A nuanced and complex instrument that produces accurate sounds based on a player’s technique is the guitar instrument, and one obvious fact about stringed instrument is they tend to come with a certain number of strings. How many strings does a guitar have is a question that newbies or newcomers are likely to ask when learning how to play or learning about the guitar. However, there is a fact about the guitar that you should know.
Unlike other instrument like the cello, violin, viola, and the contrabass, the guitar is one with a unique design which boasts of having several stringed configurations. Even if you do not know much about the guitar, a question like how many strings does a guitar have shouldn’t be one that will be difficult to answer just by taking a look at the guitar. The number of strings on a guitar is likely going to be six.
The typical number of strings you will find on the guitar is six, and this is similar to saying the number of keys you will find on a piano is eighty eight. The fact is the same way a piano can have more than eighty eight keys is the same way a guitar can also have more than six strings. In order for you to have an accurate answer to this question, you need to have a good knowledge of the history of guitars.
It will interest you to note that there are variances regarding the number of strings a guitar comes with, and there are people who will prefer to play the six stringed guitar while others might prefer to play something else. Let us take a look at the brief history of the guitar.
History Of The Guitar
Before we finally take a look at the number of strings that you will find on a guitar, let us tell you a bit about the guitar. The stringed instruments dates far back than you can imagine, and there are evidences that claim that babaloniyans and mesopotamians once made use of stringed instruments. The oud and the lute are some of the early stringed instruments used for over three thousand years ago.
The lute became less trendy in the fifteenth and sixteenth century, and they got replaced with a Spanish version which possessed the shape of a guitar. With time, they designed the Vihuela which has an hourglass shape, and this instrument has about ten to twelve strings. Forward to 1970, the Vihuela had to give way for the Spanish guitar, and this guitar ended up being the standard instrument.
It was designed to have about six strings, and this explains the exact type of guitar we have today. Just like we mentioned as the beginning of this post, a standard guitar will come with about six strings. This doesn’t cancel out the fact that there are variances, so we urge you to continue reading this post so you can find out the different types of guitars and the number of strings they come with.
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How Many Strings Does A Guitar Have
The Regular Guitar
Majority of guitars you will come across today have six number of strings, and it doesn’t matter whether you are dealing with an acoustic guitar or an electric guitar. A thick string is what starts the six string guitar, and the type of string that follows tends to be thinner than the next one. The E string is known as the thickest and lowest string, and it is followed by the A,D,G,B, and finally ends with a high E string.
The Bass Guitar
Away from the regular guitar, the next type of guitar we want to take a look at is the bass guitar. What most people find difficult to understand is why the bass guitar is classified as a separate instrument even though it still belongs to the guitar family, but what matters is that it is still considered a member of the guitar. So many guitarists are okay with this classification, and people consider the bass guitar as a form of link between a drum and a regular guitar.
The reason for this is because it helps in adding rhythm to the drums and creating harmony with the guitar. Compared to the standard guitar, the bass guitar is said to be octave lower, but one good thing about the bass guitar is the come with thick strings. Bass guitars boasts of having a standard E,A,D, and G tuning, and this tells you they do not come with six strings but four strings.
This is what we mean by the number of strings on a guitar might vary from one guitar type to another. The common bass guitars you will find on the market are four string guitars, but there are other bass guitars that come with five, six, seven, eight, nine, twelve, and twenty four strings. You will be surprised when you realize that some bass guitar formations have thirty six strings.
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The Acoustic Guitar
If you have taken a good look at some acoustic guitars, you will realize that some of them come with extra keys for tuning with a wider fretboard. You will need about six strings to be able to play the twelve string guitar, and you also have the option of adding extra six strings to the first six used for playing the acoustic guitar. This is why this type of guitar is referred to as the 12 string acoustic guitar.
The pairing of the additional six strings will pave way for more sound depth and tone, but you cannot play these strings individually. This means you have to play all of these strings at the same time just like how the regular strings guitar is played, and this is why this type of guitar isn’t recommended for beginners as it requires a lot of skill and know-how to play.
On the other hand, anyone who is good at playing the six string guitar can also play the twelve string guitar. Why is this so? This is because the extra strings are not play differently, but they are played to add more flavor to the sounds that is being produced. Tuning and stringing a 12 string guitar is the major reason beginners should stay away from it, and some of the popular musicians that plays the twelve string guitars are;
- David Bowie
- Jimi Hendrix
The seven string electric guitar on the other hand is one where a low B is positioned below a low E string. Playing heavy music is what the seven string electric guitar is good at, and you can also try it out when playing jazz music. Popular musicians that play the seven string electric guitar are;
- Jeff Loomis
- Stephen Carpenter
- Howard Alden
- Sarah Longfield
One question we also want to take a look at is how many string guitar should you play? Now, this question should be for the beginners, because a professional already knows how to play and how many strings he is good at playing, To answer this question, the six string guitar remains the best choice a beginner can play. Six string guitars are easy to tune and simple to string.