Seven Different Types of Guitars - Part 2
Welcome to the part two of "Seven Different Types of Guitars" article. In part one we looked at the three most common kinds of guitars, but here in part two we'll take a look at four more different types.
So let's take a look at the twelve string guitar. Twelve string guitars are really glorified acoustics. They are played exactly the same way, but instead of six strings it has six pairs of strings. So, when you'd press down a string on an acoustic, on a twelve-string you actually push down two strings with that finger. Each pair of strings are so close to each other that it would be very hard to play them seperately. In each pair one of the strings is much thinner and is tuned an octave higher (except the two thinnest pairs which are tuned to the same pitch). What this does is to allow you to play a twelve-string the way you'd play an acoustic, except that it sounds much fuller and brighter because of the extra strings. Some people describe a twelve-string's sound as shimmery.
Check out a twelve string in action:
Another notable example is the intro to the original verision of Hotel California (the unplugged version uses a classical guitar for the intro).
The next kind of guitar can be found on acoustics and classical guitars, but is most common in the electric guitar. It is the 7-string guitar. It adds one more string so that you can play some notes that are lower than you could normally reach on a typical guitar. This kind of guitar is often heard in metal music, but it is considered by some a fad-style guitar. Here's Blind by Korn, notice how low the guitar sound is. It's so low it could be played by a bass, but also notice that the sound is thinner than a bass.
Then there's the high-strung guitar (also known as Nashville Tuning). It uses the extra strings of the twelve string, and gets rid of the typical strings of an acoustic. This makes it sound very similar to a twelve-string but it's a lot easier to play. High-strung guitars are really not a different type of guitar, but just a different set of strings on a typical guitar.
The last kind of guitar is a resonator guitar, also sometimes called a dobro. The difference between them is basically how you hold it, and perhaps if the neck is square or rounded. But the names are often used interchangibly. A resonator guitar is very similar to an acoustic but it has a metal cone instead o wooden soundboard. This obviously gives it a more metallic sound than an acoustic. Resonators are also usually played with a slide. Running On Faith by Eric Clapton is a very good example of a resonator in action.
That just about covers most of the guitars you will probably come across. Once you can play one, it is not hard to learn to play another. Usually, it's more a difference in style, approach, and touch than finger positioning or learning new scales and chords. Start listening to your favorite guitar music and try to hear which kind of guitar you're hearing.
Thanks to the Stock.Xchng for providing the guitar pictures!