Knowing Your Guitar

by , on
August 25, 2017

Knowing your guitar will help you shred riffs like the stars. It can be hard to stay dedicated. Even finding the right guitar can leave you feeling the blues. It’s not the easiest hobby to pick up! There are a lot of things to keep in mind as you browse for your rock-out gear. Body style, materials, bridges, necks and pickups all have very distinct influence on how your music will sound. Even just going over those is just an introductory course on getting your shred on.

I am here to help you get introduced to some of the basics. If you haven’t been playing for years, there are probably some elements you don’t even need to concern yourself with right now. Here I will brief you on the basic body styles and pickups, which are (most people believe) the most important parts of your guitar’s overall build. I will also help you ask yourself the important questions that will help you make the right choices. Once you have all this down, the next step is to check out the best drink coolers to get your crew over for a jam session!

Guitar Body Styles

Solid Body

This style is the most common, and some of the most iconic axes utilize it. The Gibson Les Paul and Fender Stratocaster both have solid bodies. This body style is known for it’s capability to create the widest range of tones. It also reduces feedback and can give you a better sustained note. You can’t really go wrong starting out with this body style, no matter what kind of music you are looking to play. It is mostly used by rock and alternative musicians.

Hollow Body

This is the original design that introduced the world to the power of electric guitars. Like an acoustic guitar, it has a completely hollow inside. They first were used in jazz ensembles, like the Gibson ES-150. Later, these guitars were adapted for folk, country, and even rock stylings. The hollow body allows the guitar to produce mellow, warm tonalities. They are more prone to producing feedback, but you can use distorters to achieve a different sound if you are careful. These is a great option for people who are leaning toward playing blues and classic rock.

Semi-Hollow Body

If you are looking for an all-purpose guitar, a semi-hollow body is the perfect compromise between the previous two styles. These guitars are solid through the center and hollow on both sides. This design allows them to increase how long notes play (sustain). It also gives less feedback than completely hollow bodied guitars. You can also still achieve those mellow tones we love.

Guitar Pickups

The pickup is important because it is the device that actually takes the vibrations of the string and translates it into an electrical signal to be amplified. They are small coil wire wrapped magnets. These feel the vibration and send the electric signal to your amp, which better be turned to eleven.

You can choose from two main pickup styles– single coil or humbuckers (AKA double coil). Basically, single coil pickups are the simplest design, with only one coil. These pickups give you punchy, bright tones. The downside is they can produce a lot of extra noise. Some people choose a P90 pickup. The single coil is thicker than traditional single coils. They make a louder, but duller sound. Punk and alternative artists usually choose thin single coil pickups because the hum lends itself well to those killer stylings.

Dual coil pickups are also known as humbuckers because they get rid of the extra hum. They use two sets of single coil pickups, grouped near each other. This allows your guitar to make more powerful tones perfect for jamming out power chords. Be sure to test out both styles. Many people think that choosing the humbucker is always the better option, however some musicians prefer the brighter tones they produce. Blues and classic rock artists usually prefer the cleaner tones that humbuckers offer. You can even find guitars that allow you to switch between single, and dual coil modes, if you are not sure which style you will end up being called toward.

I hope this helps you move forward toward picking out your new rocking piece of equipment!