Acoustic Guitars: A Guide to Choosing the Best One for You

Acoustic guitars are a popular musical instrument that have been around for centuries. They are known for their distinct sound and are often used in a variety of musical genres, including folk, country, and rock. Unlike electric guitars, acoustic guitars do not need to be plugged in to be played, making them a great choice for musicians who want a more organic sound.

One of the most appealing aspects of acoustic guitars is their versatility. They come in a variety of styles and sizes, from small travel guitars to large dreadnoughts. This means that there is an acoustic guitar out there for everyone, whether you are a beginner or an experienced musician. Additionally, acoustic guitars can be played in a variety of ways, from fingerpicking to strumming, making them a great choice for musicians who want to experiment with different playing styles.

Acoustic guitars have a rich history and continue to be a popular choice for musicians around the world. Whether you are just starting out or have been playing for years, there is no denying the appeal of these versatile instruments. In this article, we will explore the world of acoustic guitars, from their history to the different types available today.

History of Acoustic Guitars

Acoustic guitars have a rich history that spans over thousands of years. The earliest evidence of a guitar-like instrument dates back to the Uruk period (3500 BC—3200 BC) in Mesopotamia, where an engraving on a small round cylinder was discovered. This artifact portrays a woman playing the oud, a fretless lute with a short neck that was common in Arabic culture.

Early Development

The origins of the acoustic guitar can be traced back to the stringed instruments of ancient civilizations. The first known stringed instrument was the harp, which was used in Egypt as early as 3000 BCE. The harp was followed by the lyre and the lute, which were popular in ancient Greece and Rome.

During the Middle Ages, the guitar-like instruments were known as the vihuela or the gittern. These instruments were commonly used in Spain and Portugal, and they were played with a plectrum or fingers.

In the 16th century, the guitar began to take on its modern form. The Spanish luthier Antonio de Torres Jurado is credited with developing the modern classical guitar design in the mid-19th century. His design included a larger body, wider neck, and six strings.

Modern Era

In the early 20th century, the acoustic guitar underwent significant changes. The flat top acoustic guitar remains the most popular form of acoustic guitar, nearly two centuries after its invention. German-born American guitar maker, Christian Frederick Martin, created the flat top. Martin replaced the old-fashioned fan bracing with X-bracing to help the guitar body handle the extra stress of modern steel strings.

In the 1930s, the dreadnought guitar was developed by Martin. It was larger and had a deeper body than previous models, which gave it a louder and more powerful sound. This design became popular among country and bluegrass musicians.

Today, acoustic guitars are used in a wide range of musical genres, from folk and country to rock and pop. They continue to evolve with new materials, shapes, and designs.

Overall, the history of acoustic guitars is a fascinating story of innovation, creativity, and cultural exchange. From the ancient harp to the modern acoustic guitar, this instrument has played an important role in human history and continues to inspire musicians around the world.

acoustic guitar

Types of Acoustic Guitars

Acoustic guitars are a popular choice for musicians and come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Here are some of the most common types of acoustic guitars:

Classical Guitars

Classical guitars, also known as Spanish guitars, are typically made with nylon strings and have a wider neck and fingerboard than steel-string acoustic guitars. They are often used for playing classical music and are known for their warm, mellow sound. Classical guitars are also popular for flamenco music and are often played with a percussive style.

Steel-String Acoustic Guitars

Steel-string acoustic guitars are the most common type of acoustic guitar and are often used in folk, country, and rock music. They have a brighter, more metallic sound than classical guitars due to their steel strings. Steel-string acoustic guitars come in a variety of sizes, with the dreadnought being the most popular.

Resonator Guitars

Resonator guitars, also known as Dobros, are a type of acoustic guitar that uses a metal resonator cone to amplify the sound. They have a distinctive sound and are often used in blues, bluegrass, and country music. Resonator guitars come in two main types: square-neck and round-neck.

Archtop Guitars

Archtop guitars are a type of acoustic guitar that has a curved top and back, giving them a distinctive shape. They are often used in jazz music and have a warm, mellow sound. Archtop guitars come in two main types: acoustic archtops and electric archtops.

Overall, the type of acoustic guitar you choose will depend on your personal preferences and the style of music you want to play. Each type of guitar has its own unique sound and feel, so it's important to try out different types before making a decision.

Construction of Acoustic Guitars

Acoustic guitars are made up of several components, including the body, neck, and fretboard. In this section, we will discuss the various aspects of acoustic guitar construction.

Body Types

Acoustic guitar bodies come in various shapes and sizes, with the most common being the dreadnought, concert, and jumbo. The dreadnought is the most popular type, known for its loud and boomy sound. The concert is smaller and produces a more balanced tone, making it a popular choice for fingerstyle players. The jumbo is the largest of the three and produces a deep and powerful sound.


The materials used in acoustic guitar construction have a significant impact on the guitar's sound. The top, or soundboard, is typically made of spruce, cedar, or mahogany. Spruce is the most common and produces a bright, punchy sound. Cedar produces a warmer, more mellow sound, while mahogany produces a rich and warm tone. The back and sides of the guitar are typically made of rosewood, mahogany, or maple, with each wood producing a unique sound.


The neck of an acoustic guitar is typically made of mahogany or maple and is attached to the body with a dovetail joint. The neck is then reinforced with a truss rod, which helps to adjust the curvature and keep the neck straight. The fretboard is typically made of rosewood or ebony and is where the player presses down on the strings to produce different notes.


In conclusion, acoustic guitar construction is a complex process that involves selecting the right materials and shaping them into the desired shape and size. The body type, materials, neck, and fretboard all play a significant role in the guitar's sound and playability. By understanding the construction of acoustic guitars, players can make informed decisions when selecting a guitar that suits their needs and preferences.

Sound of Acoustic Guitars

Acoustic guitars produce a distinct sound that is often described as warm, rich, and natural. The sound of an acoustic guitar is produced by the vibration of the strings, which is amplified by the body of the guitar. The tone and quality of the sound produced by an acoustic guitar depend on various factors, including the type of wood used, the shape and size of the guitar, and the player's technique.


The tone of an acoustic guitar is determined by the combination of several factors, including the type of wood used for the body, neck, and fretboard, the shape and size of the guitar, and the strings' gauge and material. The tone can range from bright and crisp to warm and mellow, depending on these factors.


The projection of an acoustic guitar refers to how well the sound is projected from the instrument. A guitar with good projection will produce a loud and clear sound that can fill a room without the need for amplification. The projection of an acoustic guitar is influenced by the size and shape of the body and the type of wood used in its construction.


Sustain refers to how long the sound of a note or chord lasts after it is played. Acoustic guitars with good sustain will allow notes and chords to ring out clearly and for an extended period. The sustain of an acoustic guitar is affected by the type of wood used for the body and neck, the strings' gauge and material, and the player's technique.

In summary, the sound of an acoustic guitar is influenced by various factors, including the type of wood used, the shape and size of the guitar, and the player's technique. The tone can range from bright and crisp to warm and mellow, and the projection and sustain are affected by the guitar's construction and the strings used.

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Including but not limited to Martin Guitars for sale, Taylor Guitars, Gibson Guitars, Santa Cruz Guitars, Bedell Guitars, Deering Banjos, Furch Guitars, Collings Guitars, Bourgeois Guitars, and Lowden Guitars for sale.

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