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How to choose electric guitar – shape, wood and hardware

First of all, history: electric guitar first appeared in the 1930s with the need to solve the problems that blues and jazz guitars were at that time. Guitarists were often part of great bands and other great ensembles, which often contained drums, pianos, brass and even strings, so of course it was very difficult to hear and even hear themselves! So they were looking for a way to play louder and how the idea came from the amplifier, thanks to the progress of the pickups. Rickenbacker was the first electric guitar prototype to use a tungsten pickup. They were on the right track, but feedback was still a big question due to the fact that all guitars were hollow at that time.

In the 40s, Les Paul, who then worked with Epiphone guitars, raised the idea of ​​building a guitar with no sound chamber to avoid feedback problems: the solid body was born! This was a radical departure from traditional hollow guitars, but from now on the electric guitar was a viable idea. Thanks to the work of Leo Fender, the electric guitar is in his own hands. In 1950 Leo completed the completion of the Telecaster and in 1954 the Stratocaster model. Meanwhile, Gibson came out with the famous Les Paul model. In just four years, the main principles of electric guitar building were developed; principles that are still used today.

Selecting an Electric Guitar Form

Generally speaking, the choice of electric guitar shape and surface is much greater than for acoustic guitars. Over the past 60 years, manufacturers have experienced almost every possible form and size, essentially due to the player's personal taste. However, there are some classic shapes (such as Fender Stratocaster and Gibson Les Paul) and countless spin-offs and variations. Taking the taste apart, which really makes a difference between electric guitars, what they are making and are solid or empty.

Solid Body Guitar

Solid Body Guitar Only: Solid Body. They are the modern version of the electric guitar and are by far the most common. The lack of a sound chamber allows these guitars to resist the feedback relatively effectively, while allowing the builder complete freedom when designing the shape. You always have to keep in mind how a particular figure can feel in different situations: for example, a Gibson Flying V is not the simplest guitar to sit down, which is not for a Les Paul: just think …


This category consists of a large part of jazz and retro-looking guitars, and is generally classified as hollow or semi-hollow. The thinner they are, the less acoustic they are, and even less likely to be backed up. We also have to keep in mind that the guitar is a hollow / semi-hollow body without any visible holes on the record (BB King's famous Gibson Lucille guitar is the best example). The semi-hollow guitars have a solid central block that runs the length and depth of the body, which stabilizes the sound, so the guitar is less prone to feedback (a consistent problem with all the hollow guitars).

Electric guitar with chamber bodies / audio cassettes

Some electric guitars have one or more chambers (a box) embedded in the body that is visible or visible from the outside. Of course, there are thousands of subjective opinions about how these chambers have an impact on the sound of a solid body guitar, which can be "broader" from "woodier", but it has to elaborate very much on its own opinion. Choosing a Tree

Like acoustic guitar, solid wood is the best way to enjoy its resonance and a much better quality of life, but of course it is more expensive. Tree of the Body

Contrary to what some novice may say, the guitar body has a fundamental effect on its sound. In fact, (simplify) pickups only amplify the vibration of the string, and this vibration largely depends on the joint resonance of the instrument-neck-hardware. As a general rule, the harder the tree, the more it holds, but the sound will be less bright.


This heavy wood provides abundant hold and warm sound. On the other hand, the signal should be less clear, especially in the case of distortion.

Typical examples are Gibson LP, Gibson SG, Lag Roxanne. For entry-level guitars, mahogany is replaced by less expensive varieties.


This tree's density and response is similar to mahogany but less warm and slightly brighter. It gives a fairly balanced response in the sound spectrum, and although it does not provide a very sensitive, resonant sound with excellent excitement. It is therefore not surprising to use the mudguard for its famous Stratocaster model.

Typical examples: Fender Stratocaster, Fender Telecaster.


Bright and penetrating sounds in hardwood (540-700 kg / m3 density) (curly, bird, rocking …) and at different prices. It is often used for recordings, which are placed on mahogany bodies, so the sound and gloss of the guitar give Gibson Les Paul more.

