Last updated: August 16, 2021

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Welcome and thank you for choosing Monederosmart! The universe of music is vast, and the musical instrument market has a lot to offer. One of the instruments with the greatest variety is the acoustic guitar. Here we tell you everything you need to know to buy one of these versatile guitars.

Acoustic guitars are instruments derived from guitars, and are characterised by their widespread use. So widespread that they are a common instrument in most countries around the world. In fact, its versatility and popularity is often compared to that of the piano, another practically universal instrument.

Due to its widespread use, various specifications have been developed for this instrument. Aspects such as the number of frets, the shape and the material are some of the aspects that vary from model to model. This diversity has resulted in a variety of guitars that are optimal for producing different effects.




Summary

  • Acoustic guitars are counted as one of the most popular instruments in the world. In fact it is used in association with melancholic sensations due to its handcrafted sound which contrasts with modern strident sounds. It is a complex instrument that has changed a lot in its history and of which there are many varieties.
  • The material and the shape are aspects that directly affect the quality of the sound the guitar produces. So these are two of the aspects to watch out for in detail when choosing an acoustic guitar. We will tell you more about these later.
  • Some acoustic guitars have an output to connect to an electric amplifier. So you can project the sound through speakers. These types of guitars are called electro-acoustic guitars, and although they do not offer the sound that acoustic guitars do, they do offer the possibility of amplifying the sound further.

The best Acoustic Guitar: Our Picks

Buying Guide: What you need to know about acoustic guitars

Before choosing an acoustic guitar you should understand the mechanics of it. By knowing this you can also find out what features you need to get the ideal acoustic guitar. We also tell you about two essential aspects to make your decision: the budget you need and where the product is available.

The material, shape and size of the guitar are all aspects that affect the profile of the instrument. So make these decisions according to the music you want to create.
(Photo: Dean Drobot/ 123rf.com)

What is an acoustic guitar?

Acoustic guitars are harmonic stringed musical instruments. In other words, instruments that create melodic sounds and work from the vibration of strings. Acoustic guitars have a soundboard, where the vibration of the strings is amplified. The theory is simple, but they are a complex instrument.

They are instruments with 6 strings, whose vibration is responsible for the sound they produce. Many consider that calling it an acoustic guitar is a redundancy, as it is by nature an acoustic instrument. Furthermore, this type of guitar was the basis for later developments such as the electric guitar.

What are the advantages of an acoustic guitar?

As with Spanish guitars, the acoustic guitar amplifies the sound through the vibration of the soundboard, the type of wood is of great influence. Spruce, rosewood and cypress are some of the woods frequently used for these guitars. Mainly because they conduct vibration very effectively.

There are two aspects that characterise acoustic guitars: their popularity and the great variety of types. It is one of the most classic instruments, even a large number of musicians are concerned with mastering it. This is due to its versatility, as the amount of sounds it can produce is quite large, which gives many options to the musician.

Advantages
  • It is a very versatile instrument that allows you to play different rhythms
  • The sound produced is universal
  • When you listen to it, it is easy to relate to
  • The technique is relatively easy to learn
Disadvantages
  • Even if you know how to play it, it can take many years before you master it
  • They must be handled with care
  • They require maintenance in order to keep a quality sound

How did the acoustic guitar come about?

The origin of acoustic guitars is not defined, as it is the result of transformations that took place over centuries and were not meticulously recorded. In fact, such were the variations in quantity that there may have been versions of guitars that are unknown.

Following the archaeological evidence from antiquity, one can conclude that there have been guitar-like instruments in many cultures. And indeed, today there are various stringed instruments that are related to the acoustic guitar in many ways, such as the ukulele, the cuatro, the guitarron, and the like.

However, there are two widely accepted theories about the origin of the acoustic guitar. Some advocate that the origin of the instrument is Greco-Latin and that it spread with the Roman Empire. Others claim that a version of the lute - another stringed instrument - was introduced by the Arabs to Spain in the Middle Ages, and evolved there.

The contemporary acoustic guitar is the result of the design of C. F. Martin and Orville Gibson. In the 19th century these American luthiers developed designs that were later translated into acoustic guitars.

Acoustic guitars with metal or nylon strings - what should you pay attention to?

There are several things to consider when choosing the ideal acoustic guitar. But one of the first decisions you have to make is whether you want metal or nylon strings. This is a hugely important aspect because it significantly changes the sound the guitar produces.

Metal strings are usually thin, tightly wound wires, while nylon strings are made of nylon and are softer. In order to choose the right strings you should be guided by the type of music you want to create, as both materials produce quite different sounds.

