This is hard to deny the fact that dark-sounding acoustic guitars are awesome as this has been believed by famous guitar players for various reasons like sound quality, comfort, etc. Besides, these reasons, I have also put limelight on some important aspects of these guitars, basic definitions of a dark and warm sound and so much more. You definitely don’t want to miss this.
So, before proceeding to the in-depth details, let’s have a look at the 16 reasons quickly:
- They have a unique and mysterious sound.
- They are perfect for playing dark and brooding music.
- They look absolutely stunning.
- They are very versatile instruments.
- They have a rich and powerful tone.
- They are perfect for fingerpicking style playing.
- They are great for strumming chords.
- They are very easy to play.
- They are perfect for recording.
- They are perfect for live performances.
- They are very durable and long-lasting.
- They are for beginners and experienced players alike.
- They are very affordable.
- They make a great addition to any guitar collection.
- They are perfect for traveling musicians.
- They are a great investment.
What Does A Dark Tone Mean In Music?
In music, the most notable quality of dark sound is its warmth. It’s rich and inviting, like good wine or chocolate cake for instance – things that you want to play and enjoy slowly on a lazy afternoon with friends (or maybe just yourself). The effect this has in music reproduction could not be more apparent: as frequencies increase so does volume levels, but what we experience isn’t only broadening our palette—it also tilts clockwise at different rates depending upon where they fall within an octave range.
What Do We Mean By Warm Sound?
The warm sound is somewhat the same as the dark tone but in this case, it’s a bit less tilted. It’s a well-known fact that certain amounts of warmth are necessary for musical sound and it’s normal. In fact, when we talk about “warm sound” in music, we’re referring to a quality that’s different from the “cold,” “clinical” sound of some recordings. To our ears, a warm recording sounds pretty and natural, with a good bass response and a wide range. It doesn’t have a lot of heavy processing or artificial effects. Instead, you can hear the music as it was meant to be heard.
How To Make Your Acoustic Guitar Sound Darker And Warmer?
If you’re looking for ways to make your acoustic guitar sound darker and warmer, there are a few things you can try.
One is to use heavier gauge strings. This will add more mass to the vibrating string, which will in turn create a fuller, richer sound. Just be sure not to go too heavy, as this can make the guitar difficult to play.
Another way to darken and warm up your sound is to use a capo on the second fret. This raises the pitch of all the strings, making them sound fuller and richer. Just be sure not to use too high of a fret, as this can make the guitar difficult to play in some keys.
You can also try using a pick with a thicker gauge. This will add more mass to the vibrating string, resulting in a fuller, richer sound. Just be sure not to use too thick of a pick, as this can make the guitar difficult to play.
Finally, you can try using an EQ pedal to adjust the EQ of your guitar. This can help you boost the low frequencies for a fuller, warmer sound, or cut the high frequencies for a darker sound. Just be sure to experiment with the settings until you find what sounds best for you.
So there are a few ways you can make your acoustic guitar sound darker and warmer. Just be sure to experiment with different techniques and find what works best for you.
What Are Some Dark Acoustic Guitars?
The best way to achieve a dark sound is to choose a larger-size acoustic with a mahogany body, mahogany back, and sides, and cedar top. Mahogany is a dense wood that gives the guitar a deep, resonant tone. It’s also fairly heavy, which helps to give the guitar a clear and powerful sound. Guitars like Martin, Taylor, and Gibson are some of the main names for darker tones that many pros suggest. If you want a darker sound initially rather than emphasize super high frequencies and you really like the warmer tone with depth, then you may consider a jumbo body size with solid wood construction in the first place.
