Key Difference – Guitar vs Guitalele
There are many musical instruments that produce sounds by vibrating strings stretched between two points. These instruments are known as chordophones. Guitars are a type of chordophones that are popular all over the world. There are many varieties of guitars; there are also hybrids of guitars and other musical instruments that give the best qualities of both instruments. Guitalele is one such instrument that possesses qualities of both guitars and ukuleles. The key difference between guitar and guitalele is that guitalele is smaller and narrower than a classic guitar while larger than a ukulele.
What is a Guitar?
Guitar is a type of chordophone, with a six or twelve strings, a fretted fingerboard and typically incurved sides. This instrument is played by plucking or strumming the strings with the fingers or a plectrum. Guitars are traditionally made from wood and uses nylon, gut or steel as their strings. Guitars are considered as one of the most popular musical instruments over the world and are used in a variety of musical genres such as blues, country, pop, folk, jazz, rock, and flamenco.
There are many different varieties of guitars; based on the production of sound, guitars can be basically categorized into two types as electric guitars and acoustic guitars. Acoustic guitars project sound using a hollow wooden box whereas electric guitars project sound through an electric amplifier and a speaker. Modern acoustic guitars can be further categorized into three types as the classical guitar, the steel-string acoustic guitar, and the archtop guitar (jazz guitar).
The guitar is typically considered to be a transposing instrument and its pitch sounds one octave lower than its notation. In the standard tuning of a guitar, the strings are tuned from a low E, to a high E, thereby transversing a two octave range—EADGBE.
What is a Guitalele?
Guitalele is a hybrid of guitar and ukulele (a small four-stringed guitar of Hawaiian origin). This instrument is also known as a guitarlele or guilele. A guitalele is smaller and narrower than a classic guitar and larger than a standard ukulele. Due to its smaller size, it’s easily portable like a ukulele. However, it has six strings like a guitar and as a result, chords and scales that can be played on a guitar can be played easily on a guitalele as well. The strings of this instrument are made with nylon. A guitalele must be tuned a 4th higher than a guitar. When you play chords plucking only the four higher pitched strings, the sound produced is quite similar to a ukulele. However, when you play with all six strings, the qualities of this instrument are closer to a guitar than a ukulele.
Some guitaleles may include a built-in microphone that allows the player to use the instrument either as an acoustic guitar or with an amplifier.
What are the Similarities Between Guitar and Guitalele?
- Both guitars and guitaleles are chordophones where the sound is produced by vibrating strings stretched between two points.
- Both instruments can have six strings.
- The sound can be produced acoustically or electrically.
What is the Difference Between Guitar and Guitalele?
Guitar vs Guitalele
|Guitar is a type of chordophone, with six strings, a fretted fingerboard and typically incurved sides.||Guitalele is a hybrid of guitar and ukulele.|
|Guitar is larger than a guitalele.||Guitalele is smaller than a guitar, but larger than a ukulele.|
|Strings of a guitar may be made from nylon or metal.||Strings of a guitalele are typically made nylon.|
|Strings are typically tuned from a from a low E, to a high E.||A guitalele must be tuned a 4th higher than a guitar.|
Summary – Guitar vs Guitalele
Although guitalele is a hybrid of guitar and ukulele, guitaleles share many similarities with guitar. The main difference between guitar and guitalele is their size; guitalele is smaller than guitar which makes it easily portable.
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1. George Rajna, What in the world in a guitalele?, Huffington Post, 2013.09.01. Available here. Accessed 09.10.2017
2. “Guitarlele | Ukulele Review”. Ukulelehunt.com, 2012.03.08. Available here. Accessed 09.10.2017