Menu Close

The different types of guitar explained

Guitars come in all shapes and sizes, and choosing a guitar for the first time can be a daunting experience. Whether you want to play a flamenco tune on a Spanish guitar, see yourself centre stage with an electric guitar or want to captivate a room with an acoustic style, our guide will help you on your way to pick-ing the perfect guitar!

Acoustic Guitars

acoustic guitar
Acoustic guitars have a deep and rich tone that is perfect for learning chords and perfecting your strumming technique. The classical acoustic guitar is characterised by its wide neck and nylon strings which can be played with a plectrum or your fingers. The steel-string acoustic guitar produces a slightly different sound which is more metallic and bright, however, both versions are fantastic for beginners.

Semi-Acoustic or Electro-Acoustic Guitars

electro acoustic guitar

The semi-acoustic, or electro-acoustic guitar, is similar to a steel-stringed acoustic in terms of the sound it produces, however, it can also be plugged into an amplifier. The semi-acoustic is fitted with a device (pickup) that allows the vibration of the strings to be picked up and amplified. These guitars are perfect for those planning to perform their music in public.

Electric Guitars

electric guitar

Popular with those looking to play rock, blues or jazz, the electric guitar is usually what potential guitar players strive to get their hands on! By plugging the guitar into an amplifier, you can get a loud, metallic sound that is sure to capture an audience's attention. The possibilities for the electric guitar are endless with more advanced equipment frequently becoming available.

Bass Guitars

bass guitar

Bass guitars are a favourite of those who want to master the four string guitar and become a bass player. The notes match the lowest four strings of a standard guitar, however, they are an octave lower. The strings are thicker and they have a wider scale length than a standard six string guitar.

Double-Neck Guitars

double neck guitar

These guitars have the same body but interchangeable necks – one standard six string and one twelve string is the most common combination. These are perfect for performances where the musician must play songs recorded with both guitars.

Classical or Spanish Guitar

spanish flamenco guitar

These guitars are characterised by their hollow sound-box and feminine shape. The nylon strings produce a calming, delicate sound which is perfect for classical music and showing off your finger-playing skills. The flamenco guitar varies slightly because of its wider fretboard.

Archtop Guitars


These are semi-hollow acoustic or electric guitars with steel strings. The archtop guitar is a favourite with jazz players.

Steel Guitars

Steel guitar

Played horizontally across the knees, these unusual guitars can be played with pedals and knee-levers, to change the pitch of the strings, or can be played using a solid bar of steel. The steel guitar originates from Hawaii.

Resonator Guitars

resonator guitar gibson

Popular with blues and country players, the resonator guitar has a plate which hides the resonator cone rather than a sound hole. The cone acts as an audio loudspeaker and helps to produce an intense sound ideal for outdoor performances.

Twelve- String Guitars

twelve string guitar

Twelve-string guitars are great for those who have mastered chords and want a more complex challenge. They have six normal strings and six thinner strings, with each pair playing the same note. The sound produced is brighter and richer with a natural chorus effect.

We hope our guide has made the world of guitars easier to understand and we wish you the best of luck in choosing the right guitar for you!