Acoustic guitars are an important part of many musicians’ careers. They act as a stepping stone into the world of electric guitars and all that comes with it. When an artist first learns how to play, the acoustic guitar is often their very first instrument of choice.
What is an acoustic guitar?
An acoustic guitar is a guitar that has a hollow body and strings. The sound that comes out is created by the string vibration transmitting into the air instead of relying on electronics to amplify the sound.
The sound waves of the acoustic guitar make their way around the hollow body of the guitar, producing pleasant sounds.
Why buy an acoustic guitar?
Acoustic guitars are great for beginners. Many talented, advanced artists still use them and actually prefer them.
If you’re considering buying your own acoustic guitar but aren’t quite sure if you want to take the leap, here are a few good reasons to dive head first into the world of acoustics.
Amplifiers are box-shaped devices that pick up the signals of electric guitars, allowing their music to be amplified through a speaker (or two). They can be quite costly, sometimes nearly as much as a basic acoustic guitar.
Acoustic guitars, thankfully, don’t need amplifiers, saving you a large chunk of money.
Acoustic guitars are relatively simple instruments. Since they don’t use amplifiers or any other special equipment, they are easy to store and transport.
They take up half the space that an electric guitar and its bulky amplifier would, making them ideal for being stored in small spaces such as under a bed or in a closet. Thanks to their ability to be used without extra accessories (such as cords, boxes, or plugs), they are perfect for traveling with.
Made for all musicians
Acoustic guitars come in a variety of sizes. Their body shapes are diverse, allowing the player to find a size and shape that feels comfortable and maximizes their harmonious potential.
The Parlor is a good example of a small acoustic. It is smaller than the average guitar size of No.0 that was set in the 1900s by C.F. Martin, making it a popular option for those with small frames.
The larger models, like the California, have a bit more weight to them. They are also longer and wider than the Parlor and some average models, giving it an ever-increasing popularity with musicians of large stature.
Some models, such as the California and Paramount, are designed for travel. They’re made with a sleek design and are easy to carry from place to place.
This allows you to create a new tune from virtually anywhere – on the bus, in the park, or from the comfort of a tent in the wilderness. Ultimately, this fosters the creative stream. Those who carry their guitar with them are more likely to put their mind’s energy into their music during spare time.
Factors to Consider Before Purchase
Buying a guitar is a big decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Guitars – even the cheapest models – aren’t cheap. If you buy one that doesn’t fit your life or personal style, you may be stuck regretting your purchase.
To help you make a smart choice, here are a few factors to consider.
New or used
There are a variety of used guitar markets online and in-store. Yes, the guitars found there have a smaller price tag, but they are also used, meaning they have a higher potential of being damaged. When buying a used guitar, be sure to thoroughly check for cracks, dents, and warping.
If you opt for a brand-new guitar, you’ll be paying a hefty fee upfront. However, you’re less likely to need your guitar repaired or replaced in the near future.
Although acoustic guitars look like they are all made of solid wood, they aren’t. Some acoustics are laminated, meaning that they are made up of part solid wood and part synthetic laminate. Before you start wondering why guitar companies are ripping you off, consider the fact that laminate guitars are more durable.
This is why it’s important to take material into consideration when buying a new acoustic guitar. As a general rule of thumb, solid wood guitars are more prone to cracking and damage from sudden weather changes, whereas laminate guitars tend to fair a bit better.
You can tell if a floor is hardwood or plywood by doing a simple knock-test, the same way you can tell if a guitar will have a good sound when played by strumming a few strings. To decipher this, pay close attention to the way your guitar sounds.
If it sounds cheap, it probably is cheap.
Before you even think about purchasing, set yourself a firm budget. Decide how much you can afford to spend on a guitar and stick with it. When deciding on how much you can spend, factor in the cost of cleaning supplies, extra strings, and a case.
Cases are usually included with guitars that cost more than $500 USD, but generally extra strings and cleaning supplies are sold separately.
Keep in mind, too, that if your guitar doesn’t come with a case because you got it secondhand, there is a cost difference between soft and hard cases. Hard cases will cost more, but they are also better for traveling and storage purposes, providing protection.
Steel or Nylon Strings
The debate between steel and nylon strings is ongoing. It depends on your preference, really. Nylon strings make a calming, mellow sound that won’t override the sound of other instruments. They are also ideal for playing classic or Latin music.
Steel strings are used for all sorts of genres, from rock to pop. They produce a loud sound that projects itself.
Different types of woods produce different sounds. For example, mahogany has a bright tonality and is popular in high-end brands, whereas basswood is used for lower-end brands, having a sound range that is pretty even across the board.
Guitars can also be made with the following woods that each produce a slightly different sound:
• Swamp ash
The Fender CC-60S boasts a plethora of amazing features and a classic style. It has a concert-sized body, an elegant spruce top, and a fingerboard boasting carefully rolled edges. The back and sides are made from mahogany that has been laminated, with the entire exterior finished with a clear gloss.
Alongside the guitar, the set also comes with a pack of extra strings, picks, a shoulder strap, and a free trial that allows buyers to test out Fender Play, the online Fender learning hub.
Pros & Cons
KLOS Travel Acoustic Guitar
Pros & Cons
Fender FA-100 Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar
The Fender FA-100 is a dreadnought acoustic guitar that comes with a gig bag and boasts a number of fun features. The guitar has a classy spruce top and X bracing that makes for full, projecting sound. It uses the trademark Fender headstock shape, pickguard, and chrome hardware, as well as a rosewood bridge and fingerboard.
Pros & Cons
Blueridge BR-140CE Electric Acoustic Dreadnought Guitar
The Blueridge BR-140CE is ideal for lovers of all things vintage, as the guitar is made using an aging toner and high-shine gloss. It uses sitka spruce and Indian rosewood for its main parts, combining rosewood sides and back with a classic white binding.
Depending on the model, the guitar either features herringbone or abalone purfling alongside a dalmatian tortoise pickguard for a touch of unique style. It’s nut and saddle have been handcrafted from real bone to provide a seamless tone transmission, while the entire instrument is durable and able to withstand years of everyday use.
Pros & Cons
This eye-catching guitar uses spruce for its top and maple for its back and sides, as well as a unique cutaway for the ultimate fret access. To further the appeal of the guitar, it features a fingerboard with pearloid crown inlays, and a bone saddle made of synthetic materials.
The guitar puts out rich, full sounds and excellent tones. It is also available in three stunning colours, making the guitar suitable for every personality type. The guitar comes with a state-of-the-art Epiphone eSonic2 preamp.
Pros & Cons
Acoustic guitars are an asset. They are a great creative outlet and a fun way to express yourself. Choosing the right guitar can be a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be – all you have to do is pay attention to your budget, choose your string material and wood type, and ensure the guitar of your choice has a great sound.
Or, you could purchase one of the great guitars mentioned above. Whatever you do, you won’t regret buying a new acoustic guitar. Pick your style and get playing.