An electric guitar is one incorporated with pickups which catch and amplify sound through amplifier and speaker. These are to be played very much as acoustic guitars. But due to high volume and gain levels, there are certain techniques associated with electric guitars such as barre chords and tapping.
Different Types of Electric Guitars
Based on the Body
Electric guitars have different body types, out of which 'solid body' and 'hollow body' are primary ones. Solid body guitars do not have a sound box for amplifying sound; instead they use pickups. These are the best when acoustic feedback can be an issue and player wants a solid sound. A good example can be a Gibson Les Paul and a Fender Stratocaster.
On the other hand, hollow body electric guitars do have a sound box with pickups as well. And this gives a clean acoustic tone and also a solid sound from the pickups. Electric guitars even come in different shapes as the Gibson Flying V, Gibson Explorer, Fender Telecaster, etc.
A very interesting type of electric guitar is one with two fretboards. Double neck guitars have two fretboards; one which is used for normal rhythm playing and the other which is used for alternate guitar tunings or for 12-strings.
Based on the Strings
In a standard electric guitar, there are six strings. Some musicians and guitarists, like Joe Satriani and Steve Vai use guitars made of seven strings. Playing seven-stringed guitars is a real difficult job, and requires years to master.
There are even 12-stringed electric guitars, with each additional tiny string placed near primary strings. These guitars give a clean tone and sound the best if they are hollow bodied. Some well-known guitarists order musical instrument companies to manufacture eight-stringed guitars.
Based on the Pickups
Pickups are components placed on the electric guitar which catch mechanical vibrations of the strings and send them for processing to the amplifier. There are generally two major types of pickups for electric guitars; namely 'humbucker' and 'single coil'.
Humbuckers are usually used for a solid crunchy sound, especially while using heavy distortion effects. They can be seen on Gibson Les Paul models mainly. A single coil pickup is used for a sound more on the treble and softer side.
These are standard setups for Fender Stratocaster and Telecaster models. Some guitarists may use a combination of humbuckers as well as single coil pickups to get a decent tone.
Based on the Brands
There are many different brands of electric guitars, some of which are mentioned further:
- Paul Reed Smith (PRS)
- Ernie Ball Music Man
- Suhr Guitars
- Dean Guitars
- B.C. Rich
- Line 6
- Greg Bennett
Bass guitars are electric guitars which are used for giving out a bass sound as backup. These guitars are available in a wide range of shapes, sizes, strings, etc. The strings of a bass guitar are thick which give out low tones. Even in bass guitars, you will find those with variations in the number of strings.
Typically, a bass guitar has four strings, and the number may vary as per the requirements of the player. Models of five, six, and eight strings are also available in musical instrument stores.
Today, guitar manufacturing companies do offer the service of providing customized guitars as per the user's requirements. You just have to inform them about the body style, wood type, pickups, fretboard type, color and finish, and other features that you need; and they will give you what you expect.
You might have got some good information on the types of electric guitars. Remember that different types of guitars are produced for different musicians and their requirements, so you cannot sort out electric guitar models according to any fixed specifications. So always go in for a guitar that best suits your needs.