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An Alphabetic Guide to Popular Guitar Tonewoods

If you play guitar, whether you’re brand new or an expert, you should know what various guitar woods do for an instrument. Popular woods are all utilized for particular reasons. As you read the following paragraphs, you’ll discover a selection of common guitar tonewoods, alphabetically listed, and the purposes they serve. You should be aware of the fact that guitars usually have one body wood and another neck wood. The guitar tonewoods that you’ll see featured here are body woods.

1. Ash wood initially enjoyed its rise to popularity in the 1950s when an immensely popular guitar company started using it. Swamp ash, which is cut from the lower sections of wetland trees that have underwater roots, makes the very best ash guitar bodies. This kind of ash wood is famed for having a twangy, sweet edge that was the hallmark of early rock and roll and remains the cornerstone of country even still.

2. Basswood is among the most prevalent forms of wood and is, thus, frequently used by budget guitar manufacturers. If you’re a brand new guitarist who didn’t want to spend a lot of money on his or her first instrument, the odds are good that it’s made out of basswood. Basswood has a well-balanced sound and the wood itself is light in color, with very little grain.
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3. Mahogany is an extremely common guitar wood. Not only does this richly colored wood provide a gorgeous aesthetic, but a deep, pleasant sound. Mahogany tonewood has been used to create some of the greatest guitar styles ever designed.
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4. The maple/mahogany combination is frequently used in the manufacture of laminated body guitars. These guitars have a sound all their own, due to the mixture of mahogany’s deep tones and maple’s sharp clarity.

5. Rosewood, a pricey option, is seen as a neck wood much more often than it is a body wood. There is a key exception that was manufactured by a well-known brand in the early part of the 1970s. This guitar was actually even used onstage by a band that completely permeated pop culture, both then and now.

6. There are some people who seek out walnut as a guitar wood, more because they like how it looks than how it sounds. There is certainly nothing the matter with the tonality of walnut wood, but it’s dark coloring makes it incredibly striking.

7. Exotic woods aren’t usually used to produce mass-manufactured guitars, but they are worth mentioning because they’re often part of custom guitar makers’ daily lives. Professional guitarists often enjoy having at least a couple of instruments made from exotic woods. Bubinga, wenge, and muira piranga are especially popular. A host of other options also exist.