Tonewoods Used in Acoustic Guitar – Detailed Guide


While buying an acoustic guitar you may have observed that there are many types of woods used while manufacturing the guitar and its different parts. These are called tonewoods. These woods have a great impact on the sound of the acoustic guitar. they also affect the price of the acoustic guitar. These woods have different qualities and characteristics. These characteristics need to be considered while deciding the wood for the top of the acoustic guitar. The top is the major tonal element of the acoustic guitar

But we all are not wood experts. It is difficult to choose between these tonewoods. Here in this post, we have mentioned the different types of tonewoods that are used in the making of acoustic guitars. We have mentioned their tonal characteristics. knowing about these characteristics will help you decide the tonewoods for your acoustic guitar according to your music preferences. 


Dense mahogany has always been a great choice for the top of the acoustic guitar. The reason behind this is the solid punchy tone. Mahogany has a high-end response with low overtone content. When this tonewood is used for the back and sides of an acoustic guitar it focuses on the bass and trebles. It is mostly preferred because of its woody sound. The wood can also be found in the necks and the bridges of the acoustic guitar. 


It is a softwood which is used for producing brighter tones. It is an ideal tonewood used for light playing technique. The reason behind this is the quick response of the tonewood. Cedar is commonly used on top of classical and flamenco guitars. It can also be found in the back and sides of acoustic guitars. It is also a preferable choice of wood among guitarists who love to play fingerstyle.  


It is a beautiful tonewood with heavy and flat sounds. There are many variations available in this type of the tonewood. The sonically transparent qualities of this tonewood make it common among acoustic guitars. It allows the top of the guitar to produce significant tones through the back and sides of the guitar. The use of the wood in the making of guitar adds aesthetic looks to the guitar. Its lower resonance makes it ideal for live concerts with bands. 


It is a golden colored Hawaiian wood. It produces mid-range tones. It is generally found in expensive guitars because of its scarcity. It can be used in all parts of the guitars. It can produce a solid tone, especially on high ends. It’s tonality is similar to Mahogany’s tonewood.  


It is a pale-colored, most popular tonewood used for acoustic guitar tops. This tonewood is termed as an all-rounder. It produces sweet, smooth, and bright tones. It produces high-quality sounds when combined with other tonewoods. Its great projection makes it more popular. This wood is available in different variations. Sitka Spruce is the most common variation available in acoustic guitars. 


This tonewood is one of the most expensive tonewoods used in acoustic guitars. Its complex harmonic overtones and warm tones are some of its attractive features. It is dark brown and is commonly used in making the back and side of the acoustic guitar. This tonewood can exhibit a versatile tone palette when combined with a spruce top. It is available in variations like Brazilian rosewood and Indian rosewood. 


It is generally used as an alternative to Mahogany. It features a great projection with mid-range tones. It also has similar features to Koa tonewood. This includes the same stiffness, bright tones, and similar density. It has deeper low-end tones. 


It is a sustainable African tonewood. It is generally used in the back and sides of the guitar for adding midranges to the guitar. it enhances the resonance of the guitar. It offers a treble boost just like Mahogany wood. 


It is another African tonewood and has similar characteristics to that of rosewood. Its attractive features include warm tones, mid-tones, and well-rounded sound. It is commonly used in the back and sides of the acoustic guitars. It provides a perfect combination of rosewood warmth and mahogany midrange. 


It is a tropical Mexican tonewood. This hardwood is used in making the sides and backs of the acoustic guitar. it produces brighter tones. Its responsiveness is one of the attractive features of this tonewood. 


Choosing the right tonewood for the acoustic guitar will allow you to play your desired tone and sound. With so many tonewoods available you can choose the one which best suits your requirement. Our guide can be handy for knowing about the tonewoods and their features. Choose wisely and enjoy playing with your acoustic guitar.