You are not logged in.

#1 2012-03-16 03:41:16

M.B.
Senior Member
Registered: 2012-03-12
Posts: 186

Hollow Body Electric Guitar Question

I'm not an electric guitar player, so I don't have any direct experience, but I'd appreciate it if someone could describe the difference in sound between a solid body electric guitar and a hollow body electric guitar.  Since electric guitars are played through amps that effect the tone and quality of the sound, does it really make a difference in what the audience hears if you play a Gretsch White Falcon vs. a Fender Stratocaster?

Offline

 

#2 2012-03-16 13:44:26

dguyton
Senior Member
From: Central Flatland
Registered: 2007-05-30
Posts: 223

Re: Hollow Body Electric Guitar Question

Describing the difference in sound is going to get you a lot of terms like "open", "woody", "twang", "sparkle"; things that may mean something to the writer, but might not necessarily mean the same things to you.  There is a major difference in the sound and tone, but you're going to get the idea for yourself much quicker by just listening to music; certain kinds of guitars are more amenable to different kinds of music.

Now, everyone will tell you that tone is in the fingers.  That's absolutely true, but it's easier to get a given tone with a particular kind of guitar.  This is the reason that certain guitars are strongly associated with a type of music.  The kinds of music that hollowbodied guitars lend themselves to is Chet Atkins style fingerpicking (or Duane Eddy instrumentals) on the clean side, and rockabilly (and certain types of punk) on the distorted side; what is nowadays termed "roots rock." 

If I were you, I'd listen to a bunch of hollowbody artists, and compare them to the solidbody artists: Setzer, Imelda May, Tim Armstrong (Rancid), Duane Eddy for the hollows; Clapton, SRV, The Ventures, Van Halen, just about any southern rock band that ever existed for the solids.  Pickups, amps and effects account for a lot, but there's still a definite difference.

Plus you can play a hollowbody without plugging in so you don't upset the neighbors.


"There's such a fine line between genius and stupidity."
                              --David St. Hubbins

Offline

 

#3 2012-03-16 19:56:06

Phill Williams
THE MODERATE MODERATOR
From: The Land Of Song
Registered: 2007-12-10
Posts: 2473
Website

Re: Hollow Body Electric Guitar Question

the biggest difference to the sound a guitar makes is the person playing it. i watched a concert where steve howe plays a solid body guitar that sounded more like an acoustic than my acoustic does. i've also heard players make an acoustic sound like a solid body. acoustics vary in sound depending on maker and strings or the way the guitarist plays. basically, it's the quality of guitar and the quality of the player. we can all kick a ball but how many can score the goal?


There are two "L's" in Phill

Offline

 

#4 2012-03-16 22:30:02

joeyjoeyjoey
Honoured Member
From: massachusetts
Registered: 2010-10-18
Posts: 1115

Re: Hollow Body Electric Guitar Question

Like I always say.Try them out and decide for yourself. Now I will start some trouble with everyone.Once you distort it through an amp,They pretty much sound the same.


Enjoy Every Sandwich - Dr. Lee Lipsenthal

Offline

 

#5 2012-03-16 23:23:01

beamer
THE METALIZER
From: Texas
Registered: 2006-07-30
Posts: 1370

Re: Hollow Body Electric Guitar Question

joeyjoeyjoey wrote:

Like I always say.Try them out and decide for yourself. Now I will start some trouble with everyone.Once you distort it through an amp,They pretty much sound the same.

LOLOLOLOL Ya but you can really get some wild feedback with a acoustic and a 100 Watt Stack.

LOLOLOLOL It was FUN, the store was probably glad I was in the sound proof room.


Mal - Well, lady, I must say, you're my kinda stupid.
Mal - Jayne, your mouth is talking. You might wanna look to that
Kaylee - No power in the verse can stop me. BOOK-  you're going to burn in a very special level of hell. A level they reserve for child molesters and people who talk at the theatre.

Offline

 

#6 2012-03-17 00:39:15

M.B.
Senior Member
Registered: 2012-03-12
Posts: 186

Re: Hollow Body Electric Guitar Question

joeyjoeyjoey wrote:

Like I always say.Try them out and decide for yourself. Now I will start some trouble with everyone.Once you distort it through an amp,They pretty much sound the same.

That's one of my questions--since modern amps and effects can create a wide variety of sounds, do you really need a particular guitar to generate a specific sound for an audience?

Offline

 

#7 2012-03-17 01:01:38

Buzzwagon
Senior Member
From: Surrey, UK
Registered: 2008-11-23
Posts: 306

Re: Hollow Body Electric Guitar Question

While you can get really close to an authentic sound with effects and modelling amps it won't be absolutely bang on, but as an old mate of mine used to say "good enough for jazz" though!

Jerry


One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer

Offline

 

#8 2012-03-17 10:16:49

arkady
ambient moderator
From: England
Registered: 2006-11-23
Posts: 1923
Website

Re: Hollow Body Electric Guitar Question

Hi M.B.
With todays musical technology it possible get mostly any modern guitar with the appropriate  FX to sound like anything you want sound wise.
Purist would disagree but in general this true of all electronic generated music.
Un-FX guitars are all total different in sound and looks and all guitarist have there favorites so I guess it will always matter whether Gretsch White Falcon or a Fender Stratocaster is being played.
ark

Offline

 

#9 2012-03-21 16:23:31

M.B.
Senior Member
Registered: 2012-03-12
Posts: 186

Re: Hollow Body Electric Guitar Question

arkady wrote:

Hi M.B.
With todays musical technology it possible get mostly any modern guitar with the appropriate  FX to sound like anything you want sound wise.
Purist would disagree but in general this true of all electronic generated music.
Un-FX guitars are all total different in sound and looks and all guitarist have there favorites so I guess it will always matter whether Gretsch White Falcon or a Fender Stratocaster is being played.
ark

So the kind of sound you want is definitely influenced by the guitar and amps you use, and if a musician chooses he or she can either let the inherent sound of the instrument and equipment come out, or alter it through FX.

Offline

 

#10 2012-03-21 20:46:00

dguyton
Senior Member
From: Central Flatland
Registered: 2007-05-30
Posts: 223

Re: Hollow Body Electric Guitar Question

M.B. wrote:

So the kind of sound you want is definitely influenced by the guitar and amps you use, and if a musician chooses he or she can either let the inherent sound of the instrument and equipment come out, or alter it through FX.

Sure.  You can apply the same logic to vocals.  With autotune and enough signal processing I could sound like Celine Dion.  But why would I want to?  If you like a certain sort of sound that is characteristic of a certain guitar, why buy something else and a bazillion dollars worth of effects when you can come closer out the gate by just buying that guitar?  If you want to sound like Brian Setzer, start with a Gretsch guitar with filtertron pickups play through a Fender Bassman, and practice for 40 years.  If you want to sound like Joe Perry, start with a Les Paul with PAF pickups, play through a Marshall stack, and practice for 40 years.  If you want to play like B.B. King, get a Gibson 335 and practice for a thousand years.

The way to approach this stuff is to listen to enough music to discover what you really like and research those artists and their equipment.  But you're probably better off just trying to sound like you.


"There's such a fine line between genius and stupidity."
                              --David St. Hubbins

Offline

 

#11 2012-03-22 05:05:21

jerome.oneil
Moderator
From: Bellevue, WA
Registered: 2006-06-15
Posts: 3026
Website

Re: Hollow Body Electric Guitar Question

arkady wrote:

Hi M.B.
With todays musical technology it possible get mostly any modern guitar with the appropriate  FX to sound like anything you want sound wise.
Purist would disagree but in general this true of all electronic generated music.
Un-FX guitars are all total different in sound and looks and all guitarist have there favorites so I guess it will always matter whether Gretsch White Falcon or a Fender Stratocaster is being played.
ark

I'm far from a purist, but I'm going to disagree.  The mere existence of LPs, Teles, Strats, SG, etc... is because they all sound different.   You will never get a Telecaster to sound like a Les Paul, no matter how much gear you run it through.   The entire point of an emulation or amp sim is that it is just that.  A simulation.   

There are a million sims out there that are supposed to give you "That tube sound."  But do you know what gives you that real tube sound better than anything else?  A tube.

Tone is unique from instrument to instrument.  There is nothing on Earth that sounds like an LP run through a tube driven Marshal stack.   Nothing twangs like a Telecaster except a Telecaster. 

If it were simply a matter of plugging it into the right effects chain, there would only be one kind of guitar available.


Someday we'll win this thing...

www.aclosesecond.com

Offline

 

#12 2012-03-22 05:32:55

beamer
THE METALIZER
From: Texas
Registered: 2006-07-30
Posts: 1370

Re: Hollow Body Electric Guitar Question

M.B. wrote:

arkady wrote:

Hi M.B.
With todays musical technology it possible get mostly any modern guitar with the appropriate  FX to sound like anything you want sound wise.
Purist would disagree but in general this true of all electronic generated music.
Un-FX guitars are all total different in sound and looks and all guitarist have there favorites so I guess it will always matter whether Gretsch White Falcon or a Fender Stratocaster is being played.
ark

So the kind of sound you want is definitely influenced by the guitar and amps you use, and if a musician chooses he or she can either let the inherent sound of the instrument and equipment come out, or alter it through FX.

Exactly and very well said may I add.  Tell us a little of what type of music you play the most of.  You can start small and get bigger as you go.  you can get clones of the big names, and they can be just as good for starters. 

As has been noted, listen to you tube  and see what  the artist you like are playing.  Amps and pick ups DEFINATLY have to do with your sound.  Solid state amps are usually less expensive  than Tube (Valve) amps.   

There are also what is called Hybird amps, though there is some debate on  them too,  I bought a 15 watt Johnson amp for my son.  It has a tube pre amp and a solid state power amp.  The debate is if it should be the other way around??? I dunno, but teh johnson is a kicking little amp.  up untill this last year all I had was solid state.

If your into heavy music, its almost always gonna be a humbucker.  either traditional or stacked (used in strats when you want to keep the 3 single look), Hendrix and Clapton, single coil strat.  Springsteen, Tele,  Tom petty just about everything LOLOL but he favors Rickenbacker (semi solid) Strats, and Tele.  He even uses an SG sometimes.  However Single coils are used almost as much in heavy stuff.

Amp wise, its a gluttons choice. Marshall has a big hand in Heavy metal , but then there is the Mesa amps , HiWatt, Laney and recently lots of Butique amps.  You have Peavy and Bugera, Line 6 and Berhinger to also choose from just for starters.

Yep its a CANDY store from he!! LOLOLOL.   

So it is all up to YOUR ears. and whats right for you.  If you have a regular music store where they know you,,, spen 3 or 4 weekends there just playing different amps and guitars.

NOw this is totally my opinion, Try to find a smaller independant store who cares about the customer.  Guitar Center is good for deals and finding tons of differnt toys, but they want the sale first and foremost.  Smaller places that you feel comfortable in will be interested in you first and finding you the best for you.  They want your money, but I find that getting to know teh employees, makes it soooo much nicer.

OK off my soapbox. 

P.S.  Il ove my acoustics and my electrics!  I also have a acustic pick up I put in my guitars and run into my effects.  Its nice to get some reverb and chorus for it.

Peace!

Last edited by beamer (2012-03-22 05:45:41)


Mal - Well, lady, I must say, you're my kinda stupid.
Mal - Jayne, your mouth is talking. You might wanna look to that
Kaylee - No power in the verse can stop me. BOOK-  you're going to burn in a very special level of hell. A level they reserve for child molesters and people who talk at the theatre.

Offline

 

#13 2012-03-22 12:41:00

M.B.
Senior Member
Registered: 2012-03-12
Posts: 186

Re: Hollow Body Electric Guitar Question

"Exactly and very well said may I add.  Tell us a little of what type of music you play the most of."

Well, I don't know how to play the electric guitar, but if I did, I'd like to be able to create a sound like George Harrison . . . and I'd like to marry Dhani Harrison! Have you seen him in this video??? Also, I think Prince is totally cool in this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifp_SVrlurY

Complete cuteness. And he looks so much like his dad, circa 1965. We could go to swingin' London town!! And I could get my hair done like Marianne Faithful.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FhPPJ5dolxU

Offline

 

#14 2012-03-22 13:18:32

dguyton
Senior Member
From: Central Flatland
Registered: 2007-05-30
Posts: 223

Re: Hollow Body Electric Guitar Question

There are certainly worse ambitions to have than sounding like George Harrison.


"There's such a fine line between genius and stupidity."
                              --David St. Hubbins

Offline

 

#15 2012-03-22 15:43:30

jerome.oneil
Moderator
From: Bellevue, WA
Registered: 2006-06-15
Posts: 3026
Website

Re: Hollow Body Electric Guitar Question

beamer wrote:

M.B. wrote:

arkady wrote:

Hi M.B.
With todays musical technology it possible get mostly any modern guitar with the appropriate  FX to sound like anything you want sound wise.
Purist would disagree but in general this true of all electronic generated music.
Un-FX guitars are all total different in sound and looks and all guitarist have there favorites so I guess it will always matter whether Gretsch White Falcon or a Fender Stratocaster is being played.
ark

There are also what is called Hybird amps, though there is some debate on  them too,  I bought a 15 watt Johnson amp for my son.  It has a tube pre amp and a solid state power amp.  The debate is if it should be the other way around??? I dunno, but teh johnson is a kicking little amp.  up untill this last year all I had was solid state.

I have a 12W Kustom version of that same setup, and it's obnoxiously loud, and equally tone delicious.   If you want to get the best tone out of your amp, ignore the amp's overdrive functions, and do it yourself.  Drive the input of the amp as much as you can with something in front of the amp, and leave the amp on the clean setting.  This will let the tube distort, which sounds fantastic, rather than trying to distort the power transistor which will sound, well, like a solid state amp.  smile

I do this with an old Line 6 POD2.


Someday we'll win this thing...

www.aclosesecond.com

Offline

 

#16 2012-03-24 02:00:45

beamer
THE METALIZER
From: Texas
Registered: 2006-07-30
Posts: 1370

Re: Hollow Body Electric Guitar Question

Jerome,

Thanks for the tip.  With out useing a dist box, you think  a compressor maxed out for output and attack would drive it?  This thing (Johnson) only has one channel and a knob for dist.  http://www.johnsongtr.com/jat15r.html  honelstly  have been trying to get a really good crunch for my kid on this,  still twiddling.


Mal - Well, lady, I must say, you're my kinda stupid.
Mal - Jayne, your mouth is talking. You might wanna look to that
Kaylee - No power in the verse can stop me. BOOK-  you're going to burn in a very special level of hell. A level they reserve for child molesters and people who talk at the theatre.

Offline

 

#17 2012-03-24 02:24:20

dino48
Honoured Member
From: los banos,california
Registered: 2007-04-06
Posts: 4641

Re: Hollow Body Electric Guitar Question

M.B. wrote:

"Exactly and very well said may I add.  Tell us a little of what type of music you play the most of."

Well, I don't know how to play the electric guitar, but if I did, I'd like to be able to create a sound like George Harrison . . . and I'd like to marry Dhani Harrison! Have you seen him in this video??? Also, I think Prince is totally cool in this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifp_SVrlurY

Complete cuteness. And he looks so much like his dad, circa 1965. We could go to swingin' London town!! And I could get my hair done like Marianne Faithful.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FhPPJ5dolxU

mb glad too see another George Harrison fan here,he was my favorite Beatle. I just saw a bio/movie about him,it was done by Martin Scorsese. Also George did play alot of acoustic music,he also really liked the ukalie.


my papy said son your going too drive me too drinking if you dont stop driving that   Hot  Rod  Lincoln!! Cmdr cody and his lost planet airman.

Offline

 

#18 2012-03-24 03:08:19

M.B.
Senior Member
Registered: 2012-03-12
Posts: 186

Re: Hollow Body Electric Guitar Question

"mb glad too see another George Harrison fan here,he was my favorite Beatle. I just saw a bio/movie about him,it was done by Martin Scorsese. Also George did play alot of acoustic music,he also really liked the ukalie."

Hi Dino!

I didn't know that about the ukalie, thanks. There's so much about George Harrioson that I admire . . . I liked his quiet mastery of the guitar, and I liked how he was able to play different instruments and different styles of music. I'm working on "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," and I love the chord changes that go from A to C#m to F#m to Bm--it's so challenging, at least to me.

But the thing that really really just . . . just devastates me, is that opening line. Gosh, I'm tearing up just thinking about. "I look . . . at you all . . . see the love . . . there that's sleeping. . . while my guitar gently weeps." That just kills me.  Maybe because we are all filled with sleeping love, love that's been numbed by materialsm and greed and selfishness and racism and nationalism and the lust for power, and if our LOVE could just be awakened, if it could be roused and nurished and attended to, what a transformation would occur.

And I think that George was weeping because he wanted  music to awaken people but he knew that most would continue to slumber or just smile at the pretty music and tap their feet but not get it. And I think of what Jesus said about how he used parables and why and he said,

"To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted. For whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him. Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand."

And I think about what Emily Gibbs says in the play "Our Town"  -- "Oh Earth! You're too wonderful for anyone to realize you!" And then she asks, "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it? - every, every minute?" And the Stage Manager says, "Saints and poets maybe. They do. Some."

And George Harrison was a saint and poet. And it doesn't matter to me if George was a Christian or an athesit or a Hare Krisna or anything else, because titles don't matter; what matters is wisdom and understanding, and no religion or god or person or nation has a monopoly on that.

And I think what has my generation offered that matches "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" . . . . "Tears on my Guitar"? "Poker Face?" WTF!! Just melodramatic clap-trap or auto-tuned spectacle. And all done with a ironic snear that says, "Of course it's all about the money; what else is there, baby?"

Whew! You know I really appreciate the fact that you guys take the time to read these comments and care enough to reply. So much of everday life is just filled with baloney and you don't always get to tell people what you feel. I got a little carried away maybe. But you know what I mean, right?

Offline

 

#19 2012-03-24 05:08:19

beamer
THE METALIZER
From: Texas
Registered: 2006-07-30
Posts: 1370

Re: Hollow Body Electric Guitar Question

ITS ALL GOOD ,, THATS WHY WERE HERE! ;-)


Mal - Well, lady, I must say, you're my kinda stupid.
Mal - Jayne, your mouth is talking. You might wanna look to that
Kaylee - No power in the verse can stop me. BOOK-  you're going to burn in a very special level of hell. A level they reserve for child molesters and people who talk at the theatre.

Offline

 

#20 2012-03-26 00:50:16

jerome.oneil
Moderator
From: Bellevue, WA
Registered: 2006-06-15
Posts: 3026
Website

Re: Hollow Body Electric Guitar Question

beamer wrote:

Jerome,

Thanks for the tip.  With out useing a dist box, you think  a compressor maxed out for output and attack would drive it?  This thing (Johnson) only has one channel and a knob for dist.  http://www.johnsongtr.com/jat15r.html  honelstly  have been trying to get a really good crunch for my kid on this,  still twiddling.

A compressor will actually do the opposite of what you're looking to do.  Compressors are a type of limiter and reduce (or compress) the amplitude at certain frequencies, making the other frequencies seem louder in comparison.   

What you are trying to do is boos the signal from the guitar.  The old fashioned way of doing that is with hot pickups or bigger, fatter strings.   Baring that, you don't want something that changes the tone of the instrument, per se, just the amplitude of the signal.   Try and find something with it's own volume pot that allows you to otherwise bypass or reduce whatever tone varitey it is supposed to do.  I have an old Boss OD-3 that I'll try it out on and see what happens.

Anyway, you want to overdrive the input tube.  That's the goal.


Someday we'll win this thing...

www.aclosesecond.com

Offline

 

#21 2012-07-10 17:12:08

rey112mot
Junior Member
Registered: 2012-07-07
Posts: 9

Re: Hollow Body Electric Guitar Question

I am learning electric guitar and I want to be a good singer....

Offline

 

#22 2012-07-10 18:29:48

jerome.oneil
Moderator
From: Bellevue, WA
Registered: 2006-06-15
Posts: 3026
Website

Re: Hollow Body Electric Guitar Question

M.B. wrote:

joeyjoeyjoey wrote:

Like I always say.Try them out and decide for yourself. Now I will start some trouble with everyone.Once you distort it through an amp,They pretty much sound the same.

That's one of my questions--since modern amps and effects can create a wide variety of sounds, do you really need a particular guitar to generate a specific sound for an audience?

Yes.  Modeling amps still can't produce the same tones as the real deal.  You can dial your POD to "Marshal stack" but the only thing that sounds like a Marshal stack is a a Marshal stack.  Same thing with guitars.  A Les Paul does not sound like a Telecaster does not sound like an SG.


Someday we'll win this thing...

www.aclosesecond.com

Offline

 

#23 2012-07-12 13:07:32

rey112mot
Junior Member
Registered: 2012-07-07
Posts: 9

Re: Hollow Body Electric Guitar Question

I am agree with jerome thanks to you man be with it and keep posting.

Offline

 

#24 2012-07-13 06:53:41

bunbun
Senior Member
Registered: 2010-09-24
Posts: 255

Re: Hollow Body Electric Guitar Question

I agree that you cannot get any sound you want with a modeling amp. I play a number of different types of rock (Pink Floyd, Rush, Alice In Chains, Bad Company and even two Toby Keith songs!) through a Fender Mustang modeling amp. Some of my songs are acoustic in nature and I try to lay them on a clean channel with the middle single coil and some chorus for depth. I turn my tone on the guitar down to three or four. This comes closest but that is about it.

As far as other sounds with a modeling amp? You may come close but when you hear the real sound you were trying to emulate you will find (at least in my experience) a sound that is close but not the same. It can be frustrating.

Offline

 

#25 2012-10-29 21:27:51

edshaw
Junior Member
From: Colorado
Registered: 2006-11-20
Posts: 19
Website

Re: Hollow Body Electric Guitar Question

Try this: go to (Music Store) and ask them to  leave you alone in a room
with  a  Traditional,  a  semi hoolw, both set up and both with Classic '57
Humbuckers, and a clean demo amp. Look online first and get familiar with the products
so you don't look like a total neewbie.  Practice up on your scales first, because strumming
isn't really an electric guitar strong point, good sounding notes are.  Then do your own style,
too. That's give you an idea of the difference.  Talk to the experts. They often can help.

To answer your question, the semi hollow with a center block and tail piece gives
sustain as yet unachieved by solid guitars. Great for cool jazz and some country.
The solids -- they specialize in the twangs,
growls, rips, and fast atttacks of Rock and Blues.

The further you go in music, the more willing you will be to up the ante.

Sorry, just saw the commercial restriction.

Last edited by edshaw (2012-10-29 21:37:22)

Offline

 

Board footer

Powered by PunBB
© Copyright 2002–2005 Rickard Andersson