Problems With Traditional Acoustic Guitar Construction

Guitars of great quality have been made in traditional ways for many centuries. There are some beautiful instruments that still use this type of construction my site. Traditionalists ignore some of these inherent problems when building steel string acoustic guitars. Guitar building continues to be taught in the same way as it was always. Real open-minded individuals must think outside of the box and find solutions for these structural flaws.

What are some of the inherent flaws in the current design of acoustic instruments? Let’s first look at the dynamics in the acoustic. The acoustic instrument has a braced body on the back with minimal reinforcement or bracing. The top of the guitar acts as a sound board and is braced in order to produce certain frequencies. The top of a guitar, aside from being the soundboard, also holds the shape of its sides. When the tension of the strings is added to the equation, the guitar tunes to standard pitch. The strings pull on the bridge which holds the strings to the top. This string tension not only pulls on top and bridge but also pulls the neck of guitar forward at the place where neck attaches with the body.

Guitar builders have been the pioneers in introducing an alternative bracing system to the guitar. This relieves stress from the top and gives it the ability to be used as a sounding board. The change also alters the dynamics of how guitar structure is maintained. What happens to guitars built in the traditional way? These stresses lead to a sinking in sound hole and bubbles around the bridge that cause a very high level of playing action. Because the top is double-functional, it serves two purposes: It holds the shape of guitar sides and acts as a soundboard. This movement can often be corrected by filing down either the saddle or the bridge to lower the action. Eventually, the bridge will crack and become too thin. This is why it’s necessary to have a neck reset done fifteen to twenty years later.