The Difference between Electric and Acoustic Guitars
The guitar is an instrument with a long history. It descended from similar stringed instruments played in India and Asia over 1,000 years ago. Over the centuries, the guitar has evolved and changed, but all guitars are instruments with six, or sometimes twelve strings, which are strummed or picked. All guitars have a neck and a body over which the strings lie. Guitars have evolved into to related, but highly different forms of instrument, but all accomplish the same basic purpose, making sounds by plucking or strumming a a set of stings using some form of ampllfier to enhance and expand the sound. There are two main types of modern guitar: the traditional “Acoustic Guitar” and the more recent ”Electric Guitar” we used primarily in rock bands.
Acoustic Guitars (Resonate)
The classic guitar is the Acoustic Guitar. “Acoustic” is defined as “of or relating to sound, the science of sound” or “anything having the purpose to carry sound or aid in hearing“sound”. The classical guitar is most often used as a solo instrument. An Acoustic Guitar has a hollow body allowing the sound to resonate and amplify as the strings are strummed or plucked. The volume and tone comes completely from the structure of the instrument itself, producing a “natural” sound.
As the name suggests, classical guitars are the traditional guitars, it’s history and development stretches back thousands of years; and variants can be found in almost every culture with a musical heritage. The Hawaiians developed a similar, smaller variant of the guitar called the ukulele. The ukulele itself is a descendant of a Portuguese version of a guitar. The standard acoustic guitar is most often used for classical music solos , in traditional “folk music” or American “country music” as solo or as accompaniment. Today’s classical guitars are most often strung with nylon or steel strings. Steel string guitars have a louder and brighter tone than the mellower nylon strings. “Arch top Guitars” (see picture below) are acoustic guitars similar to a mandolin or violin, the purpose is to open up the sound. “Arch top” and steel string guitars are often used in playing blues and jazz .
Electric Guitars (Rock)
Electric guitars are modern variants to the classical guitar. The first electric guitars were developed in the 1930s, and originally had a hollow body like an acoustic guitar. It was soon discovered that a solid body worked better acoustically, and electric guitars are now all made with solid bodies.
Electric guitars, having no hollow “sound box” to produce and amplify sound, rely on an electrical connection to an amplifier, thus its name: “electric guitar”. The amplifier allows adjustment to both the tone and volume of the music; The electric guitar is the primary instrument of rock and roll and other types of modern popular music. often used in blues and jazz musical styles
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