In this part of our website we try to provide continuously improved information about the instruments you are interested in. This will include something on their construction, types and suitable playing styles, wood and sound as well as maintenance. Some links may lead you to websites with further details, discussion forums or makers. This is a newly established, growing service - reality mixed with opinion. So please understand that it is not possible to include everything from beginning on.
Acoustic guitars are mostly steel string guitars of relatively big size. The "dreadnought" form is most common and used in Bluegrass and other flatpicking styles. Bigger sizes are called "Jumbo" exhibiting a very big lower bout of the body and round shoulders. Many smaller sizes are are possible and often used for folk and finger picking styles. The size of the guitar need not say much about itīs volume. The color of the tone is mainly affected by the type of wood used for the top, back and sides of the guitar. As a rule the top is made from spruce, sometimes cedar, whereas the sides and back are made from hard wood as (curly) maple, Mahagoni or rosewood. Maple pronounces heights, rosewood is most effective for a strong bass and is preferred by most bluegrass players.
Prices vary significantly, mainly depending on the use of a plywood to an all solids wood construction and the age of the used material. If your budget is limited you may get a nice guitar made with back and sides of plywood. As long as the top is from solid spruce of cedar you will still have a nice sounding instrument.
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Classical guitars are nylon string guitars with a wider fretboard than the Acoustic guitars. They are used for all sorts of picking styles from classical to flamenco and are useful for learning without hurting your fingers as much as a steel string guitar.
Prices vary even more than within Acoustic guitars as many guitars are built for learning and some for playing in concert halls without amplification. The quality of the cheaper guitars has significantly improved over the last years. However, you will detect the biggest difference is the low price range if you spend a little more money with respect to playability and sound whenever a very cheap instrument may look good.
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Resonator guitars resemble the body shape of a classical guitar but fall in two or possibly three completely different categories:
Roundneck resonator guitars with a wooden body are used as a regular guitar for fingerpicking, blues and playing with a slide stuck on one finger of your left hand. For the slide playing, open tunings are used. The sound of these guitars is mid tone pronounced with a lot of volume.
Roundneck resonator guitars with a brass body are used in the same way, just their sound is different and even louder. They can have one big resonator "cone" or a "tri cone" system, the latter of which tends to have a more aggressive higher tone than the "single cone" system.
SQUAREneck resonator guitars are something very special, completely apart from the other ones in construction and playing style. They are played similar to a pedal steel or Hawaiian guitar with a heavy, chrome plated brass slide, the strings being far off the fretboard. The frets are for the show and orientation only. They are common in Bluegrass styles and are often called "DOBRO" which is a brand name after the famous DOpeyra BROthers who invented this system.
Most times the wooden resonator guitars are made of plywood. Still they may be very good instruments because most of the sound is produced by the metal resonator inserted in the body. A "Quarterman" resonator is claimed to produce the finest sound. High quality "DOBROs" are of all solid woods construction either from Mahagoni or from (curly) maple. The same wood is used for all of the body including the top.
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Small size guitars are certainly used by children and players with small hands. Better ones may sound very nice. Donīt be fooled by the size! Some of the famous small size guitars as the "Martin 000" series are used by famous players and may surpass bigger ones in volume. If your hands are small, give them a try.
Small guitars as well as small size violins may be rent from us within a local area.
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