Keeping all these in mind, some of the models for dark acoustics are:
- Old Prewar Martin 0-17s (especially the 000-15)
- 1979 Yamaha FG-331
- 2002 Breedlove Focus/D
- 2005 Larrivee OM-03 MT
- 2006 Taylor GSMCE
- Lakewood M14 CP Custom – Cedar/ Mahogany (grand concert) -B-band A6
- Ibanez AW 500 (dreadnaught) – B-band A 2.2
- Yamaha CG 100A (classical) – Fishman Matrix
- Takamine EG 523 SC (jumbo) – TK-40
- 2016 Avalon Ard Ri L2-320C
- 2019 Cordoba C5
- 2021 Furch Yellow
- 2015 Guild D-120C
- 2003 Martin D-16GT
- 2022 McIlroy A20
- 2021 Pellerin SJ CW
Some of the 12 strings’ dark acoustics are:
- Alvarez PD80S
- Alvarez 5221M
- Alvarez RD2012
- Alvarez AD60S
- Takamine GJ72CE
- Oscar Schmidt OD13SM
- Yamaha FG-460SA
How To Choose Acoustic Guitar Strings For A Warm And Dark Sound?
When choosing acoustic guitar strings, you want to go for a warm and dark sound. This is likely because you want the full range of the instrument to be heard pretty and give a mellow tone. To check if the string will give you the sound you want, play it on the guitar. If it’s too bright or heavy, then it’s probably not the right string for you. Different guitars will require different types of strings, so it’s important to keep that in mind. Acoustic guitars especially need the right type of string in order to produce the best sound possible.
What Are Some Dark-Sounding Acoustic Guitar Strings?
Acoustic guitar strings come in many different materials, including bronze and phosphor-bronze. The difference between bronze and phosphor-bronze is like night and day. Bronze has a bright treble frequency response with clear bell-like highs while phosphor bronze is darker and warmer. Definitely, it can be the first choice for guitarists looking for darker-sounding strings.
They also can be made from brass or nickel-plated steel to silk wound nylon for softer genres like jazz music. Brass strings are known for producing higher frequencies while the nickel strings are more on the warmer side which makes this a great choice for vintage guitars. Another nickel-based alloy “monel” is not different as well cause players can get the best out of their tonewood by using this.
If you’re looking for a dark-sounding string for your acoustic, there are a few other options as well that you might want to consider.
One option is to choose a string made from a material that is known for its dark sound, such as nylon. Nylon strings are often used on classical guitars, and they have a warm, rich tone. Another option is to choose a string that is thicker than average. Thicker strings tend to produce a fuller, more robust sound.
You might also want to try a string with a coating that is designed to absorb some of the high-frequency vibrations, such as an Elixir string. This can help to give the string a smoother, warmer sound. Ultimately, the best way to find the right acoustic guitar string for your needs is to experiment with different types and see what you prefer.
16 Reasons Why Dark Sounding Acoustic Guitars Are Awesome!
1. They have a unique and mysterious sound
Acoustic guitars come in all shapes and sizes, and each one has its own unique sound. Dark-sounding acoustics, in particular, have a full and mysterious tone that can be perfect for certain styles of music. Whether you’re looking to create an eerie atmosphere or just add some depth to your sound with great harmony, a dark-sounding acoustic can be a perfect choice.
2. They are perfect for playing dark and brooding music
If you’re looking for an acoustic that will help you create dark and atmospheric music, then a dark-sounding guitar is a great choice. These guitars have a rich, full sound that is perfect for playing slow, emotive songs. The low end is particularly pronounced, giving the music a deep and haunting quality. Dark-sounding guitars are also great for adding texture to a song. If you want your music to sound truly unique, then a dark-sounding acoustic guitar is the perfect instrument for you.
3. They look absolutely stunning
Acoustic guitars come in a wide range of colors and styles, but there is something particularly striking about a dark-sounding acoustic. Whether it’s the deep, rich hue of the wood or the sleek, minimalist design, a dark acoustic guitar has a look that is both powerful and elegant. In addition to their visual appeal, dark-sounding acoustics also have a unique sound that is perfect for a variety of genres. From jazz to metal, these guitars can add a touch of class to any performance. If you’re looking for an instrument that is sure to turn heads, a dark-sounding acoustic is a perfect choice.
4. They are very versatile instruments
While many guitarists prefer the bright, twangy sound of a lighter-colored acoustic guitar, dark-sounding acoustics are actually much more versatile instruments. The vibrant, big tones of a dark acoustic guitar are perfect for almost any genre like blues and jazz, but they can also add a unique flavor to rock and pop songs. Dark-sounding guitars are often used in recording studios because their deep tones can fill up a track without sounding muddy. They can also be used for fingerpicking and other styles of guitar playing. If you’re looking for an acoustic that can do it all, look for a dark-sounding instrument. You’ll be surprised at how versatile it can be.
