The acoustic guitar has been around for ages and it is like the foundation for all those who want to pursue guitar playing seriously or as a career. This article presents a comprehensive guide to acoustic guitars so that you can start playing one from today.
The most important thing is to understand what an acoustic guitar really is. It is not another musical instrument; it is THE musical instrument. The acoustic guitar can be divided into three main parts and each of the parts are significant for better guitar playing. The three important parts are:
· The hollow body
· The guitar neck: this is where the frets are located
· The head, which holds the tuning peg
The most important part of an acoustic guitar is the soundboard. The soundboard is basically a wooden piece that is normally mounted on the front side of the guitar body. The main aim of the soundboard is to make the guitar sound louder. The sound board has a large hole, which is known as the sound hole. This hole is normally round and situated at the center.
Another important piece attached to the sound board is the bridge, which is basically the anchor for the 6 strings. The strings rest against the bridge on a thin piece of wood called the saddle. When you strum the guitar, the vibrations travel to the bridge via the saddle and then to the soundboard where it gets amplified. The actual sound of an acoustic guitar is produced by the soundboard.
The body of an acoustic guitar is shaped in such a way that you can rest the guitar on your knee. This helps in providing a better grip on the guitar and playing it becomes much easier. There are two widenings in the acoustic guitar: one is called the lower bout that connects to the bridge and the other is the upper bout that connects to the neck.
The kind of tone you will get while playing the acoustic guitar will depend on the two bouts and the shape and size of the body. Basically the higher bout will accentuate higher tones and the lower bout will bring out lower tones.
The frets on an acoustic guitar lie on the neck of the guitar and all the frets together form the fingerboard. Frets are basically thin metallic pieces, which have been put at regular intervals all along the fingerboard. If you press a string all the way down to a specific fret then the length of the string changes and this change impacts the tone.
One of the significant features in an acoustic guitar is the nut which is situated between the neck and the head. The six strings of an acoustic guitar are tied to six nuts. The distance between the nut and the saddle is known as the scale length of an acoustic guitar. Each of the six strings passes over the nut and is attached to the tuning heads. The tuning heads will allow you to decrease or increase the tension in the strings and as a result you will be able to tune the guitar.
Just like the electric guitar, you can different types of pickups and microphones for amplification of sound in an acoustic guitar. Some of the most common or popular pickups used for acoustic guitars are magnetic and Piezo pickups. The Piezo pickup is always mounted just under the bridge saddle and it can be further plugged into an amplifier or a mixer. On the other hand, magnetic pickups are always mounted inside the sound hole. The most common microphones that are used in acoustic guitars for amplification purposes are condenser and dynamic microphones.