The guitar instrument is one that is complex and well nuanced to produce top notch and high quality sounds, and the fact everyone knows about stringed instruments is they come with a certain number of strings. How many strings does a guitar have is what this post will be looking at today, so continue reading with us.
Wanting to find out about the number of strings a guitar has is something that is common among newbies and professionals, and trust me when i say this is something that every guitarist should know. The guitar is one instrument that boasts of having a unique string configuration compared to the violin, cello, viola, and contrabass.
You should still be able to take a look at a guitar and figure out how many strings it comes with even if you are not a guitar player, and taking a look at the guitar will show you that there are about six strings on the guitar. The typical number of strings on any guitar is six, and this is just like saying eighty eight is the number of keys on a piano.
Knowing how many strings a guitar has would be very easy if you have a little knowledge about the instrument itself, and you will be surprised when you realize that there are several variances to take a look at when wanting to identify the number of strings on a guitar.
This means that there are people who are skilled and comfortable playing the six string guitar, while there are other players that will love to play something else. Bearing this in mind, let us take a look at the brief history of guitars.
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History Of Guitars
Before we can go ahead to start talking about the number of strings on a guitar alongside the variances a guitar has, let us first talk about the history of guitars. The use of guitar at first goes as far back as you can ever imagine, and there are proof that backs the fact that Mesopotamians and Babylonians made use of this instrument in the past.
Some of the oldest stringed instruments that were used about three thousand years ago are the lute and oud, but the lute started losing its relevance in the fifteenth and sixteenth century. This is because it got replaced with a Spanish instrument that had the shape of the guitar, while the Vihuela was later designed to have a hourglass shape.
Te Vihuela was designed to have about ten to twelve strings, but it had to make way for the guitar to come into use in 1970 which led to the guitar becoming a standard instrument. Guitars were designed to have about six strings, and this design has been maintained till very date. However, this doesn’t mean that there are not other guitar variances.
In the next few lines of this post, we are going to address the variances of guitars we have today, and the number of strings they come with. This will help our readers in finding out what instrument matches their playing skill and ability.
How Many Strings Does A Guitar Have?
The Regular Guitar
So many guitars today are designed to have six strings for playing, and it doesn’t matter whether you find an electric or an acoustic guitar out there. Thick strings are what you will find at the beginning of a six stringed guitar, and the string following will always be thinner than the next. This is how six strings guitars are arranged.
This arrangement is the thickest and lowest string pattern, meaning they follow the A,B,D,G, before ending with an E string.
The Bass Guitar
Moving away from the regular guitar we just finished talking about, what we have next is the bass guitar. People find it confusing when the bass guitar is classified separately, but yet it remains a member of the guitar family. There are several guitarists that are comfortable with this classification.
There are other people who believe the bass guitar acts as a link between the drum and the regular guitar, and this is simply because the bass guitar helps in providing drums with more rhythm, and guitars with more harmony. Bass guitars are said to have lower octaves compared to the regular guitar, but bass guitars also come with thick strings.
The E,A,D, and G tuning is what you will find on a bass guitar, and you can tell from this arrangement that a bass guitar doesn’t come wit six strings but four strings. This is why we mentioned earlier that the number of strings on a guitar varies from one guitar type to another, and common bass guitars today all come with about four strings.
There are some bass guitars that are designed to come with about eight, seven, six, five, and nine strings.
The Acoustic Guitar
Taking a closer look at acoustic guitars will show you that some of them come with extra keys so you can tune on a wider fretboard. Six strings is required if you want to play the twelve string guitar, while the option of adding another six strings to the first six strings is available for anyone that knows how to play the acoustic guitar.
This is why the 12 string guitar is referred to as the Acoustic guitar, and there is a benefit that comes with adding extra six strings to this already existing string setup. Players will be open to more tone and sound depth when extra strings are added, and you will have to play all strings simultaneously the way regular strings are played.
Trust me when i say this type of guitar isn’t for beginners but for skilled guitar players, and it also explains what we meant earlier by saying your playing skill and ability will also decide the type of stringed guitar you will end up going for. If you are good at playing the six string guitar then you will not have issues with playing the twelve string guitar.
Here is a list of some of the guitarists that play the twelve string guitar;
- Jimi Hendrix
- David Bowie
Moving forward, below is a list of guitarists that play the seven string guitar;
- Stephen carpenter
- Jeff Loomis
- Sarah Longfield
- Howard Alden
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How many string guitar will you or can you play confidently? This is one question you should have an answer to before making up your mind on any guitar type. This question is usually directed to beginners since they are yet to discover all of their strengths when playing the guitar, but the six string guitar remains the best for beginners.
Why? This is because six string guitars are very easy to play and tune. Stringing them also comes with no stress or hassle of any sort.