Before you start learning how to play guitar, it’s important to understand the different types of available guitars. This is because of the existence of different types of guitars that come with different feel and sounds. This article outlines different types of guitars and brands available in the market.

Types Of Guitars

Acoustic Guitars

If you’re a guitar enthusiast you must be familiar with an acoustic guitar. These guitars have hollow bodies, which makes them amplify the string sounds acoustically. Acoustic guitars are made of wood and contain six strings.

Acoustic guitars come in different body shapes and sizes. Some come in symmetrical shape while others have a cut-away shape. This means the guitar’s body is cut away to allow easy access to the higher frets. Their sizes range from half size, three-quarter size to full size. But the size depends on the size of the guitarist’s body.

Here are different types of acoustic guitars.

Classical Guitars

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If you’re a beginner looking for a suitable guitar to start your musical career, then look no further. The classical guitar will sort you out. This type of guitar was used back in Spain to play conventional music as it provides classical background. It’s the best guitar for beginners. This guitar’s main feature is that it’s constructed using wood.

On the lower half of the guitar, there is a big sound box designed in the form of a female torso. Other characteristics include a hollow sound box and a string above it which was once strung by gut strings. With the advances in music technology, nylons have become more popular than classical ones. This is because nylons produce a calmer sound that is different and is slightly muted.

Music produced by nylon strings is sweet and ideal for placing in a classical genre. However, you shouldn’t place metal strings on a Spanish or classical guitar. Classical guitars are the perfect guitars for kids, given that they also come at affordable prices and in different sizes. You shouldn’t also rule out this nylon-strung guitar as just for kids. This is because they’re associated with classical artists and can be very cool if you know how to play them.

Steel String Acoustic Guitars

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Steel-string guitars originated from Hawaii. They’re not similar to the electric ones. It’s a bit heavier and comes in two kinds. As a guitar player, when you place it horizontally on your knees, it has pedal steel which consists of a mechanical tactic like the one experienced in a harp.

You can individually use pedals to change the pitch of every single string. By changing the pitch, you’re able to get the whole chromatic play under your grip as you play. And that’s the end of one type of steel description. On the second type of steel guitar, you need to play it horizontally on your lap using a solid steel bar which you lay down your neck. And that’s where the name lap steel guitar comes from.

Resonator Acoustic Guitars

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Have you ever come across a loudspeaker? If yes, it resembles a loudspeaker with that of a resonator guitar. Resonator guitars don’t have a regular sound. Instead, they’re concealed with a large circular cover which is perforated to conceal the resonator cone.

You can connect the bridge either on the center or the edge of the cone using an aluminum spring known as the spider. The cover plate helps to project the vibrations from the spider by the cone. The most common resonator guitar you can come across as a single cone, although the original model comes with three cones, was called a tricone resophonic guitar.

These guitars are loud and bright, so if you’re looking for a guitar that can produce loud music, then look no more. Resonator guitars are popular with blues, and you can find them with country guitarists. You can play them conventionally or slide them. Additionally, some resonator guitars contain metal bodies, leading to the name steel guitars.

With their metal bodies, you can deliberately confuse them with Hawaiian guitars, which share the same name, although they’re two different instruments. For more clarification, a resonator steel guitar is a material used to construct the body of the resonator guitar, while Hawaiian steel guitar is the name of the steel used when creating the glissandi.

With a clear sound, this guitar can perform well in large rooms and live performance in the open air. Apart from country music artists and blues singers, this type of guitar has become very popular in mainstream music. It’s a unique type of guitar that produces a different sound from other types of guitars.

Flamenco Guitar

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Flamenco guitar resembles the classical Spanish guitar. The only difference is that a Flamenco fretboard of the guitar is wider than the classical one. That is the only difference they have, but they share the same characteristics as well. Country users who want to work on a long variation of notes find it suitable to use this type of guitar. It’s the perfect guitar for advanced learners who are an enthusiast in playing guitar.

12 String Guitar

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When you step out to shop for guitars, make sure you understand the types of guitars available in the market so that you don’t get confused along the way. Note that there is a six-string guitar and a twelve-string guitar available in the market. The twelve-string version is different from the usual six-string model that you can come across in the market.

The first strings, which are the odd numbers, are usually different, while the second to twelfth ones have even numbers matching the six-string model. You can play the strings in pairs in the twelve strings and not individually as it is with the six-string model sound—it producers a brighter and clear sound than the six-string guitar. To play this guitar perfectly, you need to progress in thickening and practice more often to get used to it.

Should you buy an acoustic guitar?

