Liberal Arts Blog — Guitar Land (Part I): Shapes, Sizes, Colors — Hit Me!
Liberal Arts Blog — Thursday is the Joy of Music Day
Today’s Post: Guitar Land (Part I): Shapes, Sizes, Colors — Hit Me!
So what’s your favorite guitar? Shape? Size? Color? Why? Is it because that’s what your favorite guitarist or singer used? Because it was your first? Because of the sound? Because it’s easier to play? The look? The feel? Say you hate guitars. Do you have a favorite model of any instrument. What makes it so special? Experts — please chime in. Correct, elaborate, elucidate.
ACOUSTIC GUITAR SHAPES — Dreadnought versus jumbo versus classical
1.“The guitar’s shape will affect the sound and your comfort when you hold it. We recommend narrowing your search for a guitar by starting with the sound that you want. Then you can search for guitars that have the shape that will more likely produce the sound that you want.”
2. “Design differences between makers can produce some starkly different sonic qualities between guitars that have the exact same shape!”
3.“As the size of the guitar and lower bout increases, you’ll generally notice that the low pitches are louder compared to the high sounds. This leaves the guitar sounding less balanced. But less balanced doesn’t mean it is less good! There are many instances where having a heavier bass actually sounds better. This may include when strumming chords to accompany a singer in popular music. The heavier bass can make the sound more full and help the singer feel more supported.”
ELECTRIC GUITAR SHAPES — Fender Stratocaster, Gibson Les Paul, and beyond
1. “The shape of an electric guitar matters because it affects how it sounds and feels, as well as how it looks, of course.”
2. “The body shape of the guitar affects how resonant the tone is, how easy it is to sit and stand with, and the fret access.”
3. “The neck shape of the guitary affects how easy it is to play. The profile, width, and depth of the neck affect how easy it is to hold chords and move around the fretboard quickly.”
ELECTRIC GUITAR COLORS — sunburst, white, black, light blue, pink
1. Is neutral better? black, white, grey?
2. Is shocking better? light blue or pink?
3. Is Sunburst the best of all? What is sunburst anyway? “At the center of a sunburst-finished surface is an area of lighter color (often showing the wood grain underneath) that darkens gradually towards the edges before hitting a dark rim. Among the best known examples of a sunburst finish are the Gibson Les Paul l guitars and the Fender Stratocaster. It was originally intended to imitate an aged German finish, as applied to classical string instruments such as violins, as well as to enable the use of wood with less attractive edge grain on high-end instruments.”
FOOTNOTE — highest priced guitars ever sold at auction (see 9th link below)
1. Kurt Cobain’s Martin D-18 E: $6 million (2020)
2. Kurt Cobain’s Smells Like Teen Spirit Fender: $4.5 million Mustang (2022)
3. David Gilmour’s Black Fender Stratocaster,: $3.975 million (2019)
NB: Cobain was the lead guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter for the band Nirvana. He committed suicide with a shotgun in 1994. David Gilmour was the lead guitarist and vocalist of Pink Floyd. Rolling Stone ranked him #14 on its 2011 list of greatest guitarists of all time.
LAST FOUR YEARS OF POSTS ORGANIZED THEMATICALLY
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Time to share the coolest thing you learned in the last week related to music. Or the coolest thing you learned in your life related to music. Say your favorite song or songs. Or your favorite tips for breathing, posture, or relaxation. Or some insight into the history of music….Or just something random about music… like a joke about drummers. jazz, rock….or share an episode or chapter in your musical autobiography.
This is your chance to make some one else’s day. And perhaps to cement in your memory something important you would otherwise forget. Or to think more deeply than you otherwise would about something that matters to you.