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Basic Guitar Types
Often the weapon of choice for folkies, hippies, hipsters who don’t otherwise play a seafoam green Fender Mustang, dorm kids, classical players and the occasional equestrian mounted cowboy. The acoustic guitar is constructed in a way as to require no electrical amplification for moderate volumes. Acoustics can be miked, or have pickup(s) installed if more volume is required. Generally these are categorized either as steel string or nylon string (often called “classical”)
Steel String Acoustic
These guitars are equipped with metal strings, often phosphor bronze, usually resulting on a lot more tension on the neck than a nylon string. Not to get into a giant tone debate, but they are generally louder and tonally brighter than a comparably built nylon string.
Nylon String Acoustic
Often referred to as “classical guitars”, these feature nylon strings, or even today, sometimes some far less savory non-PETA approved string materials. Classical guitars usually feature a much flatter fretboard radius than steel string acoustics and most electrics, and usually have very low neck tension. They tend to have a mellower sound than steel strings.
Usually a four string electric, with a much longer scale length than electric guitars, and tuned lower than a standard electric. Acoustic basses also exist. Generally the bass is capable of much more percussive expression than an electric guitar and has heaps of tension on the neck, resulting in a lot more forward thinking research being done on their truss rods, construction and materials than a typical electric guitar. Five string basses are now quite common, with 6 and 8 string variants as well as other configurations.
Very much like a tiny guitar that someone forgot to put the last two strings on, though 6 string ukes are not a rare sight and other string options are available. Most ukes are acoustic, though many are fitted or can be fitted with pickups of both piezo and magnetic variety. Unofficial ukulele ambassador to the world Kimo Hussey has done a lot to shake off the ukulele’s image as a novelty, and specialist ukulele authors like Holly Rudin-Braschi exist, but I think most of the current (outside of Hawaii) attention to ukuleles probably comes from uke virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro
Anatomy of the Guitar
Your guitar probably isn’t as awesome as mine, but that doesn’t make you any less of a person. Shown below is a somewhat typical electric seven string.