Resonator Guitars

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Few other instruments have the power of the resonator guitar to summon images of muddy southern blues, the Mississippi Delta, and classic American music. Built with any number of spun metal circles or resonators, instead of a traditional wooden top, vintage resonator acoustic guitars were created to compete with the presence of a horn section.

Eventually, players discovered the trebled, powerful tone was a perfect complement to blues and bluegrass, and resonator acoustic guitars have struck a chord with musicians for the better part of a century.

What is a resonator guitar?

A resonator guitar is an acoustic guitar that relies on sound to resonate from the bridge through metal cones in the top of the guitar, rather than the traditional wooden soundboard. These metal cones give you that traditional resonator guitar sound. Some resonator guitars are also made out of wood, but some have metal bodies.

Resonator guitars come in two shapes. You can find both round neck resonator guitars and square neck resonator guitars.

What are resonator guitars used for?

Though they’re found in a wide variety of genres, resonator guitars are most often used in Americana genres like bluegrass and blues.

What is the difference between a resonator guitar and a dobro?

A resonator guitar is played like a standard acoustic guitar. It’s balanced on the leg or strung over the shoulder of the player, who strums or plucks the guitar. A dobro is a type of resonator guitar with a square neck that’s played with a metal or glass slide, like a steel guitar.

What’s the resonator guitar tuning?

A resonator guitar can be played with any tuning, including standard guitar tuning. However, open G is a very popular tuning for resonator guitars, as is open D.

How does a resonator guitar work?

A resonator guitar works by sending vibrations from the strings, through the bridge, and into metal cones that amplify the sound.

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