There are a lot of guitar options out there. Whether you’re a beginner looking for your first Acoustic Guitar or an electric guitar player in need of an acoustic instrument, we've got something for you. Worcester Guitar Centre are proud to stock some of the biggest Acoustic Guitar brands, including Alvarez, Faith, James Neligan, Ibanez plus many more.
Given the sheer number of shapes, sizes, colours and styles out there, it can be tricky for a new player to understand how each feature of an Acoustic Guitar can affect the tone, playability and price. We'll be happy to explain in more detail on this page, but speak to our in-store experts for hands-on advice. Buy from The Players - why go elsewhere?
As Acoustic Guitars can be played standalone, without the need for a separate amplifier, they are often the first instrument on the guitarist's musical journey. They are a little easier to play, and sound great wherever you decide to take it. However, the more you invest into a quality instrument, you'll notice the difference in the sound of 'tone woods', adding to the texture and sonic characteristics. Also, the country in which the guitar is built will often play a factor - typically American-made instruments may cost an extra premium for quality craftsmanship, whereas Chinese or Korean-made are a little cheaper for a beginners guitar.
The neck of the guitar is joined to the guitar body and terminates at the headstock. The fretboard is mounted to the neck's top, and the back is shaped to accommodate the player's fretting hand.
In the pre-war era of Acoustic Instruments, only a limited number of manufacturers were consistently producing innovative guitar designs. One of which were the American brand C.F Martin, who introduced the 'Dreadnought' body shape to the world in the 1920s.
The Dreadnought is considered one of the most iconic body shapes for its loud, commanding presence with a wide bout and waist. A dreadnought will sit high in your lap, but as a result, will be louder and have more projection for solo or intimate gigs without a PA or amplification.
Acoustic guitars can also feature a 'cutaway' in the shoulder of the body. This allows for easy access to the upper frets, and also adds a sophisticated touch of style compared to a 'square shoulder' or 'sloped shoulder' style.
Other body shapes include a 'Parlour' - a smaller compact model made iconic from its use within folk and country styles of music. Also consider the 'Jumbo' body, with a super-wide, rounded bout, with the Gibson Baby Jumbo series used on countless recordings since the 1960s. 'Travel' guitars are great for smaller players, or for students that plan to learn and play while travelling.
Essentially, the bigger the body you choose, the more volume, projection and a richer tone you'll get. Smaller bodied instruments are great for more intimate, finger-picking styles and more melodic playing techniques.
Wood selection plays a tremendous role in the cost of a guitar. Some manufacturers put aside “choice” pieces of wood as they receive shipments and then utilize these pieces to craft limited-edition instruments. The rarity of a particular wood, the amount of figuring or detail in its grain, and even the style of finish affect price.
Typically, acoustic guitars will have different types of wood used for the 'top', and another for the 'back and sides'. Solid Sitka Spruce is a common tonewood for the top, as its light, sounds great and projects really well. Other types of wood used include Mahogany, Maple, Adirondack Spruce, Rosewood, Hawaiian Koa and many more.
Each type of wood has their own character and varying degrees of tonal complexity. The best way to find the right one for you is to find a famous player that you'd like to base your tone on, and pop into our store to try a few that meet the same sort of specification.
It is a common misconception that a new guitar player should start with nylon strings, because they are easier on fingers or easier to play. But nylon strings and steel strings are not interchangeable on the same guitar, so it’s not a matter of progressing from one kind of string to another with experience. What should really drive your decision is what kind of music you want to play.
Most 'western' styles of music like Rock, Blues, Country and Metal will lend itself towards a steel string. Flamenco, Spanish and Hawaiian sounds may opt for a Classical, Nylon-strung instrument.
12-string acoustic guitars have six string courses, each with two strings that are tuned to produce a chiming, chorus effect. Usually, the string pairs in the bass courses are tuned an octave apart while all treble strings are tuned in unison. Some guitarists prefer tuning the the second string in the third course (G) in unison while others opt to tune it an octave higher for bell-like ringing tones. Most Acoustic Guitars, however, will be a standard 6-string set-up, recommended to cover most styles of music or for beginners just starting out.
We could write a book on every feature of an Acoustic Guitar, and how each element affects the overall sound and playability. Perhaps we'll write a blog to cover it all! In the meantime, if there is anything you need to know shopping for an Acoustic Guitar, speak to The Players at WGC. We've got what you need.