This wood weighs more than the Alder (density 580-690 kg / m3) and prefers abundant hold and light and penetrating sound. It's there before you use the guitar body often. Swampy ash, the various types of ashes, offer the best of both worlds: great maintenance and is very easy thanks to its very large open pores. Of course it is more expensive.

Typical examples: Fender Telecaster, Yamaha signature Mike Stern.

Tree of the Neck and the Flaps / Fretboards

As for the acoustic guitar, two main forests on the guitar neck. Mahogany neck (round and more medium), Maple neck (brighter). For fingerprint / fretboard, dense and hardwood is advantageous. The choices are the same as the acoustic guitar.

  • Ebony : a very dark and hard wood that is found on a high-level guitar. This very weak wood (1000-1200 kg / m3) provides accurate intonation and strengthens the stiffness of the neck.
  • Rosewood : A rather hard wood (850 kg / m3) that gives a softer, less clear sound, but is ideal for certain styles (blues, etc.). The rosary of Brazil is a scarce commodity, so it's pretty expensive, so Indian rosewood is often used in its place. The rosary in Brazil is aware of the greater clarity of the bottom and a bell-like sound in the spikes.
  • Maple : This tree is drier than rosewood or ebony and is primarily found on maple walls. There are not any more fingerprints in some maples.

Machine Heads

No question: Closed containers with constant lubrication are the best. They ensure simple and precise tuning.

Bridges can be fixed (hard tail), such as Gibson Les Paul or Fender Telecaster, but may also include tremolo / vibrato setting (arm affixed to bridge, which can temporarily slow down the strings and change volume pitch).

Bigsby tremolos from the 40's, change the track for approx. 1-2 half steps. These are Gretsch and Gibson hollow body guitars, among others, and vibrato for many countries, rockabilly and rock players. If you have a correct bridge that is correctly calibrated, it will usually stay in the sound.

The Fender (synchronized) tremolo is partially built under the bridge and offers a greater body height thanks to the swirling engraved on the body. The problem with this type of vibrato is that the guitar is prone to melody.

The Flood Rose tremolo (or the closing tremolo) edited by Eddie Van Halen during the work of the Eruption has evolved from the Fender tremolo. The idea was to make a tremolo, which would allow guitarists to drastically change the pitch of the string without making any tuning problems. To achieve this, it uses two twine closure devices, one on the bridge and the other on the nut. Although this setting works very well, it is quite embarrassing to change the string, so beginners need to be called up.


There are so many types of pickups that it is difficult to get comprehensive overview. We focus on two types of guitars most commonly found in the guitar:

  • Single Wristband : Historically, these were the first guitar games. Although it is very sensitive to electrostatic noise, these pickups have never played a decisive role in the history of rock-n-roll, funk and soul. There is a soundtrack from a dark and fat mid-range in the P-90, the clear and clear Fender Stratocaster sound. Thus, we distinguish between traditional single-coil pickups and P-90 coil windings that are warmer and stronger (typical examples include Fender Telecaster, Fender Stratocaster, Gibson LP Junior).
  • Humbuckers (Double Coil) : Inverted to noise reduction (hum), they offer more power and wheels. All kinds of modern music (jazz, rock, hard-rock, metal …). The humbucker can be separated (only one of the two rolls is used for a roll sound) on some guitars. Typical examples: Gibson SG, Gibson LP …

The humbuckers can be split. In this case, only one of the two coils is used to make the sound very similar to a coil.

Note that the pickup is paired in sequence either in parallel, in phase or phase, depending on the built-in circuit of the guitar. This can create additional audio combinations and possibilities.

In recent years, piezoelectric pickups (acoustic electric guitars) have become more common. These can be combined with standard guitar standard pickups.

Other Things

One last note: The presence of a lattice bar indicates fine-tuning the instrument, for example, when changing the string metering.

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