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ethic

Hollow-Body vs Solid-Body electrics

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Electric guitars come in three basic body styles: solid-body, semi-hollow, (or semi-solid) and hollow-body.

When sustain, loud amplification and lots of effects are required, solid-body guitars are a good choice. Semi-hollow body guitars are useful when the more of the acoustic sound of the guitar with high levels of amplification are needed. Hollow body, or "jazz" guitars provide the acoustic sound of the guitar but can be prone to feedback at high levels of amplification.

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Great answer Dawn.

I'd add that solid bodies as a rule are cheaper, too. They're probably less fragile too.

The main question I'd ask is "What styles of music do I want to play?" and then go for a solid-body! hehehe. No, srsly, unless you are into jazz, rockabilly or something like that, solid body is the way to go. More comfortable, more solid, cheaper, no floating bridge (?).

Hollows and semi-hollows are like cool vintage cars. They're more work, less confortable, more expensive. But some people will always still want them, though. Including me.

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I play jazz on a solidbody all the time. I mean with my shredder axes it looks really silly, but it acually sounds fine. In my opinion, its all down to your amp and effects and personal preference.

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...No, srsly, unless you are into jazz, rockabilly or something like that, solid body is the way to go...

Somebody better explain that to Ted Nugent, Steve Howe and the Beatles! :D

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+1 Stratrat, might as well throw in Brian Setzer as well.

Well....he did say "rockabilly" in his original post, so I left Setzer out since he's a rockabilly player. :)

Nugent alone is example enough - the guy is an absolute MONSTER, and rocks harder than 99% of the solidbody players. One listen to "Double Live Gonzo" will prove that beyond a doubt.

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This was a "Buying a guitar" thread wasn't it?

An ES 335 is not a hollow-body, it is a semi-hollow (big centre-block of timber down the middle). It also pretty expensive. Too expensive for me, and I like them. It is also reasonably big, and feels fragile compared to a strat. Chuck Berry throws his out and buys a new one every six months: "Tax deduction, you know, tools of the trade" exact quote from the duckwalker himself!

Also, regarding the OP, a Rickenbacker to me is not very versatile and probably doesn't belong in the hands of someone who is trying to make up their mind. Distinctive, yes, just like the classic car analogy I used. If you want one, you'll know it.

If you are asking the question the OP is asking, probably a solid-body is a safer bet. Buying a hollow body is not something one should go into blindly. I did say this:

Hollows and semi-hollows are like cool vintage cars. They're more work, less confortable, more expensive. But some people will always still want them, though. Including me.

If I had to choose just one guitar, I'd go for a Stratocaster or Les Paul style guitar any day. Turn down the tone on an LP neck pu on a LP and you've got jazz, man.

I've got nothing against hollow-bodied guitars. Rockabilly is my favourite style of music at the moment. I love smooth jazz. I own one. But if I want to take it out, I have to be careful with it. It's not as comfortable as a Strat, either. And a Tele or a Strat on the neck pup, treble right up is fine for R'billy. I'll buy a proper Gretsch one day (when I can afford it), but I'm into that style.

I'm not saying that you can't rock with a hollow (eg Gibson has bought out a smaller version of the ES 335 ie a 345 I think, which is very versatile).

No, srsly, unless you are into jazz, rockabilly or something like that, solid body is the way to go.
How about if I said, "unless you are into jazz, rockabilly or want to emulate an artist who uses one."

In a nutshell my advice is the same. Unless you definitely, specifically want a hollow-body (eg to look cool, the 335, Gretsch, Nugent, Beatles, Setzer fans- including me), solid-body is a safer bet. As a rule: cheaper, more versatile, less breakable, no floating bridges, no feedback drama, more comfortable. A safer bet.

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....In a nutshell my advice is the same. Unless you definitely, specifically want a hollow-body (eg to look cool, the 335, Gretsch, Nugent, Beatles, Setzer fans- including me), solid-body is a safer bet. As a rule: cheaper, more versatile, less breakable, no floating bridges, no feedback drama, more comfortable. A safer bet.

Can't disagree with that one bit, Noodler. My Gretsch is my first hollow-body, and it's definitely more delicate and has more "moving parts" than something simple like a Telecaster!

I wasn't digging at you with my comment above....just being funny. There's always somebody who will break the stereotype about any particular guitar. Lots of people say that Teles are strictly country guitars, and I'd counter that they need to explain that to Jimmy Page, Keith Richards, Tom Petty, Chrissie Hynde, Bruce Springsteen, Prince and a couple handfuls of others! :yes: (Yes, Jimmy Page played a Tele on the first couple of Led Zeppelin albums - the solo in "Stairway to Heaven" was done on a Tele through an old Supro amp!)

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This was a "Buying a guitar" thread wasn't it?

It was. And I ended up buying a Solid Body. This baby:

Larrivee_RS-4_solidbody_electric_guitar.jpg

I actually can't think of many guitarists I listen to that

play a hollow body, other than Trey Anastasio. But his

guitar is custom made, and if I wanted the same one

it would cost $10,000 (but that includes shipping!)

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Nice score, Ethic! That's the first time I've seen the Larrivee solid-body, but they sure did a nice job on it. It kinda looks like a cross between a Les Paul and an Ernie Ball Music Man.

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She's a beauty. Love the orange-y maple and the inlays. Looks really comfortable too. Classy. Good buy! :yes:

As for doing something a bit unusual with a Tele, this caught my eye:

There is an excellent demo of how to use LP-stle controls and some tricks you can do with it, but I can't find it at the moment. One example is to have the volume higher on your treble pickup, so you can switch to it like a solo booster.

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