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Tone Woods and the Guitar

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  1. Tone Woods and the Guitar Andy Shaffer

  2. Main Parts of the Guitar • Neck • Fretboard • Body

  3. Common Neck Woods • Maple • Uniform grain • Strong and stable • Doesn’t react as much to heat and humidity • Not much impact on tone • Mahogany • Denser than Maple • Open pores in the wood • Tends to remove or even out the higher frequencies

  4. Common Neck Woods • Koa • Middle ground between Maple and Mahogany • A little extra high frequency • Rosewood • Dense and oily • Porous • Increases sustain • Removes higher frequencies and emphasizes the fundamental frequency

  5. Common Fretboard Woods • Maple • Tends to reflect higher frequencies • Encourages the higher overtones, while filtering away bass frequencies • Easy to play harmonics and vary the picking attack • Rosewood • Emphasizes the fundamental frequency • The porous wood absorbs much of the overtone sound • Most common fretboard wood

  6. Common Fretboard Woods • Ebony • Dense like Maple, but more porous, like Rosewood • Strong fundamental tone • Very long sustain

  7. Common Body Woods • Basswood • Soft wood with tight grains • Highs are tapered off, as are extreme low frequencies • Strong fundamental tone • Alder • Similar in structure to basswood, but with harder rings in the wood • Increases volume of highs and lows

  8. Common Body Woods • Mahogany • Open grain with large pores • Constant rigidity throughout, and very dense • Improved lows and low mid frequencies • Higher notes are richer and thicker • Good balance of fundamentals and over tones • Described as a “wall of sound” • Hard Maple • Tight pores • Strong upper midrange and high frequencies • Tapered off lows

  9. Examples • Mahogany body and neck, Rosewood fretboard http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=en7EKL1pX5w • Alder body, Maple neck, Rosewood fretboard http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bxiH8G0XIE • Alder body, Maple neck and fretboard http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ayt9hCVjiiM&feature=related