Resonator Guitars

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About Resonator Guitars

Resonator guitars have always proven popular in Blues and Bluegrass genres. Resonators sound as distinctive as they look, providing a metallic tone that sounds wonderful when used with a bottleneck slide. Resonators are acoustic guitars but the metal construction and resulting sound distinguish them as separate entities.

Some models, such as the Gretsch G9200 Boxcar, have bodies that are made partly of wood but have the metal 'resonator cone' section whilst others, like the National Reso-Phonic Style 0, have completely metal bodies. We keep both types in stock with a good variety of models and prices. Visit any of our UK based stores to try out models from our large selection.

Frequently Asked Questions about Resonator Guitars

Question: Why do some resonator guitars have large square necks?
Certain resonator models, like for example the Gretsch G9210, have large 'square' necks because lots of guitarists play with the resonator sitting flat across their lap. Bottleneck slide is a big part of resonator technique and this is often easier and more natural feeling when the guitar is on its back. The big solid square neck supports this type of playing better than a standard 'round neck' resonator. The downside of course is that you cannot play it like a normal guitar!
Question: What type of strings should I use on a resonator guitar?
For most uses and standard open tunings, a medium or slightly heavier set of acoustic strings in whichever brand you prefer will be absolutely perfect for a resonator guitar.
Question: Should I tune a resonator differently?
You don't have to but we recommend it! It is fine to play in standard tuning but if you plan to use a slide with it, an open tuning such as Open G or Open D will bear excellent results and get you that authentic resonator sound.
Question: Do I play a resonator guitar the same way that I'd play an acoustic guitar?
You can if you want but you won't be making the most out of that particular resonator tone. Playing a resonator with a bottleneck slide will get the best results.