Acoustic Guitar: An Historical Look at the Composition, Construction, and Evolution of One of the World's Most Beloved Instruments

Front Cover
Hal Leonard Corporation, 2005 - Music - 376 pages
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(Guitar Reference). Foreword by C.F. Martin IV. This comprehensive guide explains how to buy and maintain the guitar that matches your needs. From its beginning in European classical music, through American innovations like blues, jazz, country, and all the way to rock, pop and folk, the acoustic guitar's versatility is remarkable. This book covers all types of models with an emphasis placed on steel-string flattops, archtops and classical guitars. Topics covered include: How to tell the difference between a good sounding and bad sounding instrument; How much of the sound is determined by the wood; How to amplify and maintain its natural sound; How much money to spend in order to get an instrument that matches your level of playing; A color section illustrates historically significant instruments.
 

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Contents

Headstock
1
The Makers Mark Trademarks Logos Etc
2
Solid vs Slotted
4
OnePiece vs Grafted
5
Headstock Overlay
6
Volute
7
Truss Rod Access
8
Size
9
Flattop SteelString
174
Pinless Bridges
175
Nylon Strings
176
Bridge Materials
177
Saddles
178
Saddle Slot
179
Archtop Bridges
181
The Back and Sides
183

Angle
10
SteelString vs NylonString
11
Single vs ThreeonaPlate
12
Open vs Closed Designs
13
Cast or Stamped Metal
15
Locking Designs
16
Mounting
17
Banjo Tuners On Vintage Guitars and KeithStyle Tuners
18
Tuning Ratio
19
Nut
20
Natural Materials
21
Synthetic Materials
22
Compensated Nuts
23
The Neck
25
Flattop SteelString
26
Archtop
27
Resonator
28
Shapes
30
Materials
31
One Piece or Multiple Pieces?
32
Direction of Wood Grain Flatsawn vs Quartersawn
33
Finish
34
Bolton
37
MortiseandTenon
38
Variations FenderStyle Bolton TurnerHoweOrme Etc
39
Neck Heel
40
Heelcap
41
Flat or Pointed
42
Neck Angle
43
Archtop
44
Radius
45
Position Markers
46
Inlay Material
47
Binding
49
Function
51
NonAdjustable Necks
53
Material
54
Size
55
Scale Length
56
Some Standards
57
Fanned Frets Novax Etc
58
Buzz Feiten System
59
Strings
61
Plain Strings Core Wire and Winding Material
62
Bronze Steel Strings
64
Phosphor Bronze Steel Strings
65
Flatwounds
66
SilkandSteel Strings
67
Gut Strings
68
Wound Nylon Strings
69
Carbon Trebles
70
Strings for Specialty Instruments
72
String Care
73
Body Styles
75
Flattop Shapes and Sizes
76
0 00 000 Concert Grand Concert Auditorium
80
OM Orchestra Model
86
Martins Switch from 12 to 14 Frets
88
Jumbo
89
MiniJumbo
92
Parlor Guitars
94
Other Flattop Shapes
97
NylonString Shapes and Sizes
100
Classical vs Flamenco
101
Hybrid Instruments
102
Archtop Sizes and Shapes
103
ThinBody AcousticElectrics
106
Ovations
108
Cutaways
110
Venetian Florentine or Maccaferri Style
112
Double Cutaways
113
Variations
114
SelmerMaccaferriStyle Guitars
115
Baritones
116
Acoustic Basses
117
Resonator Guitars
118
Requintos and Terz Guitars
120
Tenor Guitars
121
SevenStrings
122
Harp Guitars
124
Weissenborns
125
The Top
127
Spruce
128
Cedar
130
Mahogany
131
Other Woods
132
Top Bracing
134
Function
135
Soundboard Bracing on Flattop Guitars
136
Color Section
137
Ladder Bracing
153
Cross or XBracing
154
Double X
155
Kasha
156
Scalloped Braces
157
Ovations
158
The Bridge Plate
159
Lattice Bracing
160
Kasha Bracing
161
Tone Bar Bracing
162
The Soundhole
