What Makes an Acoustic Guitar Different?

12 minutes read

An acoustic guitar is different from an electric guitar in a few key ways. Firstly, acoustic guitars do not require any external amplification to be heard. They generate sound through the vibration of the strings, which is amplified by the hollow body of the guitar. Additionally, acoustic guitars generally have a larger, more rounded body compared to electric guitars, which contributes to their distinctive sound. Acoustic guitars also typically have a wider neck and heavier gauge strings, which can make them more challenging to play for some beginners. Overall, the acoustic guitar has a more natural, organic sound compared to the electric guitar, making it a popular choice for folk, country, and singer-songwriter musicians.

Best Acoustic Guitars of May 2024

1
Yamaha FG800J Solid Top Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar, Natural

Rating is 5 out of 5

Yamaha FG800J Solid Top Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar, Natural

  • Solid Sitka spruce top
  • Nato and mahogany back & sides
  • Rosewood fingerboard
  • Rosewood bridge
2
Fender Acoustic Guitar, CD-60S, with 2-Year Warranty, Dreadnought Classic Design with Rounded Walnut Fingerboard, Glossed Finish, All-Mahogany Construction

Rating is 4.9 out of 5

Fender Acoustic Guitar, CD-60S, with 2-Year Warranty, Dreadnought Classic Design with Rounded Walnut Fingerboard, Glossed Finish, All-Mahogany Construction

  • One right-handed Fender CD-60S Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar
  • Dreadnought Body: This guitar’s dreadnought body shape resonates with a bold and rich bass tone, great for playing country, folk or bluegrass
  • Rock Steady Tuners: Chrome die-cast tuners help keep your guitar tuned with the perfect amount of tension, and they don't attract much dust or grime
3
Fender Squier Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar - Black Learn-to-Play Bundle with Gig Bag, Tuner, Strap, Strings, String Winder, Picks, Fender Play Online Lessons, and Austin Bazaar Instructional DVD

Rating is 4.8 out of 5

Fender Squier Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar - Black Learn-to-Play Bundle with Gig Bag, Tuner, Strap, Strings, String Winder, Picks, Fender Play Online Lessons, and Austin Bazaar Instructional DVD

  • The Squier SA-150 is a full-size steel-string acoustic that offers big sound at a small price.
  • This guitar also features scalloped "X"-bracing, mahogany neck and a durable dark-stained maple fingerboard to give you an instrument that looks as good as it sounds.
  • With its slim, easy-to-play neck and full-bodied dreadnought tone, the SA-150 is an ideal choice for all rookie strummers.
4
Squier by Fender Acoustic Guitar, with 2-Year Warranty, Dreadnought with Maple Fingerboard, Glossed Natural Finish, Mahogany Back and Side, Mahogany Neck, SA-150 Model

Rating is 4.7 out of 5

Squier by Fender Acoustic Guitar, with 2-Year Warranty, Dreadnought with Maple Fingerboard, Glossed Natural Finish, Mahogany Back and Side, Mahogany Neck, SA-150 Model

  • One right-handed Fender SA-150 Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar
  • Dreadnought Body: This guitar’s dreadnought body shape resonates with a bold and rich bass tone, great for playing country, folk or bluegrass
  • Durable Materials: All-Laminate construction allows this guitar to last long and sound as great as it looks a an affordable price
5
Fender FA-25 Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar, Beginner Guitar, with 2-Year Warranty, Includes Free Lessons, Natural

Rating is 4.6 out of 5

Fender FA-25 Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar, Beginner Guitar, with 2-Year Warranty, Includes Free Lessons, Natural

  • One right-handed Fender Alternative Series Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar – a perfect beginner guitar for both kids and adults
  • Backed by a 75 year legacy of quality and craftsmanship -- the FA Series has all the sound and style of Fender's iconic acoustic guitars with specially designed features for beginners.
  • This guitar’s dreadnought body shape resonates with a bold and rich bass tone, great for playing country, folk or bluegrass
6
Jasmine S34C NEX Acoustic Guitar,Natural

Rating is 4.5 out of 5

Jasmine S34C NEX Acoustic Guitar,Natural

  • Gloss Natural
  • Dreadnought body style
  • Laminate Spruce top
  • Sapele back and sides
  • Rosewood Fingerboard
7
Yamaha F325D Acoustic Guitar, Natural

Rating is 4.4 out of 5

Yamaha F325D Acoustic Guitar, Natural

  • The perfect guitar for beginners
  • Legendary Yamaha build quality
  • Spruce Top
  • Rosewood Fretboard
  • Chrome Tuners
8
Ibanez AW54OPN Artwood Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar - Open Pore Natural

Rating is 4.3 out of 5

Ibanez AW54OPN Artwood Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar - Open Pore Natural

  • Dreadnought body
  • Solid mahogany top
  • Mahogany back & sides
  • Mahogany neck
  • Rosewood bridge and fretboard


What is the role of the bridge on an acoustic guitar?

