Understanding the guitar is very important. Looking at a guitar, you will know its quality and purposes and know that type of this guitar: classic or flamenco. Looking at the type of wood to make guitar you will know advantages and disadvantages about durability and moisture absorption of this guitar. Combining knowledge about type of wood and sound, you know the history of guitar.
In structure, the guitar has 20 parts: headstock, nut, machine heads, frets, truss rock, inlays, neck, heel, body, pickups, electronics, bridge, pickguard, back, soundboard, body sides, sound hole, strings, saddle and fretboard or fingerboard.
There are two ways to classify guitar. The first classification is divided into 3 types: electric guitar, acoustic guitar and bass guitar. The acoustic guitar is an instrument that has smaller neck than neck of classic guitar. It usually has 14 frets or 12 frets from the first point in the neck to soundboard. The acoustic guitar usually use steel strings so its sound is big. The classical guitar is an instrument having bigger neck than acoustic guitar. They usually have 12 frets from the first point in the neck to the soundboard. The strings are made from nylon so its sound is very warm. The electric guitar is an instrument having wood body. It doesn’t have resonant sound features like barrel guitar. Its neck has an amplifiers system. In size of this guitar, they divided into 3 types: guitar for children, the guitar has 630mm scale length and the guitar has 650mm scale length.
Basically, there are four types of string in the market: flat wound, round wound, half round and nylon string. These strings have low, medium and hard tension string. The low tension string has warm, big and classical sounds. If you use low tension, tremolo will have more regular sound. With hard tension string, its sound will be clearer and sharper.
In every guitar, wood used to make guitar has a huge decision for the sound’s quality. In general, a good guitar usually uses two main types of wood: spruce and cedar. Spruce is a tough wood usually having two types: white spruce or red spruce. The guitar made from spruce will having clear sound and many trebles. However, sounds just focus on one direction that makes people feel sound smaller.
One weakness of the spruce is high absorbency. That’s what you have to keep in mind to preserve your guitar because Vietnam’s climate is inherently wet. Cedar is also hardwoods but its hardness is less than spruce. The guitar made from cedar makes warm sounds. Because the supply of cedar is very plentiful so many guitars are made from cedar. Normally the type of wood to make neck of guitar is hardwood: mahogany, rosewood, Spanish cedar and maple. The popular wood to make the neck of electric guitar is maple. Actually what we call the neck includes many parts: neck, fret, headstock, tuners and fretboard. The wood used to make the neck will be different from the fretboard.