What is the Body of a guitar?
The largest part of the guitar that houses the bridge and pickups/soundhole.
The rounded part of the guitar, always the largest, is the body. On acoustic guitars it has the soundhole and the bridge, and on electric guitars it has pickups and the bridge. The parts of a guitar body include the waist, lower bout, and upper bout.
The body of a guitar is the large, rounded or flat surface that forms the main bulk of the instrument.
In acoustic guitars it serves as a resonating chamber, amplifying the vibrations produced by the strings and projecting them out through the soundhole. In electric guitars, the body houses the pickups or humbuckers that magnetically transmit the string vibrations into an electrical signal.
Even with electric guitars, the body still plays a crucial role in determining the guitar's tone style and quality.
There are three types of guitar bodies:
Generally speaking, acoustic guitars use a hollow body, while electric guitars use a solid body. Semi-hollow guitars are usually electric guitars with parts of their body hollowed out to produce a more natural, acoustic-esque resonance.
Guitar bodies are built using a variety of tonewoods.
Different woods have differing tonal properties. As such, the selection of tonewood, combined with the body's build and size, both play a vital role in shaping the instrument's sound. For example, mahogany is known for its warm and rich tones, while maple produces a brighter and more articulate sound
This is why Mahogany is often used in electric guitars that are made to produce a heavier and darker sound.
Other popular tonewoods include the following:
Body Shape and Size
The two most common acoustic guitar body styles are the dreadnought and the grand auditorium.
The dreadnought body is a larger design with a thicker waist. This provides a heavier, more strum-friendly sound with a more pronounced bass response.
On the other hand, the grand auditorium body is generally a bit smaller, with a thinner waist which creates a balanced tone with a more even distribution of bass, midrange, and treble frequencies.
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Sub-category acoustic body styles and sizes include:
- 3/4 Size
- Cutaway VS no cutaway
There are a ton of electric guitar body shapes and styles, so it's easier just to list them here with corresponding images.
There are a lot of variables to consider when it comes to guitar bodies. You have the differences between acoustic and electric bodies, the shapes, tonewood, and the sounds they all create.
If you need help deciding on a guitar, we've got tons of resources on acoustic and electric options.
For questions, we keep up with the comments section below, so feel free to leave them there.
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