guitar-buying-guide

Guitar

Guitars are awesome because they don’t need fancy components to sound good. Every music fan has a love for this beautiful musical instrument. Playing different guitars in a music shop, coffeehouse and at a house party is a great way of familiarizing yourself. Its popularity can be seen easily among the musicians because of its charm. If you're looking to buy a guitar for yourself we are here to take you through the prime information, you'll find an easy-to-read, straightforward and relevant guitar buying guide for each type below.

Guitars are broadly classified into two Types

Acoustic Guitar
Electric Guitar

An acoustic guitar is a guitar that produces sound acoustically—by transmitting the vibration of the strings to the air—as opposed to relying on electronic amplification. The sound waves from the strings of an acoustic guitar resonate through the guitar's body, creating sound. This typically involves the use of a sound board and a sound box to strengthen the vibrations of the strings. The string causes the soundboard and sound box to vibrate, and as these have their own resonances at certain frequencies, they amplify some string harmonics more strongly than others, hence affecting the timbre produced by the instrument.

The main source of sound in an acoustic guitar is the string, which is plucked or strummed with the finger or with a plectrum. The string vibrates at a necessary frequency and also create many harmonics at various different frequencies. The acoustic guitars soundboard, or top, also has a strong effect on the loudness of the guitar. No amplification actually occurs in this process, because no external energy is added to increase the loudness of the sound (as would be the case with an electronic amplifier).

Ideal Usage :

  • It is well suited for playing melodies and chords.
  • The narrow neck makes playing scales and chords relatively easy.
  • The close string spacing makes playing scales or chords with a pick relatively quick easy because the movements and stretches are smaller.
  • The acoustic sound production eliminates the need for amplifiers and electronics.
  • Its easily portable.It has relatively low weight.

Types of Acoustic Guitar

1. Classical Acoustic Guitar

It is an acoustical wooden guitar with strings made of nylon as opposed to the metal strings used in acoustic and electric guitars. The classical guitar is the oldest member of the guitar family used in classical music and is also known by concert guitar, classical acoustic, nylon-string guitar, or Spanish.

2. Conventional Acoustic Guitar

This type of guitar has six strings made of steel and the body is made of wood. The string vibration produces the sound and the body echoes it. You don’t need an amplifier for this type.A traditional acoustic guitar is the most famous type of guitar that you find played at a campfire or amongst your friends on a casual occasion.

3. Acoustic Bass Guitar

This guitar is similar to its electric twin in its string construction, possessing four strings. A little larger than a six-string acoustic guitar, an acoustic bass guitar has a larger, hollow wooden body.

4. 12 String Acoustic Guitar

This type of guitar is widely used in musical genres like folk, blues, and rock and roll. The 7-string guitar adds one extra string to the traditional six strings, allowing you to play on a lower note, than what is possible on a six-string guitar. Metal music uses this type of guitar more, especially for the thinner sound it produces on a lower note. These two strings are so closely placed that it is very difficult to play them individually. The sound quality is brighter and fuller due to the extra strings

An electric guitar is a fretted string instrument that uses a pickup to convert the vibration of its strings—which are typically made of steel, and which occurs when a guitarist strums, plucks or fingerpicks the strings—into electrical signals. The vibrations of the strings are sensed by a pickup, of which the most common type is the magnetic pickup, which uses the principle of direct electromagnetic induction. The signal generated by an electric guitar is too weak to drive a loudspeaker, so it is plugged into a guitar amplifier before being sent to a loudspeaker, which makes a sound loud enough to hear.

The output of an electric guitar is an electric signal, and the signal can easily be altered by electronic circuits to add "color" to the sound or change the sound. Often the signal is modified using effects such as reverb and distortion and "overdrive", with the latter being a key element of the sound of the electric guitar as it is used in blues and rock music.

Ideal Usage :

  • The narrow neck makes playing scales and chords relatively easy.
  • The close string spacing makes playing scales or chords with a pick relatively quick easy because the movements and stretches are smaller.
  • The amplified electric sound production make it very well suited for playing with other loud instruments and bands.
  • The thin body is easiest on the right shoulder.

Types of Electric Guitar

1. Electric Acoustic Guitar

An electric-acoustic guitar (also called an electro-acoustic guitar) is an acoustic guitar fitted with a magnetic pickup, a piezoelectric pickup or a microphone. In electric-acoustic nylon string guitars, piezoelectric pickups and microphones are always used because magnetic pickups are not capable of picking up vibrations of non-magnetic materials. These preamps may also come with tone controls of varying types, but usually equalizers with up to six frequency bands are used. They are also referred to as a "plug-in acoustic guitar", due to their ability to simply "plug in" to a speaker system without the need for microphones.

