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Everything You Need to Know About Guitar Tonewoods (In Alphabetical Order!) If you enjoy playing guitar, whether it’s as a newfound hobby or a longtime profession, it’s important for you to understand what guitar woods actually do when they’re used to make an instrument. Every popular wood has a unique purpose. As you read over the rest of this guide, you’ll see information about several common guitar tonewoods, in alphabetical order. It is worth mentioning that guitars generally have different body woods and neck woods. The guitar tonewoods that are featured in this particular article are body woods. 1. Ash wood first became popular in the 1950s when it was used by an incredibly popular brand of guitar. Swamp ash, taken from the lower sections of wetland trees that grow roots below the water, is the best to use to make 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 one of the most common types of wood and is, therefore, often used to make budget guitars. If you happen to be a novice guitarist who decided not to rush into investing in an expensive instrument, the guitar you have right now is likely 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. This richly hued wood is not only pleasing to the eye, but offers a deep, pleasant tone. 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, which is quite costly, is often used as a neck wood, but very rarely as 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. Certain individuals are very fond of walnut as a guitar wood, though this tends to be more about it’s aesthetic than it’s sound. There is certainly nothing the matter with the tonality of walnut wood, but it’s dark coloring makes it incredibly striking. 7. Exotic woods generally aren’t used in the manufacture of off-the-rack guitars, but custom guitar makers use them on a regular basis, so they’re worth learning about. Professional guitarists often enjoy having at least a couple of instruments made from exotic woods. Some of the most prevalent are bubinga, wenge, and muira piranga. A host of other options also exist.