If you’re a beginner and a songwriter who wants something to strum your song on, then you should go for acoustic guitar. It’s the ideal guitar for a beginner and a kid who wants to try out his lack of music industry skills. But if you’re an experienced player looking for something that busts out big, screaming, and bringing heavy distortion solos, then proceed to electric guitars.

Related: Easy guitar songs for beginners

Electric Guitars

Unlike other guitars, electric guitars have solid bodies, hence producing little sound. For you to get the desired loudness and bass, you have to plug it into an amplifier. And for you to play it, you’ll also need an amp. These guitars come in different shapes and sizes. They’re made of wood, just like their acoustic counterparts.

They also have six strings, although you can find some with twelve-string versions. Electric guitars are quite popular in rock, jazz, blues, and pop music. The amplification helps to produce more metallic volume. Electric guitar contains thinner strings than the acoustic one, and it’s mostly used in punk rock bands because of its perfect sound.

Here are the types of electric guitars:

Solid-Body Guitars

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Music was very boring back in the days when there were no guitars. Without a solid body, people would still be playing banjos up to date. But thanks to solid-body electric guitars, you can enjoy a variety of musical sounds. This coolest electric guitar was revealed in 1961 by Gibson.

These guitars are tough and very easy to transport. They provide many comforts when playing in that you can tailor their sounds to suit the content in your heart. If you’re not that cool guy, don’t worry; this great-looking guitar will sort you out. There’re many varieties of solid body guitars which you can try out to get the one that suits you.

Solid-body guitars come in different shapes and sizes. You have a variety to choose from, whether fat, thin or medium neck. This guitar also exists in different weights. If you prefer the light one, you can get it, but if you love the heavy bodyweight, then the choice is yours.

Hollow Body and Semi-Hollow

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With its resonating chamber, most jazz musicians preferred using this guitar. Its solid design and sleek body make it easy to transport around. You can also keep an amplifier around it if you need it. Another feature that made it popular back in the days is its size—every guitarist loves playing this big jazz guitar in their performance.

They were all acoustic back when produced by manufacturers such as Gibson, Epiphone, and DÁngelico. But later in the days, Benny Goodman guitarist Charlie Christian pioneered the use of amplification, leading to an electric hollow body.

On the other hand, a semi-hollow guitar has a huge hollow sound box placed in the center to produce enough sound. Therefore, you don’t need an amplifier to boost the sound when in a room with fewer people. You cannot achieve the quality and depth of sound in semi-hollow guitar as the soundbox is usually metal.

Acoustic-Electric Guitar

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You can call it an electro-acoustic guitar. It’s an acoustic guitar that you can plug into an amplifier and enjoy the sound. In the past, you would buy a cheap magnetic pickup and then clamp it in the big gaping hole of your acoustic guitar. But nowadays, things are a bit different.

Most guitar manufacturers offer more accurate systems to reproduce the tone of an acoustic guitar through an amp. Beneath the guitar’s bridge saddle, you can find a piezo strip, a type of pickup hidden there. On the top of the guitar, there’s a sensor on its underside. And lastly, there’s a miniature microphone pointing at the strings from the inside body of the instrument.

Also, some manufacturers such as Yamaha are offering all three options in the same guitar. You can get that authentic-sounding acoustic tone by blending these options in an amplifier. The amplification process of this guitar starts with the pickups. Modern electro-acoustic comes with a preamp to boost the signal of your type of pickup.

It will come with an already powered battery, feature volume, and EQ controls with an onboard tuner. It also has a phase switch that helps it counter unwanted feedback that drives the audiences crazy. Electro-acoustic guitars also come with a body cut-away, allowing showboaters to access the upper frets on the guitar.

Archtop Guitars

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Archtop guitars are semi-hollow steel-string guitars that are available. For more clarification, walk into any jazz performance, and you’ll see a jazz guitarist playing this semi-hollow steel-string guitar? Although they share the same similarity with an acoustic guitar in how they’re built, they still have some internal differences. Their inner design has an inner electromagnetic pickup. It also contains a pot that you cannot find in the acoustic guitar.

These guitars are available in two types which are the full-bodied and a thin line guitar. When you unplug and play the full-bodied one, it retains a good volume and acoustic resonance, although feedback may be a problem when you amplify it. On the same note, a thin line body helps to minimize the feedback by doing away with the acoustic volume and resonance.

If you’re looking for an aesthetical guitar, then get yourself the archtop guitar. It has a pleasing design thanks to the manufacturers who adhere to high standards of construction and playability. Its aesthetic design and other factors have ensured that it continues to be popular among guitarists.