2. Electric Bass Guitar

The bass guitar is similar in appearance and construction to an electric guitar, but with a longer neck and scale length, and four to six strings or courses. The four-string bass, by far the most common, is usually tuned the same as the double bass,. The bass guitar is a transposing instrument, as it is notated in bass clef an octave higher than it sounds (as is the double bass) to avoid excessive ledger lines. Like the electric guitar, the bass guitar has pickups and it is plugged into an amplifier and speaker for live performances.

3. Electric Lead Guitar

These guitars have six strings similar to acoustic guitars, and their strings are closer to the frets. Also, they have a lighter gauge since the sound production is mostly taken care of by the amplifier.

4. Semi-acoustic Guitar

This type of guitar comes with a hollow body and electronic pickups. Their functionality is similar to solid body guitars except that the vibrating hollow body makes the pickups convert string and body vibration into electrical signals. These are known for their sweet and funky tones.

Guitar Specification

Head
The end of the neck that holds the tuners; sometimes called ‘peghead’ or ‘headstock’.
Neck
The neck is attached either through a bolt-on, set-in or neck-through construction. Both set-in and neck-through construction generally improve sustain, although bolt-on is used on many high end guitars.
Body
The sound-producing chamber to which the neck and bridge are attached.
Tuning
Pegs
The geared devices that allow for tensioning the strings and keeping instruments in tune; generally categorized by a gear ratio.
Nut
The piece the strings cross over at the peghead end of the instrument; holds the strings in position, and defines the end of the vibrating length of the strings at the end opposite the saddle.
Fretboard
The front surface of the neck which holds the frets, to which the string is pressed to form different notes.
Fret
The little metal bars that cross the fingerboard. The string is pressed downward until it touches a fret, effectively shortening the vibrating length of the string and producing the different notes.
Sound Hole
Acoustic guitars use what is called a sound hole to amplify the sound of the picked or strummed strings. Electro-acoustic guitars also use a pickup and onboard preamp, giving you the option to plug in like you would an electric and use an external amplifier.
Pick Guard
Also known as a scratch plate, the pick guard protects the finish on the body against the scratch of the pick as you strum/pick. They're also used because of how they look, often a different colour from the body.
Pickups
The pickups are situated on the body where the fretboard ends. These are the magnetic parts responsible for picking up the string vibrations and translating this into sound through your amplifier.
Bridge
An anchor point for the strings to connect to the top of the instrument.
Pickup
Selector
Electric guitars also have a pickup selector switch so you can choose which pickup(s) to activate.
Volume /
Tone Knobs
These are the knobs and switches that control the volume and tone of the signal from the pickups to the output. Guitars commonly have one tone knob per pickup and one master volume. Some also have a volume knob for each pickup.
Output
Jack
The jack on the body of the guitar which is used to connect to an amplifier. Often mistakenly called an input jack.
Guitar Size
Guitars come in different shapes and sizes. For example, children will find 1/2 size and 3/4-size guitars more comfortable to play than full-size guitars. A guitarist who travels a lot may prefer a lightweight guitar. Acoustic guitars tend to be much lighter than electric ones. Compare weight and overall dimensions while shopping, taking into consideration the guitar's intended use.
Price
Keep a budget in mind when shopping for a guitar and accessories. Although it is always important to look for quality craftsmanship, try to avoid items with the largest price tags until they are certain to be used responsibly, professionally, or to the full ability of their user. Well-constructed guitars made of good tonewoods retain their resale value and many even appreciate over time. They also produce rich sounds that improve with age and use. Low-quality woods do not have the same tonal resonance, and a guitar with inexpensive construction may not last as long.
Experience
Experience is another major factor to consider while choosing a guitar. For beginners, it is advisable to opt for an inexpensive acoustic guitar. But one must also keep in mind the tuning quality of the guitar, and so not go for very cheap ones as it gets difficult to tune cheap guitars. If you’re at an intermediate level guitar player who has a decent level of exposure to guitars, then you can explore different types of guitars other than the one you’re using currently and see which brings out the best in you.
Conclusion
Playing the guitar is an exciting and challenging endeavor that has numerous personal and professional possibilities. Playing for friends is often a fun way to entertain, and contributing to a band is a highly enjoyable creative endeavor. Even practicing alone can be a mentally and physically stimulating exercise. As with all instruments, learning to play can bring a lifetime of enjoyment, and having the appropriate gear will facilitate continued success. With proper research, purchasing the right equipment can be a rewarding experience of its own and will promote better playing regardless of a player's current skill level. With the wide availability of products, customizing a personal setup will define a player's unique sound, style, and technique.