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How to Choose an Acoustic Guitar

April 22, 2017

How's it going this is Jonny from Dixie Guitar King in st. George Utah.   Today I'm going to talk to you about how to properly choose an acoustic guitar that will fit you the best.   So there are three really important things to take into account when choosing an instrument- the first is comfort, the second is sound or potential, and the third is how it looks. Some people put how it looks as the most important factor, but for all practical purposes I think that the most important thing- and you can argue with me on this- is comfort, because if it's not comfortable- if it's junkie feeling if it's big- too big for you or too small it's going to be hard to play and you're less likely to play it, so the most important thing is comfort. The second

most important thing is sound or potential.  How your guitar sounds is going to be based on what it's made out of.   This is also related to its potential.   It's potential will be amplified depending on the construction. So I mentioned in a video that I recorded yesterday that the three main types of guitar construction are solid wood,solid top, and all laminate.  Solid wood guitars are single layers thick

around the body.  Solid top guitars are single layers of wood thick on the soundboard or the top of the guitar, which is the most important part to be solid wood, and then the back and sides are laminate/plywood or an epoxy sawdust composite- basically laminated wood.  So the third type of guitar

construction is going to be all laminate, which is like the solid top guitar except for the soundboard is also

laminate.  So, the best sounding of these three is usually going to be an all solid wood guitar.  Sometimes solid top guitars can rival all solid wood guitars depending on how they chose the

wood, and how they used glue and bracing in the process of making the instrument.  So, there are a lot of factors that are involved, but largely your instrument's potential will be determined by what the body

is made out of.  Every single thing in the construction is going to affect the sound. It will be affected by the

materials used and the tuners, for example.  If a heavier material is used in the tuning machines

it's going to give the guitar moresustain.  A bone nut and saddle- bone being the material used in high quality instruments- is going to make a difference in how it sounds. I think bone or micarta and corian are probably the best choices for nut and saddle material, as opposed to plastic, which is usually on the less expensive guitars.  The material on the fret board,  which tonewoods are used, all these things are going to go into what your guitar sounds like.  There's a lot of different factors- different woods have

different tonal characteristics and even if you have the same wood combination in an instrument

it will sound different every time- just like people- we all have the same parts but we all function a little bit differently.  The same thing is true with an instrument- it's going to flex and vibrate differently depending on how it was cut, how it was dried, how it was cured, how it's glued together, how the bracing goes into the instrument, etc. Those  factors are all going to factor into how it sounds.   So, that's the second most

important thing, and the third most important thing is how it looks.  If it looks like a butterfly or a dinosaur you might want it more than if it's shaped like a traditional guitar, you never know everybody's a little bit different on there cosmetic preference. So, as far as comfort, the best way to choose a guitar that's comfortable for you is to pick up every guitar in the store- if you go into a store- and see which body shape fits you the best.  There are three main body shapes that most guitars fit into and those shapes are a OOO/ folk/concert/ auditorium,  (these are all relatively similar), dreadnaught, which is one of the oldest acoustic guitar body shapes- you've probably seen them before- the big box style guitar- and a jumbo body shape.  Smaller body folk instruments like a 000/concert are typically more comfortable for peopl

that have smaller frames, women and children, or just anybody that doesn't want a big

bulky instrument. The dreadnaught guitar is probably the most famous shape of guitar and this is what people buy most often because it's the most common, traditional acoustic guitar shape.  But a lot of times these are less comfortable because they have a thicker body over all and they're just usually a little

bit less comfortable than the folk; however, for some people they're more comfortable- it really just depends on you.  The third body shape is a jumbo. Jumbo guitars  have a much larger body even than a dreadnaught. Usually the people that are going to be the most comfortable with this size of instrument are going to be the larger people-  people that are taller with longer arms- because it's going to be more

 

 

comfortable for them; however one may become accustomed to playing different body types.  As far as sound or potential- as I mentioned- solid wood is going to sound the best right off the bat, it's going to

improve the most down the road- as wood vibrates it eat more easily vibrates, it sounds better, it sounds more clear, it does what is called "opening up."  All instruments do improve as they vibrate.  As wood vibrates it vibrates easier, but if they're difficult to vibrate in the beginning (laminate) they are going to sound thinner have less depth, and not improve as fast because the easier woodvibrates the faster it improves.  Anyways, that is how to choose a proper acoustic guitar that will fit you the best based on potential, looks and shape/comfort. Come by Dixie Guitar King in St. George Utah to find an acoustic guitar that fits you right. We have a humidified building with a ton of great guitars and other musical instruments

 

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