Guitar construction is interesting because it combines all different aspects of architecture. The structural aspects of a Stratocaster or Telecaster are pretty simple. Basically, it’s a solid block of wood that is routed out to accept a few pickups, electronics, and a neck. The bridge is then bolted onto the guitar body. This has been the standard electric guitar construction ever since the beginning of the 1950s. You can check the fender Stratocaster number decoder going all the way back to 1949. It will show you the same thing.
Acoustic guitar are much different however. Since the body of the instrument is hollow, it needs much different support in order to maintain its integrity. Much like the architecture of a bridge, the inside of an acoustic guitar has struts that support the weight and pressure of the guitar strings.
The interesting thing about these instruments is unlike bridges; they have to balance the weight of the instrument and the ability to resonate. This only makes sense because the body has to vibrate freely in order to truly produce sound just like a rubber band. If you stop it from vibrating, the rubber band will stop producing sound.
The struts on the inside of the body work the same way. If there are too many supports inside, the top and back of the guitar will no longer be able to vibrate freely thus deadening the sound. Conversely, if the supports and struts are not heavy and secure enough the tension from the strings will slowly pull the guitar top away from the back and sides and the body will implode on itself.
Being an architect, this concept of balance is intriguing to me. I can apply this theory to my designs for my clients. There needs to be a structural element with all designs, but the structure can’t get in the way of seeing or hearing the beauty of the design. I like this theory. And, that’s not to say that the structure must always be hidden. You can easily see the braces in an acoustic guitar, so you should be able to see a little bit of structural elements in a properly designed space.
There are so many great things you can take away from the guitar construction. It’s amazing. I’d encourage anyone to pick up a guitar and look at the nuances of its design. Many you can even want to start playing and find some guitar lessons for beginners online. Who knows.