Hollow body guitars are also known as semi-acoustic guitars and have been around since the 1930s. They have both a sound box and one or more electric pickups and the ability to produce low acoustic pitches when not amplified. Thanks to their unique design, hollow body guitars act as both an electric guitar and a practice guitar. In fact, this is what these instruments are known best for: their warm, simple tones. That’s why you’ll commonly find hollow body guitars complementing jazz and indie rock concerts.
Hollow Body Guitars and Music Genres
Even though hollow body guitars produce clean tones, they remain versatile instruments that can be played across multiple music genres. During the 1930s, these guitars were limited to the jazz scene, but when new models came out and featured a sleek profile, they were quickly adopted into other circles, such as pop, folk and the blues.
Interestingly, when the guitars are played through an amplifier, the sounds produce a lot of feedback. These unique tones are favored at rock concerts, which is why hollow body guitars are no stranger in the rock genre. Today, we can look back at many of our favorite artists, including John Lennon and B.B. King, and listen for the sounds played by their hollow body guitars.
The Semi-Hollow Body Guitar
Hollow body guitars were the first electric guitars in the 1930s, but during the late 1950s, the semi-hollow body guitars were introduced. These instruments have a number of advantages over the traditional hollow body guitar, including their sleek, thin and lightweight profile. They have much of the resonance that a hollow body produces but with the support of a solid body guitar.
The sound of a semi-hollow body is different and has a woody, resonant sound coupled with the bright, hard-hitting sound of rock-n-roll. For these reasons, semi-hollow body guitars are a musician favorite and considered to be the best of both worlds.
Shopping for Hollow Body Guitars
No matter which type of hollow body guitar you choose, you can expect a few things. First, they produce warm, punchy tones and feature hand-rolled frets. Many are made from maple bodies and have maple set-in neck construction for comfort and durability. There are various shapes and sizes, with the thinner bodies being ideal for rockers. These guitars are not hard on the eyes either and feature various colors and classic designs. If you find them used or on consignment from Catfish Music, you can save money on these musical masterpieces as well.
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