Online Guitar Shop

For example, if a guitarist played an open A Major chord , it would sound like a B Major chord. Because of the ease with which they allow guitar players to change keys, they are sometimes referred to with pejorative names, such as “cheaters” or the “hillbilly crutch”. Despite this negative viewpoint, another benefit of the capo is that it enables guitarists to obtain the ringing, resonant sound of the common keys (C, G, A, etc.) in “harder” and less-commonly used keys. Classical performers are known to use them to enable modern instruments to match the pitch of historical instruments such as the Renaissance music lute. The main purpose of the bridge on an acoustic guitar is to transfer the vibration from the strings to the soundboard, which vibrates the air inside of the guitar, thereby amplifying the sound produced by the strings.

This is musically convenient and physically comfortable and it eased the transition between fingering chords and playing scales. If the tuning contained all perfect fourths, the range would end up being two octaves plus one semitone; the high string would be an F, a dissonant half-step from the low E and much out of place. The top, back and ribs of an acoustic guitar body are very thin (1–2 mm), so a flexible piece of wood called lining is glued into the corners where the rib meets the top and back. This interior reinforcement provides 5 to 20 mm of solid gluing area for these corner joints. Solid linings are often used in classical guitars, while kerfed lining is most often found in steel-string acoustics. Kerfed lining is also called kerfing because it is scored, or “kerfed”, to allow it to bend with the shape of the rib).

The twelve-string guitar usually has steel strings, and it is widely used in folk music, blues, and rock and roll. Rather than having only six strings, the 12-string guitar has six courses made up of two strings each, like a mandolin or lute. The highest two courses are tuned in unison, while the others are tuned in octaves. The chime-like sound of the 12-string electric guitar was the basis of jangle pop. Renaissance and Baroque guitars are the ancestors of the modern classical and flamenco guitar. They are substantially smaller, more delicate in construction, and generate less volume.

The strings were a whole octave apart from one another, which is the reason for the different method of tuning. Because it was so different, there was major controversy as to who created the five course guitar. A literary source, Lope de Vega’s Dorotea, gives the credit to the poet and musician Vicente Espinel. This claim was also repeated by Nicolas Doizi de Velasco in 1640, however this claim has been refuted by others who state that Espinel’s birth year make it impossible for him to be responsible for the tradition.

Other alternative materials to wood are used in guitar body construction. Some of these include carbon composites, plastic material, such as polycarbonate, and aluminum alloys. The bass guitar (also called an “electric bass”, or simply a “bass”) is similar in appearance and construction to an electric guitar, but with a longer neck and scale length, and four to six strings. The four-string bass, by far the most common, is usually tuned the same as the double bass, which corresponds to pitches one octave lower than the four lowest pitched strings of a guitar .

Some truss rod systems, called double action truss systems, tighten both ways, pushing the neck both forward and backward . Classical do not require truss rods, as their nylon strings exert a lower tensile force with lesser potential to cause structural problems. However, their necks are often reinforced with a strip of harder wood, such as an ebony strip that runs down the back of a cedar neck.

Instruments utilizing “steel” strings may have strings made from alloys incorporating steel, nickel or phosphor bronze. Bass strings for both instruments are wound rather than monofilament. Fretboards are most commonly made of rosewood, ebony, maple, and sometimes manufactured using composite materials such as HPL or resin. See the section “Neck” below for the importance of the length of the fretboard in connection to other dimensions of the The fingerboard plays an essential role in the treble tone for acoustic guitars.

Extending the tunings of violins and cellos, all-fifths tuning offers an expanded range CGDAEB, which however has been impossible to implement on a conventional guitar. All-fifths tuning is used for the lowest five strings of the new standard tuning of Robert Fripp and his former students in Guitar Craft courses; new standard tuning has a high G on its last string CGDAE-G. Standard tuning has evolved to provide a good compromise between simple fingering for many chords and the ability to play common scales with reasonable left-hand movement. There are also a variety of commonly used alternative tunings, for example, the classes of open, regular, and dropped tunings.

On the other hand, some chords are more difficult to play in a regular tuning than in standard tuning. It can be difficult to play conventional chords, especially in augmented-fourths tuning and all-fifths tuning, in which the large spacings require hand stretching. Some chords, which are conventional in folk music, are difficult to play even in all-fourths and major-thirds tunings, which do not require more hand-stretching than standard tuning. For the standard tuning, there is exactly one interval of a major third between the second and third strings, and all the other intervals are fourths.

Pressing a string against a fret determines the strings’ vibrating length and therefore its resultant pitch. The pitch of each consecutive fret is defined at a half-step interval on the chromatic scale. Standard classical guitars have 19 frets and electric guitars between 21 and 24 frets, although guitars have been made with as many as 27 frets. Frets are laid out to accomplish an equal tempered division of the octave. The twelfth fret divides the scale length exactly into two halves, and the 24th fret position divides one of those halves in half again.