Guitar-like instruments, like the lute, have been dated back as far as 3100 BCE making them one of the oldest musical instruments. Since their development, all that time ago, the guitar has been through many changes. Now there are a huge number of different guitars available but there are five main types of guitar that these will fall into:
The classical guitar, also known as the Spanish guitar, was originally made to play classical or flamenco music but they are now used to play whichever type of music the player desires.
Classical guitars tend to feature nylon strings which are easier on fingers and produce a mellower sound than steel strings. Classical guitars are often available in a variety of sizes (find out what size guitar you need here) making them a great option for young players. The sound they produce, the often cheaper price, and the variety in sizes available has made the classical guitar the most popular for beginners.
The acoustic guitar is similar to the classical guitar but instead of nylon strings it is typically made with steel strings that produce a much louder sound. There are a number of different types of acoustic guitar that you can play including the dreadnought and twelve string guitars.
The electro-acoustic guitar is basically the same as an acoustic guitar but with the option to amplify the sound by plugging into amplifiers. Electro-acoustic guitars are also popular for use with recording equipment and sound effect pedals.
Electric guitars differ from other types of guitar because they produce a sound by converting the vibration of the strings into electric signals. Meaning that unlike the other guitar types you cannot just pick up an electric guitar and play it. You will need to plug the electric guitar into an amplifier to get a sound.
The bass guitar is designed to produce a much lower tone than the other guitars. Most modern bass guitars are electric and feature four strings, though some bass guitars do have five or six stings.