Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Definition of Guitar Tonewoods

The wood used in making guitars plays an important role when it comes to creating that ‘ideal tone’. As any keen guitarist would know, the wood used when crafting a guitar is selected depending upon the sounds which need to be created. The wood is responsible for guitar's tone and durability. It also determines the value of any guitar. This depends on the type and quality, of the wood, as certain woods have the ability to last longer than others, so they are priced higher than others. 

Certain companies spend a great deal of time when it comes to finding high quality wood; Paul Reed Smith guitars offer a range of guitars with the option of top quality wood, but this of course, comes with a substantial price increase depending on the quality of wood.

Different woods and their tones-

Mahogany is used for guitar body, as it produces a classic, warm feel. You will notice that a great mahogany tone creates a lot of weight in guitar. The mellow, soft and warm tone is the reason that brands like Gibson Les Paul use this wood for their guitars.  

Alder wood is common in the manufacturing of Stratocasters as it is very light weight and they are quite small guitar.

Rosewood is one of the heaviest types. Stratocaster bodies are quite commonly made out of rosewood, but they are quite small guitars. The sound produced is very warm. Rosewood is usually limited to the fingerboard of a guitar. This can be seen on many PRS guitars


Maple is a very popular wood for necks and fretboards. It has a bright tone, characteristic grain patterns and a moderate weight. It is about the same density as hard ash making it very durable. The Fender Stratocaster usually incorporates the maple fretboard, neck and has a maple top body. 

Ash wood is available in two variations hard or soft. Hard Ash which originates from the North is popular because of its bright tone and long sustaining qualities. Soft Ash which originates from the South is much softer, but still has a bright tone.

Walnut's tone is slightly warmer than that of the maple wood, although it still has a better Sustainability. Walnut is reasonably heavy, but still lighter than maple. 

Basswood is lighter than alder and is very soft, so it creates a very soft, but warm tone. This wood is usually associated with mid-level or budget guitars as it is one of the most affordable woods.

Ebony is the most common material, which is only used in fingerboards as it is quite heavy. It is not normally used for making the body of a guitar. It is very bright in color, and has an excellent durability. 

Different brands tend to have their favorite combinations of wood to use for their acoustic guitars and bass guitars, but with the information we have provided it gives you a good idea as to what to expect from a guitar by the materials it has been created from.

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