All about semi-acoustic guitars


In today's article, we're going to talk about semi-acoustic guitars and everything related to them.

What is what?
Very often beginning musicians confuse semi-acoustic and electroacoustic guitars, but in fact they are far from the same thing. An electroacoustic guitar is an acoustic guitar that uses a backing system, a piezo pickup or special condenser microphone and an active preamp. Unlike electric acoustic guitars, this guitar has a hollow body, but it uses magnetic pickups for sound pickup, like on regular electric guitars.

Types of half acoustic bodies

There are several types of semi-acoustic guitar bodies produced at this time:

  • Hollow Body. Guitars with large, completely hollow bodies, aka jazz guitars. Direct descendants of those first electrified arctops. Have a very deep, soft, velvety tone and a relatively short sustain. Another peculiarity of these guitars is quick winding-up at high volumes, which makes them unsuitable for playing loud, aggressive styles.
  • Semi-Hollow Body. Guitars with a thinner body and solid wood center block. They have a sharper, brighter sound. Due to the center block, the tendency to winding and feedback is reduced, and the sustain is increased.At the same time, they retain a significant part of the resonance characteristic of Hollow body guitars.
  • Thin Line. It is usually a hollow variation on the solid body electric guitar that follows the shape of the prototype and has a center block. The voids add extra resonance and depth to such a model.

    So what are the features of semi-acoustics?

    A characteristic cleaner, deeper and softer sound. At the same time, even on a strong overdrive these guitars retain excellent readability, not lost in the mix.
    They can be used for unplugged lessons. They sound quieter than acoustic guitars, but they also sound louder when unplugged than an unplugged electric guitar, which is enough for quiet lessons.
    Weight. Due to the hollow body, most semi-acoustic guitars weigh significantly less than electric guitars.

    Tendency to wind up. The minus, which once led to the decline in popularity of these instruments, was redefined in the 90s by grunge artists and experimental guitarists such as Pearl Jam and Sonic Youth, and is still successfully used today in many styles for creative work with controllable feedback.

    Stylish and austere appearance. Despite this, modern semi-acoustics often have a very "hooligan character", stuffing and ergonomics in line with the guitars for "metal" and can give a head start to the latter in sound properties and capabilities.

    When choosing an instrument, don't be dismissive of semi-acoustic guitars. If possible, take the time to listen to one or two. Maybe it's the half acoustic that can give you the sound you've been looking for, and haven't been able to find with solid body guitars for a long time.
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