New and experienced players will be attracted by the distinctive sound and eye-catching design of resonator guitars. These instruments are especially popular among guitarists who play bluegrass, blues, country and folk music, but can also be played in rock music among others.
This unique style of guitar was born in the 1920s, before the introduction of electric guitars, when players wanted their instrument to be louder. It was designed by violinmaker John Dopyera after performer George Beauchamp approached him, looking for a way for his guitar to be heard over the rest of his band.
A resonator guitar is an acoustic style which uses a spun metal cone under the bridge of the guitar to produce a sound which is louder than a traditional acoustic guitar. It provides the distinctive guitar sound heard in country, blues and Hawaiian music. There are three types of resonator guitar: a tricone resonator which has three metal cones, a biscuit bridge which has a single cone and a spider bridge which has a single cone with a W-shaped cross-section. Resonator guitars can have round necks for strumming or square necks for lap-style playing. Modern resonators can incorporate electric pickup technology.
A new G9201 Honey Dipper round neck biscuit cone guitar is perfect for folk and bluegrass music. An Ashbury single cone resonator, with a rosewood biscuit bridge, is also a good choice for playing folk music.
An Ozark 3515BTE Thinline Biscuit Electro resonator can be bought second-hand and features a ‘lipstick' style pickup with volume and tone controls. This attractive instrument has a solid brass body, is nickel-plated with decorative engraving and has a mother-of-pearl inlay on the fingerboard.
A brand new Duolian Resonator is a biscuit bridge round neck guitar, with a nickel-plated solid brass body, a rosewood bridge and rosewood fretboard and is ideal for slide playing and for finger-picking.
Players of blues and country music could choose a Johnson JM-999 tri-cone resonator with a decorative bell brass body, mahogany neck, rosewood fretboard and die-cast tuners.