Squareneck vs. Roundneck Resonator Guitars

Squareneck vs. Roundneck Resonator Guitars

What is the difference between a square neck and round neck resonator guitar?

The neck style of a resonator guitar is very important because it affects several things, such as: your playing style, the tuning of each string, and even the kind of music you play. So what are the main differences between a squareneck and roundneck resonator guitar? Let's break this down...


The main differences:

1. Neck profile (and this is an obvious one)
    • Squareneck Resonator: Squared-off neck profile
    • Roundneck Resonator: Rounded-off neck profile.
2. String action (height of strings above fretboard)
    • Squareneck Resonator: The strings are positioned high above the fretboard. To play a squareneck resonator, you place it on your lap (lap-style) with the "soundhole" or resonator facing the sky. Also, you play a squareneck resonator with a bar or a slide as opposed to pressing the strings down with your fingers.
    • Roundneck Resonator: The strings are close to the fretboard like a traditional guitar where you press strings down with your fingers (or you can play it with a slide as well).
3. The kind of music you play
    • Squareneck Resonator: Traditionally used to play bluegrass and country music.
    • Roundneck Resonator: Usually used to play blues music.

    A few more details about squareneck resonators:

    • The neck of a square resonator is wider than a standard guitar neck.
    • Most squareneck resonators have a very tall nut and heavy strings.
    • Squarenecks are mainly played with a steel bar slide
    • Squareneck resonators in bluegrass are typically tuned to GBDGBD
    • The joint of the squareneck resonator joins the body at the 12th fret while most roundnecks are at the 14th fret.
    • We highly recommend our Woodtone Squareneck Resonator Guitar Strings if you are tuned to GBDGBD and playing country & bluegrass music.

        A few more details about roundneck resonators:

        • Roundneck resonators look very similar to the traditional acoustic guitar, and you can play them just as you would a normal acoustic.
        • Roundneck resonators are more commonly played by blues and roots music guitarists.
        • When playing roundneck resonators, some blues guitar players like using a bottleneck slide that produces the whining tone associated with Delta blues.

        What strings should you use on a squareneck resonator?

        Figuring out which strings to use on a squareneck resonator guitar can be really confusing. Squareneck resonators are usually tuned to GBDGBD and choosing the wrong set of strings can make your squareneck resonator guitar sound pretty horrible. Fortunately, here at Woodtone Strings, we make it very easy for you!

        If you have a squareneck resonator guitar that you use for playing country & bluegrass in GBDGBD tuning, for strings, we highly recommend our Woodtone Squareneck Resonator Guitar Strings. Each string is gauged perfectly for squareneck resonator guitars and we guarantee you will be blown away by their tone.

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