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Choosing an acoustic guitar, or any other guitar, is a personal decision, and if you want to fall in love with playing the guitar, you need to be sure it’s the right one for you. But with hundreds of different guitars to pick from and so many little variables which can impact significantly on your playing experience, it’s no wonder people go for some specific types of guitar.

We’ve laid the following acoustic guitar buying guide to help outline a few of the things you must consider.

The Acoustic Guitar Anatomy

In its simplest form, an acoustic guitar is has a hollow wooden body with a large circular hole, steel or nylon strings which run the length of the wooden neck. The strings vibrate when a player strums or plucks at them. The hollow body pick up these vibrations, allowing the sound waves echo around the body, thereby amplifying the sound and giving it a unique tonal character.

Different shaped guitar bodies can produce distinct sounds and are, therefore, used in various circumstances. For instance, Jumbo body acoustic produce more volume with a larger body size, while parlor guitars produce a smoother sound, which is perfect for folk or fingerstyle players.

The type of wood used to construct the guitar has a huge impact on the guitar body shape and tone. Some give a higher end brightness, while other wood types offer a richer sound. Steel strings are popular compared to the nylon strings favored by classical or Spanish style players.

Different Guitar Options Based On Functionality

Jasmine S-35 (Dreadnoughts)

For versatility.

If you’re looking for a guitar which can comfortably cover a lot of different genres of music, yet retain usability and tone balance, then a dreadnought body acoustic might just be the perfect choice for you. Dreadnoughts are the standard acoustic guitar shape and are popular with music artists. You’ll find more dreadnoughts, and variations of it, than any other guitar.

The varieties of every acoustic brand are stuffed full of dreadnoughts, so you’ll find one that meets your ‘other’ criteria (quality, cost, etc.) without much difficulty.

Martin 11GBPC

For singers who are songwriters.

Often, singers who are songwriters favor a more solo approach to performing and writing, and therefore would like a guitar that will not necessarily dominate the sound or compete with their voice. The baby-sized guitar phenomenon is relatively new in the world of acoustic guitars, and the makers offer excellent examples of these guitars which would be worthy to consider by any aspiring songwriter, like the 11GBPC.

The 11GBPC is a rectangular shaped guitar, meaning it has a slightly smaller body, making it perfect for those long nights spent writing. It’s also an electro-acoustic, which can be plugged in through an amplifier when you’re playing live shows, while the inbuilt tuner is both unobtrusive and accurate. Quality and usability features are very high, well over what you’d normally expect at the price range, and it also comes with a fitted hard case so it can be easily carried around without any trouble.

Washburn WCG25SCE 

Excellent for playing with a band.

As a part of a group, you want your performance to stand out, and for this, you need to have the necessary equipment. Jumbo bodied acoustics fit this use perfectly as it has the right volume and tone, which will ensure you are heard amongst the drums, bass, and other instruments.

They are not complex, and you can’t hide in the background with one of these. If your band’s sound is based around an acoustic, then you might want to consider an electric acoustic.

Washburn Classical Series C5

Great for Classical or Spanish music

Apart from the rock and blues guitars, nylon strung acoustics are great guitars used for classical or Spanish music. This is a whole different niche within the acoustic world, that need a different style and has an entirely different requirement.  This guitar is acoustic, but have nylon strings and wider fingerboards that allow for a completely different playing method called fingerstyle. This approach allows the player to use each finger on the strumming hand instead of the plectrum which makes complex patterns easier to play. To support this, the strings are slightly spaced further apart, and the nylon strings produce a tone which rings out a little less, meaning notes don’t blur into each other.

The nylon string guitar is seen as a ‘first guitar’ as they are available in a range of sizes. From size 1/2, to size 3/4, to 4/4 or even full size, etc.

Nylon string guitars are a good alternative for newbies since the strings are a little bit softer, making it easier on the fingertips of a beginner.

As with purchasing any guitar, it is of vital importance that you research on the acoustic guitar or call support from the online platform you want to buy from before committing to buying it.

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