Music Gear News
A Beginner's Guide to the Acoustic Guitar
What is an acoustic guitar and how does it work?
An acoustic guitar is a stringed musical instrument that is played by picking the strings with fingers or a plectrum. The vibration of the strings creates the sound, which is then made louder acoustically inside the guitar's hollow body or sound box. Further amplification is sometimes needed for performances and this is usually achieved by playing the instrument into a microphone, although some acoustic guitars do feature pickups, allowing them to be plugged in to an amp in a similar way to an electric guitar.
There are several different types of acoustic guitar available, catering for different styles of music. Classical guitars - sometimes referred to as concert or Spanish - typically feature six nylon strings and are generally used to play classical music. They are often plucked as opposed to strummed and have a flat fretboard profile. They produce a more mellow sound than acoustics with steel strings, which are both louder and brighter.
Different types of acoustic guitar
The three main types of acoustic guitar shape are dreadnoughts, cutaways and round backs. The dreadnought, which has a bell-like body, was developed by famous manufacturer CF Martin & Company and has gone on to be considered the standard acoustic guitar shape. Cutaways have an indentation in the body next to the bottom of the guitar neck to make it easier for guitarists to play the lower part of the fingerboard. Round back models have a rounded as opposed to flat back, which is considered to create a clearer and brighter sound.
Acoustic guitars available on the market
A starter instrument, such as the Concert Acoustic Guitar can be bought from Ã‚Â£39.99. Designed for those on a budget, the instrument is particularly good for smaller players. It produces a mellow and balanced tone and features a compensated bridge to assist with intonation. It is considered to be ideal for finger-picking and playing acoustic blues music.
The Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar, which is also geared towards beginners, is available for the same price. The larger instrument has a full and balanced tone and boasts high levels of playability and response in addition to the compensated bridge.
Electro-acoustic guitars, which feature pickups, are marginally more expensive, with the Round Back Acoustic Guitar available for Ã‚Â£65. The slimline instrument has a cutaway feature and produces warm and clear tones in addition to having a great feel. It is designed with live performance in mind, with the aim of minimising problems with feedback when the instrument is amplified.
Boasting similar features and the same price is the Single Cutaway Electro Acoustic Guitar, which has a well-balanced acoustic sound that is also designed to sound great through an amp.
Further up the price range and for those looking to advance is the Washburn D46S Acoustic Guitar. The dreadnought instrument costs Ã‚Â£299 and is thought to be unrivalled in its price range for its richness of feel and the quality of wood used in its build.
At the top of the price range is the Yamaha LJX6C Solid Top Jumbo Acoustic for Ã‚Â£675. With a solid spruce top, cutaway rosewood back and sides and a two-way pick-up with pre-amp system, the instrument is built with the modern guitarist in mind, producing a controlled and assertive tone and a strong mid-range.
Other things to consider when buying an acoustic guitar
Those looking to buy an acoustic guitar and start playing straight away may be interested in the Dreadnought Guitar + Accessory Pack, which comes with a spare set of strings and gig bag for Ã‚Â£49.99. Other popular accessories include guitar polish, picks and tuners, while those with electro-acoustics will probably find a practice amp to be useful. Full amplifiers will likely be needed for those looking to play live.Posted on 11 May 2009 11:49 to category : Tips and advice
Related Music News
Update available to improve performance and fix bugs.
Shure recently discussed how guitarists can achieve great results when recording at home or in a small project studio. We took a look and picked out our favourite points.
Recreate the Brazilian carnival atmosphere at your World Cup party with our Samba instruments.
Many parents want to encourage their child to take up an instrument early on in life. Music can be a fun and rewarding activity for children but knowing where to start can be tricky. Here are our top picks for ideal starter instruments for children under 7.
We take a look at 11 apps you may want to try...
You've spent ages perfecting your sound and now it's time to let others hear it too. Read our 8 Tips for Putting on a Great Live Show.
Recent Music News
With an increased quality of specifications right across the board, Apple's eponymous 'iPad' will host a whole generous selection of great new features.
Supported by the likes of Ed Sheeran, Royal Blood, Wolf Alice and many more, Fanfair Alliances new educational guide is available for free download online.
An icon who helped propel the rock 'n' roll movement to new and unprecedented heights. Chucky Berry is praised by many as a founding father of modern music.
Until the 31st of May the CS18AI is available at an incredibly reduced price. Additionally, claim a free upgrade to PreSonus Studio One upon purchase.
Through a collaboration with watch manufacturer Raymond Weil, Gibson's 'Freelancer' watch pairs extravagance and musically inspired design with stunning results
Building on the fundamental success and design of the NS6 controller, Numark bring forth the next generation of DJ controllers to eagerly awaiting DJs the world over