The Acoustic Guitar

The steel-stringed acoustic guitar is usually credited with being developed by C.F. Martin and Company sometime during the 1830s. Although other "gut-stringed" acoustics were around at that time, it was the Martin Company that introduced the idea of crossbracing underneath the soundboard which enabled the guitar to support the heavier steel strings. Because there is approximately 160 lbs. of tension created by the use of steel strings, they should never be put on a classic guitar, for it is not strong enough to carry them. But thanks in part to C.F. Martin's new design, the use of steel strings on acoustic guitars became fairly common by the end of the 1800s, and by the 1930s it became a standardized component.

The acoustic steel-stringed guitar is commonly referred to as a "dreadnaught", possibly after a British battleship by that name, which was the first of it's type to use heavy armor and large-caliber guns in turrets.

The addition of steel-strings to the acoustic guitar produced a brighter sound and created more versatility than was possible with the previous gut-stringed instruments. A wide range of tone and color can be achieved on the steel-stringed acoustic guitar which can either be strummed or picked with the fingers. This makes it one of the most popular choices among guitarists of such diverse styles as blues, jazz, fingerstlye, bluesgrass, folk, rock and more.

When creating such a guitar, a luthier's (someone who builds guitars) primary objective will be to achieve a rich quality of sound. The types of wood used will have a great effect on the tone and volume of the instrument, as well as it's overall appearance and aesthetic value. Traditionally spruce (or sometimes western red cedar) are used for the face of the guitar. Mahagony is used for the neck, and ebony or rosewood for the fretboard. Rosewood, mahagony or maple, have historically been the woods most commonly used for the back and sides. There are some variations, of course, but most factory-made guitars use the same recipe.

During the 1960s, the Kaman Company broke with tradition by introducing The Ovation; an inovative acoustic-guitar designed with a round back that is made of synthetic materials instead of wood. All Ovation guitars feature an adjustable steel tension rod in the neck. The tension rod serves two purposes. First of all, it counterbalances string tension, giving the neck addiional strengh. Secondly, it permits adjustment of the neck should changes in humidity, string tension, or string guage cause the neck to warp or bow. I personally own an Ovation Legend Elite 12-string acoustic-electric. The guitar is beautiful in appearance and features 22 sound holes which are enclosed by a leaf design made of walnut and padauk. It has a wonderful sound either acoustically or amplified and is extremely easy to play. My own belief is that Kaman/Ovation makes one of the finest 12-string acoustic guitars money can buy.

Now if you're looking for a 6-stringed acoustic guitar that will bring you years of playing enjoyment, you might want to consider a Martin. There are several models to choose from, so you're bound to find a quality instrument at a price you can afford. On the other hand, if you are looking for a durable and beautiful 12-stringed acoustic, then Ovation might be the way to go. You can rest assured that, either way, these companies stand behind their products 100% in order to guarantee your satisfaction and peace of mind. And that is worth a whole lot in my book.

FREE Reprint Rights - You may publish this article in your e-zine or on your web site as long as you include the following information:

Kathy Unruh is a singer/songwriter and webmaster of ABC Learn Guitar. She has been writing songs and providing guitar lessons to students of all ages for over 20 years. For free guitar lessons, plus tips and resources on songwriting, recording and creating a music career, please visit: http://www.abclearnguitar.com

In The News:

Share your music moments for a chance to win 2 gig tickets  The Irish SunMUSIC can transport us back to special moments in our lives. Whether it's a track that you first heard at a school disco, or the song you danced to at your ...
So Retro: Recording today’s music on analog tape  CNETUsing vintage recording equipment, Linear Labs gives modern music a vinyl vibe.
How music motivates the brain to learn  Medical News TodayA new study shows that music taps into the brain's reward circuitry to stimulate a type of learning based on the correct prediction of outcomes.
Why Are Women Underrepresented in Music? Look to the Ryan Adams Story  PitchforkAsk a female musician if she's experienced anything like what Phoebe Bridgers, Courtney Jaye, or Mandy Moore described, and she's likely to have a story of ...
Acoosta Uno Bluetooth Speaker With Built-in Music and Karaoke Review  NDTVAvailable online at just under Rs. 9000, the Acoosta Uno not only lets you connect various source devices, but also features over 14000 built-in audio tracks.
Friday’s best TV: Flat Pack Pop: Sweden’s Music Miracle; Grantchester  The GuardianA fascinating documentary on how Sweden became the world's biggest exporter of pop. Plus: a teddy boy's murder is the focus of this 50s-set series.
The resilience of Russia's dance music scene  Resident AdvisorIn Moscow, Saint Petersburg and beyond, club scenes are as dedicated as they are radically creative. Nikita Velichko investigates the current generation of ...
Maren Morris Says Country Music's Restrictive Mold Is 'Bulls--t'  Taste of CountryMaren Morris is fed up with the restrictions put on women in country music.
Guitar music is thriving, so why do we think it's dying?  Official Charts CompanyRecent years have seen rock's presence diminishing on the Official Singles Chart, but is it really dying out?
Jayda G Is Bridging the Gap Between Music and Science  MotherboardJayda G studied whales before becoming a globetrotting DJ and music producer. Now, she's running a series of talks with young scientists to marry her two ...
Chasing the Music in Nature: In Conversation with Bioacoustician Dr Rohini Balakrishnan  The Weather ChannelDr. Rohini Balakrishnan is Professor and Chair of the Centre for Ecological Sciences at Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru.
The Gloaming: The Gloaming 3 review – Visionary exploration of traditional music-making  Irish TimesGroup have found their groove and third album provides a focus on the darker side.
Renowned Windsor-born pianist wants to spark interest in music  Windsor StarInternationally-renowned pianist Daniel Wnukowski invited students from Immaculate Conception Elementary School to express how Gershwin's Concerto in F ...
Load up on Pittsburgh music today with STACKS  Pittsburgh Post-GazetteIt's STACKS day in Pittsburgh. The new music streaming platform created by Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh and Rabble is up and running. You won't find Wiz ...
Nick Cave pens letter to 10-year-old fan: “Listening to Bad Seeds music at your age is like having a secret knowledge”  Consequence of SoundIn the latest installment of Nick Cave's online public forum The Red Hand Files, the singer-songwriter responded to a 10-year-old-fan named Ptolemy, who ...
Alan Cross’ weekly music picks: New Avril and Alexisonfire will warm you up  Global NewsAlexisonfire reconvenes, the Pet Shop Boys take on social media, and Avril Lavigne would like us to know she's not dead.
Fundraiser aims to give Tempe alternative high school a music program  FOX 10 News PhoenixCompadre Academy in Tempe is a fast-paced alternative high school, where students can earn credits quickly, and it is also the only school in Tempe without a ...
A filmmaker, model, author — and only 21. Now Milwaukee's Valerie Lighthart turns to music.  Milwaukee Journal SentinelThis Milwaukee native modeled and made documentaries about hydroplane racing. Now she's doing pop music, and off to a strong start.
Lady Gaga 'appalled' by music tattoo mistake on her wrist  BBC NewsLady Gaga has shared her relief with fans after a tattoo of a music stave on her wrist with a missing fifth line was corrected. She said: "As a music theory student ...
Music Week  Music WeekBBC Radio 6 Music has signed up Cillian Murphy until summer 2019. The Peaky Blinders star will join the network for a run of shows while Guy Garvey takes an ...
Niagara's Alexisonfire releases first new music in a decade  StCatharinesStandard.caIconic St. Catharines rock band Alexisonfire has released their first new music in 10 years.
Pyramid Music: An Augusta Legacy  WJBF-TVThe journey begins in 1972 with Big G's Platter Shop, at the time it only sold records.
Why Alyson Stoner Shaves Her Head in the "Stripped Bare" Music Video  Allure MagazineDisney alum Alyson Stoner released a powerful music video for her song "Stripped Bare," in which she shaves her head. Read on to find the deep meaning ...
