For a while, it appeared that the electric guitar would push the acoustic instrument from existence. Rock and roll used all electric all the time and acoustic guitars seemed to take a back seat. Fortunately, this wonderful instrument has regained much of its popularity over the last several years. There are even all-acoustic stations on satellite radio.
This type of guitar has been around for many years and it is possible to find entire collections of nothing but acoustic guitar music. Today, songs and music with guitar and voice are very popular and all include the incredible riffs for which these guitars are known. And this type of guitar is very popular with songwriters.
Most classic guitars are considered to be acoustic. There are also guitars used in folk or country music which is considered acoustic. The term acoustic has also been used to describe other types of guitars including flamenco, classical, renaissance, and baroque guitars. The Dobro, a resonator guitar is also considered to be acoustic as are the 12-string and steel stringed guitars.
A quality acoustic is constructed from solid wood on the back, side, and top. Spruce is often used for the top and the rest of the guitar may be made from mahogany, rosewood or maple. When you see a vintage acoustic, they often seem like true works of art.
There are also less expensive types of acoustics and these usually have a solid top and laminated sides and back. A beginner acoustic may even be entirely laminated wood. Over the years, the better hardwoods have grown scarce, so manufacturers are using different, but still very nice woods or even manmade materials.
The strings on an acoustic are made of either steel or nylon. Steel-stringed acoustics are used primarily for folk, blues, and rock and roll music. Nylon strings are used mostly for classical guitar, although some artists like to use nylon on their 12-stringed guitars.
A need to increase the volume on the acoustic resulted in the development of an electric acoustic guitar. These instruments sound like an acoustic but may be electronically amplified for more sound. These are very popular with stage musicians.
Many guitarists will tell you it is better to learn how to play the guitar on an acoustic. Acoustic strings are thicker than electric and there is a little more space between the strings and the frets. This can make it easier for someone to learn guitar chords. Learning to play an acoustic guitar will be a lifetime skill and something you will grow to love.