Guitar 101: Types of Guitars

Did you know that there are several types of Guitars? Each type is also geared toward certain styles of music. In this article, we will explore the different types of guitars that you may encounter!

Electric Guitar

One of the most popular types of guitar is the Electric Guitar. It first appeared in the 1st half of the 20th century before enjoying a rapid growth in popularity with the advent of Rock and Roll in the 50’s. It possesses the same 6 strings as the other types of guitar but it works primarily with the use of an amplifier to generate it’s sounds. On the body of the electric guitar there are devices known as pickups which literally pick up the vibrations of the strings and transmit them through a guitar cable to be generated as sound out of the amplifier. Rock and Popular has made the electric guitar extremely popular because of the popularity of the “distorted” sound that the guitar makes.

Classical Guitar

Before Popular music began to take off in the 20th century, Classical Guitars were more common. Hailing from Spain, the Classical guitar is a popular instrument for beginning guitar students because of its soft strings and lightweight body. Popularized by the illustrious maestro Andres Segovia, the Classical Guitar began to achieve more recognition in classical music circles. His acclaimed transcriptions of baroque and romantic pieces won much favour for the guitar and the instrument began to become more popular. Classical Guitars are commonly also used for beginning guitar students as the strings are softer and less harsh on the fingers. Primarily Classical Guitarists used their fingers on the right hand to play, without a guitar pick.

Acoustic Guitar

The Acoustic Guitar is a mainstay of modern popular music with its distinctive steel string sound proving popular among listeners. It has been used for strumming, fingerstyle and even solo-ing on many records. An outgrowth of the Classical Guitar, the heavier tension caused by the steel strings led guitar luthiers to add more support in the form of braces within the body of the guitar. Fine practitioners of the acoustic guitar include luminaries such as Tommy Emmanuel, John Mayer and Ed Sheeran.

Honourable Mention: Ukulele

While technically not a full sized guitar, ukuleles are readily used to play songs much in the same way an acoustic guitar is used to strum songs. I’ve added the Ukulele because it is a popular instrument that has many similarities to the guitar. Whereas the guitar has 6 strings, the Ukulele only has 4 and in a much smaller body to boot.


Different types of guitars exist because each one has their own unique physical properties that create the specific ‘sound’ needed for different genres of music! Each guitar also requires different styles and techniques of playing. Curious on how to master these different guitar styles? Find out more about Guitar Lessons, our highly versatile Guitar teachers (who can play in a huge variety of genres!), and our free Trial Lessons!