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The Best Type Of Guitar Wood For Beautiful Tone
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The Best Type Of Guitar Wood for Beautiful Tone

Have you been unhappy with your guitar tone lately? Or maybe you like it, but wish you had just a little more sustain. Experienced guitarists know that the type of guitar wood used for your guitar is a critical ingredient in molding the instruments tone. Having the right type of wood can mean the difference between a beautiful tone and an empty, twangy sounding guitar tone.

How and Why Company Budgeting Is Hurting Us

The problem is that in today's economy, more and more companies are trying to save money. I mean it makes sense. We budget our money, why shouldn't they? However, as the consumer, that's bad news for us. What this means is the highest costs manufacturing wise will be cut. So when high quality woods used to be a top concern for most companies, now cost-effective is the new motto.

Where mahogany and rosewood used to be industry leaders in tone woods, now cheaper woods like Basswood are making a huge surge into the market. Even worse, some companies and/or websites market products incorrectly. For example, I bought my first guitar off of a website that will remain nameless. This website listed that my guitar had a mahogany body, and a maple neck. Knowing the different type of guitar wood I knew this was a good sounding set up. I was soon disappointed to find this was not the case.

Then What Happened?

What I had received was a super light guitar, that I later found out was basswood; A wood brought into the market as a (very) cheap substitute for mahogany. If I had known the subtle differences at the time I would have been able to save myself a considerable amount of money. I would've immediately had my money refunded and went to a more trustworthy source. As a guitarist in the market for a new guitar you should at least be somewhat educated in all the different type of guitar wood available.

Knowing the different tones each guitar wood produces will serve you further than just avoiding getting ripped off. Knowing the different grains, tones, weight and durability of each can help with future builds. Go to a guitar store and try out two different guitars made of different woods (this information should be on the tag commonly on the headstock) out of the same amplifier. Use a clean tone with little gain and listen closely to the subtle differences. This process will help develop your ear to hear the different guitar tones.

To wrap up, I want to leave you with this. It may not be as critical as learning music theory or learning the notes on the fretboard, but learning the tones and distinct characteristics of different type of guitar woods can save you a bunch of money and help you get that guitar tone you've been after.


Street Talk

My favorite bass guitar to date was a mid 90s Charvelle with a one piece body and neck, all of rosewood. It had sustain like no other I have run into. Unfortunately, it was the victim af a theft. :(

Reply
  about 4 years ago
  

Ouch! I'm sorry to hear that, Shawn. What did that Charvelle look like? My step father's been playing a Charvelle electric my entire life pretty much but it looks almost like a plexy glass finish but has sustain like no other. I asked and he has no clue what type of guitar wood it's made out of, but I'm curious if it's also an all rosewood build. Thanks for the comment, bud!

Reply
  about 4 years ago

I t was black, and all rosewood. I miss that guitar. You could do amazing things on it.

  
  about 4 years ago
  

Ahhh, that sounds like a beauty. Rosewood lets off an excellent tone, very versatile wood as well. Sorry to hear its left you. Who knows, maybe you'll get lucky and cross paths in a pawn shop somewhere.

Reply
  about 4 years ago

Guitar woods really affect the tone, I agree, and carefuly choosing them is a must. But players approach to getting tone also makes a good part of the role.

Reply
  about 4 years ago
  

Hey Josip, right you are! Even the best woods, strings and electronics can sound like garbage if your technique is garbage! Thank you for the feedback, bud.

Reply
  about 4 years ago
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