Guitars can be made out of a variety of different woods including ash, mahogany, rosewood, walnut, maple and koa. There are several different types of guitars and some are made entirely of one type of wood while others are made of many different types of wood. Your considerations when selecting a guitar should not be limited to wood type alone, but there are some distinctions between mahogany and rosewood worth considering.
Types of Guitars
There are many different types of guitars, but the two main types are acoustic and electric. Acoustic guitars benefit greatly from being made of specific types of wood as acoustic guitars produce their sound from the resonance created by the body of the guitar. When selecting an electric guitar the type of wood used for the fretboard is more important than the type of wood used for the body as electric guitars create their sound with electronic pickups.
Although the body wood and the fretboard wood are the major two types of wood to consider when purchasing a guitar, the body top of a guitar is sometimes made of a different type of wood than the body and this can create unique combination worth considering when purchasing a guitar made of multiple types of wood. Additionally, the neck wood is sometimes different from the fretboard wood and this should also be taken into consideration.
Mahogany is open grained with large pores. Mahogany is known for providing warm lows and a thick overall sound. Keep in mind that there are several different types of mahogany and different qualities of mahogany, all providing distinct sounds. When compared to rosewood, mahogany has a more dry, crisp and woody sound. The best way to determine whether you prefer the sound of a mahogany or a rosewood guitar is to try both out at a local guitar store.
Rosewood is the most common type of wood used for guitar fretboards as rosewood interacts well with the oils on human skin and the fretboard is routinely touched by the player. Rosewood is dense and oily and therefore will provide dampened higher end frequencies. When compared to mahogany, rosewood provides a smoother sound described as wet, shiny and metallic.
Resources and References
- Guitar-4u.com: What Are All the Different Types of Guitars?
- Music Basics: What Kind of Guitar to Buy
- You Tube: Absolute Beginner Guitar Lessons Different Types of Guitars
- You Tube: Baden Guitars: Rosewood and Mahogany Comparison
- Sweet Water: Electric Guitar: Buying Guide
- Webber Guitars: What is The Best Way to Purchase One of Your Guitars?
- Sweet Water:Acoustic Guitar: Buying Guide
- Tonepedia: Mahogany vs Rosewood in Acoustic guitars
- Jemsite.com: Guitar Wood Types & Tones FAQ; Frank Falbo