What's the History Of Acoustic Guitars?

11 minutes read

The history of acoustic guitars dates back to ancient times, with stringed instruments like the lute and the oud being early predecessors. The modern acoustic guitar as we know it today began to take shape in the late 19th century, with luthiers experimenting with different shapes, sizes, and materials to improve the sound quality of the instrument.


One of the key developments in the history of acoustic guitars was the introduction of steel strings in the early 20th century, which allowed for a brighter and more powerful sound compared to traditional gut strings. This innovation helped to popularize the acoustic guitar and make it a staple in various styles of music, from folk and blues to country and rock.


Throughout the 20th century, acoustic guitars continued to evolve, with luthiers and guitar manufacturers introducing new designs, features, and techniques to improve playability and tone. Today, acoustic guitars come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from small-bodied parlors to large dreadnoughts, and are played by musicians of all genres and skill levels around the world.

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


How to properly tune an acoustic guitar?

  1. Start by tuning your low E string. Pluck the string and compare the pitch to a reference note or electronic tuner. Adjust the tuning peg until the pitch matches the reference note.
  2. Next, tune the A string to the correct pitch. Pluck the string and adjust the tuning peg until it matches the reference note.
  3. Continue tuning the D, G, B, and high E strings in the same way, always comparing the pitch to the reference note and adjusting the tuning peg as needed.
  4. After tuning all six strings, go back and double-check the tuning of each string to ensure they are all in tune with each other.
  5. Play a few chords or a simple song to test the tuning and make any necessary adjustments.
  6. It's a good idea to tune your guitar regularly, as changes in temperature, humidity, and playing can cause the strings to go out of tune.


What is the significance of the pickguard on an acoustic guitar?

The pickguard on an acoustic guitar serves both functional and aesthetic purposes.


Functionally, the pickguard is designed to protect the guitar's body from scratches, dents, and other damage caused by strumming or picking with a plectrum (pick). It acts as a barrier between the strings and the guitar body, preventing wear and tear over time.


Aesthetically, the pickguard can also add to the overall look of the guitar, providing a decorative touch or contrast to the wood finish. It can come in various designs, colors, and materials, allowing players to customize their guitar's appearance to their liking.


Overall, the pickguard plays an important role in both protecting the guitar and enhancing its visual appeal.


How to fingerpick on an acoustic guitar?

Fingerpicking on an acoustic guitar involves plucking the strings with your fingertips rather than using a pick. Here are some steps to get you started:

  1. Begin by holding the guitar properly. Sit up straight with the guitar resting comfortably on your right thigh (if you are right-handed) or left thigh (if you are left-handed). Make sure your strumming arm is able to comfortably reach the strings.
  2. Use your thumb to pluck the top three bass strings (E, A, D) and your index, middle, and ring fingers to pluck the top three treble strings (G, B, E).
  3. Start by practicing basic patterns. A common fingerpicking pattern is alternating the bass notes with the treble strings. For example, on a C chord, you could play C with your thumb, E with your middle finger, and G with your index finger.
  4. As you get more comfortable, experiment with different fingerpicking patterns and techniques. You can play arpeggios, bass runs, or even incorporate slaps and taps for a more percussive sound.
  5. Practice regularly to build your finger strength and dexterity. Start slow and gradually increase your speed as you get more comfortable with the technique.


Remember, fingerpicking is a versatile and expressive way to play the guitar, and it may take some time to master. Be patient, keep practicing, and have fun exploring different sounds and styles on your acoustic guitar.

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