The Guitar

The guitar is one of the most popular instruments in western countries and, in fact, in the world.

There are many different version of the instrument, however the one that usually comes to mind when people think of a guitar is the acoustic guitar. Guitars in general are very versatile, and are easily suited to classical music, usually with synthetic strings.

It is an instrument that can be relatively easily carried about, making it ideal for musicians wanting to play either on their own with the freedom of carrying their instrument with them, or musicians wanting to play as part of a band.

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Not all acoustic guitars can handle steel strings. However guitars made with steel strings can use synthetic/nylon strings interchangeably. It is generally not recommended to switch out the strings though as it does not produce an ideal sound and may even produce an annoying buzzing sound depending on the guitar. This is because steel stings put significantly greater forces on the body of the guitar than nylon strings.

There is also the case of preference, steel strings are the more popular choice but nylon is often sought after specifically for its more mellow sound quality than its steel counterpart. Lastly there is the comfort of the player; steel stings are notoriously more painful on the finger pads than the softer nylon option.

A really important point about acoustic guitars is that they are hollow bodied instruments and the sound comes from the vibration of the strings being amplified in their bodies, and then coming out the hole underneath the strings.

You might have heard of electric guitars. These use electronic speakers to amplify their sound, and they do not have a hollow body where the sound resonates and is amplified. Electric guitars – like their name implies – need electricity to work.