Before you buy an acoustic guitar there are a few important things you should know to make sure you get one that is suitable for you. Consider these things:
Purpose and Budget
Consider the purpose of your guitar, the type of music you wish to play and its transportation, guitars come in a whole range of sizes as well as styles.
Choosing a well-made acoustic guitar that feels comfortable for you to hold and use is more important than choosing a brand name guitar that may not really be suitable for you.
Your skill level is an important consideration as there are a lot of very inexpensive guitars available that are ideal for beginners and are reasonably easy to play.
If you are a more accomplished guitarist they you will probably have an idea of the type of guitar you want and will take into account the differences in tonewoods and soundboard resonance effects.
Acoustic Guitar Construction and Design
When you know the basics of acoustic guitar design, it can help you choose the best one for your needs.
The neck of a guitar is joined to the body, the top is called the headstock. A fretboard is mounted on the front of the neck and the back side of the neck is shaped to fit a player’s hand.
Usually on acoustic guitars the neck is glued in place, a set neck and has a heel to strengthen the joint. Incorporated into the neck is a metal truss rod, which is designed to prevent twisting and bowing, it is also used to correct intonation issues for accurate tuning.
The fretboard is typically made of hardwood such as ebony or rosewood and has thin strips of metal called frets embedded at half step increments of the 12 scale. This is glued to the neck and usually features symbols to indicate the odd numbered frets.
At the end of the neck the headstock holds the tuning keys which are used to adjust the tension of the strings to change their pitch or sound.
The guitar body is made up of the sound board at the top of a sound chamber. This is joined to the back by the sides and internal bracing. The body is a curved pattern the upper area called the upper bout the middle, the waist and the lower area, the lower bout.
The shape and the size of the body of the guitar influences both the playability and sound of an individual guitar. Finding an acoustic guitar that suits your musical needs as well as feeling comfortable for the player is important for getting the right sound and player enjoyment.
The Sound Hole
Aligned with the guitar’s waist and the base of the fretboard, under the strings is the sound hole.
The bridge or anchor point for the strings has a saddle that’s usually made of hard plastic or bone. This transmits the string vibrations making the guitar sounds.
Some types of acoustic guitars are more suitable for using with a built in preamplifier and pickup so they can easily be amplified without losing their acoustic qualities. Choosing the best guitar for you is a matter of comfort and personal choice.