The body of the guitar differs between the common acoustic and electric guitar. In general, it is the widest part of the guitar, and principally serves as the design and sound control area of the guitar.
The body of an acoustic guitar is a resonating chamber which projects the vibrations of the body through a sound hole, allowing the acoustic guitar to be heard without amplification. The sound hole is normally a round hole in the top of the guitar, though some may have different shapes or multiple holes.
The guitar top, or soundboard, is a finely crafted and engineered element often made of spruce, red cedar or mahogany. This thin (often 2 or 3 mm thick) piece of wood, strengthened by different types of internal bracing, is considered to be the most prominent factor in determining the sound quality of a guitar.
Did you know? As the strings are strummed or picked, they resonate kinetic (motion) energy to the guitar top and soundhole, which is then transduced into sound in our ears.
The back and sides are made out of a variety of woods such as mahogany, Indian rosewood and highly regarded Brazilian rosewood. Each one is chosen for their aesthetic effect and structural strength, and can also play a significant role in determining the instrument's timbre. These are also strengthened with internal bracing, decorated with inlays and purfling, and carry the logo of the producer of the guitar.
Most electric guitar bodies are made of wood. This wood is rarely one solid piece, as laminating hardwoods in the proper way can produce a body of exceptional strength and superior tone.
The most common woods used for electric guitar body construction include maple, basswood, ash, poplar, alder, and mahogany.
Did you know? Many bodies consist of good sounding but inexpensive woods, with a "top", or thin layer of a more attractive wood (such as maple with a natural "flame" pattern) glued on top of the basic wood. Such guitars are often called "flame tops".
The body is usually carved or routed to accept the other elements, such as the bridge, pickup, neck, and other electronic components. Many higher-end electrics have a nitro-cellulose laquer finish on the top, which promotes resonance.
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