Acoustic Guitars can be as complex as they are elegant. Although the buying process might first seem overwhelming, we hope this quick guide makes your decision easier to make.
Body Style and Size
There are three main acoustic shapes: Classic, Dreadnought and Jumbo. They also come in various sizes, from small travel sizes to larger ones. Companies usually use these basic shapes and sizes as a jumping point and way to organize their catalog. So, it all comes down to your comfort and how the guitar feels when you hold it. This is a great way to streamline your purchase. Additionally, the body style also affects the guitar's projection and tonal quality.
The size of your hand is the ultimate determent when looking at an acoustic's neck. Usually, the thickness and width of the neck is dependent on the aforementioned body style and sizes. Acoustics usually have 12-fret or 14-fret necks. (The 12 and 14 is not the overall number of frets, its exclusive of the ones on the body).
Sometimes you will find that even if a guitar is 'correctly tuned', the notes played don't sound right in relation to each other. To put it simply, intonation determines how accurate the pitch is as you move up the fretboard on the guitar. Make sure your guitar is properly intonated before you buy it!
The type of wood used to craft a guitar is the absolute defining factor on the guitar's sound, apart from your skills that is. Different woods vibrate and react differently, thereby making their own unique and distinct sounds. Also, tonewood plays a major role on the cost of the guitar, especially if the type of wood is rare.
The type of tuning machines on your acoustic determines how fine tuned the guitar is. Enclosed machine heads are lower on maintenance as compared to open tuning machines because they resist rust and other corrosives.
We hope you found this quick overview useful. Be sure to stay tuned for more in-depth complete guides!