Anyone’s first experience inside a guitar store can be overwhelming. This is because there are several
different types of guitars to choose from, each with their own unique sound. If you’ve just discovered your
new passion for music, or are simply looking to harness your new hobby, you’ve landed on the right place.
Read on to learn the different kinds of guitars out there, and how to choose one.
Guitars can be classified into two major groups: electric and acoustic. Acoustic guitars include steel-string,
flamenco, and classical instruments, while the electric types consist of basses and leads. Of course there
are some hybrids – carrying the sound pattern and basic design of acoustics, but integrated with parts that
can amplify sound when needed.
These types of guitars are based on a soundboard that converts and amplifies the energy of the vibrating
strings. They usually come in a hollow body designed from various types of wood, and do not rely on
electricity. They are particularly great for pop, blues, ragtime, and folk music.
These have a characteristically warm, full bodied sound, and normally use nylon strings instead of metal.
They are designed with a wide and flat neck, which makes it easy to play the arpeggios, scales, and chords
associated with classical music. Sound is usually produced by plucking the strings, although there are
certain styles of music that require strumming as well.
These are closely related to the classical guitars, but with a slight discrepancy in design. They also use
nylon strings, but are normally lighter as their bodies are made of cypress, which is spruced at the top. If
you want a slightly louder instrument, you can request a harder wood for the body, such as rosewood.
This should be outfitted with tapping plates or golpeadores, which you can hit with your fingers to produce
rhythmic, percussive sounds synonymous with the flamenco style.
#Steel strings (aka flat tops)
The most distinct and obvious feature of the steel stringed instruments is that they use steel strings as
opposed to nylon, resulting in greater tension that puts more pressure on both the soundboard and
bridge. Naturally, they are designed to withstand this additional stress from the metal strings, which come
in six-and twelve-string types – constructed to make tuning more stable. They are especially ideal for
genres such as country, pop, or rock.
Unlike their counterpart acoustics, these types of guitars need an amplifier in order to produce quality
sound. They include:
#Lead (standard) electrics
As their name suggests, these guitars take the lead or melody in a band, and usually come with six strings
like the acoustics. The main difference is that these strings have a lighter gauge and are normally closer to
the frets, primarily because most of the sound is produced through the amplifier. In turn, they give you the
ability to create special effects, for instance fake “screams” from the guitar, as well as access to such tools
as foot pedals and whammy boards for producing sounds like echoes, pitch bends, vibrato, and much
These are the types of guitars that convey the heart pumping drive of genres such as rap, hip-hop, funk,
techno, dance, and rock music. Whether slapped, plucked, or picked, these instruments provide the low
notes that make a strong foundation in a song.
Every guitar is unique in its own beauty – the secret is to determine what you want to study and have a
particular determination. With the multiple types of guitars available, you have to be patient in your
decision. After the initial period of difficulties, you’ll soon find yourself more passionate about learning the
Guitar and discover it’s not all that difficult.