One alternative to a regular acoustic or electric guitar is the semi-hollow-body guitar. This guide will help you pick out one of these superior guitars. They are excellent sounding instruments with plenty of benefits for the player.
A semi hollow-body guitar is essentially an electric guitar that has the main part of the guitar body hollowed out. The top of the instrument features f-holes or other soundholes, much like an acoustic guitar has. This gives the guitar both an acoustic as well as an electric feel.
These instruments are suitable for many different styles of music, including country, rock, blues, and jazz. They have a full sound to them, so both chords, as well as single-note lines, are going to ring out on the instrument. They are generally not as well suited to harder rock styles or heavy metal because of their hollow body and tend to produce too much feedback.
The body size of the instrument is also larger when compared to a regular solid body electric guitar. They can be a little bit cumbersome and to play for some people, and it may take you a little bit of getting used to the larger body, but most people should be able to play one without much difficulty. Let's have a look at some excellent models that you might want to consider.
Table of Contents
1.Ibanez Artcore AGS73FM Semi-Hollow
Best Beginner Semi-Hollow Guitar
- Build: Maple/Walnut
- Playability: Good for beginners
- Tone Quality: Solid Tone
- Suitable: Beginners or Students
The Ibanez Artcore AGS373FM Semi-Hollow guitar is an excellent choice for any beginner or student. It's lower cost than a lot of other models and has a great tone, thanks to the double humbucking pickup configuration.
The body is made with maple wood, and it has a maple neck with a walnut fingerboard. It's got two volume, two tone controls, and a pickup selector switch. The angle pickguard keeps the body free from pick scratches while you're playing.
The ART1 bridge/ Quick Change III tailpiece combo makes string changes and setup easy, so your instrument is always ready to go whenever you want to play. The fingerboard is comfortable to play with, and you'll enjoy the single-cutaway for easy access to the higher frets on the neck.
The Ibanez Artcore AGS373FM Semi-Hollow is a nice instrument for any beginner, student, or intermediate player that wants to try a semi-hollow guitar. It's got a great tone, and it's easy to play.
2.Guild Guitars Starfire I DC Semi-Hollow
Best Mid-Priced Hollow Body Guitar
- Build:Arch Maple/Mahogany
- Playability:Double Cutaway design
- Tone Quality:Solid tone
- Suitable:Intermediate/advanced players
Guild makes excellent acoustic guitars, but they also offer the Guild Starfire 1 DC Semi-Hollow, which is the perfect mid-priced guitar for any intermediate or advanced player looking for an easy to play instrument.
The Starfire 1 DC has an arched Maple top for good resonance and note clarity. The neck is Mahogany with an Indian Rosewood fingerboard. The modern U-shaped neck s comfortable to play up and down the fretboard for chords and single-note playing.
It's got two nice-sounding humbucking pickups, two volume, two tone, and a pickup selector switch for electronics. The angled pickguard makes it easy to rest your fingers while playing while it protects the body from pick scratches. The Tune-O-Matic bridge helps keep the tuning of the guitar stable.
The Guild Starfire 1 DC is a great semi-hollow guitar at a modest price point for any intermediate or advanced guitar player. It's got to nice-sounding humbucking pickups, a smooth playing neck, and has a tone suitable for many different guitar styles.
3.GROTE Full Scale Electric Guitar Semi-Hollow Body
Best For First-Time Guitar Players
- Playability:Easy playing hollow body
- Tone Quality:Nice tone
- Suitable:Great for beginners or low budgets
The GROTE Semi-Hollow Electric Guitar is a nice choice for any beginner. You get a full-featured guitar that won't cost you a whole lot of money. It's easy playing and looks great.
It's got a smooth maple body and neck for great comfort and playability. The guitar has two big-sounding humbucking pickups, two tone, two volume, and a pickup selector switch for electronics. The f-holes increase the volume of the guitar, whether plugged in or played acoustically.
This guitar has a stable Tune-O-Matic bridge, so the instrument is easy to tune and stays in tune for a long time. It comes with die-cast machine heads, angled pickguard, and two strap buttons.The GROTE is an easy-playing semi-hollow guitar that looks great and has everything the beginner needs to start playing this type of guitar.
4.Gretsch G2420 Streamliner Hollow Body
Best Sounding Intermediate Level Semi-Hollow Guitar
- Playability:Easy to play
- Tone Quality:Excellent tone
- Suitable:Great for intermediate/advanced players
The Gretsch G2400 Streamliner Is an excellent mid-priced hollow-body guitar for intermediate or advanced players. It has an excellent look, great tone, and easy playability. It's the perfect choice for any guitarist looking for one of these instruments.
The guitar has a maple top and Maple back for enhanced resonance. It's got the tone you want, no matter what guitar style you want to play. It's got two excellent BroadTron humbucking pickups, so it's perfect for rock styles or rockabilly, as well as other musical styles.
