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Semi Acoustic Guitar

Semi-Acoustic Guitar or Jazz Guitar

The semi-acoustic guitar, and because of its hollow body it is also aptly referred to as the hollow body guitar, is also known to many as the Jazz guitar. Certainly also a correct, but not quite precise description, because you should not assume that semi-acoustic guitar = jazz guitar. The musical application possibilities are too different. What counts is how the musician plays with the instrument on the amplifier - which is an aesthetic decision regarding the sound and playing characteristics of a semi-hollow guitar.

The semi-acoustic guitar is a special type of electric guitar that is often heard in popular music such as Blues, Rock'n'Roll, Rhythm & Blues, Jazz, Rockabilly and Modern Jazz. In view of the broad selection in the semi-acoustic guitar category, it is certainly a matter of detail, but representative of the entire genre is certainly its full and warm tone with a pronounced bass component, which can be attributed to the design features of the semi-acoustic guitar.

For example, the guitar sound of B.B. King (†2015) differs completely from the sound known from jazz guitarist Pat Metheny - and yet both basically play instruments from the semi-acoustic guitar family via an amplifier. B.B. King's trademark (The Thrill Is Gone) was a black Gibson ES-355 without F-holes - his sound is arguably the ultimate blues sound. Pat Metheny's tone is much softer and is determined by the dark timbre of a Gibson ES-175 guitar, which he later exchanged for an Ibanez PM 1000 electric guitar.

Acoustic guitar sound characteristics thanks to its interior volume

The sound of the semi-acoustic guitar is warmer and more bass accentuated than that of a solid electric guitar. Depending on the construction, the semi-acoustic guitar develops a singing sustain at moderate volumes. For high-gain sounds, this design is only suitable to a limited extent, since the inner volume of the hollow body makes feedback more difficult to control than with the solid electric guitar. For guitarists who play Jazz, Country, Bluesgrass, Blues or Rockabilly, where there is no need for extreme distortion or high volumes, a semi-acoustic guitar is very popular, thanks to its individually pronounced sound.

Semi-Acoustic Guitar in Rock Music

The Gibson ES-335 is one of the most popular semi-acoustic models offered by manufacturers such as Godin, Duesenberg, Hagstrom, Höfner, Epiphone, Jack & Danny, Ibanez, Yamaha and Gretsch in numerous variants. As Alvin Lee of Ten Years After impressively proves during his legendary appearance at the Woodstock Festival, the Gibson ES-335 is also suitable for the somewhat harder style. Nowadays, all ES variants are built with a continuous internal sustain block, which provides both a pronounced sustain and better feedback control. The ES models are particularly popular with jazz and blues guitarists such as John Scofield, B.B. King, or Chuck Berry. Gretsch's semi-acoustic guitars such as the Eddie Cochran model are very popular in the rockabilly and blues scene. The P90 single-coil guitar pickups used here give the sound a slimmer contour with a little twang than the Humbucker pickups that are usually used.

Jazz Guitar: Big Body – Big Sound

While the ES guitars with a body depth of about 5 cm are not much thicker than solid body guitars, the body of classical jazz guitars is usually as deep as an acoustic guitar. However, the top and back are much more sturdily proportioned. This gives them their typical dry sound, with powerful attack and a full-bodied undertone. In the cheaper models, the top is made of cross-laminated plywood, which is very stable and quite insensitive to moisture. The top models by Gibson and Gretsch have a solid, arched spruce top.

Different designs for every taste and price

Among the various designs there are also variants of well-known solid body classics. Like Gibson Les Paul, or Fender Telecaster models, with the F-sound holes typical for semi-acoustic guitars. Equipped with one or two resonance chambers, they offer a singing sustain without problematic feedback behaviour. Even those who are looking for a semi-acoustic guitar with a slightly smaller body will find what they are looking for here. The Gretsch Streamliner or semi-acoustic guitars from the Ibanez Artcore series are also suitable for very young talents and smaller people.

Buy Semi Acoustic Guitars at DV247

If you want to learn to play the guitar with a semi-acoustic, you can buy an instrument at a very reasonable price - a Jack & Danny SA 70 Bigsby, for example, is available including a case for about 330 EUR, also the Epiphone ES-339 Pro VS Vintage Sunburst falls into this price category. If you want to buy one of Gibson's American classics - the entry price is about 900 EUR (e.g. Gibson Midtown Standard EB Ebony). For the most demanding requirements there are of course also semi-acoustic guitars at prices well above 3,000 EUR. If you are looking for something out of the ordinary, you will find it in the Custom Shop. Here you will find semi-acoustic guitars made of precious woods, with extraordinary varnishes and concepts. For example, the Taylor T5z electro-acoustic models, which are hybrids of acoustic and electric guitars. The expert team of the guitar department is looking forward to your visit or call to assist you with words and deeds in the selection of your perfect instrument.