Guitars ,Genres & styles of playing

Having recently read the thread about being good as rythem guitarist, I dont know why the question came to my head.

Are certain guitars more suited to certain genres and styles than others. I cant say I know what genres have developed, at the development of a new instrument, I’m not that kind of geek lol…
or is it that if you get proficient enough it really doesn’t matter as you can put those hands to anything. ?


I think the “this guitar is for this genre” thing is overrated, at least for electrics that is :wink:

Not being influenced by genres and guitar geekery is a blessing and you will focus more on what matters than the details :smiley:

There are some features that help but in most cases these features rather “add” functionality.
Other guitars would seldom “lack”, others are just “slightly better equipped to do certain things”

Example: pickups
Effect on your tone: overrated if you aren’t looking for something specific.
You have to know what to “hear for” when swapping pickups and the way you configure pickup height, distortion, amp settings (gain), EQ and (virtual) cabinets does 10 or 100 times more than the pickups. “Hot” (high output) pickups act differently than low output but a bit of that is mitigated through pickup height.

When DO they matter? when going from crap to good pickups or to a completely different kind of pickup. You will hear and ‘feel’ it when playing it. Going from single coil to humbucker or vice versa is a huge deal too.

There are some cases where features matter for genres

Some examples:

  • Scale length in combination with gauge and type of strings
    Huge factor for me; has effect on how the guitar feels and sounds. No surprise, it is the part of the guitar you interact most with. 24" seems to be my home while I learned and played on a 25.5" Stratocaster for years. I even have a 23" which is wicked fast to play but a challenge to get well articulated high gain sounds from in a downtuned setting :smiley:

  • The type of vibrato on the guitar. I used to be a fan of those things but I seldom use it these days. If you want to do fancy and fast guitar virtuoso stuff like Vai, Satriani etc, you’ll need a vibrato arm :wink:

  • Accessibility of higher frets: useful feature for styles that need lead work high on the neck (I seldom go there :smiley:

  • fretboard radius (the curvature of your fretboard) has effect on playability; there is nog good or bad here; merely preference and features that matter for certain styles of playing.

  • pickup switching options
    Neck/brigde/middle and combinations. Bridge and neck is a significant difference and most of that is due to the position; A string vibrates differently along its length and where you have a pickup along the string does a lot to your sound.

So, I guess my conclusion is: look for features instead of seeing the guitar as a whole unchangable package labelling it based on its body shape and color :wink:

Would this be a fun thing to do a Live Club about? features and how much they matter? :smiley:


I mean that tattoo neck guys band has been doing poly progmetal things on nylon stringed guitars so you can do anything…

In general single coils have a cleaner more chimy twangy tone with less output, and humbuckers fuller and higher output.

Some guitars like the hollow body 335s etc get known for blues / jazz, sg/Les Paul for rock, ibanez etc for the metal crowd.

But really it boils down to the pickups and even then throw enough distortion or processing at them and there’s not much difference

Maybe some help here?
Soon it will also be about electric (I think) because with classic it is slightly different

Whatever you go read here , the conclusion will be something like…NO but it`s fun to have more than one I guess :sunglasses:

Yes they are, at least to my experience. There are crossover guitars helping metal strings acoustic guitarists migrate into classical nylon territory. And there are metal strings acoustic guitars featuring wider necks more suitable for fingerstyle. Of course you can play everything on anything (almost) but some instruments are design to make it more efficient or easier.

I’ve heard this before and though I play fingerstyle, I’ve only had one acoustic guitar my whole life, so I haven’t ever made a comparison. What is it about the wider neck that makes is more suitable for fingerstyle?

Definitely yes!


To put it simply, there is more room for your fingers. It improves the ease of play, there is a difference when I play standard 44 mm Takamine and 46 mm Lakewood. I’m finding it helpful but for some the difference could be not significant enough.