Musicians Unite Over War On Music - Network Ten  Ten Eyewitness NewsWatch later. A war has broken out between the music industry and the state government over strict new laws on festivals following a string of drug deaths.
Report of women's allegations against Ryan Adams prompts responses by music figures  NBC NewsProminent women in music voiced their support on Wednesday for other women who allege in a newly published report that the musician and producer Ryan ...
Life of the Party podcast: ASMR videos, publishing scandals and new music you should be listening to  Tampa Bay TimesJay Cridlin joins the podcast to talk about four artists who are sure to blow up this year, including Maggie Rogers, Lizzo, Jade Bird and Billie Eilish. Plus, we ...
Marshmello's new music video BIBA: A tribute to Shah Rukh Khan that fans just can't miss - WATCH VIDEO  Times NowDJ Marshmello just released the new music video for his single BIBA featuring Pritam and Shirley Setia and it is an epic tribute to Shah Rukh Khan. Watch video ...
Lizzo Just Dropped the Perfect Valentine's Day Music Video  Out Magazine"Cuz I Love You" is the heartache anthem we all needed.
Get ready for music, food and more at Gullah Market  WSAV-TVFrom authentic crafts to delicious food and traditional music performances, you won't want to miss this weekend's Gullah Market.
‘Gully Boy’ Public Review: Audiences Rave Over Ranveer & the Music  The Quint14 February saw the release of one of the most highly anticipated films of the year, Zoya Akhtar's Gully Boy. The Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt starrer has ...
A Troubling Concert: The Week in Classical Music  The New York TimesUnpleasant humor at a Yuja Wang event, a violin concerto and Gerald Finley were among the highlights.
How Pop Music Embraced Death and Lost Its Sex Appeal  JezebelAfter a particularly lackluster 2018 VMAs, so sleep-inducing that the big opening number was the former Vine-turned-pop star Shawn Mendes, New Yorker critic ...
Music Depot does the '50s  StCatharinesStandard.caWelland's Music Depot school is bringing its students back in time.
Cardigan restaurant banned from playing music and facing £2500 legal bill  Tivyside AdvertiserTHE owners of a Cardigan business have been hit with a music ban and legal bill for more than £2500 for playing music there without a licence.
Singer-songwriters to bring sunshine through music | Featured-pnr  Petoskey News-ReviewPETOSKEY — Northern Michiganders can finally feel some sunshine this Saturday with the second annual February Sunshine concert at the Red Sky Stage in ...
Review: Various - Kankyō Ongaku: Japanese Ambient, Environmental & New Age Music 1980-1990  Resident AdvisorVarious - Kankyō Ongaku: Japanese Ambient, Environmental & New Age Music 1980-1990 What continues to fuel the love of gentle Japanese music from the ...
Blackface and pop music have a long history together | Dan DeLuca  Philly.comThe persistence of offensively racist imagery and its continued capacity to shock — hello, Gucci blackface turtleneck — got me thinking about the long and ...
Twin sisters make the music of Maeve & Quinn seem telepathic  Chicago TribuneMaeve & Quinn are something special. That much is apparent from just looking at the duo, comprised of twin sisters Maris and Bryce O'Tierney, who often finish ...
In The Know: SoStereo's Weekly Music News Summary February 15, 2019  Magnetic MagazineSoStereo's weekly music news summary with a new hi-res steaming entrant to the US, UMG's big 2018 and more.
'Disturbing' music influences us to take fewer financial risks, Israeli researchers find  Big ThinkA recent study examined the different ways fast/arousing and slow/calming music affects the ways people make financial decisions. The results show that people ...
Soundbites: Music Is Art launches music scene 'Alliance'  Buffalo NewsRobby Takac's Music Is Art Foundation has announced the formation of “The Music Industry Alliance,” a new initiative aimed at connecting elements of the ...
Beautiful music and beautiful words: your guide to a very loved-up weekend  image.ieYou'll find sweet references to love and romance in many places around Dublin this weekend. Have a lovely one, from IMAGE!
Henry Rollins on the Music of His Life  PitchforkThe 58-year-old punk icon and master of intensity talks about the songs and artists that have meant the most to him—John Coltrane, Isaac Hayes, Ted ...
Harlem's NAMA Fights To Keep Local Music Legacy Alive  GothamistThe marquee at Harlem's New Amsterdam Musical Association (NAMA) is only lit up for Monday nights and special events; “Electricity is expensive,” explains the ...
Tacocat's latest music video is a reminder to love yourself  KUOW News and InformationSo sings the Seattle indie pop outfit Tacocat in the song "Grains of Salt" from the forthcoming LP This Mess Is A Place out on Sub Pop in May. The official music ...
