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March 09, 2010

What is the difference between an accoustic guitar and an electric guitar?

Acoustic guitars and electric guitars differ in many different ways. The first way is obviously sound production. The way an acoustic guitar makes sound and the way an electric guitar makes its sound, it very dissimilar. This accounts for the two totally diverse sound you can get out of each instrument. An electric guitar makes sound from its pickups. Pickups are basically high powered magnets which can be configured in any way to produce the desired sound of the guitar player. The pickups detect the vibrations of the strings as you pluck. The pickups then convert these vibrations into sound which is heard from the amplifier.

An acoustic guitar makes sound drastically different from an electric guitar. An acoustic guitar produces sound using the little "chamber" or whole you can see under the strings. The string's vibrations are funneled down into the little hole and reflected back out as sound waves. This makes a crisp clear sound, but is much softer than an electric guitar.

Although there is a fine line between electric and acoustic guitars, developers are now bridging the gap. Now, electric guitars can sound like acoustic guitars and acoustic guitars can sound like electric guitars. How is this possible you ask? This is possible because of a new pickup now called a hybrid pickup. This pickup is usually much smaller than a regualr sized one. It is planted between the end of the neck and first regular pickup of the guitar. It produces sound waves almost identical to that of an acousitc guitar which makes the two sound so similar.

There are also pickups on acoustic guitars. The guitars that have these pickups are called acoustic-electric guitars which you might have heard of before. The pickups detect the sound waves of the guitar, and produce the sound waves electronically. This is why it is an acoustic electric guitar. It makes the guitar much louder than it normally would be. It can be hooked up to an amplifier and is great for use at concerts which feature acoustic guitars.

With modern advancements in technology, it is now possible to have the best of both worlds in guitars. Many recording guitarists use acoustic electric guitars for recording acoustic guitar sounds. This is because it is much easier to hook it up to recording devices. Also it is now possible to have guitar effects hooked up to an acoustic guitar . This expands the horizons of both producers and musicians alike.


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