HOME > Matching guitar woods


While mixing different types of wood we must keep in mind different factors like: seasoning, the sound of the different woods and a responsible attitude to react to environmental and climatic changes.

Matching soft woods with hard woods generally produces a mix of the two tones with the soft wood producing a mellower harmonics content and the hard woods delivering a sharper attack and note definition.

As an example, a bass top plate made in hard woods like maple or bubinga or ebony over a medium dense body core made of neutral wood like mahogany or alder, will produce note definition on the fundamental and lend a gentle attack and brightness to the neutral wood mids and warmth.

We also have to consider some physics though. Each wood has its own resonance and matching different woods actually has as an effect the summing of the various woods resonance peaks thus raising the whole instruments resonance peak.

In the electric bass, this effect produces better string vibrations as it raises the whole instrument resonance peak over the resonance peak of the strings thus avoiding "dead spots" or "Wolf notes" and it increases sustain.

This is where the difference between neck through and bolt on instruments comes from with the first one delivering a sharper attack and major sustain and definition while the second one will produce a fuller and punchier tone with higher harmonics content.

Matching tone woods requires care and applying the Frudua "tapping" technique.


Before glueing different woods we suggest that you clamp the pieces you're going to match overnight (especially if they are very different kinds of wood): this will level off the moisture content resulting in a more durable and reliable glueing.

The following chart of woods is provided as a general indication of each wood tone frequency response.

Galeazzo Frudua

Galeazzo Frudua

As a luthier and lutherie teacher, since 1988 he has been making about 350 boutique guitars and basses priced from 2,900 to 5,600 Euros and repaired and customized thousands of string instruments. His instruments and amplifiers are used by flagship artists, such as Chick Corea, Peter Gabriel, Ennio Morricone, Vasco Rossi. He owns two YouTube channels—where he teaches music—that count up to 25+ million views and almost 140.000 subscribers.

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