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Friday, November 24th 2017.

Understanding the background of the acoustic guitar

Over the centuries, the acoustic guitar has evolved a great deal to become a dominant force in stringed musical instruments. Many guitar makers can be found and along with them a host of choices in style of acoustic guitar. These various styles of guitar have different sounds, the two most common in acoustic models being the classical, or nylon string, and the folk, or steel string. Each has their own unique sound resulting from the materials of the strings, and the composition of the bodies, as well as the air between them. However, the basic design of acoustic guitars remain the same. They have been known as a flat top, hollow body, dreadnought, cutaways and a host of other names. These all boil down to one and the same, the acoustic guitar.

I don't profess to know the origin of this facinating instrument, but my guess would be that somewhere back in time, someone stretched a string or horse hair over a distance and noticed that when plucked, it made a musical tone. A simple expansion of this idea was a series of strings attached tightly over a large hollow body of wood to resonate the sounds. From there we arrive at what we today call the acoustic guitar.

Acoustic guitars consist of six strings of which each is a different thickness. This results in a different tone for each adjacent string. The tuning consists of the following notes working from the highest to the lowest: E,B,G,D,A and E (an octave lower). Combinations of these notes can be played to form chords in varyious voicings or orders.

The guitar and its parts include the head, neck and body. Each of these can be broken down into more precise parts. Let's take a look at the images below.

full size acoustic guitar

guitar head

neck of acoustic guitar

guitar body

 Check out this video on how the acoustic guitar is made.