.
3. The Electro-Acoustic Guitar
These guitars have the best of both worlds- the acoustic world and the electrical world. These are acoustic guitars which can be plugged to the amplifier and then played. Their sounds have that metallic-acoustic timbre and with the automatic tuner the sound can be adjusted as well. These guitars are used in metal and rock music and different tones can be added with these. They are often used in live performances. Beginners can easily befriend this guitar.
4. The Electric Guitar
These guitars can only be played when they are plugged into the amplifier. They lack resonating boxes and their sounds have a huge metallic decay. Perfect for single-note soloing, these guitars have thin necks and can only be played with electric pick-ups. These guitars are ideal for fret-tapping. Heavy metal and hard rock are played best on this type of a guitar. Beginners can pick up this guitar more easily than the usual acoustic guitars.
5. The Bass Guitar
Available on both acoustics and steel bodies, bass guitars have long necks, thin bodies and quite thick strings. These guitars are used for playing the low notes and usually they have four to six strings that correspond to the lower octaves. Every genre of music uses a bass guitar and funk is incomplete without them. Beginners won’t find it difficult to master a bass guitar quickly as they play notes mostly and very few chords.
6. The Resonator Guitar
These are quite uncommon as these are the guitars that have a spun metallic cone in the place of the sound hole. This cone acts as the resonator making the sound quite loud and lucid. They are either made of metal or dreadnought and the cones are made of aluminium. These guitars are used mainly in folk, country, bluegrass music. They are not quite suitable or convenient for the beginners to learn at first since they have a limited tone range and their action range is quite high.
7. The 12 Strings Guitar
These guitars can be played just like the normal 6 strings acoustic guitars. Their sound has a ‘jingle-jangle’ effect which is quite bright, and warm. They have a high tonal range and the sound is loud and full. These guitars have twelve tuning pegs and the 6 pairs of strings are both thick and thin. Chords progression can be done excellently with these guitars. ‘Stairway to Heaven’ and ‘Wish you were here’, were played on this guitar type. These guitars are perfect for the pop, rock and country blockbusters. However, beginners should refrain from learning this guitar at first as it is quite difficult to play and understand.
8. The Archtop Guitar
Also called the hollow and semi-hollow guitars, these have semi-acoustic features on an electric guitar. The bodies are quite hollow. However, there is a block of wood in a semi-hollow guitar that is placed under the pick-up and the bridge. The hollow guitar lacks this wooden block.
8.1 Hollow Guitar
This electric guitar has a large hollow internal cavity and the acoustics are quite mellow and soft. These guitars don’t harmonize well with the amplifiers. The present-day hollow guitars have become quite thin but their sound still lacks the intensity and the resonance. These guitars are used in jazz, blues and bebop music. Beginners may find this guitar a bit tricky to handle.
8.2 Semi-Hollow Electric Guitar
This guitar has a wooden block placed below the violin shaped cover inside the internal cavity. That is why it fixes the sound problems faced by hollow guitars. These guitars give a lucid and loud sound which makes it desirable. Gibson ES-335 is the best semi-hollow electric guitar. Jazz, blues, rock and roll guitarists find this guitar perfect. Semi-hollow guitars have a large body which is why they can be a bit troublesome for the beginners.
9. The Lap Steel Guitar
These guitars are also known as ‘Hawaiian guitars’ and ‘Pedal Steel guitars.’ They are placed horizontally on the lap and are played by a slide. The strings can never press down as the frets are nothing but markers. These guitars are very much used in country music and Hawaii music. Their chords and riffs differ a lot from the regular guitars and they require alternate tuning frequently. Beginners can learn a lap steel guitar easily but it will be quite another different instrument than the normal electric or acoustic guitar.
10. The Extended Range Guitar
These were born in the 90s and comprised of 7 strings only. You will find 8 and 9 string variants in the market now though. Unlike the 12 strings guitars, these guitars do not have combined strings. They do not come in pairs and their function is to add more strings in the end. Metal guitarists use this guitar as it adds more bass to the guitar and can handle distortions perfectly. Fanned fret guitars are a type of this guitar as their fret’s arrangement is not horizontal but shaped like a fan. This guitar is used in heavy music like metal. Beginners may find this guitar difficult to manage and handle.
11. The Touch Guitar
Born during the 1960s, these guitars are also known as ‘Electronic Mute.’ These guitars are always off tune until and unless they are touched or played. They have two necks which can be played together and the strings can be silenced by adjusting them in the very end. Touch guitars have a large body and a long neck and are placed behind the shoulder. The left hand plays the bass while the right hand plays the strings on the neck both horizontally and vertically due to their placement positions. They are quite rare and are used in rock music. However, they are very difficult to play and are not suited for the beginners and the amateurs at all.
12. The Multi-Neck Guitar
These guitars have two or more necks and fretboards. They usually have 6 or 12 strings though their configuration can be variant. They can either have frets or may lack them. The guitarist can switch between the necks easily. These guitars are quite used in hard rock and heavy metal, thrash metal bands. Beginners may find this guitar a tough nut to crack.
13. The Pocket Guitar
These are small guitars that can fit your pocket quite easily. These guitars are not even 3/4th the size of the normal guitar. You can carry them anywhere and everywhere. They have several frets but no body. However, their sound is very low and they are barely audible. Pocket guitars are used in every genre of music and beginners too can master it easily because it is used only for practicing the chords and exercising the fingers.
Thus, these are the various guitars that we have around us. All these guitars are a piece of wonder, each a marvel- unique and one of a kind. While some guitars like the acoustic guitars, the electric guitars, the pocket guitars etc. are easy to learn and master, the multi-neck guitar, the archtop guitar, the resonator and the touch guitar (to mention some) are extremely tough and arduous. But practice makes a man perfect and if you really want to learn, you will devote yourself to it and persevere. Learning a guitar requires no rocket science, so all you have to do is stay focused and play until you are perfect. Happy learning folks!!