- 1 A Comparative study on Semi-Hollow Body Guitars Advantages and Disadvantages
- 2 Conclusion
While a large body can cause discomfort for someone, the feel and the tone of the semi-hollow guitars are one of the best advantages that stand out, which makes the guitar very familiar among musicians. Originated in the 1930s, the semi-hollow body guitar can be distinguished from an acoustic-electric guitar as it contains a soundbox and several pickups. There are variations in amplification too.
In general, the semi-hollow body guitar is a combination of style, capabilities, and sound of semi-acoustic, hollow body and solid guitars. So let's know about Semi-Hollow Body Guitars Advantages and Disadvantages.
A Comparative study on Semi-Hollow Body Guitars Advantages and Disadvantages
Gibson ES-335 is the first manufactured semi-hollow body guitar that has a "solid center block" inside the body of the guitar. Semi-hollow body guitars are quite famous around the world, and although they can be quite expensive, the music that comes out is just surreal for many musicians.
Semi-hollow body guitars are weighing more than a traditional one due to the solid wood block installed in the down-middle. Now, for that type of guitars, it can be a reason to change the overall tone of it. The sounds seem merely close to a solid body guitar including a sharper, brighter and more rich tone.
Most of those guitars that have large cavities are more vulnerable to feedback. However, compared to hollow-body, it is seen that semi hollow-body guitars are doing well in taming the feedback. It will be different than a solid-body (for obvious reason) by its louder tone. And it will happen if you strum a semi-hollow body electric guitar.
Making a Semi-hollow Guitar
A semi-hollow guitar increases the volume of a guitar, which was lacking behind other instruments due to the loudness of them, particularly in jazz or large orchestral music. This caused the guitar designer to focus on amplifying the guitar sound electrically by a loudspeaker.
Eventually, in 1936, Gibson first produced a semi-hollow guitar that was based upon a standard production archtop and f-holes on the face of the guitar's soundbox. However, this guitar was able to amplify its music by Charlie Christian Pickup.
The Charlie Christian Pickup used a single magnetic coil that converted energy of the vibrating strings to electrical signals. Different manufacturers or guitar players can add amplification according to their preferences and need. Thus, the semi-hollow guitar was an evolutionary step in the advancement of electric models of regular acoustic guitars.
Some Popular Semi-hollow Body Guitars
Features of a Semi-hollow Body Guitar (Gibson ES-335)
Advantages of Semi-hollow Body Guitars
Semi-hollow body guitars are invented to extend the experience of a musician so they could play an improved tone and create different types of music. This particular type of body guitar opened several new opportunities that were needed for musicians those were thriving to try something new. However, here are some advantages that we can mention,
The semi-hollow guitars are appreciated for their clean and fresh tone. This resulted in the widespread use of the guitar in jazz music as the guitar brings out the warm sound of jazz.
Also, the semi-hollow guitars are quieter without the amplification system. Thus there is huge popularity in unplugged or practice versions. The guitars also often produce bright and punchy tone like solid guitars.
Versatility of sound
The sound of the guitar is also very versatile as the amplification can be altered according to the need and preference of the maker and the guitarist, the sounds that come out can be played in various genres of music.
The wide variety of tones are sustainable, overtones, and carved mild sounds. The versatility of the semi-hollow guitars gives the guitar players a trustworthy companion for better and newer experiences.
Feel of the guitar
The semi-hollow body guitars are also considered to resonate with the best feeling when they are held to play. This is obviously best described from the perspective of a guitar player.
Musicians say that semi-hollow guitars reflect a soothing and comfortable practice of playing a musical instrument. When they hold the guitar, it's like the guitar is directly connected to the soul of the musician and portrays the best potential of the player.
Size and shape
Another advantage of the semi-hollow guitar is related to its size and shape. The hybrid design fits the puzzling choice of every guitar player, and the hollowness gives them a lighter model. Thus the comfort at which one can hold and play is astonishing. The thin shape is considered very user-friendly.
All these make the semi-hollow guitar very light weighted because of their cavity. Carrying and rocking on stage is much easier with a semi-hollow guitar than any other guitars.
Disadvantages of Semi-hollow Body Guitars
Apart from those advantages, after start using this specific type of guitar musicians are getting difficulties about a few things. It is because using a new kind of instrument may also have some disadvantages while creating music with it. Let’s have a look at to understand what kind of difficulties you may have with it.
While the musical aspect of the guitar can be of great appreciation to the guitar players, one of the major technical issues of the semi-hollow guitar is its feedback. The guitar irritates the guitar players one this aspect a lot.
They felt that when signals were being amplified to a very high volume, there was a disturbing feedback sound that was ruining the tempo of the music. This feedback issue originated at a very early stage of the design of the semi-hollow guitars.
But, guitar players nowadays still go through this problem, although not at a very alarming rate. The makers later redesigned and innovated better guitars to tackle the issue. Also, guitar players learned to use the feedback issue creatively since the experimental rock music of the 1960s and 1970s.
Length of the guitar
Another problem for some users is the guitar's length. The guitar, even though very user friendly, has a very long and wide shape. The tall guitar is sometime uncomfortable for some guitarists.
Guitar players have been complaining about how holding the guitar is a discomfort for short and relatively small people, and at times it's quite a discomfort for the regular guitarists as well. However, the lightweight compensates for the discomfort related to the length of the guitar.
Tremolo Bridge Issue
Another significant disadvantage of semi hollow-body guitar is that you cannot have any tremolo bridge on it. There is no specific wood to install the springs that can lessen the performance of your guitar. This particular kind of guitar does not have enough strength to hold a soundboard on top of the guitar. Perhaps there is a different type of tremolo to attach to the tailpiece.
So these the subject was semi-hollow body guiters advantages and disadvantages. After all, the semi-hollow guitar is the bonding of both the acoustic and electric side of music. The guitar rules over the world of guitar music in every genre and user-friendliness.
Despite having a few disadvantages, the guitarists had found a way to move past that and still use the semi-hollow guitars at ease. The combination of warm, fresh, clean, and rich tone with the feedback resistance can take a guitarist to the peak of success without a doubt.