3 Main Types of Guitars To Be Familiar With & How They Work

3 Main Types of Guitars To Be Familiar With & How They Work

When you join any music school with an interest in learning how to play the guitar, you’ll be introduced to the basic types of guitar. Whether it’s a child or adult guitar lesson, it’s paramount to note that there are other numerous subtypes of the 3 main types of guitar as you begin to hone your skills.

Basic structure of a guitar

A guitar has 6 strings labelled from 1 to 6. String 1 is then thinnest while string 6 is the thickest. Also, all guitars have a fretboard with fret numbering starting from headstock towards the body. Ideally, the letter O or the number 0 is used to denote an open string (this is the string that’s played without necessarily fretting a note).

Also, guitars have the main body which is instrumental in determining the quality of sound produced. It offers the resonance that establishes the volume of acoustic guitars while affecting the amplification level of all electric guitars significantly.

When selecting a guitar, you should be keen to note the type of wood used, the nature of the body (hollow or solid), the shape, and the size of the body. If possible, you should test the guitar before you purchase it to ensure that you only get that which suits your needs.

The 3 main types of guitar

1. Classical guitar: It has nylon strings and lacks the fret markers. This guitar is slightly smaller compared to the acoustic one and it’s used to play a warm and soft tone. Also, it’s generally cheaper than the acoustic guitar.

2. Acoustic guitar: It has steel strings with a narrow fretboard that may include scratch plates. Overall, this type of guitar is easier to play compared to the classical one since it has a truss rod necessary for the support and a relatively smaller neck. When you want to achieve a rock N’ roll sound, this is the guitar for it.

3. Electric guitar: When using electric guitar, the strings’ vibrations are converted into electric signals. To generate these vibrations, you’ll be required to tap, fingerpick, or pluck the strings. As such, this guitar requires amplification, unlike the acoustic guitar.

How a guitar works

All guitars work using vibrations. When you continuously tap the strings, they produce rhythmic vibrations that are known as frequency (the number of vibrations produced per second). The pitch that the guitar produces is solely dependent on the frequency level; the higher the frequency, the higher the pitch and vice versa. This pitch travels in the air to your ears and you can hear it as the rhythmic and soothing musical patterns. If you really want to know how the guitar works, you should acquire one or join a music school.


Avoid getting overly influenced by aesthetics when selecting the type of guitar to play. Instead, you should always go for that which you can play comfortably at first. If this is your first time picking up the instrument, enrolling in guitar lessons for beginners can help you learn the basics and eventually play the other types progressively. Aside from drums, you can also explore your musical interests when you sign up in a music school. You can get the opportunity to learn drums or take up vocal lessons for adults and improve your skills.

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