Guitars are the most versatile musical instrument ever made. They are beloved around the world and come in a multitude of styles, shapes and prices. Different guitar shapes affect their own unique sound; however, aesthetic appeal also governs each player's choice of shape to use. Here is a breakdown of basic guitar categories:
These hollow-body guitars, also called cigar box guitars, create their sound through vibration of the strings. The volume magnifies as an echo in the box, however, for more amplification, microphones are setup within a few feet of the guitar. The hourglass shape of this guitar distinguishes its sound.
Some instruments have a notch shape cut-out where the player's hand rests, allowing the upper frets to be easily reached. Different guitar shapes make an entire spectrum of sound, and it's up to musicians to try out several different kinds to fit their style the best.
Larger guitar bodies, such as the dreadnought, give solo guitarists the desired booming ability as well as a twang sound. Smaller sized guitars lend themselves well to midrange and treble notes. Moreover, smaller guitars have more of a balanced sound, making them the choice of more lead guitarists.
Justin King, one of the best acoustic guitarists in the world, is self-taught and developed his own style of playing. His style includes elements of flamenco, Celtic and other acoustic styles from around the world. Justin's personal favorites are his Martin and his Gibson acoustic guitars, which are all from the 1950s. For inspiration in learning to play an acoustic guitar, Google: Justin King, guitarist.
Smaller in size than the acoustic guitar, an electric guitar has a solid body. This creates no amplification, making the need for an electrical hookup to an amplifier a necessity. Preferred by musicians of the rock, blues, jazz, pop and other genres of music, electric guitars have a wider variety of shapes due to aesthetic appeal.
Most rock and roll enthusiasts know what the iconic Flying V guitar, made by Gibson, look like, thanks to artists such as Jimi Hendrix and bluesman, Albert King. These remain one of the most distinctive looking guitars, as well as being famous for their powerful sound. Lead, rhythm and bass guitars are all available in an electric version.
Another standout instrument is the double-neck, or multi-neck, guitar. These have more than one fingerboard neck. Jimmy Page, Slash, Pete Townsend, Geddy Lee, Don Felder and many other top celebrities of the rock and roll world have performed with double-necked guitars.
Many A-list musical artists, such as Elvis Presley, chose to play both acoustic and electric guitars throughout their career. Any beginner who is undecided on which type to learn should visit a music store where they are happy to discuss the merits of both styles.