Metal strings Nylon strings
Generate a metallic sound Produce a softer sound
Have higher tension Lower tension when strung
Give the sensation of sounding more powerful Less painful to the fingers
Often used with straws Used to create softer music
Ideal for Rock and similar genres Popular for romantic music

In addition to the type of strings you should consider other aspects that define the profile of the acoustic guitar. The type of wood, the maker and the number of frets are some of the criteria you should take care of. We will go into these in more detail later on.

Buying criteria

When you are preparing to buy a musical instrument the number of models on the market can be overwhelming. The acoustic guitar is no exception, as there are many aspects to keep an eye on in order to make the best decision. But don't worry, here are the criteria you should consider before making your final decision:

Material

The material is one of the most important aspects when it comes to acoustic guitars. Since acoustic guitars work by amplifying the vibrations in the soundboard, it is important that the soundboard is made of sturdy wood that is able to pick up the vibrations accurately. If the material isn't right, then the sound won't be right either.

For acoustic guitars, hardwoods such as ebony or rowan are used for the soundboard. But for simpler models, slightly softer woods such as walnut or mahogany are used. This piece should be solid, in order to achieve a clean vibration and resonance.

Mahogany in particular offers a rich sound in the mid and low tones with plenty of body. Maple gives a bright sound, which is why it is commonly used in guitar necks. Ash gives a louder, more aggressive sound, which fits well with loud genres but is noisy in soft music.

Rosewood, maple or alder are also used as guitar material. The particularities of your guitar material should be chosen according to the genre of music you want to follow and play.

Shape and size

This aspect is so important in the profile of the guitar that acoustic guitars are classified according to their shape and size. The shape of the soundboard modifies the magnitude and nature of the sound, and the size can help or hinder the player's work, depending on their circumstances.

The different types of acoustic guitars according to their shape and size did not emerge simultaneously. They emerged at different times in history, created by luthiers who sought to experiment with the possibilities offered by this instrument. The acoustic guitar Parlour, the concert, auditorium, Dreadnought and Jumbo stand out.

  • The Parlour acoustic guitar is small and slender, with a body similar to a classical guitar but with the neck and body meeting at the 12th fret. It produces soft and sweet sounds, which has made it popular for romantic music. It is 46cm long and the soundboard is 10cm deep.
  • The concert guitar is also small, so it produces bright, high-pitched sounds. It was created in the middle of the 20th century and quickly gained popularity. It is 45cm long and 11cm deep at the soundboard. It derives from the grand concert guitar, which was developed at the end of the 19th century and is suitable for children because of its size.
  • The Auditorium guitar, on the other hand, is quite large, 45cm long and 10cm deep at the soundboard. It has an abundance of low tones and is capable of amplifying the sound considerably. It was intended to be used for performances in front of large audiences. It was created in the 1920s of the last century.
  • The Dreadnought guitar is today considered to be one of the classic models of acoustic guitars. It was developed at the beginning of the last century, and since its creation they have been very popular. They are quite large, at 51cm long and 10cm deep. This gives a powerful volume and richness in the bass sounds.
  • And finally, the jumbo guitar is the largest of them all, at 51cm long, 28cm at the top curve of the body and 41cm at the bottom curve. This enormous size offers plenty of bass tones that are supported by considerable amplification. It is known as the Cowboy guitar.

Acoustic guitars are considered to be classical instruments, probably used by a large number of musicians in the industry.
(Photo: mihtiander/ 123rf.com)

Electro-acoustic

Many modern acoustic guitars offer an audio output that is connected to the instrument's soundboard. This output is intended to be connected to an electric amplifier, in order to project the sound emitted by the guitar at a much higher volume than the guitar itself can project.

Guitars that offer this function are called electro-acoustic guitars, because they have the possibility to magnify their sound with an electric amplifier while remaining acoustic. This aspect does not determine the quality of the guitar, but it does diversify its profile.

Musicians who use acoustic guitars usually choose a model with this function, as it widens the range of possibilities. The disadvantage is that an electro-acoustic guitar is more expensive than a regular acoustic guitar. But the price difference is a worthwhile investment.

Manufacturer

Musical instruments in general are complex to manufacture, and acoustic guitars are no exception. Sloppy or poor workmanship greatly affects the performance of the guitar, so it is important to check that the manufacturer has a reputation for creating products of the highest quality.

When it comes to guitars, the Fender brand usually has a big advantage. But there are other manufacturers that also have a great reputation, such as Yamaha, Gibson and Ibanez.

(Featured image photo: Pixabay/ 123rf.com)

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