Semi Hollow Body Electric Guitar Buying Guide

September 21, 2010 by  


Musician's Friend

Semi hollow body guitars also known as semi acoustic or semi solid guitars are essentially electric guitars which offer a best of both worlds of sorts. They were created especially for players who wanted the resonance of a hollow body while having the feedback resistance, bite of the solid body guitars. As it has a solid block of wood running through the center with hollow body “wings” on both sides. The result is what is now popularly known as the Semi-hollow body guitars.

Semi-Hollow Body Advantages

As said above, the semi-hollow body can offer the best of both the acoustic while negating on the feedback issues that are seen at higher volumes, along with the bite and sustain of a solid body. Some other of its advantages includes, has a thinner body than standard acoustic guitars, allows hollow-body like resonance and is lighter than a solid-body.

What is a Semi-hollow body ideally suited for

Guitarists along many music genres have preferred the semi-hollow body guitars for their jazzy hollow-body resonance coupled with the punchy rock and roll type music. Semi-hollow body guitars are used across:

  • Country – Roy Clark.
  • Rock – Alex Lifeson, Dave Ghrol and Chuck Berry.
  • Pop – Roy Orbison, Noel Gallagher, Carl Wilson.
  • Blues – Freddie King, B.B. King, Otis Rush.
  • Jazz – John McLaughlin, Larry Carlton, Lee Ritenour.
  • Soul – Travis Wammack, Dennis Coffey.

Prominent Semi-Hollow Body Guitars

  • Gibson ES-335: This was the first most successful hollow body guitar to hit the market. Many variations of this design have been inspired as a result.
  • Gibson ES-339: This is a smaller version of the Gibson ES-335.
  • Epiphone Dot: The Epiphone Dot is a low cost version of the Gibson ES-335 and offers the tone which has become a favorite with blues and rock players.
  • PRS SE Custom Semi-Hollow: Has a tone which is distinctly high end in bite.
  • Gretsch Duo Jet: Includes routed chambers which offer better acoustic resonance.
  • Ibanez AS73: Has an adjustable bridge and humbucker style pickup.
  • Fender Telecaster Thinline: Has routed chambers with a solid center body. Offers excellent resonance and is also pretty light.
  • Italia (Brand): Has a big line of pretty well known Semi-hollow body guitars.

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