Choosing your Electric Guitar
Here is a quick guide we have put together to help you choose your electric guitar.
Choose your Body Style...
Les Paul Shape
The Gibson Les Paul shape is among the most recognized solid-body electric guitar designs. It was developed in the early 1950s and has become one of the most enduring and popular musical instrument models in the world. Its design has been left virtually untouched for nearly 50 years. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gibson_Les_Paul
In mid 1960, the Gibson Guitar Corporation felt that the Les Paul signature model, introduced in 1952, had run its course, and decided to change the design. This new design, with a slim double-cutaway body featuring prominent scarfing around the edges and cutaways, was officially issued in the 1961 model year as a Les Paul signature model. The main idea was to compete with the double cutaway Fender Stratocaster, which gave players easy access to the higher frets. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gibson_sg
The Stratocaster, often called the 'Strat', is a model of electric guitar designed by Leo Fender in the early 1950s. Much of the popularity of the Stratocaster can be attributed to its versatility. The neck, middle, and bridge (in the original manual, labelled "rhythm", "normal tone", and "lead", respectively) pickups provide a wide range of tones. The standard single-coil pickups often found in Stratocasters produce a trebly sound with a high top end and bell-like harmonics.
The Fender Telecaster (aka 'Tele') is a dual-pickup, solid-body electric guitar made by Fender. Its simple, yet effective design and revolutionary sound broke ground and set trends in the fields of electric guitar manufacture and popular music. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fender_Telecaster
Choose your Pick Ups...
The Single Coil Pick Up
A single coil is a type of pickup for the electric guitar. As its name indicates, it is composed of copper wire wrapped in a single coil around a single bar magnet or several rod magnets. Single-coil pickups are most commonly associated with Fender guitars. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single_coil
The Humbucker Pick Up
A humbucker is a type of electric guitar pickup that uses two coils. Humbuckers have increased output, and because the two coils are of reversed polarity and reverse-wound, noise and interference is essentially 'canceled out'. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humbucker
Choose your Bridge System...
A tremolo arm, tremolo bar, vibrato bar or whammy bar is a lever attached to the bridge and/or the tailpiece of an electric guitar or archtop guitar to enable the player to quickly vary the tension and sometimes the length of the strings temporarily, changing the pitch to create a vibrato, portamento or pitch bend effect.
The Floyd Rose Double Locking system consists of:
- a lock at nut of the guitar, which prevents the tuning ("machine") heads from being used and holds the strings taut,
- a "floating bridge", where the other ends of the strings are also vise-locked (hence, "double-locking").
The locking system helps to keep the strings in tune while the strings are slackened to a degree which wasn't possible with older tremolo systems, such as those found on Fender Stratocaster, allowing "dive bombs" (i.e. rapid lowering of the pitch of a note). Since the tuning heads are ineffectual with the lock in place, the Floyd Rose bridge has heads for fine tuning; the guitar is tuned before the lock is put on, then fine tuned afterwards. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Floyd_Rose
Instruments without a Stock tremolo or Double locking bridge system are called hard-tail.
Choose your fret board...
From maple to Rosewood there is no one "best" wood. The choice you make should be based upon your application and personal taste or preference.
Chose your neck joint...
This is the point at which the neck is either bolted or glued to the body of the guitar.
Bolt on Neck
This method is used frequently on solid body electric guitars and is considered the easiest neck joint method. Body and neck cross in horizontal plane and are joined using 4 (rarely 6) screws. As screws damage the wood and could put extra stress on it, typically a rectangular metal plate or a pair of metal plates are used to secure the joint and re-distribute the screw pressure evenly. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bolt-on_neck
Glue in Necks
Set-in neck is a method of guitar (or similar stringed instrument) construction that involves joining guitar neck and body, pressing it tightly together using some sort of adhesive. This yields better connection of neck and body and makes sound waves. Gibson leads the trend for set-in necks with Gibson Les Paul series, opposing Fender that build guitars traditionally with bolt-on necks. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Set-in_neck
These are designed so that everything from the machine heads down to the bridge are located on the same piece of wood. The sides (also known as wings) of the guitar are then glued to this central piece. Some luthiers prefer this method of construction as it is said to allow better sustain of each note. Some very high-end instruments may not have a neck joint at all, having the neck and sides built as one piece and the body built around it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neck-thru