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Guide to Electric Guitars

Electric Guitar : What is it?

Electric Guitars

An electric guitar is made with a pick-up for converting steel string vibrations into electric signals. When connected to an amplifier, it produces an acoustic guitar sound, an electric guitar sound, and sound effects. It is played by strumming, tapping, or flicking the strings. It can have a solid, hollow, or semi-hollow body made of wood polished and lacquered in different colors and designs. It is popularly used in most music genres such as rock and roll, blues, jazz, pop, country, and sometimes, classical. 

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Types of Electric Guitars

Electric GuitarsElectric Guitars

Kinds of Electric Guitars include the following:

Electric acoustic guitar

  • An electric acoustic guitar is a simple, steel-string acoustic guitar made with a pick-up that converts steel string vibrations into electric signals.
  • It can also be built with a low mass or condenser microphone inside the body, or pizoelectric connected to bridge’s mounting plate.
  • It has a solid body.
  • It is considered more as an acoustic rather than an electric guitar.


Four-string electric guitar


  • A four-string electric guitar is also called a tenor guitar.
  • It consists of four strings, with the two bottom strings removed.
  • It has a solid wood body resembling an acoustic guitar.
  • It was popular in the 1950s when used by the legendary Tiny Grimes.


Seven-string electric guitar


  • A seven-string electric guitar has an additional low B string underneath the E string.
  • It can also have an additional octave-higher tuned G string next to the instrument’s original G string.
  • It was popular in the 1980s in the progressive rock scene.


Eight-string electric guitar

  • An eight-string electric guitar consists of eight steel or nylon strings.
  • It produces a fat sound.
  • It has additional bass and treble strings.
  • It is made with a fanned fretboard that provides equal scale lengths for each string.
  • The fanned fretboard is essential to maintain accurate tuning.


Twelve-string electric guitar


  • A 12-string electric guitar is made up of a semi-hollow wooden body and 12 steel strings.
  • It produces an extra ringing tone richer than the one produced by the traditional six-string type.
  • The strings are arranged in pairs (courses) and played simultaneously.
  • The additional G, E, D, and A strings are tuned an octave higher, while the E and B strings are tuned in unison.
  • It has increased tension that can cause the instrument to warp after several years of use.
  • It is popularly used as a rhythm and harmony guitar in folk rock.


Double-neck electric guitar


  • A double-neck electric guitar consists of two necks combining a bass and a standard electric guitar.
  • The right neck has six strings, while the left one has 12.
  • It can be custom-made to having a third or fourth neck.
  • It is popularly used by progressive and hard rock bands.


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Choosing Electric Guitars (Buying tips)

Body style: Choose a solid-bodied electric guitar if you want loud amplification, effects, and sustain. To get acoustic sound and high amplification, choose a semi-hollow electric guitar. If you are a jazz musician, choose a hollow-body electric guitar to achieve full acoustic sounds.

Pick-up
: For standard playing, choose a standard two-pick-up electric guitar--one next to the bridge for producing twangy tones and another next to the neck for getting thicker tones. Look for a three-pick-up electric guitar to get a variety of pick-ups or blending options. To achieve a glassy sound, consider getting a five-pick-up electric guitar.

Neck:
Choose an electric guitar with a neck suited to your hand size. The neck usually comes in wide-thin, thin, and C-shape suited for certain hand sizes.

Bridge:
If you are a metal guitar player, choose an electric guitar with a tremolo bridge for bending or diving all the strings simultaneously. If you want more sustain, look for one with a fixed stoptail bridge.

Fret number:
Choose a 24-fret electric guitar neck that provides full octaves when played over the 12th fret.

Tuning machine head: To prevent regular maintenance, corrosion, and rust, choose an electric guitar with an enclosed tuning machine head. An open one is more prone to corrosion and requires more safeguarding.

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