Types of guitars

Types of guitars

The guitar is one of the most famous musical instruments that has significantly influenced popular culture. At first glance, there are three types of guitars – acoustic guitars, electric guitars and bass guitars. However, this is not quite true.

In this article, you will learn what types of guitars are and how they differ from each other.

Types of guitars

Classical acoustic guitars

The classical guitar is characterized by the presence of six strings, and its range is from the note “mi” in a small octave to the note “do” in the third octave. The body is wide and hollow, and the neck is massive.

Classics, Spanish motifs, bossa nova and other styles of music are played on such a guitar.

We can name the following varieties of this instrument – they differ in body, sound, number of strings:

  1. Dreadnought . This guitar features a narrow neck , close string spacing, increased volume, and a powerful sound. It is suitable for various musical styles – acoustic rock, blues , country , etc.
  2. Jumbo . Characterized by a rich sound of chords , deep middle and bass notes. It is used in acoustic and pop-rock, as well as country music .
  3. Folk guitar. This is a more compact version of the dreadnought guitar . Designed mainly for folk music , and is considered a good option for beginners.
  4. Travel guitar. The sound of this guitar is not the highest quality, but thanks to a small lightweight body, it is convenient to take it on trips and hikes.
  5. Auditorium. Such an instrument is designed for playing in small and medium-sized concert halls and working in orchestras. Low and high notes have a slightly muffled sound.
  6. Ukulele. This is a simplified small four-string guitar, especially popular in Hawaii.
  7. Baritone guitar. It has an increased scale and sounds lower than a regular guitar.
  8. Tenor guitar. It is characterized by the presence of four strings, a short scale , a range of about three octaves (like a banjo).
  9. “Russian” seven-string. Almost identical to the six-string, but has a different system: re-si-sol-re-si-sol-re. Widely used in Russian and Soviet music.
  10. Twelve-string. The strings of the instrument are six pairs – they can be tuned in a traditional system or in unison . The sound of this guitar has a large volume, richness and echo effect. The twelve-string is played primarily by bards and rock musicians.
  11. Electroacoustic guitar. It differs from conventional acoustics by the presence of additional features – there is a timbre block, an equalizer and a piezo pickup (it turns the vibrations of an acoustic resonator into an electrical signal). You can connect the instrument to an amplifier and use guitar sound effects.

These are the main types of acoustic guitars.

Types of guitars

Semi-acoustic guitars

A semi-acoustic guitar, like an electric guitar, is equipped with an electromagnetic pickup and electronics, but has a hollow body inside (like an acoustic guitar), so you can play it without an amplifier. The sound is quieter than an acoustic guitar. There are such types of semi-acoustic guitars as archtop, jazz ova and blues ova.

A similar instrument is suitable for genres such as blues , rock and roll, jazz , rockabilly, etc.

electric guitars

The sound on such guitars is extracted by electromagnetic pickups, which convert the vibrations of the strings (they are made of metal) into vibrations of an electric current. This signal must be sounded by an acoustic system; accordingly, this instrument can only be played with an amplifier. Additional features – adjust the tone and sound and volume. The body of an electric guitar is usually thin and has a minimal amount of empty space.

Most electric guitars have six strings and a similar tuning to an acoustic guitar – (E, A, D, G, B, E – mi, la, re, sol, si, mi). There are seven-string and eight-string versions with added B and F sharp strings. Eight-strings are especially popular among metal bands.

The most famous types of electric guitars, which are considered a kind of standard – Stratocaster, Tekecaster and Les Paul.

The forms of electric guitars are very different – it depends on the brand, model and intention of the authors. For example, the Gibson Explorer guitar is shaped like a star, and the Gibson Flying V (Jimi Hendrix’s guitar) is like a flying arrow.

Types of guitars

Such an instrument is used in all varieties of rock, metal, blues , jazz and academic music.

bass guitars

Bass guitars usually have four strings (they are metal and have an increased thickness), they are distinguished by an elongated neck and a peculiar timbre – low and deep. Such a guitar is designed to play bass lines and add richness to musical compositions. It is used in jazz and pop music, as well as in rock. Mostly electric bass guitars are used, less often acoustic ones.

The range of such a guitar is from the note “mi” in the counteroctave to the note “sol” in the first octave.

Unusual varieties

You can name such unique types of guitars as:

resonator guitar

It differs from the classical guitar in the presence of a resonator – the vibrations of the strings are transmitted to a special cone-diffuser made of aluminum. Such an instrument has an increased volume and a unique timbre .

harp guitar

It combines two instruments – a harp and a guitar. So, harp strings are added to the usual guitar neck , due to which the sound becomes unusual and original.

