#1
Apologies if this has been asked, but a search threw up some incredibly random things, none of which answered my question. As a (very) new guitarist, if I can even call myself that given my current lack of guitar, I'm looking around and seeing hundreds of guitars with various body woods. My question is this, what is the difference between them?

Obviously there will be a difference in the tone and sustain, but what is it about a particular wood that makes it desirable for a certain type of music? For instance, I'm looking to play things like Muse, The Killers etc. - what sort of body wood would work well to get the sound I'm after, or is this more to do with pickups (is that what a pup is?) and amp?

Feel free to tell me I'm barking completely up the wrong tree here, as it is more than possible, rather probable, that I am.

Thanks.

HH
#2
If that's the kinda sound you're after, I'd recommend a mahogany body, for that warm tone similar to Muse. I do know that Matt Bellamy uses Manson guitars which you won't get, but look into some form of Telecaster... but you missed out the most important part.

Budget.

How much do you have?
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#3
I'm already planning a tele of some sort - possibly Epiphone, possibly Hagstrom, perhaps if I can convince the funders a Fender (although likely Mexican as the USA/Japanese ones are probably way beyond my budget) - I'll have a look.

I'm more interested in the theory behind the building of a guitar, as opposed to what I should get, especially given that it is going to be my ability that holds the sound back, at least for a while.
#4
Woods in electric guitars tend not to play nearly as big of a role compared to pups(pickups) and the amp you're running your guitar through. I don't think the type of wood makes enough difference to determine the style of music you play though.

PS: I just bought Muse HAARP CD/DVD combo today. You sir, have good musical taste.
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#5
Interesting - I can see how it would make more of an impact in an acoustic (obviously) given the un-amplified nature. Does it really make little difference then in the sound? If so, why is it that the more expensive guitars are made from a heavier wood, mahogany or similar? Is this simply for aesthetic purposes or is there a genuine reason with regards the tone?

How then do different pups impact on the sound? From my limited reading, a humbucker essentially produces constructive interference from the string moving through the magnetic field, thereby generating a "fuller" tone, whereas a single coil is a little sharper. Am I on the right tracks there?

Muse are indeed an awesome band - never had the chance to see them live, but its something I would really like to do (as well as get Matt Bellamy's guitar, the blue/silver one, that thing is stunning).
#6
Quote by Hidden Hippo
Interesting - I can see how it would make more of an impact in an acoustic (obviously) given the un-amplified nature. Does it really make little difference then in the sound? If so, why is it that the more expensive guitars are made from a heavier wood, mahogany or similar? Is this simply for aesthetic purposes or is there a genuine reason with regards the tone?

How then do different pups impact on the sound? From my limited reading, a humbucker essentially produces constructive interference from the string moving through the magnetic field, thereby generating a "fuller" tone, whereas a single coil is a little sharper. Am I on the right tracks there?

Muse are indeed an awesome band - never had the chance to see them live, but its something I would really like to do (as well as get Matt Bellamy's guitar, the blue/silver one, that thing is stunning).


I can see why it seems like there's a correlation between weight and higher end guitars, but I think that's probably more of a co-incidence.

The wood still makes a difference to the sound, but not an extremely noticeable one. The reason why woods are still important is because it adds overtones and tonal complexity to the sound. Expensive guitars are made of higher quality wood because those overtones are what really gives the guitar it's subtle tonal differences. But yeah... higher grade wood tends to be more aesthetically pleasing anyway.

Humbuckers tend to give a warmer and more full sound and works better with harder distortion because they don't hum. Single coils are still quite warm sounding but tend to give a bit more twang and don't work too well with heavy distortion. I'm sure someone else could probably elaborate on this better than me though since I'm not an electric player.

Matt Bellamy is a great guitarist. He uses all Manson guitars if I'm not mistaken.
Equipment:
- Art & Lutherie Cedar CW (SOLD! )
- Martin D-16RGT w/ LR Baggs M1 Active Soundhole Pickup
- Seagull 25th Anniversary Flame Maple w/ LR Baggs Micro EQ

Have an acoustic guitar? Don't let your guitar dry out! Click here.