Famed New Orleans Guitarists Come Together to Benefit The Roots of Music  jambands.comOn May 1, 2018, a group of more than 40 guitar players from the New Orleans music community gathered in the historic Treme neighborhood at the request of ...
Siouxland Discovery Chorus spreads love through music  KTIVLE MARS, Iowa (KTIV) – On this Valentine's Day, a Barbershop Quartet is traveling around Siouxland to share their love of music. Starting Thursday morning, the ...
Trinity The Tuck Taylor Drops ‘I Call Shade’ Music Video Starring Her ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ Co-Stars  ETCanada.comTrinity The Tuck Taylor is reuniting with her season nine "RuPaul's Drag Race: Allstars" castmates in her brand new music video "I Call Shade". In the clip, Taylor ...
Daily Dose: Ruth Mac, "Speed" :: Music :: Features :: Ruth Mac :: Paste  Paste MagazineDaily Dose is your daily source for the song you absolutely, positively need to hear every day. Curated by the Paste Music Team. Galway, Ireland, native Ruth ...
Ja Rule actually wants to create another music festival  The A.V. ClubIn a stunning display of gall, Jeffrey “Ja Rule” Atkins is genuinely considering planning a music festival in a post-Fyre Festival era.
Katy Perry Is a Sexy, Obsessive Robot in Music Video for New Song '365' with Zedd  PEOPLE.com"365" marks the first collaboration for Katy Perry and Zedd, who joined her on tour last year.
The greatest banned songs of all time – ranked!  The GuardianThirty years on from 2 Live Crew being banned by the Beeb, we pick 20 foul-mouthed, orgiastic outings deemed too scandalous for public consumption.
Jussie Smollett Suspect Posed Down to 'Empire' Star's Music in Bodybuilding Video  The BlastOne of the men currently being questioned as a potential suspect in the alleged attack on Jussie Smollett wasn't just an acquantaince of the "Empire" star, he ...
Theater column: Local girl in "Sound of Music" tour  Allentown Morning CallAn 11-year-old Coopersburg girl is making her national tour debut in the new production of “The Sound of Music” Thursday at State Theatre in Easton.
Leicester city centre’s only music shop is going into liquidation after closing suddenly  Leicestershire LiveMusic Junkie closed without warning in early February.
TCPalmCAST | Feb. 15: Music, murder and the Mets topped TCPalm this week  TCPalmFeb. 15: Readers were quick to click on stories about drama surrounding spring training in Port St. Lucie, a local connection to the murder of two rappers in ...
Meghan Trainor's wedding makes up her 'Marry Me' music video  Today ShowThe singer is sharing the love with her fans this Valentine's Day.
Sunny Leone will make your Friday, a Friyay with new video for Punjabi song Hollywood Wale Nakhre - WATCH  Times NowSunny Leone is making it a point to establish her presence all over the country. The actress recently shared the music video for a new Punjabi single called ...
Why Netflix was the perfect place to bring 'The Umbrella Academy' to life  Business InsiderNetflix's new comic-book inspired series, "The Umbrella Academy," dropped on Friday.
8 Classical Music Concerts to See in N.Y.C. This Weekend  The New York TimesOur guide to the city's best classical music and opera happening this weekend and in the week ahead.
New Abba music postponed again, to 'second half of 2019'  The GuardianA representative for the group says there will be 'no release before the summer' of their first new music in 35 years.
These Music Genres Will Make Your Workouts Easier, According to Science  HighsnobietyCrafting the perfect playlist for any occasion is no easy task, but it's even harder to choose the right tracks to motivate you while working out. It's not enough to ...
Fat Rice, Other Chicago Restaurants Criticized for Music With N-Word  Eater ChicagoEric Williams of the Silver Room wonders why Furious Spoon and No Bones Beach Club are okay with the racial slur.
Ariana Grande Fans Are Boycotting Her Music For A Supremely Confusing Reason.  Someecards NewsAriana Grande stans truly know no chill. And now that it has officially become the year of Ariana Grande, they are v busy taking their fandom to the next level.
Bench Mobb music video is an iconic part of Mississippi State baseball history  Maroon and White NationThe Bench Mobb music video is almost six years old and it's kinda weird, but it's still part of Mississippi State baseball history.
Avril Lavigne opens up about Lyme disease battle: 'I wasn't sure I'd be doing music again'  USA TODAYThe Canadian singer talks her first album in six years, Christian crossover and the Lyme disease battle that she thought would end her career.
