What Are Semi-Acoustic Guitars?

Essentially, a semi-acoustic guitar, or “hollow-body electric” guitar, is an electric guitar that is partly hollow within the body. 

The hollow part of the body is not deep or big enough to allow for the instrument to produce the standard amount of sound without an amplifier that the average acoustic guitar should. This is why it is considered to be semi-acoustic. 

A semi-acoustic guitar is an acoustic guitar with up to three built-in microphones which amplify the sound appropriately. These guitars allow for the sound to come from multiple vantage points of the guitar rather than simply producing from the strings hitting the bridge. 

This creates a far more in-depth and life-like sound rather than a basic, and nasally one; think of the banjo. The semi-acoustic guitar is found to be more practical, and versatile in terms of body and sound. 

They can also be connected to a variety of interfaces, like GarageBand for recording or amplifiers for stages and concerts. 

The following will be an overview of the purpose of the semi-acoustic guitar, in consideration of key differences, similarities, and what they’re good for overall. 

What Are Semi-Acoustic Guitars?

What Is The Point Of Semi-Acoustic Guitar? 

The purpose of a semi-acoustic guitar is essentially to reduce the amount of feedback that is regularly transmission. A hollow-bodied guitar will typically produce feedback when amplified, especially when played at louder ranges of volume. 

Semi-acoustic guitars also have a different sound altogether, making them unique and purposeful in their own right. Semi-acoustic guitars produce a cleaner and elongated note in comparison to a solid body guitar. 

They also create a generally warmer and in-depth sound. The center block within the guitar increases the resonance and depth of the guitar overall. 

What Are They Good For? 

Semi-acoustic guitars are praised for their ability to be played quieter than a full-body acoustic guitar, whilst also being louder than a solid body electric guitar (whilst unplugged). 

As a result of their structure, it is also found that their cavities make the guitar lighter than the average full-body acoustic guitar. 

They are very practical, with built-in tech that can be connected to just about any software to record or amplify the sound. 

They produce less feedback as a result of the interface and center block. 

Difference Between Acoustic And Semi-Acoustic?

An acoustic guitar does not create as much sound as a semi-acoustic guitar. Even when unplugged, the semi-acoustic guitar has three built-in microphones and a center block of which creates more resonance throughout the body of the guitar. 

This makes it so that the guitar can produce more in-depth sound than if it only had a bridge. 

Considering that a semi-acoustic guitar can be plugged in and amplified, it also has more sound options. You can tweak the sound in terms of how clean it is, how loud it is, and other preferences to your liking. Semi-acoustic guitars are more versatile.

The price of an acoustic guitar can come up to less than one hundred dollars, whilst still being very decent. Perfect for a beginner looking for a place to start. 

A semi-acoustic guitar falls into eclectic guitar categories in terms of its proximity in build. The price range can also come to under a hundred dollars, however, you will need to purchase an amplifier which can also come up to around one hundred dollars. 

The string on an acoustic guitar is typically thicker and larger, to create the tension necessary to produce sound from a non-electrical guitar. 

A semi-acoustic guitar on the other hand does not require as thick because they are made to be plugged in optionally and amplified. Ensure that your strings are nylon strings if you do intend to use an amplifier with your semi-acoustic guitar. 

You can add pickups to an acoustic guitar, but unless you have the time, knowledge, and resources to quite literally make drilled hols in a number of set areas, it’s not really worth it. 

Not to mention, this process will most likely interfere with the quality of the guitar’s sound production and create unnecessary feedback when the amplifier is attached. 

Semi-acoustic guitars are made with pickups and are designed with the purpose of creating and allowing for a very desirable sound when an amplifier is attached. 

It is with the combination of the pickups, microphone, design of the body, and setting options through the knobs and amplifier that you have a multitude of opportunities to create individualistic and original sounds.

Does A Semi-Acoustic Sound Like An Electric? 

The semi-acoustic guitar is considered to be a “hollow-body electric” guitar. Even so, it is not considered an electric guitar because it has a hollow body, which creates the basic acoustic sound we anticipate. 

A semi-acoustic guitar will not sound like an electric guitar. A semi-acoustic guitar has a distinct sound in comparison.

Regardless of whether or not your plug it in or not, this will be the case. 

However, if you were to add some effects like overdriving the guitar, adding fuzz, and/or other forms of methodological distortion you will be able to create a variety of sounds. This is one way that you can make it sound less clean and warm. 

Your semi-acoustic guitar will not sound like an electric guitar because it still has certain acoustic body components which separate it significantly from the electric guitar and how it produces sound in contrast. 

An electric guitar does not have a hollow body and must be plugged in in order to be audible. The sound is based on the technology throughout the guitar, the string’s material, the amplifier, and the preset you’ve set up to play. 

The sound is not affected by any other factors, like a semi-hollow or completely hollow body. 

Overall, the semi-acoustic guitar cannot completely sound like an eclectic guitar because an electric guitar has a sharper, technical, and direct sound rather than a warm, in-depth and lively sound. No matter how much you tweak it, the semi-acoustic guitar will not be able to replicate this sound.


Semi-Acoustic guitars are a hybrid between an electric guitar and an acoustic guitar. They do not have a completely hollow body but are not totally solid like an electric guitar. They provide a balance between the purely electronic sound of an electric guitar and the completely natural sound of an acoustic guitar.

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