the ACOUSTIC GUITAR
- Who can play the acoustic guitar?
- If it is not suitable for everyone, what alternative instrument would you recommend and why?
- What qualities of the acoustic guitar are special?
- Learning to play any instrument develops lots of new skills. What are the particular benefits of playing the acoustic guitar?
- How are acoustic guitars similar/different to other guitars?
- Are there any famous musicians or pieces associated with the acoustic guitar?
Acoustic guitar is suitable for all ages. Pupils can start at any age, though most start during KS2 or above.
Younger pupils in KS1 might benefit from starting on the ukulele. It is smaller and easier to hold for very young players and is requires less stretching. Little fingers might find the steel strings hard to press down at first, so the nylon strung classical guitar is another alternative.
The acoustic guitar is used in a wide variety of music styles. From fingerstyle plucking to strumming chords, there is a lot you can do! Acoustic guitars are very popular with singers because they can play the guitar and sing at the same time; it is great for folk music, song writing, playing chords and developing rhythm. It is louder than the classical guitar.
The guitar is a very popular instrument due to its versatility. It can also be played solo, or in a group.
Acoustic guitarists develop a strong sense of rhythm, melody and harmony. Lots of acoustic guitarists also play the electric guitar, or the electro-acoustic guitar. It is popular with songwriters and GCSE Music students
Acoustic guitars look a bit like classical guitars, however they usually have 6 steel strings, whereas classical guitars usually have 3 steel and 3 nylon strings. Classical guitars should never be strung as acoustic guitars, or vice versa.
The steel strings give acoustic guitars a brighter and louder sound than classical guitars, which tend to be mellower. Classical guitars tend to be used by classical, traditional/folk or flamenco musicians whereas acoustic guitars are usually heard in pop, rock, folk, country and the blues.
Famous acoustic guitarists: Ed Sheeran, BB King, Eric Clapton, Taylor Swift, Django Reinhardt, John Renbourn.
Famous acoustic guitar songs: ‘Thinking Out Loud’ by Ed Sheeran, ‘Blackbird’ by The Beatles, ‘Jolene’ by Dolly Parton.