Among other acoustic plucked strings, the folk guitar occupies a special place. Due to its features, it allows you to play works of different styles. It is equally popular among both beginners and professionals. Country, blues, jazz, pop songs – any genre sounds great on a variation of the classic “six-string”.
The model owes its appearance to the famous lute Christian Martin in the middle of the XNUMXth century. Even then, the musicians tried to find a solution to amplify the sound, insufficient in volume for concert performances and accompaniment. In the course of experiments with the classic six-string “acoustics”, he created a guitar model with a large body, narrow neck and metal strings.
Martin considered the main problem of creating a strong tension and increasing the “box” to be the deformation of the case, so he strengthened his model with a set of springs, a truss rod. In fact, he placed plates crossed among themselves under the top deck.
The tool combines several varieties that have differences:
- jumbo – a pear-shaped body, the sound is loud, sonorous;
- dreadnought – the size is also larger, but the sound is different in depth;
- flattop – weighs less, has a flat body.
The folk is smaller than the jumbo or dreadnought, but has no less expressive acoustic capabilities.
The metal strings can be adjusted in height, which affects the mid and low frequencies. A special plate, the pickguard, protects the upper deck from the blows of the musician’s fingers. At the bottom of the neck, the guitar has a cutout that makes it easier for the player to access the high frets below the 12th fret.
Difference from other models
In addition to the increased size, the folk guitar has other differences that distinguish it from the instruments of the stringed plucked group:
- narrow neck with a rounded surface;
- metal or bronze strings;
- more than the “classic” frets;
- the lower tailpiece is closer to the resonator hole.
It is more difficult for young children to play such an instrument than a classical guitar with nylon strings. Metal strings require more force to clamp, and at first playing them can injure unaccustomed fingertips.
Folk guitar is a real find for diverse musicians. Perfect for campfire songs, home chamber concerts and performances on the stages of clubs. Powerful sound allows performers to take it to the audience without using any sound amplification other than a microphone. It sounds loud, ringing, ideal for accompaniment, perfectly reflects fast, dynamic rhythm parts.
Folk guitar gained its greatest popularity in the 60s of the last century, although it was invented a century earlier. At this time, song performers began to increasingly go on stage with an instrument, independently accompanying themselves. Fans of the legendary The Beatles, who actively used the model at their concerts, fell in love with the loud sound.
Having mastered the folk guitar, you can easily play the electric one – they have the same structure and neck width. Also, the plectrum technique is often used for playing, which, like an electric guitar, expands the possibilities of an acoustic ensemble.