What is a 6 string guitar called?

Guitars, with their universal appeal and ability to create beautiful melodies, come in various forms and configurations. Among the most recognizable and cherished is the classic 6-string guitar. In this article, we will explore the 6-string guitar, its iconic characteristics, and its common names in the world of music.

The 6-String Guitar: An Iconic Musical Instrument

The 6-string guitar, often simply referred to as the “guitar,” is an iconic and versatile musical instrument. It is one of the most widely played and recognized instruments globally, offering a rich tonal range and the ability to adapt to various music genres.

What Is a 6-String Guitar Called?

The 6-string guitar is commonly known by several names, each reflecting its essential role in the world of music:

  1. Acoustic Guitar:
    • When the 6-string guitar is constructed as an acoustic instrument, it is commonly called an “acoustic guitar.” These guitars are designed to produce sound solely through the vibration of their strings, which resonate within the hollow body of the instrument.
  2. Electric Guitar:
    • In the case of the electric guitar, which relies on electronic amplification to produce sound, the 6-string version is referred to as an “electric guitar.” Electric guitars have magnetic pickups that capture string vibrations and convert them into electrical signals, which are then amplified.
  3. Standard Guitar:
    • The term “standard guitar” is frequently used to denote the 6-string guitar, emphasizing its widespread use as a foundational instrument in various music genres.
  4. Six-String Guitar:
    • A straightforward and descriptive name for this instrument is the “six-string guitar,” highlighting the number of strings and distinguishing it from other variations with additional strings.
  5. Concert Guitar:
    • In classical music, the 6-string guitar may be referred to as a “concert guitar.” These instruments are favored by classical guitarists for their precise tonal qualities and their suitability for solo performances and classical compositions.
  6. Steel-String Guitar:
    • When the guitar features steel strings as opposed to nylon strings, it may be called a “steel-string guitar.” These guitars are known for their bright and resonant sound, making them popular choices in folk, rock, and country music.
  7. Spanish Guitar:
    • The term “Spanish guitar” is often used interchangeably with “classical guitar” to denote a 6-string instrument used in classical and flamenco music. The name pays homage to the guitar’s historical roots in Spain.

The Enduring Appeal of the 6-String Guitar:

The 6-string guitar has an enduring and universal appeal due to several key factors:

  • Versatility: Its six strings offer a versatile tonal range, making it suitable for diverse music genres, from classical and jazz to rock, pop, and blues.
  • Accessibility: The 6-string guitar is often the starting point for many aspiring musicians due to its approachable learning curve and widespread availability.
  • Iconic Sound: Its distinct sound, shaped by various body shapes, tonewoods, and playing techniques, has left an indelible mark on the world of music.
  • Solo and Ensemble Capabilities: Whether played as a solo instrument or within a group, the 6-string guitar’s adaptability allows it to shine in both settings.


The 6-string guitar, known by names such as acoustic guitar, electric guitar, or standard guitar, stands as an enduring symbol of musical expression and creativity. Its iconic design, versatility, and rich tonal possibilities continue to inspire musicians and enchant audiences worldwide, making it a cherished companion in the world of music.

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