Hollow-body guitars are some of the most versatile instruments that you can play. They have a rich, full sound that is perfect for many types of music. If you’re looking for an instrument to take your playing to the next level, then this blog post will give you everything that you need to know about hollow-body guitars!
How hollow-body guitars are invented?
The Merson TriPar Guitars story really begins in the 1890s when Orville Gibson, founder of the company, set out to create a more powerful mandolin than was currently on the market. He experimented with changes to conventional wood types, different numbers of strings and created an instrument called The Mandocello (a smaller version of the mandolin) with great success.
His invention launched what has proven to be one of Epiphone’s most popular instrument styles scores of musicians; notably including
- Dave Van Ronk (the official historian for both Dolmetsch and Huber pianos)
- Peter Case (of The Plimsouls)
- Paul McCartney (a long-time player of the Epiphone “Ultra” model).
The early 1900s saw significant advancements in guitar design. Guitarists were not only building instruments themselves, but they began modifying their instruments to create new sounds or improve upon old designs. Many changes happened during this time period which led to several different variations on modern guitars being created.
Some notable developments include
The addition of the second row of strings called “basses”, fan bracing was one way that some luthiers sought out to strengthen an instrument’s top carving away wood for lighter weight, steel frets replaced catgut as the preferred method for holding notes down because it could be easily bent with fingers instead of requiring tools to be used, and the guitar was transformed into a four-stringed instrument (instead of six) by using an additional “high” string called a “cantilever”.
The first electric hollow-body guitars were invented in 1931. This is when British guitarist George Beauchamp built his own f-hole archtop design which he later patented as “the Rhumboogie”. It wasn’t until 1952 that Gibson introduced its ES series with the ES-150 model being one of the most popular guitars ever produced.
Other notable models are
- The Sheraton II
- Mastertone Special ’54 Reissue
- Super 400CESNTR Electric Spanish Guitar
Important facts about hollow-body guitars
- The history of hollow-body guitars began with the solid-bodied guitars and during the Jazz era in America in the 1920s, where players wanted to get a louder and more percussive sound.
- The Epiphone EA-250 is an acoustic guitar made by Epiphone. The body is not fully hollow but it does contain a large hole through which much of the sound waves resonate.
- Many famous musicians such as Jimi Hendrix, Chuck Berry, and Elvis Presley have used this kind of guitar.
- There are many different styles of hollow-body guitars including the 4 string jazz box, 12 string, and 6 string.
- A hollow-body guitar has less sustain than a solid-body guitar.
What makes hollow-body guitars so unique?
Hollow-body guitars are the perfect alternative for people who want an electric guitar that is rich in style and character. Hollow-body guitars have some unique qualities. One of these is more midrange, while another is a very mellow tone with unmatched sustain. The versatility of this type of guitar can be used in any genre at any time.
When you are looking into buying a hollow-body guitar, there are several things that need to be considered. The first is the type of wood being used in its construction and how it will respond to changes in humidity. Even though some guitars have been built with laminated woods, solid wood would yield better results when trying to achieve an acoustic quality sound.
Softer woods such as maple or spruce tend to resonate well together while harder woods like mahogany work best for darker tones and warmer sounds overall.
The second thing we should consider is the scale length of this instrument which can make all the difference between one player enjoying their purchase compared to another who wants more versatility from his/her instrument. A smaller scale (distance between the nut and the saddle) will provide a tighter, more responsive sound compared to those with longer scales.
The latter creates a warmer tone but also makes it harder for any player wanting to bend strings or use techniques such as slapping because there is less room between the frets and the string itself.
The last thing we should consider when looking at hollow-body guitars would be how many pickups they house. This number could range anywhere from one single coil (which can produce that twangy country sound) all up until as many as six pickups.
How to tune Hollow-body guitars?
- A: To tune a guitar, first tune the top four strings (EADG). Then proceed with the next five strings (BDF#B) and finally the last six strings (EF#BEGBE).
- B: The first hollow-body guitars were built in the 1920s, but it wasn’t until the 1950s that they became popular.
- C: While semi-hollow and solid body designs are well known today, early electric guitar manufacturers used round or f-hole shapes to house their electronics.
- D: Gibson’s ES series is one of the most influential guitar lineages ever created with its combination of innovative design elements and modern features.
- E: To tune a mandolin, start by turning all four strings (CGDA). Then proceed to place your pointer finger on the fourth fret for each string except your lowest two strings which require only third frets placed behind them instead of fourth frets directly behind them.
- F: Modern “archtop” guitars usually have a “scoop” of relief between the highest two strings and above the first fret.
Why are they so popular now?
It’s all about balance. They’re easier to hold and, arguably, sound better unplugged than Gibsons or Fenders. The new models offer a wider range of tonal options—particularly with semi-hollow configurations like the ES-335; many include piezo pickups for improved acoustic performance, and some make it easier to switch from an electric signal to an acoustic one without having to use a wireless system.
Gibson and Fender: Electric guitars with a solid centre, hollow wings.
Piezo pickups: More sensitive than magnetic pickups; captures the minute vibrations of the strings for an acoustic-like sound; can be used to replace or enhance piezo pickup systems on existing acoustics without affecting their magnetic counterparts.
Wireless system: Allows instrument cables (often attached to effects pedals) not connected directly into an amplifier to be placed anywhere within range of a wireless receiver unit without affecting audio quality.
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