Dansm's Acoustic Page


Types of Acoustic Guitars
There are two basic types of acoustic guitars on the market today: folk guitars and classical guitars. Folk guitars have steel strings, while classical guitars have nylon strings. The difference in string material causes an immense difference in sound. The style of playing is usually different as well: classical guitar is usually considered more of a "fine art" than folk guitar; folk guitars are more likely to be used in rock music. Eric Clapton plays both types of guitar on Unplugged, but he does this to get different sounds rather than because he is playing different styles.

The sizes of the guitar bodies are usually different, with classical guitars being smaller. Folk guitars are usually manufactured in the popular "Dreadnought" size, but other sizes are available. Folk guitars are also braced more strongly because the steel strings create greater tension than nylon strings.

There's not much more than that. Obviously there are subtle differences that I haven't mentioned, but this should straighten out any major confusions you had over "classical" vs. "folk" guitars.
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1997 Daniel E. Smith. Last updated 6-5-97