Billboard Latin Music Awards: Streaming, All-Star Collabs Fuel Genre's Big Year  BillboardOzuna's record 23 nominations for the 2019 Billboard Latin Music Awards underscore a significant moment for Latin music in the United States. The genre is not ...
Final Article 13 text agreed as European Copyright Directive talks conclude  Music Business WorldwideEuropean negotiators have reached an agreement on the final text of the Copyright Directive in the Digital Single Market – including the controversial 'Article 13' ...
Falz: The Nigerian rapper rebelling through music  Al Jazeera EnglishLawyer-turned-musician criticises politicians, police brutality and social injustice in his country through songs.
EastEnders actress hopes to become music star with Valentine's song  DigitalSpy.comFormer EastEnders star Cheryl Fergison has expressed her hopes to become a music star after writing a number of songs for a yet-to-be recorded album.
Five Things Spotify Needs to Fix in 2019  Rolling StoneIn many ways, Spotify enjoyed a spectacular end to 2018. The company finished the year with its first ever quarterly operating profit – €94m ($107 million) ...
A Conversation With Jessica Pratt About Making Quiet Music  PitchforkA week before her third album is released to high praise, Jessica Pratt eases into a leather couch nestled inside Pitchfork's windowless listening room on the ...
Visitor’s guide to enjoying the NFL Draft in Nashville  Music City MiraclesAdvice from a Nashville native on where to find good food, what to do, and what to avoid while you're in town for the draft.
'Done in R1' Is Our Favorite Music-Video Ode to Gear  OutsideThe popularity of Patagonia's R1 is no secret, but this is the first we've heard of the fleece causing someone to burst out in song.
YouTube Demonetizes Sheet Music Boss Channel for 'Repetitious Content'  The Daily DotA popular music-based YouTube channel with nearly 900000 subscribers said the platform is now preventing it from making money on its *content*.
How TikTok Gets Rich While Paying Artists Pennies  PitchforkThe company behind lip-sync app TikTok is reportedly worth three times as much as Spotify, but the artists whose music powers the platform are seeing very little ...
Universal Music Posts Revenues of $7.15 Billion as Sale Plans Move Forward  VarietyIn an earnings report released by parent company Vivendi today, the Lucian Grainge-helmed Universal Music Group clocked total annual revenues of ...
HSO Concert Orchestra's weekend program explores music of the 1700s  The Hub at Johns HopkinsConductor Jordan Randall Smith chats about the classical era and how musicians are thinking about reassessing the canon.
Enzo Ishall's 50 Magate music video director SPEAKS OUT on 'sabotaging' singer by low quality visuals  iharare.comA lot of people have accused me of sabotaging my brother Enzo Ishall. It hurts to know that people would even suggest I possess such levels of malice.
Malasimbo Music and Arts 2019: Full Lineup and Schedule  ABS-CBN NewsThe 9th staging of the Malasimbo Music and Arts Festival will feature a couple of firsts this year. Perhaps its most noticeable change is its bigger and more ...
The Who: their UK singles ranked! | Music  The GuardianAs the band prepare to release their first new studio album in 13 years, we rate all their UK singles – from 1960s mod chaos to majestic rock opera.
'The Masked Singer': The Alien Is Revealed -- Find Out Which Music Star Was Under the Mask!  Entertainment Tonight*Caution: Spoilers ahead!* The mystery of The Masked Singer continues Wednesday night with week seven of the competition, as the final six costumed ...
ET Women's Forum: Gig By Transgender Music Band, Talking Start-Ups and Beyond #MeToo - A Power-Packed Performance  Economic TimesIndia's first transgender music band, 6 Pack Band, kick-started the event with an enthralling performance. A Power-Packed Performance.
In excess: why are bands like Foals releasing so many albums?  The GuardianMusic is in the middle of a multi-album boom. Records by the 1975 and Ryan Adams reflect the age of the overshare.
Music Box: This week in local shows  Arizona Daily SunAltitudes Bar & Grill: DuB and Down with the Blues. 7-10 p.m.. Blendz Winery & Bar: FoxyKoshka. 7-9 p.m.. Charly's Pub & Grill: Jimmy Deblois. 6 p.m.. Coconino ...
Cardi B sells out Mid-State Fair show — but not as fast as Garth Brooks  San Luis Obispo TribuneRapper Cardi B will perform at the 2019 California Mid-State Fair in Paso Robles this summer. Tickets for her July 21 music concert sold out Friday.
4 Peaks Music Festival Announces 2019 Lineup Additions  JamBaseThe Wood Brothers and Pink Talking Fish are among the additions to the lineup of the 2019 4 Peaks Music Festival in Bend, Oregon.
Ayub Ogada: Kenya's unsung music star  The East AfricanIt is said that a prophet is never respected in his own land. This is certainly the case with renowned Kenyan musician Ayub Ogada, who passed on last Sunday.

