Electric Guitar Material And Its Effect On Tone

In addition to the pickups, the body and neck of an electric guitar will affect the tone. The same kind of wood from different trees, as well as different weights, densities, etc., will sound slightly different. Tonal variation is not only about wood, to a small extent, guitars from the same wood also sound different, and finding the ideal guitar among many guitars of the same style is a wonderful thing. At a high level, here we discuss the body woods that are commonly used in electric guitars, and the tone they produce when applied to the guitar.


Alder is medium in weight, lighter than ash for the quality of the guitar body, alder has a solid, bright and thick sound, with full mids and excellent lows, a touch of brilliance but not harshness, and Provides decent sustain, is somewhat tan in the natural dry state, alder grain is not unsightly, but not particularly interesting, usually finished in flat paint, but some also look good in gloss, with ash Compared to wood, alder itself is most commonly used as the body wood.
Example:Alder Electric Guitar


Swamp ash is the most well-known and most suitable. The wood is taken from the lower part of the wetland wood that grows in the south. The roots of the swamp wood grow under the water layer. The lacquer would look great, and the swamp ash sound was resonant, airy, and sweet, offering firm bass, nice highs, a little deep midrange, and sustain. It is taken from the upper part of the hard ash wood in the north. It is often heavier and tighter, with a bright and stable sound. It is often used for cut and broken tones. Ash is generally used on full veneer and top veneer guitars. However, it is sometimes used on plywood bodies by modern designers, most commonly on tiger maple tops, or guitars with semi-hollow tops.


Affordable and high quality, basswood is especially suitable for mid-range or lower guitars. Basswood is not only above standard, but also a good wood used by many excellent piano masters. It is very light and quite soft, and has a light color. With a fine grain, solid basswood has a larger body but has a well-proportioned tone, a strong midrange but some softness and breathiness, and in a well-done guitar, the basswood can produce excellent dynamics and band There’s quite an amazing sonic clarity.
Example:Basswood Electric Guitar


An accessory to maple, mahogany is typically used as the top veneer and plywood body, and usually the neck wood. It’s also used as an all-veneer guitar, and over the years, countless luthiers have used mahogany for solid and semi-solid designs. Originating in Africa and Central America, mahogany is very dense, medium to heavy in weight, and can produce bodies of many weights, depending on the source of the wood. Mahogany has a warm and somewhat soft tonal character, with good balance and nice grain, and generally has a good depth of tone and a full, not tight bass.
Example:Mahogany Electric Guitar


Often used to make the body and neck, maple is a hard, compact, heavy wood, mostly from the Northeast and Northwest regions of the United States and Canada, and is usually used as a plywood body material, usually with the second Lighter woods, all maple are not unheard of, but due to the nature of the wood it can be quite heavy, maple body tone is bright, bass is solid and precise, it is a light wood, the texture is compact but not fancy, maple It is also a body most commonly used on semi-hollow plywood electric guitars, which contributes to the firmness and clarity of the tone.
Example:Maple Electric Guitar


Compared with many hardwoods, Poplar is relatively soft, and its usage has gradually increased. Asian guitar factories use the body of middle and low-end electric guitars. and sustain, and hardly any audio and tone is particularly enhanced.
Example: Poplar electric guitar


Very precious wood. Commonly used on fretboards, as well as the back and sides of many acoustic guitars. But rarely used on electric guitars, rosewood guitars are heavier and more expensive, usually more interested in appearance than sound, or for novelty.


Tight and fairly heavy, with a timbre similar to mahogany, sometimes used on electric guitar bodies, the tone tends to be warm and full, the bass is usually firm and overall tight, walnut has a rich tan, grain The pattern is beautiful and would look great with normal gloss paint.