But on the other hand :rofl:


Play whatever you want with whatever you’ve got, if it sounds good … !
Ha ! says the man with 11 guitars and 2 basses :rofl:
Oh and a cigar box ! Mmmm best not take my advice. :rofl:


Just to borrow an old joke …

But be careful …

and the worst part is that they are all bass guitars


I agree :slightly_smiling_face:

I think the notion that certain guitars are needed for certain genres is by and large a marketing strategy to get people (especially beginners) to buy multiple guitars. (I’m thinking electric, not acoustic.)

Based on what I read here and elsewhere, it’s very successful!

I’d better add that I bought all of mine in the knowledge that I could play anything on any of them, at any time. Non are genre specific, in fact I am just having an Early British Metal workout on the Taka acoustic, as I couldn’t be bothered to switch to the LP after my fingerstyle session.
I am with Bill Hicks when it comes to folks in marketing.


OK so this is going to be really telling of my ignorance of guitars lol.

When you say look for the features , what do you mean by that, besides volume, tone, vibrato if needed and a selector switch , what else is there lol.

Good god yes, sooner the better. It’s a major issue I think, Everyone wants a guitar to suit then and what they like playing. So having a fundemental understing of the basics of guitars has got to be more important than any beginner realises.

OK, so the reason for this thread, I’m looking for my “60th birthday final guitar” this year and have until June to find something suitable.

I started looking at the 60’s Cherry 335 but soon fell for the Ice T looks fantastic. In a few week I have plans to goto Andertons and try one for size. I’m a little on the short side at 5’4" and it may feel a big guitar but even with the 339 I tend to lean over a bit.

watching a few vids, I’m not into Tele’s (apparently very suited to rythem) , I just dont like the look of what is just a flat lump, looking unfinished lol.

but…I’m looking at other kinds of guitar too, like PRS 22 Custom, Gretch and anything else that pops up between now and then.

1 Like

So So much

:joy: :rofl: :joy:

But I wish you a great time looking for your next guitar…enjoy it :sunglasses:



Yeah Toby, we’re still waiting on the video. :smiley:


A final guitar for turning 60 definitely leaves space for another guitar when turning 61! and on and on …


What? no plans for 61st birthday guitar?? :slight_smile:

The guitar used for rhythm is going to do the job you make it do. It isn’t going to be based much on the guitar. Some instances I can think of are simply obvious capability. For instance if you want to play slide on a 7.5 inch radius Strat neck, you will probably struggle a lot and would want something far flatter. I cannot see a percussive thump work well on a solid body. I don’t see a tremolo on an acoustic…
I have been playing acoustic tunes on my metal-marketed PRS Tremonti since I got it. All I needed was a clean amp channel. It sounds very pretty.

I think you will want to put your rhythm targeted purchase into an amp that can give the broad array of sounds you will want to make. For the guitar, go with something that you like to play. I have an Ibanez that I want to pick up every time I look at it. That is the best guitar in my opinion because I like it and have a signal chain after it to adjust into whatever sound is appropriate for the use I put it to.

1 Like

Makes sense. Do you find a trade-off in the fretting hand? A lot of fingerstyle playing uses thumb-over-the-top chords, which must be harder with wider neck.

Happy Birthday Rachel!

Sounds like your looking at some real nice guitars.
Since your going down the semi hollow route may I suggest checking out a casino. A hollow body w/p90s. Cheap if ya want too, or expensive if ya wanna go USA made too.

Good luck and have fun in finding just the right guitar for your Birthday.

As for certain guitars for certain genres.
I don’t know as I think I mostly play one or 2 genres at the most anyway.
But I will say, I like to play the same song on different guitars. Acoustic to elec. Plug in the acoustic, or change amps on the same guitar.
I find it fun to do + sometimes I find it helps me with whatever song I’m learning as to playing elec. vs acoustic too. I find acoustic less for giving since there’s no effects to add. That said, elec. can amplify the slightest mistake too. So I find it give and take from one to the other.

Must say, I can’t see a classical guitar w/nylon strings doing much with hair metal or whatever it’s called. And visa versa too. But I reckon it could be done. Might even be a interesting sound. I don’t know… :wink: