Eager to buy the perfect electric guitar for your playing?
The electric guitar body is an important part of the instrument. It is the first thing that you see and it can often be what sets one guitar apart from another. You have to understand that there’s more to a shape than just looks.
Electric guitar body styles are created to meet the demands of various musical genres and artists by meeting their needs with electronics, hardware, and design elements. Some people may argue that there is no best body style for an electric guitar, but there are definitely some that are better than others for certain types of music or playing styles.
This article will explore some best electric guitar body styles so that you can make an informed decision about which is best for you.
Electric Guitar Body Styles
The electric guitar has a long history and has gone through many changes over time. It is one of the most versatile instruments in the world and can be used in many different styles of music.
With the many variations of electric guitar body styles and shapes available today, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one.
To simplify the selection process, it’s best to focus on the three primary categories of body styles:
- Solid Body Electric Guitars
- Hollow Body Electric Guitars
- Semi-Hollow Body Electric Guitars
Each type has its own sound quality and unique features that set it apart from the others. It’s crucial to understand their function and the music genres they are ideal for.
Once you’ve determined which body style fits the music genre you’ll be playing, you can then explore the many variations within each category. Every body style has its distinct sound quality and features that make it stand out.
Best Electric Guitar Body Styles and Shapes
Here are 19 electric guitar body styles to choose from, each one suitable for specific needs and preferences.
Solid Body Electric Guitars
Solid body electric guitars are constructed from a single piece of wood, which provides them with a robust, sturdy, and stable appearance and feel. Many professional guitarists prefer these types of guitars because they offer superior tone, playability, and appearance. Additionally, their compact design makes them less susceptible to feedback when played in public venues. Many solid body electric guitars also come with integrated digital electronics and other features that add to their versatility.
1. Fender Telecaster Solid Body Guitars
The Fender Telecaster is recognized for its signature single-cutaway body and two single-coil pickups. It produces a mellow and twangy sound that is well-suited for a variety of genres. The “Tele” is ideal for beginners due to its straightforward design and ease of playability. It’s a great option if you’re searching for an electric guitar that has a bright, lively sound and feels to it.
- Squier Classic Vibe Series
- American Performer
- American Elite Series
- American Original Series
- American Professional II Series Telecaster
- Artist Series – Jimmy Page Mirror Telecaster
- Custom Shop
- Fender Vintage 1959
- Vintera Series ’50s Telecaster
- Vintera Series ’60s Telecaster
- Player Series Telecaster Demo | Fender
2. Fender Stratocaster Solid Body Electric Guitars
The Fender Stratocaster is a legendary double-cutaway electric guitar, renowned for its sleek and slim design and versatile sound capabilities. Equipped with three single-coil pickups (neck, middle, bridge), it excels in a variety of music genres, particularly rock and blues. It has a thin, bright, twangy tone and the neck shape is designed to be comfortable, which makes it easier to play chords than some other guitar models.
- Vintera Series ’50s Stratocaster | Vintera Series | Fender
- The American Performer Series Strat
- The Fender HM Strat
- The SRV Stratocaster
- The ’50S American Original Stratocaster
- The American Ultra Strat Series
- The American Acoustasonic Series Stratocaster
3. Gibson Les Paul Solid Body Electric Guitars
The Les Paul, with its single-cutaway shape and humbucker pickups, is another popular choice among guitarists. This model is known for its ease of playability, thanks to its lower string tension and shorter scale length. The Les Paul is a heavier guitar and can be used in a wide range of music genres, but it is particularly well-suited for rock music. Its tone is thick, rich, full, and sustaining.
4. Gibson SG Solid Body Electric Guitars
The SG, short for “solid-body guitars,” is a redesigned version of the Les Paul guitar.
Gibson SG, while bearing similarities to Les Paul, have distinct design features like thinner and sharper horns, and a shorter and slimmer profile. It’s designed with two cutaways on the body, which allows for easier access to the upper frets. Additionally, the SG typically has two humbucker pickups, which gives it a powerful and versatile tone that can be tailored to a wide variety of music styles, but particularly suitable for rock music.
5. Gibson Designer Solid Body Electric Guitars
Designer guitars are those that are sure to turn heads with their bold and striking designs. These guitars are visually iconic, often featuring a retro rock style aesthetic. They produce a classic rock tone and are designed to bring out the performer’s inner rockstar. These guitars are often larger in size and have a powerful sound that sets them apart from others on stage. The unique design and powerful sound of these guitars make them a trendsetting choice among musicians.
6. SuperStrat Solid Body Electric Guitars
Fender Strat guitars are a popular choice, but for those seeking even more versatility and capability, the Superstrat may be the perfect fit. Superstrat guitars are based on the Fender Stratocaster shape but feature upgraded components and more flexibility. They typically use humbucker pickups which provide a thicker and more aggressive tone, as well as a flatter neck profile and tremolo bar for increased finger travel, control, and expression.
These modifications are built for accommodating and producing various sounds, which makes them ideal for heavy metal music. If you’re looking for a guitar with speed and precision, a sharper appearance and versatile tone, a Superstrat is the perfect option for you.
- Ibanez JEMJR Steve Vai Signature
- Ibanez RG Standard RG450DX
- Yamaha Pacifica Series PAC112V
- Kramer Pacer Classic
- Jackson Dinky Arch Top JS32 DKA
- Charvel Pro Mod So Cal
- Charvel Pro Mod San Dimas
- EVH Wolfgang
- Schecter Hellraiser C1-FR
Hollow Body Electric Guitars
A hollow body guitar has a completely hollow body with no solid wood or center block in the construction and is primarily used in jazz and blues music due to its more mellow sound. They are also known for their excellent sustain and resonance. However, they are not as loud as solid body guitars and can be prone to feedback when played at high volumes.
1. Ibanez Hollow Body Electric Guitars
2. Epiphone Hollow Body Electric Guitars
3. Gretsch Hollow Body Electric Guitars
4. D’Angelico Hollow Body Electric Guitars
5. Guild Hollow Body Electric Guitars
6. PRS SE Hollow Body Electric Guitars
Semi-Hollow Body Electric Guitars
A semi-hollow electric guitar has a solid center block to eliminate feedback felt by a fully hollow guitar. When compared to a solid body electric guitar, it has more resonance and sustain. Semi-hollow body guitars are better suited for music genres that utilize overdrive or distortion due to their increased projection and reduced susceptibility to feedback.
1. Squire Class Vibe Semi-Hollow Electric Guitars
2. Epiphone Semi-Hollow Electric Guitars
3. Gretsch Semi-Hollow Electric Guitars
- Gretsch G6128T-89 VS Vintage Select ’89 Duo Jet with Bigsby
- Gretsch G6136T White Falcon Players Edition Bigsby
4. Gibson ES Semi-Hollow Electric Guitars
5. PRS Special Semi-Hollow Electric Guitars
6. Fender Telecaster Thinline Semi-Hollow Electric Guitars
7. Rickenbacker 300 Semi-Hollow Electric Guitars
Pick your weapon!
The choice of electric guitar body style ultimately comes down to personal preference and the specific needs of the musician. Electric guitar body styles vary greatly and each has its own unique set of characteristics that can greatly impact the sound and playability of the guitar.
Solid body electric guitars are known for their versatility, durability and high-volume capabilities, making them a popular choice among rock and metal guitarists. On the other hand, hollow body and semi-hollow body electric guitars are known for their unique tonal characteristics, such as warmth and sustain, which makes them a favorite among jazz and blues musicians.
When deciding on a guitar, take into consideration your musical style and the type of sound you’re looking to achieve.
To try and help you decide, you can always visit music stores, try different models and compare the sound and feel, or you can also look for online demo videos, professional reviews and customer feedback. With this information in hand, you will have all the knowledge you need to choose the perfect guitar for your needs and to take your music to the next level.