About Semi-Hollow and Hollowbody Guitars
Few instruments will turn heads faster than a beautiful hollow or semi-hollow body guitar. Originally developed to help make sure the sound of the guitar didn't fade into background amongst other instruments, these guitars helped move the instrument out of the rhythm section and out into the solo spotlight. All you need to do is look at a list of famous hollow and semi-hollow body guitar players to understand why hollow and semi-hollow body guitars have grown to almost legendary status amongst hobbyists and professionals alike. Tom Petty, B.B. King, Tim Armstrong, Noel Gallagher, Dave Grohl, Carl Wilson, Keith Richards and more have all crafted some of their most legendary licks on these incredible instruments. Your choice of semi-hollow or hollow body guitar can simply come down to the matter of what style of music you love to play.
If you're a fan of the sounds of the British invasion, a guitar like the 360 Electric from Rickenbacker will have you jamming out jangly pop in no time thanks to its clean tones and biting overdrive. On the other hand, if you're into a modern punk rock sound, you'll definitely want to hear the Tom Delonge Signature ES-333 Semi-Hollow Electric Guitar from Epiphone. With a Gibson dirtyfingers pickup and a single volume knob, this guitar will cut through when you're jamming out your favorite, blistering punk rock jams. Further still, if you're a blues fan, an instrument like the ES-335 Dot Plain-top Electric from Gibson offers an amazing growl and sustain, meaning it could definitely be the right guitar for you. At the end of the day, you know that semi-hollow and hollow body guitars offer seriously unparalleled sound. The right one for you will simply come down to personal preference in both playing style and aesthetic. One thing's for sure, the moment you plug in your new guitar, you're going to love playing your favorites and showing off riffs of your own at your next gig.
Modern hollowbody guitars
The hollowbody electric guitar as we know it today dates back to the 1920's, when Lloyd Loar designed the Gibson L5. They're defined by a full, hollow body with an arched top and back that are either carved or presssed out of a single piece of wood or laminate. The bracing is different from a flattop guitar, and they have f-holes for a timeless look and distinctive sound with plenty of midrange. Cutaways come in two flavors, round (Venetian) or sharp (Florentine). Brand-specific design elements include the cast of the trapeze tailpiece, the cut of the pickguard and the trademark headstock shape.
Meanwhile, guitars with a semi-hollow body have thinner bodies that are not entirely hollow. Their purpose is to bridge the gap between hollowbody and solidbody guitars. The Gibson ES-335 was the first to appear in 1958, using as solid center block running right through it. With feedback reduced and sustain increased, it still retained the important tonal qualities of a full-hollowbody while permitting the use of stoptail-type bridges. Multiple variations exist now with models sporting f-holes, not-so-f-holes or none. They're all made with hollow chambers to create their magic sound.