5. They have a rich and powerful tone
Dark-sounding acoustics are known for their rich and powerful tone. These instruments are often used for playing blues and rock music as I mentioned above, as their deep sound can add a lot of impact to the music. Dark-sounding acoustics are usually made from higher-quality woods, such as mahogany or rosewood. This gives them a warmer tone than other types of acoustics. If you’re looking for an acoustic with a deep, rich sound, then a dark-sounding instrument is the ideal choice.
6. They are perfect for fingerpicking-style playing
One of the most popular styles of playing is fingerpicking, which involves using the fingers instead of a pick. Fingerpicking can produce a delicate, intricate sound, or a more powerful, percussive sound, depending on the style of playing. When it comes to fingerpicking, many guitarists prefer dark-sounding guitars. The reason for this is that dark-sounding guitars tend to have more complex overtones, which can add depth and richness to the sound. In addition, dark-sounding guitars are often more responsive to touch, making it easier to produce delicate nuances in the sound. As a result, dark-sounding guitars are ideal for fingerpicking style playing.
7. They are great for strumming chords
There’s something about the sound of a dark-sounding acoustic that just makes you want to strum chords. Maybe it’s the rich, deep tones, or the way the notes seem to resonate. Whatever the reason, these guitars are great for strumming chords. And while they may not be the best choice for soloing or playing lead parts, they can definitely hold their own in a band setting. If you’re looking for an acoustic that has a great strumming sound, then definitely consider a dark-sounding model. You won’t be disappointed.
8. They are very easy to play
Dark-sounding acoustics are some of the easiest instruments to play. The reasons for this are twofold. First, the strings on a dark-sounding acoustic are typically softer than on other types of guitars, making them easier to press down. This is especially helpful for beginners who may not have the strength or dexterity in their fingers to play a harder string. Second, the body of a dark-sounding acoustic is typically larger than other types of guitars, giving the player a greater range of motion. This is important because it allows the player to reach all the notes on the fretboard more easily. As a result, dark-sounding acoustic guitars are an excellent choice for beginners who want an easy instrument to play.
9. They are perfect for recording
A dark-sounding acoustic has a fuller, richer sound that is perfect for recording. The low end is warm and articulate, while the highs have a smooth, airy quality. This makes for a well-rounded sound that is ideal for capturing the nuances of a performance. Dark-sounding acoustic guitars also tend to be very versatile, and able to handle a wide range of styles as you already know. Whether you’re playing folk, rock, or jazz, a dark-sounding acoustic will provide the perfect foundation for your music. If you’re looking for an acoustic guitar that is perfect for recording, make sure to check out dark-sounding models. You won’t be disappointed with the rich, full sound they offer.
10. They are great for live performance
Besides recording, they are not behind in playing in live performances as well. In fact, they are great for it because of their loud and clear sound. They provide a full and rich sound that can fill up a room, making them perfect for playing in larger venues. Again, if you’re looking for an acoustic guitar that is great for live performance besides the recording needs, then make sure to check out dark-sounding models. You won’t be disappointed, that I can promise.
11. They are very durable and long-lasting
For the longest time, acoustic guitars have been made exclusively from wood. This is because wood is a very strong and sturdy material that is able to withstand a lot of wear and tear. As a result, acoustic guitars made from wood are usually very durable and long-lasting. Dark-sounding acoustic guitars are no exception. In fact, much dark-sounding acoustics are made from very high-quality woods that are designed to last a lifetime. So if you’re looking for an acoustic guitar that will stand the test of time, make sure to check out dark-sounding models. You’ll be glad you did.
12. They are for beginners and experienced players alike
Because of the playability and sound output of these acoustics, they are the favorites amongst both beginners and advanced-level players. In fact, many instructors prefer to teach beginners with these types of guitars because they are a great place to start and are easier to play. And for experienced players, the unique sound of a dark-sounding acoustic guitar is perfect for writing new music or recording in the studio. If you’re looking for an acoustic guitar that is suitable for both beginners and experienced players, definitely consider a dark-sounding model.
