What Is A Folk Guitar?

Table of Contents

If you love folk music and admire legends like Bob Dylan, Pete Seeger, John Denver, and the likes, you must know what is a folk guitar. Folk music goes beyond soft guitar strumming while singing old songs passed down from our grandparents.

What is a folk guitar?

Folk music is not popular anymore. So people have different opinions on the music and guitar.

While many assume that folk guitar is the same as acoustic guitar, you will note some differences if you look in closely.

Guitar manufacturers identify folk guitar as a small to mid-sized guitar.

History of folk guitar

Folk music

Folk music differs in different places. Also called “traditional music,” folk music is passed down from generations and has no traceable composer, not copyright.

Despite the fusion of folk music with present-day music, the music is “oral music” passed from mouth to ear, from generation to generation.

The folk music “tune” is an instrumental piece of melody played in sets and repeated. If you listen well to folk songs, you often notice the repetition of tune and chords in the same song.

The guitar and folk music

Contemporary folk music used stringed instruments, especially the guitar, as the genre evolved. Other acoustics include the lyre and ukulele. Folk guitar music is enjoyable to learn and practice.

While some argue that the guitar is not necessary as accompaniment, you will notice when you listen to folk songs that there is a nice touch to the songs with the picking, strumming, chord progression, and tune repetition. Check out some videos on folk music to understand it better.

Folk guitars are small to mid-sized guitars with thinner strings than acoustic guitars.

Structure of folk guitar

The folk guitar is smaller than the regular acoustic guitar. It makes a softer sound because of its thinner strings. Although you can use an acoustic guitar to play folk music, it does not hit the spot like a folk guitar.

The folk guitar is the 000 size

Folk guitars mainly use steel strings along their narrow necks. They are easy to fingerpick and make a beautiful sound when strummed.

Differences between folk and acoustic guitars

Folk guitars are slightly different from acoustic guitars. And these differences are:

They differ in size

While acoustic guitars have a larger body, folk guitars are small to medium-sized. Also, folk guitars use thinner strings.

Folk guitars have no pickguards

An easy and quick way to recognize a folk guitar is the absence of pickguards.

Folk guitars use steel strings only

Acoustic guitars use boy steel and nylon strings. On the other hand, folk guitars always use steel strings.

They have different tuning pegs

The tuning pegs of each guitar stand in different positions.

Folk guitars have wider necks

Acoustic guitars generally have smaller necks compared to folk guitars.

Should I get a folk guitar?

If you are a lover of folk music, go ahead! However, folk guitars are limited to the folk music genre. You can learn to play music in many genres with an acoustic guitar.

Nevertheless, you can practice folk music with an acoustic guitar.

Tips on getting started with a folk guitar

Yes! If you find the folk music interesting and would like to start with a folk guitar, here are some tips to help you start up:

1. Listen: You have to listen to a lot of different folk music. This way, you get to hear a lot of tunes that you can try out.

2. Sing Along: Singing along keeps you on track with the song while your fingers work the fretboard. So, you will never get lost or stuck in the song since you are already singing along!

3. Sing Along while Playing: You do not get stuck, but you also get to improvise and restructure the song as you want. Unlock all the creativity you have on the strings! Do apply this to all genres of music you try out.

4. Learn all the techniques: From chord progression to fingerpicking to strumming, hammer-ons, and pull-offs, learn it all! It will take a while, but remember, practice makes perfection. 

Conclusion: What is a folk guitar?

Folk music is exciting to try. Check out easy folk music guitar lessons that you can practice with.

How about a challenge?

To improve your knowledge about what a folk guitar is, try searching up old folk music and learn to play your guitar along with them!

Jim Henneberry

Jim Henneberry

I love playing my guitar, and my kids got hooked along with me.
This is a family thing now - why don't you join the family fun? :)