An acoustic guitar is the name applied to any guitar which is not electric, but more specifically to classic guitars which evolved into the modern country-western or folk guitar. The name acoustic guitar has also been applied to various stringed instruments including baroque guitar, renaissance guitar, classical guitar, and flamenco guitar. Steel stringed acoustic guitars include the 12 string acoustic guitars and the resonator guitars such as the Dobro.
Acoustic guitars are made of many different materials, but typically the more costly guitars feature solid wood tops, backs and sides. The wood of preference for the top is often spruce while the remainder of the instrument is made of solid rosewood, mahogany or maple. Some of the vintage acoustic guitars are indeed beautiful works of art, with sound quality that improves with age according to the owners.
Less expensive guitars will have solid tops with laminated backs and sides; and beginner guitars may be totally laminated tonewood. Due to the increasing scarcity of wood such as those used in the vintage acoustic guitars, manufacturers are turning to more readily available variants on the earlier woods, or to manmade materials.
Acoustic guitar strings are generally made of either nylon such as those on the classical guitar or the steel-stringed folk guitars. With the nylon acoustic guitar strings you will often hear an acoustic guitar solo featuring polyphonic arrangements equal in complexity to the piano solos.
12 String acoustic guitars usually have steel strings and are widely used to present an acoustic guitar solo in blues, folk and rock n’ roll music.
Because the unamplified sound of a guitar is not loud enough to compete with a full range of other stringed instruments, the development of acoustic electric guitars filled a need. Acoustic electric guitars have the sound of an acoustic, but are amplified electronically.
Standard tuning for acoustic guitar notes is EADGBE, with the two E's one octave apart. Acoustic guitar notes can be written in standard musical notation for the melodic line, or as acoustic guitar tabs (tablature). Acoustic guitar tabs are a pictorial representation of where the fingers are to be placed on the strings in order to strum or pick a chord. Once the chords are learned, players typically only need the chord name in order to accompany singers or play with a group.
Acoustic Guitar Magazine is the prime source for music and information regarding any acoustic instrument, but as its name suggests, the focus is primarily on the acoustic guitar. The magazine has sections devoted to acoustic equipment with product ratings and descriptions. It has extensive links to download sites for music. Readers’ Forums (there are several) for Acoustic Guitar Magazine are heavily posted and cover almost every conceivable topic associated with the acoustic guitar.
The great musicians associated with acoustic guitars are profiled in issues and readers get a chance to vote on everything from picking styles to gear. There are even lessons provided at all skill levels.
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