When building a guitar, one of the many important facets to think about is the lumber that the body and also neck are made from. With the enormous range of wood species easily accessible this particular day to pick from, it deserve to no doubt be a seriously difficult decision to make. But have no fear – this hardwood buying guide willexplain some of the common rules of thumb you have the right to use as guidelines to demystify the pseudo-scientific research of lumber selection.

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Choosing the Body


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Hollow- and also semi-hollow-body Ibanez guitars at NAMM


Your initially decision to make is which body style you want.A few tried-and-true standards encompass Stratocaster, Telecaster, andLes Paul body formats. Many manufactures develop custom bodies, consisting of bodies that are pre-routed for electronic devices and also other hardware. Choosing a pre-routed body renders points much easier for those of us whodon’t very own or have actually the framework to carry out our own woodworking.

While choosing a body, it is additionally important to decideif you’d choose distinct features, such as a semi-hollow body, or a chambered body that is weight-relieved. Semi-hollowguitars tend to have actually moreresonance bereason of the body cavity, which ca boost sustain. While not constantly essential, take into consideration picking a brighter-sounding lumber prefer maple for your semi-hollow guitar to aid balance the extra lows that have the right to often reason muddiness.

As you might mean, your choice of body wood will have a huge impact on the guitar’stone. Later in this guide, I’ll go over the most widespread arrays offered for guitars so you have the right to be correctly all set to make an indeveloped decision. Kcurrently what kind of music you arrangement to play via the guitar, as that will helpnarrow dvery own your idealwood choices, simply remember — tbelow are no “right” or “wrong” lumber options for any type of provided genre.

Second, consider what hardware you will be using. If you desire a super heavy guitar body, prefer a Les Paul-style, don’t double dvery own and select large, dense hardware to pair via it. Only carry out this if you really want a specific set of hardware or don’t mind the additional weight of the guitar. Otherwise, overlooking the weight may be a game changer and seriously hurt the enjoyment you acquire out of the guitar.

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Finally, have your pickup choices all set to go as soon as deciding on body types. If you aren’t doing your own woodwork, be sure you understand what form of pickup you arrangement to use for the guitar, i.e. humbuckers vs. single-coils vs. P-90s. All will call for a different-sized cavity in the body.

Choosing the Neck

The same ethics that used to the guitar body also apply to choosing a neck: be very diligent when choosing the woods, as they will certainly influence tone and even even more so, the feel of your guitar. After all, your hands will have straight contact through the neck lumber and also partial contact through the fretboard, so be certain you select something that feels ideal in your hands.


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Highly figured birdseye maple neck


Many importantly, select a neck that will certainly appropriately fit whatever before body you go through. For example, if you are choosing a Tele-style body, make certain you get a matching “T-Style” neck, where the heel of the neck is at a flat form rather of a rounded neck end as seen on Strat-style necks. In most instances this won’t be an problem, however it’s something todouble-inspect once making the last decision.

Tonewoods

Different woods will certainly have actually different densities, and therefore it can be hard to ascribe definitive tonal attributes to wood types. It is true that even 2 pieces of timber reduced from the very same tree can sound remarkably different. That being shelp, there are some basic rules of thumbthat deserve to aid youchoose the best woods for your guitar neck and also body.

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Maple


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A flame maple top (and roasted maple fretboard) on the Charvel Guthrie Govan


– By much the the majority of common electric guitar neck material– Excellent midarray and also high-finish tone. Good clarity– Can sell several snap and assault as soon as played via even more intensity– A great option for a neck, a fretboard, or both– Commonly used on semi-hollow electrical guitars– Can extremely greatly in appearance: tbelow are simple, flamed, and quilted varieties to name a watch, plus maple can be roasted or tinted for a darker look– Usual uses:electric and also acoustic necks, tops, bodies and back/sides, electric fretboards

Mahogany


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An all-mahogany kind of bodied Gibson


– An even more mellow lumber compared to maple– Highly porous, with a warm and less bappropriate tone– Great alternative for a neck wood, specifically once paired with a rosewood or ebony fretboard– A superb wood for guitar bodies, a la the Les Paul, and pairs via various other woods nicely– Tends to lend a “scooped” sound with less mids, however even more detailed lows and also highs– Usual uses: electrical and acoustic necks, tops, bodies and back/sides

Ebony


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Ebony fretboard on an Epiphone Tony Iommi SG


– A common fretboard upgrade, this timber is thick, secure, and also aesthetically striking– It doesn’t wear exceptionally quickly, and also contributes to even more complicated tone with included assault and treble compared to various other well-known choices prefer rosewood– Highly revered for its oily and also hard surface feel, making it a fantastic choice for fretboards– Often provided for fretmuch less neck tools i.e. violin, bass etc.– Many commonly, ebony is paired via woods prefer mahogany type of for the finest balance of tone.– Typical uses:electric and also acoustic fretboards, acoustic back/sides, acoustic bridges

Rosewood


– One of the most popular fretboard choices– Offers a pleasing oily feel, through a existing yet softer tone compared to ebony and also maple– Perfect for those seeking a darker-looking neck without sacrificing tone– This wood is best paired via a maple or mahogany kind of neck, however can sound great on simply about anything– Usual uses:electric and also acoustic fretboards, acousticback/sides and also bridges, electricnecks

Alder


– The quintnecessary Fender guitar body wood– Average density hardwood, with a solid sound that often tends to accentuate your midrange– Great as an all-function body wood– Many often found as a one-item solid body– Typical uses:electric bodies

Ash


– A resonant body lumber with secure lows and good high end clarity– A good choice if sustain is desired– Swamp ash is the a lot of prevalent variety used for guitars, with Northern ash being the harder, denser and heavier variety– A good body lumber for a guitar that demands some “cut” to it– Typical uses: electrical bodies

Get Creative


Don’t be afraid to endeavor right into even more exotic timber areas favored korina, walnut, padauk, or koa simply to name a couple of. If you’d favor to stray from the beaten course, choosing an exotic timber for your personally built guitar will certainly include character and originality to it. Tbelow are likewise alternativefabricated products you can pick from for your guitar, favor Richlite, which has an ebony-like look and feel however is made of resin-infsupplied paper.

Hopefully thisoverview helps you feel more confident on just how to effectively select a body and neck that will pair well together, and also consequently,make an instrument that is suited to your requirements as a musician. Seek out guitars that have actually the woods you would certainly choose to use, and also try them out – what functions for others may not occupational for you. The alternative of the best body and also neck pairing can seem prefer a burden, however it may be less complicated than you think. Have fun and experiment!


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