Different types of electric guitar bodies

Electric guitars come in many different shapes and sizes. Like their acoustic counterparts, the size and shape of an electric guitar can impact their sound and playability.

Here are some of the most common varieties of electric guitar bodies:

Type of body:

Each type of guitar can have a variety of shapes and styles. Most guitars fall under either solid body, semi-hollow body, or hollow body. 

Solid body: Solid body guitars have no internal chambers – sound is generated solely from the pickups. Solid body guitars are also made out of a solid piece of wood. As a result, they’re usually fairly heavy. 

Solid body guitars were introduced in the 1950s. They offer more sustain than their hollow-body counterparts, and are less impacted by feedback. 

Here are some of the best-known solid body guitars: 

Stratocaster

Designed by Fender, the Stratocaster features a double-cutaway design with one side extended into a “horn”, which provides balance. The double cutaway allows the player better access to the guitar’s highest frets. Though this is the shape most people picture when they think “electric guitar”, it was a revolutionary design when it was first introduced in the mid-1950s. 

Telecaster

Also designed by Fender, Telecaster was the world’s first commercially successful mass-produced electric guitar. Also known as “Tele”, it was originally called “Broadcaster”. The telecaster design features a flat asymmetric single-cutaway body. 


Les Paul

Gibson Les Paul Tribute

The Les Paul was designed by Gibson in 1952. Les Paul guitars are generally made of mahogany with a maple top and feature a single cutaway. 

 

Gibson SG 

Gibson SG Standard Tribute

The SG Standard is Gibson’s best selling model of all time. It has a contoured design with a double cutaway to make the upper frets more accessible. 


“Superstrat”

With deeper cutaways, longer fretboards, and overall pointier bodies, guitar variations known as “Superstrats” became popular with rock stars in the 1980s. 



Semi-hollow body

Semi-hollow body guitars have chambers cut into the wood which makes them lighter and gives them a slightly warmer tone. Semi-hollow body guitars work well across many genres of music. 

 

The best known of semi-hollow body guitars is: 

Gibson ES-335

The Gibson ES-335 was the first semi-hollow guitar on the market. It features two bouts that are hollow and two violin-style f-holes cut over the hollow chambers. Its best-known user was the King of Blues, B.B. King. 



Hollow body

“Guitar: Eastman Vintage Sunburst Hollow Body Electric” by jmf1007 is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

The original electric guitar, Rickenbacker’s Electro-A22, was a hollow body guitar. Hollow body guitars were favored by big band and jazz musicians in the 1930s – however, their hollow bodies created a lot of feedback when they were played at higher volumes. 


Gibson ES-150

“File:11, ES 150 & Fender Amp.jpg” by Europe guitar collection is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.

The Gibson ES-150 was the world’s first commercially successful Spanish-style electric guitar. ES stands for “electric Spanish”. 

READ MORE:

Which guitar pick should you pick?

What are the different types of guitar strings?

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