Buying an acoustic guitar can be an overwhelming experience. Acoustic guitars are available in various body styles and shapes. Each provides a different playing experience with different tones. The shape of the body of the acoustic guitar influences the sound and the playability of the guitar. choosing a body shape that matches the type of music you want to play helps you to have the right acoustic guitar. Choosing among the various body shapes can be a difficult task. So, for your help, we have provided the complete guide about the various body shapes of the acoustic guitars and their characteristics.
Formation of guitars
Now let’s know about the details of the body shapes of the guitar. The top portion of the body is known as the soundboard. The soundboard comprises the internal bracing, sides, and back. All three components form a hollow chamber. The upper curve of the top is called the upper bout. Similarly, the lower curve of the top is called the lower bout. Between these two areas lies the waist of the guitar.
the sound is projected through the soundhole. The sound hole is aligned with the waist and exists at the base of the fretboard. The strings of the guitar are mounted to the portion of the body known as the bridge. Each string is anchored by the bridge pins. Another area attached to the bridge is the saddle. The saddle is like a thin strip of plastic that causes space between the strings.
Many times, pickup systems are also incorporated within the body of the acoustic guitars. These systems help in turning the vibrations of the soundboard into electronic signals. To increase the strength of these signals preamp systems are used. Preamp systems provide tone controls, volume controls, and sometimes a built-in tuner.
Body styles of the acoustic guitar
After knowing the various parts of the body of the acoustic guitar you must also learn about the various body styles. These different styles have the same basic construction with slight variations in them. Some of the popular body styles are as follows:
- Dreadnought: This is one of the common body shapes of acoustic guitars. It uses a larger soundboard than the others. Their 14-fret neck, wide waists, and square bouts make them different from others. They produce a powerful and driving sound. They are commonly used by bluegrass guitarists.
- Concert and grand concert: These acoustic guitars are smaller in size and usually have lower bouts. This construction gives them bright sounds. Because of their smaller size, they are more comfortable while playing. The grand concert guitars are slightly bigger with the lower bout. They produce stronger sounds.
- Jumbo acoustic guitars: jumbo acoustic guitars are also known as cowboy guitars. They have a great projection with loud sounds.
- Auditorium and grand auditorium acoustic guitars: auditorium acoustic guitars are middle-sized acoustic guitars. Like dreadnought guitar, this guitar also has a lower bout but smaller waist. These guitars achieve a nice balance between tone, volume, and comfort. The grand auditorium acoustic guitar is wider than the auditorium acoustic guitar. they provide a more balanced tone and high range of volume than the smaller guitars.
- Travel and mini-acoustic guitars: these guitars are ideal for smaller players and for those who love to travel. They do not compromise in their quality of sound even after being small in size. They are sometimes called backpackers. They are lightweight, durable, and easily portable.
- Cutaways: in some of the guitars there are cutaways in the upper bout. These cutaways allow easy access to the frets on the guitar neck. If you have a habit of playing an electric guitar and are planning to play acoustic guitar then you must find an acoustic guitar with a cutaway.
Top of the guitar
The top portion of the guitar affects the tone quality of the guitar. it is the area through which the sound generated by the guitar is amplified. The top of the guitar is available in two variations. These are either solid or laminated.
A solid top comprises single-ply pieces of wood. Their grains are matched with the middle of the guitar top. The laminate top comprises several layers of wood. Solid tops are known to have more vibrations than the laminated top. Laminated tops are considered to be an ideal choice for acoustic guitars for beginners.
Before buying an acoustic guitar, you must match its body style with the type of music you want to play. Although all body shapes produce marvelous sound each of them fulfils a separate purpose. We hope that this guide about various body styles will help you to choose the right shape for your acoustic guitar.
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