Introducing The Acoustic Guitar

The guitar has been around in one form or another for centuries, and the principles behind how it works have been in use forever. The term “acoustic guitar” is a retronym, because all guitars were acoustic. It wasn’t until the invention of the electric guitar that a distinction became necessary. Acoustic refers to a hollow-bodied guitar without electric amplification. Six strings composed of either nylon or steel produce corresponding frequencies of open string notes E, A, D, G, B, and E for standard tuning. The top (soundboard) of more expensive guitars are made of spruce or cedar, and the back and sides are often made from Brazilian Rosewood, East Indian Rosewood, Maple, or Mahogany because these woods are distinctive and have their own unique sound. Lower priced guitars typically combine solid tops with laminated backs and sides, and entry level guitars are made entirely of laminated wood. A round hole (soundhole) in the top (soundboard) contributes to the sound produced, and the strings of the guitar control the pitch and harmonic content of the tone. Various combinations of different woods and their quality contribute greatly to the tone of the acoustic guitar, as do design and construction elements. A well made guitar’s tone improves over time, and reflects the quality of craftsmanship used in making the instrument.

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