Guitars, Electric, and Acoustic
The classical guitar appeared in Spain, but there have been similar
instruments created for over 5,000 years all over the world. Basically
they are defined by a long fretted neck, a flat wooden sound board and
a flat back, often with curved sides with a combination of strings,
usually six, to produce tones. The modern guitar can be divided into
two different categories, acoustic and electric. If you prefer, you can have custom guitars made.
An acoustic guitar requires no outside source of amplification to produce
sounds. It uses a wooden piece called a sound board to generate tones.
The result is a much softer and quieter sound than an electric guitar,
easily drowned out by other instruments in a band. Often an acoustic
guitar will be used in combination with a microphone and an amplifier
to create an equaled amount of loudness compared with the rest of the
band. The guitar often plays critical melodies and rhythms that are
in popular songs. With the addition of a pre-amp or pick-ups an acoustic
guitar can be connected to an amplifier just like an electric guitar,
but while still preserving the acoustic sound.
An electric guitar only works in combination with an amplifier. Without
one the sound is small and tinny. With the addition of an amplifier
an amazing range of sounds can be created. There is much more control
of the tone, resonance, reverb, echo and delay possible through an amp.
Different amps also produce different sounds which has led some rare
amps to become highly coveted because of their unique and desirable
tones. The length of the next is also shorter than an acoustic, and
the strings are thinner. This is because they do not have to generate
their own sound the same way an acoustic guitar does. This allows for
different techniques and styles of playing to be used.
A bass guitar can also be either acoustic or electric, but has only
four strings that are much thicker than a guitar string to aid in the
production of lower frequency noises. Just like the guitar, an electric
bass can be built much smaller than an acoustic one.
There is some basic care that should be taken with every guitar. It
should have its own stand to keep it safely off of the floor. Displaying
a guitar can also be aesthetically pleasing as well as protecting the
instrument. It should be kept in a place that is dry and not too hot.
Excessive moisture can warp the wood in a guitar which will change the
tone, and in extreme cases render the instrument unplayable, and possibly
unfixable. Temperature variations effect how well the instrument plays
as well, cold weather will tighten the strings raising the overall pitch
while warm weather will lower the pitch.
Guitars can be wiped down and polished to keep their finish, but it
should be done very carefully. Make sure that the polish being used
matches the finish to the guitar, whether its wood, metal or plastic.
Taking care of a guitar will allow it to last for an entire lifetime,
some guitars are over 300 years old. It also keeps the sound of the
guitar more consistent over time, and will require less maintenance.