13. They are very affordable
Generally, these types of acoustics can be expensive because of the materials used to produce such output as the spruce top. However, the other side of the coin is while they can be expensive, there are many dark-sounding acoustic guitars that are very affordable. In fact, many of these guitars can be found for as little as $200. This makes them a great option for beginner and intermediate players who are looking for a high-quality instrument. Whether you’re just starting out or you’re looking for a new guitar to add to your collection, make sure to check out dark-sounding acoustic guitars. You might be surprised at how affordable they are.
14. They make a great addition to any guitar collection
Dark-sounding acoustic guitars are a great addition to any guitar collection as they offer a unique sound that is perfect for a variety of styles. If you’re looking for an acoustic guitar that will help you create new music or add to your recordings, make sure to check out dark-sounding models. They are also a great backup option as well.
15. They are perfect for traveling musicians
For many musicians, acoustic guitars are the preferred choice when playing live. They’re versatile, portable, and relatively easy to learn how to play. But not all acoustic guitars are created equal. If you’re looking for an instrument that’s perfect for travel, a dark-sounding acoustic guitar is a great option. The deep tones of these guitars cut through the noise of a busy street or crowded room, making them ideal for busking or impromptu performances. Whether you’re a seasoned performer or a beginner just starting out, a dark-sounding acoustic guitar is a great choice for any traveling musician.
16. They are a great investment
Finally, I must say, these acoustics can turn out a great investment for an active musician as they are very versatile and long-lasting. Not to mention, they hold their value quite well over time. And also, the sound quality increases with age. All of these make these a great piece to invest in.
What Are Some Dark Acoustic Guitar Songs?
- Dazed and Confused by Jake Holmes
- Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground by Blind Willie Johnson
- Trapezium by Al Marconi
- Hurt by Nine Inch Nails, Johnny Cash Version
- Heron Blue by Sun Kil Moon
- Diamonds and Rust by Joan Baez
- Mosquito Song by Queens of the Stone Age
- River Take Me by Darrell Scott
- Nutshell by Alice in Chains
- Into Dust by Mazzy Star
- Goodbye Blue Sky by Pink Floyd
- Ghost of the Mountain by Justin Johnson
What Are Some Dark Guitar Chords?
Some of the dark guitar chords are E5(#11), E7sus2(#11), Emaj(#5), Em6/9, Em(maj9), Edim7, Edim9, A5(#11), A7(#11), Aaug7(#9), Am(maj13), Am6, Am6(#11), Am(maj9), Adim7, Gmaj(#11), Gm6, Gm(maj7), Cm6/9, Fmaj7(#11), Fm(maj13), Daug(add9), Dm13, Dm(maj9), and C#7(#5,#9).
Q. Is mahogany a good tonewood?
Mahogany is a good tonewood because it has a very warm, rich sound that feels really nice within budget. It is also quite durable, so it can withstand heavy use. Manufacturers often choose mahogany as a dark-sounding acoustic material for these reasons.
Q. Does mahogany sound like rosewood?
Mahogany and rosewood are two distinct types of wood with different physical and acoustic properties. While mahogany is typically heavier and denser than rosewood, both kinds of wood are prized for their beautiful grain patterns and rich colors. Acoustically, mahogany is generally considered to have a warmer, fuller sound than rosewood.
Acoustic guitars that have a dark sound are becoming increasingly popular. There are many reasons why they are awesome, and we’ve just scratched the surface. If you want to make your acoustic guitar sound darker and warmer, there are some things you can do. We’ve also given you some tips on how to choose the right acoustic guitar strings for a warm and dark sound. So what are you waiting for? Start experimenting with dark-sounding acoustic guitars today!
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James B. Laskowski was born and raised in Fresno, CA. He has been working as an acoustic and classical guitar expert at Instrument Insight for over 5 years. In this time, he has gained a great understanding of acoustic and classical guitars and gears, their materials, build quality, playability, and versatility. James also has an in-depth knowledge of the history and origins of many acoustic and classical guitar brands.