types of acoustic guitars

Unlike electric guitars, which can be manipulated tonally with pedals and gizmos, an acoustic pumps out a sound fueled by its dimensions and body woods. That means you need to know what tone you want before you buy this type of guitar.

The biggest selling steel-strung acoustic guitar design of all time is the dreadnought. Initially developed by Martin Guitars for the Oliver Ditson Company in 1916, it became a fully-fledged Martin catalogue entry in 1931. And it’s been the basis for most other designs ever since.

Dreadnoughts are great all-rounders. From folk to rock to bluegrass you’ll get a good strumming sound, and a quality fingerpicked response. Jumbo guitars like the Gibson J-200 are all about the big noise for strummers.

Smaller-bodied guitars like the Martin OOO and OM are fingerpicking delights. Note separation is what you want for that stuff and these guys willingly oblige. Many guitarists like to record with the more minuscule parlor-style guitars. These guitars team a tiny chassis with a regular-size neck.

As for wood, most acoustic guitars these days feature a spruce top teamed with various back and side timbers like rosewood, mahogany or modern wood substitutes like HPL (High Pressure Laminate).

Solid woods mature tonally with age but are generally more expensive. Laminate woods are more robust but don’t offer the same level of tonal development. They can still sound great however.

The message is, try as many types of guitar as you can. It’s the only way to be sure.



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