The neck on the instrument is made with Maple, and it has a Laurel fretboard that feels like Rosewood, and it's smooth no matter what position that you're playing at. The single-cutaway makes it easy to access higher frets on the instrument for guitar solos.
You'll enjoy playing this high-performance Gretsch G2400 Streamliner. It's got everything you need in a semi-hollow guitar for a medium price.
5.Hagstrom Tremar Viking Deluxe Semi-Hollow Body
Best Pro Level Semi-Hollow Guitar with Bigsby Tremolo
- Build:Solid Maple/Resin
- Playability:Easy playing double-cutaway hollow body
- Tone Quality:Superior tone
- Suitable:Great for intermediate/advanced players with higher budgets
The Hagstrom Tremar Viking Deluxe Semi-Hollow Guitar is a superior instrument for today's player. This guitar has an excellent look to it, easy playability, and a great neck. It's well suited for many different guitar styles.
One of the highlights of the instrument is the Bigsby tremolo, so you'll be able to perform some whammy bar style tricks on the instrument. This is a classic tremolo system that stays in tune well as you're playing.
You get to great-sounding humbucking pickups, two tone controls, two volume knobs, and a pickup selector switch. The die-cast tuning machines help keep this guitar in tune for a long duration. The resin fingerboard is smooth up and down the neck, so playing at any position is effortless.
You'll get a huge tone out of this instrument. It sounds great for rock, blues, country, and jazz guitar styles. The Bigsby tremolo gives you just enough tremolo action. The guitar has a moderate price. It offers you a whole lot of value for your money. This is an excellent intermediate or advanced semi-hollow guitar.
6.PRS Guitars 6 String SE Hollowbody II
Best Professional Semi-Hollow Guitar
- Playability:Excellent easy to play neck
- Tone Quality:Professional tone
- Suitable:Great for professionals
PRS has come a long way in recent years and is making excellent guitars, including the SE Hollow-Body II. This is a superior instrument that anyone will want to own.
The guitar is made with maple wood which gives it an excellent tone and resonance. It's got two PRS 58/15 humbucking pickups, which have high output and excellent tone. The 22 fret neck is comfortable up and down the fretboard.
It's got one tone and one volume control along with a pickup selector switch for simple operation. The bridge is an adjustable PRS stoptail That stabilizes the tuning of the guitar and makes string changes easy. The nickel hardware and bird inlays give the guitar an attractive look.You can't go wrong with the PRS SE Hollow-Body II. This guitar offers you superior sound, excellent playability, and everything you want in a high-quality semi-hollow guitar.
7.Ibanez JSM10 John Scofield Signature
Best Signature Pro Semi-Hollow Guitar
- Playability:Easy playing semi-hollow
- Tone Quality:Pro tone
- Suitable:Great for Pros
The Ibanez JSM10 John Scofield Signature Semi-Hollow Guitar is an excellent option for advanced guitar payers that want a professional tone and easy playability.
The guitar has a Maple top and sides, so it's got an excellent tone. The finish is smooth without any imperfections. The angled pickguard helps protect the finish from scratches. The deep double-cutaway makes it easy to hit all the higher frets.
The guitar has two humbuckers, two tone controls, two volume knobs, a pickup selector switch, and a Tri-sound switch for coil tap, parallel, and series pickup configurations. These pickup options give you more sound possibilities when compared to similar instruments.
For anyone looking for a professional instrument for blues, country, rock, and similar Styles, then pick up the Ibanez JSM10 John Scofield Signature Semi-Hollow Guitar. This instrument has the tone you need so, it's easy to play, and it looks great.
Semi-Hollow Body Guitar Buying Guide
Should I Buy a Semi-Hollow Guitar?
A semi-hollow guitar is a little bit different than a regular solid-body guitar. The semi-hollow allows you to play Rock, Blues, Country, Jazz, and similar styles. It gives you both an acoustic as well as an electric sound.
These instruments are larger when compared to other electric guitars, so they're not for everyone. It's also a little bit more difficult to solo quickly up and down the fretboard. This is not the best guitar if you want to play Fast heavy metal styles. These instruments May feed back a lot more when compared to other electric guitars, so they are not that suited for heavy distorted tones.
You do get a solid and dependable tone out of this type of instrument. They tend to be louder when compared to other electric guitars. This type of guitar is excellent if you want your chords to ring out on the instrument. You'll get a better bottom end overall and more volume.
What Amp Should I Use?
You can use any amplifier with the semi-hollow guitar. The best amp is probably one that produces good to clean tones as well as light distortion. It's probably not a good idea to use a heavy metal amplifier with this type of guitar because of the feedback.
If you do use an amplifier that has heavy distortion, make sure you dialed the distortion down a great deal, as this will bring better tones out of this instrument. An amplifier that has a chorus or a reverb setting is also preferable. You may also want to buy pedals to use with your new semi-hollow guitar.
Are There Any Advantages to The Semi-Hollow Guitar?