Extended-Range Electric Guitar

Are you looking to expand your musical horizon? Well, if you’re planning to do so, then own an extended-range electric guitar. An extended-range electric guitar can come in seven, six, and even twelve strings, unlike standard electric guitar. These strings offer different sounds while at the same time giving you a performance to remember.

In any song you perform with an extended range guitar, you’ll realize some uniqueness in the repertoire. As it continues to exist, craftsmen are adding strings to this type of guitar. With the popularity of electric guitars, guitar enthusiasts add more strings, creating a unique model of extended-range electric guitars.

There’re many different types of extended-range guitars, but if you want to stick to a standard style of playing, you should start with a solid 12-string. Metal players who use additional strings to beef up their lower-end play love these types of guitars because they increase the range of pitches available.

You don’t need to worry about filling the performance room with power when you have extended-range electric guitars. If you require a stellar tone without pitchiness for blasting hard rock and metal tunes, don’t let go of these guitars. If you’ve mastered how to play your favorite instrument and are ready to kick start your play and create that memorable sound, then extended range electric guitars will provide you with just that.

If you still doubt these types of guitars, you can ask the most talented musicians to understand them well. With extended range electric guitars, you have room for growth and improve your skill thanks to seven, eight, and 12 string electric guitars. With extended range electric guitar, you can blast new and exciting tunes without knowing.

Should you buy an electric guitar?

If you’re looking for a powerful and sustaining sound, then the electric guitar will serve you well. It’s also an ideal guitar for a player who wants a much greater choice of sounds. An electric guitar provides you with limitless sounds that you can choose from, thanks to pedals, which are very open. But if you’re a traditional musician, then electrics won’t do you good because traditional music doesn’t require electronic amplification.

Related: How To Read Guitar Sheet Music For Beginners

Bass Guitars

Bass guitars have four strings, unlike their regular counterparts. They come in large size with thick strings that help to produce a big, thick sound. The Bass guitar sounds deep and low. When you play it, you might think that the Earth is shaking. Some of the recognizable bass guitars include the Fender Precision.

Bass guitars are solid-bodied and electric, but you can also find the acoustic and semi-acoustic basses if you want to give a try to all of them. Some basses come with five or six strings to allow a wider range. Here are the types of bass guitars:

Electric Bass Guitars

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If you’re a music enthusiast but haven’t come across electric bass guitars, then you’re missing a lot. Bass guitar is a classical type of guitar that is becoming more popular as it gets. It has a long neck with thick strings. These wide-scale length thick strings aren’t just there for no reason.  They provide a player with a variety of notes which match the lowest four strings.

These open strings hold the guitar even when you pitch it an octave lower. Although you can still find five and six-string basses in the instrument, the normal bass has four strings. Music players are drawn to using both of them, given that they share similar roles in the orchestral string family.

Acoustic Bass Guitars

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If you’re looking for a bass guitar without using an amp, then an acoustic bass might serve you perfectly. Acoustic bass guitars are not quite popular because of their low sound. They don’t have electrics and pickups. If you’re also a beginner or unplugged player, don’t let go of this type of guitar. You don’t need to plug this guitar into anything to play since its body produces a much louder sound than its electric bass counterparts.

With an acoustic bass, you can pick up the bass and start playing right away. The only drawback this guitar has is that it’s not very loud, meaning it can’t compete with a bass that is plugged into an amp. This can hinder you when you try to play it with other musicians because the sound from the guitar can be drowned out easily.

But if you intend to play louder music, then look for acoustic basses with large bodies, as they’ll produce the most sound. Most people love the sound of acoustic bass guitar because it’s quite similar to the sound of a double bass. When looking for lower music registers, the acoustic bass guitar can produce the exact resonant sound, and that’s why a bass guitar is different from a standard guitar due to its much lower pitch.

It’s ideal to know all the features you want in an acoustic bass guitar before buying it. Remember that not all guitars will be suitable for your genre of music. So, consider the kind of music you’ll be playing before you budget for an acoustic bass guitar.

Semi-Acoustic Bass

These are the bass versions of the semi-acoustic electric guitars. When you play them unplugged, they produce louder sounds than their electric counterpart. But for you to reach that best sound, you need a power source to boost them. They have semi-hollowed where features such as sensors, pickups, and hardware are installed. Semi-acoustic are in the form of f-holes.

Acoustic-Electric Bass

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Nowadays, most acoustic basses come with electronics in them which is a plus to the musical instruments. As much as they are good when played in unplugged gigs, the electronic feature can come in handy when you’re doing other types of events. For instance, if you have a gig with many acoustic guitars, you’ll probably need this feature because you’ll be struggling to get your sound out; hence you can end up hurting your fingers.

