Steel String Acoustic vs. Classical vs. Electric Guitars

Most people face a dilemma while deciding which type of guitar to buy as their first ones. I wasn’t one of them. I only knew there was an acoustic one and an electric one. Since electric needed Amplifiers ( Speakers ) to be bought along with them, I only thought of it as an extra investment as I wasn’t even sure if I would even continue playing it after a month or two. So, my obvious choice was an acoustic one (Steel String).

Around a few months ago, I felt like trying out a different type, as my guitar was a cheap one, and I didn’t feel like playing it much any more. I didn’t want to buy an electric one as my style of playing, which is more of finger picking and rhythm, didn’t exactly feel right with the guitar. Researching helped me in finding the perfect type.  Classical guitar was my choice. I’m currently a proud owner of a Yamaha C-70, a classical guitar. So let’s dig in and find out how you can choose the perfect axe. A piece (Stairway to Heaven and a Chord Progression) of music played on all three types of guitars can be found at the end of the article.

Steel String Guitar

Yamaha LJ6

  

A Steel String guitar, as I found out, has a bright and loud sound. The strings are made from bronze with a steel core, i.e. the steel wire is wound by a bronze wire. It brings a different vibe to the room, making it more alive. It’s pretty loud for a small gathering, but the volume is not an issue if the guitar has a pickup ( Microphones, which are connected to amplifiers )  installed. People find the strings on such a guitar to be a bit harsh on the fingers, but if you are going to start a hobby, you need to face a few difficulties which are always temporary. The reward, though, is very satisfying.

Classical Guitar

Classical Guitar

Yamaha C-70

A Classical Guitar has a slightly different structure from the likes of a steel string guitar. The strings are made of nylon, which gives it a very mellow and deep sound. It is perfect for finger picking and strumming if done with the hand. I generally don’t use a plectrum with it, but when I have to be loud, I do. The mellow sound sacrifices the loudness that the steel string guitars provide. Although, Pickups are always an option. The neck is slightly wider than the steel sting one, which makes it even better as it gives a lot of space for the fingers, whereas in case of the steel string, the close proximity sometimes results in the wrong string being struck by mistake.

Electric Guitar

Eric Clapton Stratocaster

Eric Clapton Stratocaster

 The Electric Guitars come in a variety of shapes, sizes and for different purposes. By purposes I mean Rhythm and Lead. Stratocasters, a type of electric guitar ( yes there is a type in that too :P), are all rounders in my opinion. The sound of these guitars vary widely depending upon the pickup being used with them. If you are willing to shell out money for an electric, please try it out on an amplifier without any effects ( i.e. without distortion, compression, etc. ), as you will be willing to play it normally sometimes, if not always, and would like to see if the sound is good enough for you. More on pickups later, The Electric Guitar opens a huge array of possibilities as it is meant to be connected with amplifiers and a huge number of effects can be used to modify its sound.

A Comparison

Strings

Sound

Recording*

Type of Music

Steel-String Acoustic

Steel wire wound by Bronze wire Bright and Loud External Microphone Rock and Country

Classical

Nylon Mellow and Soft External Microphone Classical and Folk Songs

Electric

Nickel Depends on the Pickup used and the Volume of the Amplifier Directly through Cable to a Recording Device Rock, Metal, Pop, Jazz, Country and Blues

 

Sound Comparison

 Finger Picking:-

Steel String

Electric

Classical

Strumming:-

Steel String

Electric

Classical

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