The main advantage of the semi-hollow guitar is that you can play it electrically or acoustically. It has a loud volume which is preferable when you were playing chords or you want single notes to ring out in a Solo. It's an excellent guitar, for example, to play bluesy-based bends or to do some jazz comping.
If you play a lot of chords, anyone, an instrument that has an excellent loud volume when strumming, then this is one of the guitars that are well suited for that purpose. If you play more fast heavy metal style guitar solos, this instrument probably won't be the best for that purpose.
The main advantage to the semi-hollow guitar comes with the tone. If you need a loud and robust tone, this is the type of instrument that you want to use. You can't get this type of tone out of a regular solid-body guitar. The semi-hollow will give you a better tone which is ideal for playing a wide range of different genres.
Are There Any Disadvantages to The Semi-Hollow Guitar Guitar?
The main disadvantage to the semi-hollow guitar is that it is kind of limited when it comes to soloing. It's not that you can't solo on the instrument, but a fast metal style solo will be a lot more difficult because the neck of the guitar isn't as fast as a guitar that is designed exclusively for playing heavy metal.
Some players may also find the instrument a bit cumbersome as it's larger than a regular solid body electric guitar. It can take some getting used to, and you may not find that the instrument limits your freedom of movement a little bit simply because of its size.
Another disadvantage to this type of instrument is that there are not many models that have single-coil pickups. If you prefer the single-coil sound, this is not the instrument for you. This guitar ships with two humbucking pickups for the most part. These give you a great tone, but I would go with a different instrument if you like the single-coil sound.
Should I Buy A Case?
Many semi-hollow guitars do ship with gig bags, and a few of them have cases, but a lot of them don't have a case that comes with the instrument. It's advisable that you get a case because you want to protect your investment. Make sure you buy a case that is designed for a semi-hollow guitar, as a regular electric guitar case won't fit this instrument because it's a lot larger.
Most of these instruments will have a fixed-style bridge. This means that there is no tremolo system, so it's difficult to play some guitar styles where you might want this type of sound. The advantage to this is that strange changes are easy to do, and the guitar will stay in tune a lot longer.
There are, however, some models with the Bigsby tremolo system, which will allow you to have some tremolo effects when playing the guitar. The Bigsby is larger than other turmoil systems, so it does take a little bit of getting used to. You can expect to pay a little bit more for semi-hollow guitars that feature this type of tremolo system.
How do you Fix Action on the Semi-Hollow Guitar?
The semi-hollow guitar has an adjustable bridge. This is where you can adjust the action on your instrument. You do this by moving screws up and down. You can also do this by adjusting is a truss rod a little bit.
It is advisable that if you don't know how to adjust the action on your instrument, that you take it to a qualified technician as they can do this for you as well as address other issues with your guitar. You want to have action on your instrument that is comfortable for the way you play your guitar.
My Semi-Hollow Guitar Doesn’t Sound Right, What is Wrong?
If your semi-hollow guitar doesn't sound quite right, change the strings. Some of these instruments have been sitting in cases for a long time. They may also have sat in a guitar box and not moved for months, so the strings may be a bit corroded or rusty. You will get better sound improvement with a fresh set of strings.
You should also ensure that you're using a high-quality shielded guitar cable with it, as this will reduce feedback. Another thing is to make sure you're using a high-quality amplifier so you could get the best tone while playing guitar.
Another thing you can do to improve the tone of your instrument is to install a different set of pickup. Some of these instruments will come with pickups that are not all that great. Lower-cost models, we'll have pickups that don't have that high of an output. You can install pickups that have a better output, and this will improve the tone of your instrument.
How Do I Clean My Semi-Hollow Guitar?
The best way to clean your guitar is to take the strings off of it and then have a proper string change. Once you do this, you can address any dirt and debris on the fretboard and remove that. You can also remove the dust that has accumulated around the pickups and pickguard. Make sure you use a guitar polish and guitar cloth designed for use on instruments. If you use regular household cleaners, you may get marks on your finish. The best cleaner for a guitar is guitar polish, as this removes most dirt and debris.
This concludes our guide to the best semi-hollow-body guitar. These are excellent instruments that you can play both electrically as well as acoustic leave. They do tend to sound better when you plug them into a high-quality amplifier. Experiment with your tone a little bit until you find something that you like.
This guitar is capable of producing a wide range of different tones. It excels at blues, country, jazz, and light rock styles. It's not the ideal instrument for heavy metal because it's difficult to play fast on it. For other guitar styles, it's the ideal type of instrument, especially if you need a lot of volume.
Try to use an amplifier that has a medium distortion setting, reverb, chorus, and other effects, as this will give you the best tone. Use a fresh set of strings on your guitar, as this makes playing a lot easier. Take care of your instrument with periodic cleaning, and you will have a semi-hollow guitar that will last you a long time.
Enjoy your new semi-hollow guitar. This is a great instrument that you're going to enjoy playing for years to come.