What is your favorite guitar style? For some people, it might be the thin and sleek Stratocaster. A few may prefer a more aggressive Les Paul-style body while others like their Gibson’s with humbuckers.
The wide variety of electric guitars available to buy today are designed for different uses and purposes; here we explore body types in relation to playing styles:
Guitar Body Styles
Solidbody guitars are typically used by genres with more distortion. This is because they have more sustain and resistance to feedback than semi-hollow or fully-hollow instruments. The electric guitar is unique in that it can be broken down into different body styles, such as solid-body and hollow.
Body styles don’t necessarily mean a guitar will be good for the genre it is associated with. For example, a jazz guitarist might prefer a hollow-body instrument for its warmer tone, while a metalhead might choose a solid-body guitar for its aggressive sound.
Knowing your pickups and body style can help you make the right purchase for your specific needs.
The Fender Stratocaster was originally released in 1954. It is a guitar that is known for its diverse capabilities and has been used in everything from country to rock music. One of the unique features of the Stratocaster is its tremolo, which can knock the guitar out of tune when it’s being used. However, this also makes it one of the most versatile guitars in history. The Stratocaster has 5 different tones associated with it, including Jimi Hendrix’s sound which has been recreated by Squier using modern materials and design techniques. The Stratocaster is great for playing the blues, thanks to its classic mid-range honk, which gives it a lyrical and cutting voice well suited to bluesy songs
The Super Strat is a guitar body style that has become popular in recent years. It has a different shape than the Stratocaster, and its pickups are higher output and more suited for hard rock and metal. Super Strats also use Floyd Rose tremolos to allow for greater movement and tuning integrity. They often have less of a mid-range honk than a genuine strat, as they often utilize one humbucking pickup. The Super Strat design is popular with rock and heavy metal players.
The Telecaster is a versatile instrument with a sound that is often associated with country or traditional music. The Telecaster was first mass-produced in 1949 and has been the standard for country and traditional music since then.
The Telecaster’s mid-range and high-end responses are very distinct. Many guitarists prefer this sound for its clear, cutting tone. The Baja Telecaster has a metal tone, but some other guitars may not produce such a sound. Fender designs the Baja Telecaster for many genres of music rather than just one type It is an especially well-suited guitar for country music, but also good for any other genre except hard rock.
The Telecaster has a very clear, though sometimes nasal voice which can be either a pro or con, depending on the musician’s preference. The guitar is best used as a rhythm instrument; its strong and cutting tone limits its usefulness of being a lead instrument
Offset Electric Guitar Bodies, (Jaguar, Mustang, Jazzmaster)
Not all offset guitars sound jangly. The jangly tone produced by many offset guitars is perfect for alternative musicians and their “bright, clear” sound. While there are definite differences between the three main instruments, they have a similar profile with a mid-low response and bright tone.
The Fender offset guitar is good for genres that use a lot of effects, like shoe-gaze and alternative music. Early Cash recordings used both a Jaguar and Jazzmaster on those particular tracks. In addition to the genre, the player’s style can also be considered when choosing an offset guitar model.
Offset guitars are well suited to genres that require a lot of effects and/or fuzz; Johnny Cash is one such musician who utilized these features in his music.
The Les Paul is a classic Gibson guitar. It has a single-cutaway and carved top which allows for easy upper fret access, while the thick body provides great resonance. The Les Paul is routed for humbucker-sized pickups, but it’s common to find models with smaller-sized single-coil pickups as well. The Les Paul has a variety of body styles but is most commonly associated with classic rock. In the right situations, the Les Paul has a clean tone which is typically overlooked in its reputation for being loud and aggressive. The Les Paul has a balanced response and clear high end. It’s a guitar perfect for rock and jazz, but not so great for country or blues. The Les Paul has more sustain than the Stratocaster or Telecaster guitars and is versatile with many uses.
SG and Flying Vs
The Gibson SG and Gibson Flying V are both well known for their versatility and tone. The main difference is that many find the Flying V shape uncomfortable to play while others find it ergonomically superior. These guitars are visually distinctive, with the SG body style being more traditional and the Flying V being less so. Tonally, these guitars have an iconic Gibson tone which makes them a good fit for rock and metal genres.
Semi-hollow guitars are generally used in the blues, jazz, and rock genres.
The Gibson ES-335 is a perfect example of a semi-hollow guitar. These guitars are used for a variety of tones, but the one unique feature about them is that they tend to feedback when played at louder volumes or with high amounts of distortion.
Semi-hollow guitars have a subtle representation of an almost acoustic tone, though this trait is incredibly subtle. Fully hollow guitars like The Gibson Byrdland have a more acoustic-like tone and feedback.
There are three main types of pickups used on electric guitars: single coil, humbucker, and P90. Single coils produce a bright sound with high trebles but low basses while humbuckers produce a clear tone but relatively little treble (due to the split-coil pickup) and more bass.
Does An Electric Guitar’s Shape Affect The Sound?
Many people wonder if an electric guitar’s shape affects the sound it produces. The answer is yes–the shape of a guitar can definitely affect the sound it makes. For example, a guitar that has a smaller body will produce sharper sounds with chimy and metallic properties. Additionally, guitars that are made out of harder or denser material will have a smaller body and create louder sounds.
Wood also plays a role in shaping the sound of an electric guitar. Different types of wood will produce different tones when used on an electric guitar. Heavier woods, like mahogany, tend to sound better and offer better sustain than lighter woods like ash or poplar. However, they are also heavier to carry around while standing up.
Another factor that affects how an electric guitar sound is age. Older guitars sometimes sound better because the wood has dried out over time. This causes the wood to become more brittle and resonant, which results in a warmer tone.
The shape of an electric guitar is great for resonance and tone production; this is why many manufacturers take into account the shape of their guitars when designing them. In addition, the construction of the neck and body are important factors that affect how an electric guitar sounds as well. For instance, the construction of the neck can impact how easily a guitar is played. A complete buyer’s guide for electric guitars takes you through all the things you need to consider and offers a step-by-step method of narrowing down your selection. So, if you’re looking for a guitar that has a specific sound, be sure to take into account the shape and material of the guitar as well as its age.
I hope that this article has helped you to understand the different body styles and types of electric guitars. Each style has its own strengths and weaknesses, so it’s important to choose the one that will be best suited for your individual playing style. Strat-style guitars are versatile and can be used for any genre, making them a good choice for beginners. They are also available in a variety of colors, so you can find one that suits your personality. Thanks again for reading!