An acoustic guitar is a basic musical instrument in the classical guitar family. Its strings are plucked by hand and the soundboard is connected to a resonating body by thin strings on a wooden or metal resonator. This resonating body produces a pitch by the vibration of the strings. This basic model of an acoustic guitar has evolved over the years to include more elaborate models, but the basic design is the same.
One advantage of the acoustic guitar is that it produces very little sound distortion due to the thin strings and lack of hammers on the fret board. It is quite possible to tune an acoustic guitar even though it does not have a whammy bar. The instrument can be tuned using a tuning fork or by using an electronic tuner. Another advantage of the acoustic guitar is that it’s easy to handle. It has a warm and distinctive sound when played softly. Its unique sound is best heard when you hold it in your hands.
Acoustic guitars are traditionally made in two different sizes, the twelve string and the seven string. The twelve string has five courses of strings, while the seven string has six courses of strings. Acoustic guitars are also distinguished by their finishes, like acoustic-guitar, flamenco, classical, reggae, jazz, folk and classic. The finish is an aluminum plate or chrome strip that covers and protects the entire body of the instrument. Some finishes are oil rubbed or the traditional black paint. Acoustic guitars can be made with a cutaway body or a drop-through neck.
Dreadnought guitars are considered to be the ancestor of the modern acoustic guitar. The original dreadnought was a type of guitar that was used in military maneuvers during the Second World War. The shape of the Dreadnought is similar to the shape of an egg, hence the name “dreadnought”. The original guitars had plywood bodies and a wood soundhole. The soundhole was mounted at the side of the soundhole, so that the acoustic guitar could be tuned exactly. These days, many acoustic guitars still have the soundhole mounted at the side of the soundhole.
Acoustic guitars generally come in two varieties, the fretted and geared. The fretted acoustic guitar has frets on the side of the neck, like the classical guitar. The fretted guitars have fingerboards, like the famous guitarists. The fretted guitars are usually a lot louder than the fretboard acoustic guitars, and they also have truss rods and whammy bars. The truss rods control the vibration of the strings. The Whammy Bar is placed underneath the strings and lifts them up and down to produce vibrato sounds.
Acoustic Guitars are tuned using either hammers, pegs or sometimes both. Classical guitarists tuning their guitars usually use tuning pins or a bridge. The bridge is a metal strip or rod that crosses the strings over the bridge. The bridge changes the tension of the strings making different sounds. Most classical guitar players use a wooden tuning pin or bridge.