Guitar Back and Side Buying Guide

Guitar Back and Side Buying Guide

As the name suggests, Guitar Back and Sides are the wood used to build the guitar’s back and sides. Many types of wood can be used for this purpose. The more traditional options the luthiers used back in the day were Brazilian or Indian Rosewoods.

Nowadays due to the lack of continuous availability of some of the best traditional woods, there is a need to improvise. Sometimes even slightly changing the method of building the guitar a bit can help. 

There are some significant features that need to be considered when selecting wood for the guitar backs and sides. Without careful thought, choosing wood will yield catastrophic results.


Of course, the sides look best if the back suits. When purchasing backs and sides, aim to purchase a similar kit sometimes. A good color match is going to be difficult to find from another piece of wood.

Ability to bend

One of the most obvious facts about the guitar sides is that the wood should be able to be bent and curved without breaking. Laminating may allow you to use a wood that otherwise will not bend at full thickness with heat since it is quite a bit thinner when you are bending it.

The cut of wood

Try to avoid the temptation to make use of heavily figured wood or flat sawn wood on the back of your guitar use. While they can look nice, they are always troublesome, if not instantly, down the line.

Particularly figured timber happens to be unstable, something to stop. The most vulnerable to warping and cracking is from all the timber flat sawn cuts. It also makes the most of the changes in humidity.

Some other woods to avoid

Never use burls, crotch parts, and broken wood for building the back of a guitar with. Once again, they look very cool, but they are incredibly dysfunctional. Spalted wood seems to be punky, too (rotten, soft, and brittle). Spalted wood does not have acoustic qualities that are attractive either. It's going to sound muted and dead as if you had built the back of the guitar with cardboard.

Types of guitars

The Parlor

A parlor guitar is characterized by a concentrated high-end midrange, while some claim that when opposed to the expansive tone of a good dreadnought, the body style sounds a little boxy. This guitar is particularly well suited to the fingerstyle, so it is easy to trigger the top correctly because of its smaller dimensions.


The middle ground between a dreadnought and a parlor guitar is an OM-type body. This is essentially a guitar that sounds strong both during strumming and during fingerpicking. The tradeoff is that it cannot excel at either strumming or fingerpicking. However, regardless of how it's played, a well-built OM is always going to be a really good-sounding instrument.


Out of the three body types, the dreadnought is the most commonly available acoustic guitar body style, which has the most volume and the largest number of bass frequencies. At present, the key selling point of the dreadnought is that it has a large and rich sound well suited to playing in an ensemble, but when amplified, the majority of steel-string acoustic guitars will serve the same function.

So if you're a smaller singer, you may find that in a live setting, a smaller body shape is more relaxed and contrary to what others may say, you're always going to be able to get a sound that fits well to reinforce a combination.

Nylon stringed guitar

Guitars with nylon strings have a much colder tone than their counterparts with steel strings. In the upper register, they never sound loud, but they are not quite as concentrated as a good steel-string guitar.

There is also much less string tension in Nylon string guitars, which tends to promote the intricate passages typically used in classical and fingerstyle guitars. 

This type of guitar includes Classical guitars, Flamenco guitars, and Hybrid.

Classical guitar

Classical guitars are instruments with nylon strings that are usually used to perform classical music. In general, these guitars have smaller dimensions than that of a dreadnought, being similar to those of a parlor guitar in scale. While the two instruments are both very available to smaller-sized players, they are a little wider than your typical parlor guitar in diameter.

Though they don't have bouts that are just as dramatic, they're similar in scale to an OM. In order to promote various methods as well as have a smooth and glassy sound with lots of volumes, the movement on these instruments is even greater. The nut diameter of classical guitars is even larger than that of steel-string guitars.

Flamenco Guitars

Flamenco guitars are designed to perform the music of flamenco. To encourage the rhythmic tapping that is an important part of flamenco music, these guitars usually have tap plates on the top of the instrument.

In general, these guitars have less movement than classical guitars and are characterized by their passionate and increasing tone. They seem to have a slightly broader nut diameter than a regular acoustic steel string, like classical guitars.


Although the most widely seen type of nylon string guitar is flamenco and classical guitars, there is also a range of others present. These guitars typically have some element of classical guitars, but musicians coming from either an electric or acoustic steel-string guitar are made more available.

There are so many kinds of combinations and crossovers that this category is impossible to fully define. But the same rules that apply to any instrument, as a general rule, often apply to hybrids/crossovers.

There is more volume and a higher representation of bass frequencies in a larger instrument, whereas a smaller instrument is more oriented, but has less total volume.

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