Have you heard about the Godin semi acoustic guitar? I’ve had the opportunity to perform with one on numerous occasions and I think the possibilities for this guitar (especially with the MIDI controller) open up a whole new realm of music making possibilities!
What is a semi acoustic guitar? In some ways the definition is quite open to interpretation. Basically it is any guitar with an electric pickup system that isn’t fully acoustic (such as your typical nylon string) but is still able to produce an acoustic sound when not plugged in. This excludes fully electric instruments such as a Fender Stratocaster as well as fully acoustic instruments such as a Taylor 6 string.
There are many guitarists that use semi acoustic guitars including: Brian Setzer, BB King, Chet Atkins, Wes Montgomery, Django Reinhardt, Eric Clapton, Joe Pass, George Harrison and many many more!
What does it include?
It does include however a wide variety of guitars that have very distinct traits and abilities. When I think of a semi acoustic guitar I tend to think of the Godin line of semi acoustic guitars. They are capable of producing a soft acoustic sound that makes them ideal for practicing in places where noise can be an issue (or late at night!) but can also be plugged into an amplifier or PA system for crisp clean acoustic sound without having to worry about the feedback issues that can plague some fully acoustic electric guitars. Some models are also equipped with a MIDI controller system that can be used to trigger synthesizers such as the Roland GR-20 Guitar Synthesizer, but that is a topic for a whole new article!
Here are some excellent Godin semi acoustic guitars:
What about the Hollow Body semi acoustic guitar?
The Hollow Body semi acoustic guitar is also another option. Where this guitar differs from the above mentioned Godin’s is that it is a true electric guitar. It is designed with electric guitar pickups and is made to be plugged into an electric guitar amplifier such as a Fender or a mMarshall. These guitars are generally not designed to be played unplugged and the hollow-body is designed to produce a very airy and crisp sound when plugged into an amplifier. B.B. King, Brian Setzer and the great Chet Atkins are all famous for playing hollow body guitars!
Some great semi acoustic hollow body guitars include:
Check out the man Chet Atkins and his Gretsch Semi Acoustic Guitar!
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Cheers and good luck in your quest for a semi acoustic guitar!