The Acoustic Guitar
As was mentioned in our article on “the History of the Guitar,” guitars have been around for centuries. The original guitars were Acoustic guitars, which changed in shape over several hundred years. Since you’ve already been given a timeline of the evolution of the guitar, in this article we’ll go into greater depth discussing the Acoustic guitar itself.
The Acoustic guitar is essentially a descendent of the Classical guitar, which, in its current form, has been around for over 100 years. The main difference between the Classical and Acoustic guitars are that one is strung with nylon strings, while the other is strung with steel strings. Since the Acoustic guitar is strung with steel strings, it has a louder, brighter sound which is appealing to folk and blues players.
Another difference between the Acoustic and Classical guitars is that the Acoustic guitar has a bigger body size, stronger structure, and a narrower neck than does the Classical guitar. The structure of the Acoustic guitar is stronger so that it can withstand the immense tension placed on it by the heavier steel strings.
Acoustic-Electric guitars haven’t been in existence for nearly the amount of time that their Acoustic counterparts have. These guitars, which have the ability to be both plugged into an amp and played unplugged, have been around for roughly 70 years.
All about the Acoustic guitar
The bodies of cheap Acoustic guitars are typically made from laminated tonewood. More expensive Acoustics are made from higher cuts of solid spruce top wood On an Acoustic guitar, the material which the body is made from really matters, so those looking for a rich sound will want to choose a guitar with a body made from nicer wood such as spruce top wood.
The neck of the Acoustic guitar is usually made from maple, mahogany, or rosewood. However, some guitar necks are comprised of different woods. Yet again, the quality of wood does matter. Generally speaking, Acoustic guitars with necks made of a high quality maple or mahogany and bodies made with solid spruce top are quality guitars with great tone. These guitars usually cost $250 on up.
The vibration of the strings is amplified by the soundhole of the guitar. This is where all sound that you hear comes from.
If you look inside the soundhole of the Acoustic guitar, you’ll see the construction of the body. There are braces and linings, all essential to keeping the guitar intact and playable. X-bracing, a strong, durable bracing, is typically used on Acoustic guitars because it is heavy and strong enough to withstand the pressure of steel strings.
On the body of the guitar, you’ll find the bridge. This is where one end of the strings goes. The strings are inserted into the little holes and the bridge pegs hold them there.
On the neck of the Acoustic guitar is the fretboard. Most fretboards on the Acoustic guitar are made of rosewood or ebony. More expensive Acoustic guitars have fretboards made of higher quality woods.
The headstock of the Acoustic guitar features six tuning pegs (three on each side of the headstock) and six tuners (three on each side of the headstock). Good Acoustic guitars will have die-cast Grover tuners which usually stay in tune longer than other brands of tuners.
Like their Electric counterparts, Acoustic guitars are tuned in the standard E A D G B E tuning. Most Acoustic guitars have six strings, while some have twelve. If you are curious as to the difference between the two, check out our article on “Twelve string vs. Six string”.
The Acoustic guitar still remains a very popular instrument. It is used in virtually every style of music—rock, pop, country, blues, you name it. Acoustic guitars are wonderful instruments for both beginners and professionals.