If you’re a guitarist, new or experienced, you should have an idea of what different guitar woods mean for an instrument’s sound. Each popular wood is used for a specific reason. As you read over the rest of this guide, you’ll see information about several common guitar tonewoods, in alphabetical order. It does bear noting that there are differences between guitar body woods and neck woods. The guitar tonewoods that are detailed here 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, which is cut from the lower sections of wetland trees that have underwater roots, makes the very best ash 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 a widely available sort of wood and is, as a result, commonly called upon when budget guitars are being produced. 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 among the most prevalent guitar woods. This richly hued wood is not only pleasing to the eye, but offers a deep, pleasant tone. Some of the best selling guitars in the world are made out of mahogany tonewood.
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4. The maple/mahogany combination is extremely popular on laminated body guitars. These guitars have a sound that simply cannot be replicated as a result of combining mahogany’s deep tones with maple’s sharp clarity.
5. Rosewood, which is rather expensive, tends to be used as a neck wood far more frequently than it is 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 particular guitar was even used by one of the world’s most famous bands.
6. There are some people who seek out walnut as a guitar wood, more because they like how it looks than how it sounds. There is nothing off about walnut wood’s tonality, but it’s deep, dark color does make it stand out in any setting.
7. Exotic woods are not often used to craft mass-produced guitars, but they bear noting here because custom guitar makers frequently utilize them. Professional guitarists tend to own at least one or two exotic wood instruments. Particularly popular are bubinga, wenge, and muira piranga. You can also choose from a wide selection of other options.