Guitars of all Shapes and Sizes
two main categories, Acoustic and Electric. The essential difference is that Acoustic Guitars use the body (Soundbox) of the instrument to amplify the vibrations of the strings. The size (volume of air within) and shape of the body, and the wood from which it is made, particularly the Top (face) have a considerable influence on the volume and quality of the tone produced whereas, in Electic Guitars, the vibrations of the strings are detected electrically and the resulatant analogue signal is magnifed electronically by an Amplifier and the sound is emitted though a Loudspeaker.
The term 'Acoutic Guitar' usually refers to the steel-strung 'Western' guitar, but there are several types of guitar which are purely Acoustic. These include:-
The Spanish or Classical Guitar, which uses Nylon Strings.
The Western Guitar which uses Bronzewound Steel Strings. It comes in various shapes such as Folk (similar shape to the Classical), Dreadnought, Grand Auditorium and Jumbo.
The Jazz guitar, discernable by it's violin-style f-holes. These are often fitted with Stainless-Steel-wound strings.
The Banjo guitar, which is best imagined as a 6-string Banjo.
The Resonator guitar. This has a metal body and a sympathetic resonating mechanism attached to the bridge and which greatly amplifies the tone.
When buying guitar strings, it is importantl to purchase the correct type. For Spanish/Classical, it is essential to buy Nylon strings. Don't ask for Acoustic strings as you may find that you have become the proud owner steel strings. You will soon be the unproud owner of a banana-shaped guitar. For Western style, buy Bronzewoud - alas, usually referred to as Acoustic strings.