163
Size
164
Rosette
165
fHoles
168
Unusual Placement
170
Enlarged Soundhole
171
Side Soundholes
172
SlabCut Quartersawn Veneers
184
Solid or Laminate
185
Mahogany
186
Indian Rosewood
187
Brazilian Rosewood
188
Maple
190
Cypress
192
Walnut
193
Cherry
194
Synthetic Materials
196
Ovation Guitars
197
Graphite Guitars
199
Martin XSeries
200
Construction
201
Carved or Pressed for Arched Backs
202
TwoPiece vs ThreePiece
203
Taper
204
Lining
205
Neckblock
206
Center Strip
207
Glues and Finishes
209
White Glue
211
Solvent Glue
212
Epoxy
213
Conclusion
214
French Polish
215
Nitrocellulose Lacquer
217
Catalyzed Polymer Finishes
219
Colored Finishes
222
Body Hardware
225
Pickguards on Flattops
226
Pickguards on Archtop Guitars
229
Floating Pickguards on Flattop Guitars
230
Temporary Pickguards
231
Adding or Removing a Pickguard on a Flattop Guitar
232
Strap Buttons
233
Installing Strap Buttons
234
Tailpieces
236
Armrests and Guitar Supports
238
Pickups and Electronics
241
Active or Passive
246
UnderSaddle Transducers
247
Hexaphonic Pickups
250
Soundboard Transducers
252
Magnetic Pickups
256
Flattops with Builtin Magnetic Pickups
259
Magnetic Pickups for Archtop Guitars
261
Mounting of Internal Mics
262
Phantom Power
263
Onboard Controls
264
Volume
265
Notch Filter
266
Do I Need Onboard Controls?
267
Output Jack
268
Mono vs Stereo Jacks
269
Outboard Gear
270
Care and Maintenance
273
Strings Frets and Fingerboard
276
Adjusting the Truss Rod
277
Adjusting Action
279
Adjusting Intonation
282
Tuning Difficulties
283
Buzz Diagnosis
285
Troubleshooting Electronics
290
Installing Strings
292
Steel Strings
293
Nylon Strings
301
Archtops
306
A Brief Introduction to More Serious Repairs
308
Broken Headstocks
309
Unglued Bridges and Fretboards
310
Neck Resets
311
Special Considerations
312
How to Store a Guitar
314
How to Travel with a Guitar
316
What to Look for When Buying a Guitar
319
How Much Do I Have to Spend?
320
Budget Instruments
321
MidLevel SteelString Flattops
323
MidLevel NylonString Guitars Classical and Flamenco
325
HighEnd Guitars
326
Archtop and SelmerMaccaferriStyle Guitars
330
New vs Used
333
Conditions and Repairs to Watch Out for with a Used Guitar
334
Vintage Guitars
337
Vintage Reissues
339
FactoryBuilt or CustomMade
341
What Does Handmade Mean?
344
Amount of Ornamentation Appointments
345
Should I Get an AcousticElectric If I Dont Really Need It?
347
Buying Online and Through Mail Order
348
Do I Need More Than One Guitar?
350
A Look Into the Future
353
Alternative Materials
356
Improved Amplification
357
HighTech Classicals
358
Adjustable Neck Angle
359
CNC and the Small Shop
360
Coated Strings
362
Decrease in Availability of Vintage Instruments
363
SteelStrings Acceptance in Classical Music
364
Final Thoughts
365
About the Authors
367
Bibliography
370
Index
373
Copyright

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About the author (2005)

Gerken is the gear editor for Acoustic Guitar magazine.

Richard Johnston is Professor of Political Science at the University of British Columbia.

Simmons is a writer based in northern California. He started playing electric guitar in punk bands as a teenager before being converted to acoustic music. He spent 15 years working at Gryphon Stringed Instruments in Palo Alto, California, where he learned a great deal about the construction and history of guitars, mandolins, and banjos.

Ford has lived in Guatemala, Mexico and Honduras.

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