Interested in Improving the Sound of Your Stereo? Consider Records

Introduced in 1982, the compact disc was intended to provide... Read More

How to Use the Entire Piano Keyboard

There are 88 keys on the piano keyboard. Most pianists... Read More

Shut Up And Sing

What is it with these performers and their politics? Do... Read More

They Laughed When I Sat Down at the Piano... but When I Started to Play...

Remember the old ad that used to run endlessly in... Read More

Surf Waves With Jack Johnson

Lately I've been listening to some pretty cool music by... Read More

Say Something

The music of Rush influences and inspires, at least that's... Read More

Yo, is Rap Just Another Four Letter Word?

Flaunting any excessive or anti-social behavior is considered brazen. When... Read More

How To Play Guitar Like a Pro!

Having taught the guitar for many years, I see the... Read More

Piano Music - How to Begin and End a Piece

How do you begin a piece of music? That's a... Read More

New Age Piano Tricks

One of the things that makes New Age piano so... Read More

Warner Music Executive Payments

"In human life, art may arise from almost any activity,... Read More

History of the Clarinet From the 19th Century

While composers had already begun to write music for the... Read More

Review: Medications - All Your Favorite People In One Place

One of the most intriguing aspects of music is how... Read More

Musical Improvisation Basics - Four Strategies For Playing Wrong Notes

While it probably doesn't seem like this would help -... Read More

Arranging for New Age Piano

A while back, I wrote an article that compared flower... Read More

CD Mastering using Har-Bal

Feel free to download the entire manual detailing the mastering... Read More

Guitar Practicing or Guitar Playing?

Just because you're holding your guitar doesn't mean that you're... Read More

A Guitar Lesson to Help You Develop Your Vision

Have you ever done any of the following?1. Made excuses... Read More

How To Overcome The Lyric Writing Hurdles That Are Keeping You Behind

The lyric writing side of songwriting is known to create... Read More

Music: Uniting Nations, Dividing Generations

Cultures around the world since the beginning of time have... Read More

What is Piano GHD Syndrome?

Do you remember the movie, Groundhog Day? In this wonderful... Read More

Visualization Techniques for the Pianist

Controlling the images of the mind through image projection has... Read More

Vintage Guitar Collectors Can Still Find Deals

If you're a recent vintage guitar collector, the stories you've... Read More

Tips for Buying Digital Pianos and Keyboards

Buying a digital piano could be a very delicate attempt,... Read More

How to Create an Original Melody

Here's a method I use that works. First, sit down... Read More