I ran across an incredible acoustic guitar infographic recently that I wanted to share with you. If you’ve ever wondered how an acoustic guitar works, this is going to give you a visual reference to better understand.
The hollow body of an acoustic guitar (which includes classical guitars as well) is what allows the sound to project.
The body of the guitar acts almost like a speaker, but the fact is that every part of the guitar – even the neck or headstock – has an impact on the overall tone of the guitar.
So check out the following description of how an acoustic guitar works and scroll below for my summary of what’s happening here.
Summary of How an Acoustic Guitar Works
There’s a few things that happen in order for an acoustic guitar to make sound:
- Strings are Plucked. Whether with a pick or with fingers, the strings are caused to vibrate. Which is the first step in producing sound.
- Saddle Picks up Vibrations. Once the strings are plucked, the vibration is transmitted to the body of the guitar via the saddle and bridge.
- Sound travels through the Guitar. From the bridge the sound then transmits throughout the entire guitar, not just the body. The way that a guitar is shaped or the type of materials used to manufacture the guitar all determine how this sound is amplified (or even dampened).
- Sound Exits the Guitar. While much of the sound exits through the sound hole, it’s actually the entire face of the guitar that projects sound. This is one of the reasons why having a solid-top guitar can have such a dramatic impact on guitar sound.
It seems quite simple, but guitar makers have been attempting to perfect the sound of the acoustic guitar for centuries. Thankfully what we have now is an excellent instrument that has the ability to produce beautiful music. Whether you pay thousands of dollars for your guitar or just a couple hundred.