Types Of Guitars Acoustic electric Guitars: this is a term used to describe acoustic guitars that have pickups installed in them so they can be plugged into amplifiers or PA systems. The majority of acoustic guitars you see on stage are acoustic electric guitars. Structurally, they are identical to traditional acoustic guitars.
Electric Guitars: these types of guitars made out of a solid piece of wood and rely exclusively on their electronic pickup systems and amplifiers for their volume. Their unique sound lends itself best to rock and roll, but they have also substantially shaped the sound of country music in the last 50 years. (Think "twang")
Classical Guitars: also called "nylon-string", classical guitars are used almost exclusively in the classical and folk idioms, but can also be found on more popular recordings. Carlos Santana makes a lot of use of the classical guitar in his recordings. Slightly smaller than a traditional acoustic,
slightly wider necks and strings that are made of nylon rather than
steel, to give them a very gentle, warm sound. The best Classical guitars are usually from Spain.
Hollow-body Guitars: These are simply
traditional electric guitars that have chambers cut in the body to allow for more sonic resonance.
They come in many different sizes and are favored primarily by players of blues
and jazz music.
Steel Guitars: These are the farthest breed apart from
traditional guitars so far. While any guitarist can pick up any guitar from the above list
and play, a steel guitar requires special training to play. The guitar is played
flat on its back, and the strings are elevated approximately half an inch above
the fretboard. This allows the strings to be played using a "tone bar" that takes
the place of the fingers on a fretboard and gives the steel guitar its classic "crying
sound". This is the archetypal guitar sound.
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