Having onboard electronics allows you to match the output levels with different instruments with a lot of ease. As you step out to shop for basses, note that some basses come with simple electronics while others come with advanced systems. If you’re going to plug it directly into the amp or PA, use a more elaborate preamp. But if you just want a tone with different pedals, then a simple electronic system will do you good.

Should you buy a bass guitar?

If you enjoy playing basslines, then you should buy a bass guitar. But remember that the bass guitar isn’t a solo instrument. You’ll need other musicians if you want to enjoy your bass instrument. So, if you’re a solo artist, then bass guitars won’t suit you.

Types of Small Guitars

Maybe you’re wondering if small guitars exist. Well, they exist, and they’re very practical and important to the world of guitar. If you’re an instrumentalist and haven’t come across a small type of guitar, then you’re missing a lot. With their small size, you can easily transport them anywhere you go.

Parlor Guitar

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Parlor guitars were largely enjoyed in the 1800s in the European continent. They were fitted by nylons back in the days. As they continue existing, early blues musicians started signing with the parlor-sized guitar in the early days of the 1900s. Despite their unpopularity in the United States, unlike in Europe, brands such as Martin and Taylor see the comeback of parlor guitars. These brands are making them more durable as they put them on steel strings.

Tenor Guitar

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Hey, don’t confuse a tenor guitar with a six-string guitar. It has four strings instead. If you’ve ever come across ukulele, then you’re almost getting to tenor guitar. It’s mostly played in folk music due to its brightness and twangy tones. The body of this beautiful guitar is shaped more like a concert orchestra, making it look like an acoustic guitar. You can get the tenor guitar in four features: acoustic, electric, resonator, and solid-bodied. This has led to an increase in its popularity.

Traveler Guitar

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Guitars come in all types. They’re customized to suit all their players’ specifications. If you love traveling while playing your instrument, the traveler guitar can sort you out. Traveler guitar isn’t necessarily described as a T because it’s sought after the specifications to suit the needs of a traveling guitarist.

The neck and the fretboard of this guitar remain consistent like the typical acoustic guitar, but its body shape varies. Don’t fret if you get them in strange, a-typical, and silent body shapes because they’re made to be lightweight, compact, and extremely portable.

Other Guitars

Steel Lap Guitars

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AS its name suggests, you can play lap steel while sitting down as the guitar faces up on your upper legs. It’s a board with strings that runs from one end to the other. With the action of the string, you’re required to slide it while playing. Steel lap guitars are referred to as Hawaiian guitars courtesy of their style of music, which has made them prominent.

They have legs and a series of pedals, levers, and pulleys that enable them to stretch the strings. Playing them isn’t that easy, but they are very sweet to listen to.

Double Neck Guitar

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This guitar is different from the guitars you’ve come across. It has two different diverse guitars in the same body. The first guitar is a standard conventional neck that holds six strings while the other has twelve strings. Their combination is also different, but with the same body serving as a resonating center.

This guitar is ideal when you need to change the notes where the single guitar cannot cover all of it. If you’re a rock guitarist, then this guitar is for you. It enables the rock guitarist to perform live. And with this guitar, you can work on a multi-guitar track while recording at the same time.

What are the main types of guitars?

The main types of guitars are acoustic guitars, electric guitars, and bass guitars.

What is the hardest type of guitar to play?

Classical guitar is the hardest type of guitar to play. This is because it has a wider neck, making you stretch your fingers more to reach the bottom of the fret.

What type of guitar is easiest to play?

The easiest guitars to play with are the electric guitars. They have thinner strings that enable the lower action, making the strings to be pressed down easily. Their necks are also narrower making them suitable for beginners.

Related: How To Read Guitar Tabs

Which guitar is best?

The guitar that you enjoy playing should be your best guitar. That being said, the best guitar you can get your hands on if you want a good sound is an acoustic guitar.

Conclusion

With the knowledge on the types of guitars, you can now upgrade from a beginner to a more advanced learner since you’re able to pick the right one. There are different types and brands of guitars that are in constant use and worth your money. You cannot do away with them if you’re a guitar enthusiast, even though they tend to be expensive.

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I am an avid Mac-user, nerd, musician, freelancer, and gamer. Ask me about my collection of M:TG cards!I've also got a horrible habit of needing the absolute newest technological wonder, whether it's stable or not. If they made a home-version of the LHC, I'd have 2.Additionally, I've been playing music for the better part of 14 years. I'm self-taught on piano, guitar, trumpet, trombone, sax, clarinet, bass, drums and other percussion, and around 10 other instruments. I also spend quite a bit of time dabbling in synthesizers, sequencers, and samplers. I'm also founder of Quotelicious where I collect and share the quotes I love.

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