This a natural question when you develop an interest in this instrument. And you might ask yourself this question because you feel overwhelmed due to the amount of guitars available on the market.
To know what kind of guitar you should buy, please read the following article. And of course, you can get in touch with me in the comments below if you have any question.
1. Types of electric guitars
Let’s start by one of the most popular guitars used today. If you want an electric guitar, you’ll need an amplifier to make it work. There are two main types:
- Semi-acoustic guitars (see picture below) usually have a warmer and cleaner tone than the solid body type. This instrument is perfect for jazz and rockabilly. Note that semi-acoustic are not the same as acoustic-electric guitars.
- Solid body guitars are the most common choice made by guitar owners. As there is no sound box, they will naturally sound better with effects. This instrument is the number one pick for metal, hard rock, punk and other classical rock.
2. Types of acoustic guitars
This is the oldest guitar type. It goes back to the 15th century… At that time, there were only four strings on the instrument. But yeah, it was a guitar. You will probably never own any 15th century model (if you do, you’re lucky!), so we’ll only talk about the recent types:
- The classical guitar we use is the modern version of the original one. Six nylon strings and a hollow body are its principal distinctions. As you may have guessed, this is THE instrument to play classical music, but also folk and flamenco.
- The steel-string acoustic guitar is the most popular one. Many people start playing with this type. As the name conveys, its strings are made of steel. The most common body type you’ll find is called “dreadnought”. This is an ideal instrument to play folk, country or pop-rock music.
- The flamenco guitar is very similar to the classical one but it has its few distinctions. Its body is lighter and thinner, and it’s often equipped with a tap plate (which protects the body from finger taps). Combine this instrument with a cajon, and you’re ready for Spain.
- There are many other acoustic guitar subtypes: lap-steel, resonator, archtop, among the most known.
3. Bass guitar
Before its invention, music bands relied on double bass, which was not really movable on stage. When the first mass-produced electric bass guitar came out, it was a revolution in the music industry.
Now, what are the main types? Let’s answer this:
- The electric bass guitar is the most common. There are subtypes naturally, as the headless and fretless ones. Its popularity comes from the fact that it’s often a backup instrument. Acoustic models are not great in front of a large audience.
- The acoustic bass was invented twenty years after the electric model. Its body is often similar to a flat top acoustic guitar. Combine it with other acoustic instruments and you’ll get the best out of it. Really great to play in front of a small audience.
4. Other types of guitars.
A ukulele is also a guitar. It’s a four-stringed small acoustic one. Here’s a representation of it:
It’s very small. But even a big guy can play it. Again, several types of ukulele exist.
Among the most known:
- Tenor (17″)
- Soprano (13″)
- Concert (15″)
- Baritone (19″)
The differences are mainly their size and their total length. Sometimes tuning is different too. As you can expect the sound you’ll get on baritone and tenor ones are much deeper.
4.2. Custom / Strange types of guitars.
As this section is a bit long, it will be covered on another page.
5. What guitar have you chosen?
Are you still hesitating about the instrument you want to buy? Let your mind rest a little. Take a walk. Review all the information I gave to you. If it’s not enough, go to your favorite music shop and try different types of guitars. I am sure you’ll make up your mind eventually.
Also, you can check this website out, for great information on plucked instruments.