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Archtops usually have 3-a-side pegheads and necks similar in width to a steel-string acoustic rather than an electric. The soundboard normally has two f-holes, the lower of these partly covered by a scratch plate raised above the sound board so as not to damp its vibration. The sound board it self is pressed or carved into an ached shape similar to a violin.
Since the 1950s, the bass guitar has largely replaced the double bass in popular music as the bass instrument in the rhythm section. While the types of basslines performed by the bassist vary widely from one style of music to another.
The classical guitar (also called the "Spanish guitar" or "nylon string guitar") has 6 strings and is plucked. The classical guitar is well known for its comprehensive right hand technique, which allows the soloist to perform complex melodic and polyphonic material, in much the same manner as the piano.
Invented in 1931, the electric guitar became a necessity as jazz musicians sought to amplify their sound. Since then, the electric guitar has become the most important instrument in popular music. It has evolved into a stringed musical instrument that is capable of a multitude of sounds and styles.
A steel-string acoustic guitar is a modern form of guitar descended from the classical guitar, but strung with steel strings for a brighter, louder sound. It is often referred to simply as an acoustic guitar, although strictly speaking the nylon-strung classical guitar is acoustic as well.
A resonator guitar or resophonic guitar is an acoustic guitar whose sound is produced by one or more spun metal cones (resonators) instead of the wooden sound board (guitar top/face). Resonator guitars were originally designed to be louder than conventional acoustic guitars.
Though the tenor guitar dates back before the 1920's its popularity skyrocketed with the rise in interest for Jazz music. Since then the instrument has been use for Dixieland music, and into the 50's and 60's for Folk, Americana and Rock. It is characterized by its shorter scale length and 4 strings that are typically tuned CGDA.