The bridge on an acoustic guitar serves several important functions.

  1. It anchors the strings in place, holding them at the correct tension to produce the desired pitch when plucked or strummed.
  2. It transfers the vibrations from the strings to the guitar's soundboard, enhancing the volume and tone of the instrument.
  3. The bridge also helps to transmit the vibrations from the strings to the saddle, which in turn transfers the sound waves to the guitar's body, creating the resonant sound of the guitar.


Overall, the bridge plays a crucial role in the overall sound and playability of an acoustic guitar.


How to identify an acoustic guitar?

There are several ways to identify an acoustic guitar:

  1. Look at the shape: Acoustic guitars typically have a hollow body with a sound hole in the center. They come in various body shapes, such as dreadnought, concert, and jumbo.
  2. Check the strings: Acoustic guitars have steel or nylon strings, whereas electric guitars have metal strings. The strings on an acoustic guitar are usually thicker and have a brighter sound.
  3. Look at the headstock: Acoustic guitars usually have a slotted headstock or a solid headstock with tuning pegs on both sides.
  4. Check for a pickguard: Acoustic guitars often have a pickguard on the top to protect the wood from scratches and pick marks.
  5. Look for a bridge: Acoustic guitars have a bridge where the strings are anchored and transmit vibrations to the body of the guitar.
  6. Check for a truss rod: Many acoustic guitars have an adjustable truss rod inside the neck to control the curvature and tension of the neck.
  7. Check for a built-in pickup: Some acoustic guitars have a built-in pickup system for amplification, which can be seen as controls on the side of the guitar.


By examining these features, you should be able to identify whether a guitar is an acoustic guitar or not.


How to play basic chords on an acoustic guitar?

To play basic chords on an acoustic guitar, follow these steps:

  1. Hold the guitar properly: Sit up straight with the guitar in your lap. Rest your strumming arm on the top edge of the guitar body and hold the neck of the guitar with your fretting hand.
  2. Use your fretting hand to press down on the strings: Place your fingers on the strings of the guitar, just behind the frets. Use the tips of your fingers to press the strings down firmly, but not too hard that it hurts.
  3. Use your strumming hand to strum the strings: Hold a guitar pick between your thumb and index finger, or use your fingers to strum the strings. Strum downwards across the strings with a smooth motion.
  4. Practice transitioning between chords: Start by learning basic chords like C, G, D, A, and E. Practice transitioning smoothly between these chords by lifting your fingers off the strings and placing them in the new position as quickly as possible.
  5. Play along with a song: Put on a song that uses basic chords and strum along with the music. This will help you build your muscle memory and improve your timing.
  6. Experiment with different strumming patterns: Once you have the hang of playing basic chords, try using different strumming patterns to add depth and variation to your playing.
  7. Keep practicing: Playing guitar takes time and dedication, so practice regularly to improve your skills and become more comfortable with playing basic chords on the acoustic guitar.


How to achieve a clean sound when playing an acoustic guitar?

  1. Proper finger placement: Make sure your fingers are placed correctly on the frets to produce clean and precise notes.
  2. Use proper technique: Use your fingertips to press down on the strings, rather than the pads of your fingers, to prevent buzzing or muted notes.
  3. Practice proper strumming and picking techniques: Make sure to strike the strings with a consistent motion and angle to produce a clear sound.
  4. Adjust your guitar's action: If your strings are too high off the fretboard, it can be more difficult to play cleanly. Consider adjusting your guitar's action or having a professional set up your instrument.
  5. Keep your guitar well-maintained: Regularly clean your strings and fretboard, and replace your strings when they become old or worn.
  6. Experiment with different fingerpicking patterns: Fingerpicking can produce a clean and delicate sound, so try out different patterns to find what works best for you.
  7. Pay attention to your dynamics: Play with variations in volume and intensity to create a dynamic and expressive sound.
  8. Use a metronome: Playing with a metronome can help improve your timing and accuracy, leading to a cleaner sound.
  9. Record yourself playing: Recording yourself playing can help you identify areas where you may need to improve and work on producing a cleaner sound.
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