Stick Chapman 

This type of guitar is a wide and elongated neck . Like the electric guitar , Chapman’s stick is equipped with pickups. Suitable for playing with two hands – you can play melody, chords and bass at the same time.

double neck

Such an electric guitar has two necks , each of which plays its own role. For example, a six-string guitar and a bass guitar can be combined in one instrument. One of the most famous models – Gibson EDS-1275

The best budget electric guitars

Those who are interested in the best budget electric guitars should take a closer look at several models from the range of the music store “Student”:


  • 6 strings;
  • material: linden, rosewood, maple;
  • humbucker a;
  • included: combo amplifier , case, electronic tuner , spare set of strings, picks and strap;


  • 6 strings;
  • compact body stratocaster;
  • material: spruce, cherry, beech, maple, rosewood;
  • country of manufacture: Czech Republic;

G Series Cort G100-OPBC

  • 6 strings;
  • classic design;
  • material: rosewood, maple;
  • neck radius a: 305 mm;
  • 22 fret a;
  • Pickups: SSS Powersound

Clevan CP-10-RD 

  • 6 strings;
  • design: body in the style of Les Paul guitars;
  • material: rosewood, hardwood;
  • scale : 648 mm.;
  • pickups: 2 HB;

Best Budget Acoustic Guitars

The most suitable option for beginners is an inexpensive acoustic guitar.

Pay attention to the following models from the assortment of the music store “Student”:

Guitar Izhevsk plant T.I.M2KR

  • classic body;
  • 6 strings;
  • scale length 650 mm;
  • body material: spruce;

Guitar 38” Naranda CAG110BS

  • hull shape: dreadnought ;
  • 6 low tension metal strings;
  • scale length 624 mm;
  • 21st fret ;
  • materials: maple, linden;
  • great model for beginners;

Guitar Foix FFG-1040SB cutout sunburnt

  • case type: jumbo with cutout;
  • 6 strings;
  • scale
  • materials: linden, composite wood material;

Guitar Amistar M-61, dreadnought , matte

  • hull type: dreadnought ;
  • 6 strings;
  • scale length 650 mm;
  • matte body finish;
  • case material: birch;
  • 21st fret ;

Differences between guitars

The main types of guitars have the following differences:


  • Classical guitar strings are usually made of nylon, while electric and bass guitar strings are made of metal;

Sound amplification:

  • in the classical guitar, the body of the instrument itself, hollow inside, is used as an acoustic resonator that amplifies the sound, while in the electric guitar this function is performed by an electromagnetic pickup and amplifier;
  • in a semi-acoustic guitar, an electromagnetic pickup picks up sound vibrations from the strings, and a piezo pickup in an electro-acoustic guitar picks up vibrations from the body;

Range :

  • if the traditional and electric guitar have a range of about four octaves, then the bass guitar is one octave lower;
  • baritone guitar – an intermediate step between classical and bass guitar;
  • the eight-string guitar is only one note short of the lowest tone of the bass guitar.
  • the tenor guitar has the smallest range (about three octaves).


  • with fewer strings, the bass guitar, unlike other types of instrument, has an elongated neck and a more oblong body;
  • the traditional acoustic guitar has a wide body and large neck ;
  • the electric guitar is thinner than its acoustic and semi-acoustic counterparts.


Is it easy to learn electric guitar for those who have played acoustic before?

Since the strings, frets , and tuning of electric guitars are virtually identical to classical guitars, learning is not difficult. First of all, you need to learn how to play with an amplifier.

What brands of guitars should you pay attention to?

The best guitar manufacturers are Yamaha, Fender, Martinez, Gibson, Crafter, Ibanez, Hohner, etc. In any case, the choice should be based on your needs and budget.

Summing up

It can be concluded that the types of guitars are very diverse, and each of them is created for specific purposes. If you’re looking for an inexpensive all-rounder, an acoustic guitar is the way to go. For beginner rock musicians, an electric guitar will be an indispensable assistant . For those who want to use the functionality of an electric and acoustic instrument of guitars, an electro-acoustic or semi-acoustic guitar can be advised.

Finally, music-savvy and experienced guitarists will certainly be interested in unusual types of guitars – with two necks , a harp guitar, etc.

We wish you good luck in choosing a guitar!

Guitar examples

Types of guitarsClassicTypes of guitarsacoustic
Types of guitars


Types of guitarssemi-acoustic
Types of guitars 

Electric guitar

 Types of guitarsBas-guitar

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