What Is An Offset Guitar? Guitars are known for their symmetrical bodies. Their upper and lower halves are mirror images in terms of their shapes. But then there is the offset guitar with its asymmetrical design. Most people love this guitar variation due to its unique appearance.
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What is an offset guitar? An offset guitar has a striking asymmetrical body design, giving it a graceful appearance. It also creates an illusion that its bridge is not placed in the guitar’s vertical center. Since its body isn’t directly above its bridge, it seems to lean slightly forward.
History Of The Offset Guitar
In the mid-to-late 50s, Fender introduced the original offset guitars, and it started a trend in the subsequent decades. Duo Sonic is what as the student-sized offset guitar was called and it was launched in 1956. Today, it is still among the most popular of its kind. There have been modifications to the original Duo Sonic, but its appeal has endured. This began with Jimi Hendrix’s use in 1964.
Today, its modern version is the Fender Offset Duo Sonic Maple FB Capri Orange Electric Guitar, which comes in two distinct versions. First, the version with single coils in the neck and bridge. Second, the version with a bridge humbucker. Both have a 24″ scale length and alder bodies.
The Duo Sonic was quickly followed by the Mustang and Jazzmaster models. The Jazzmaster, a full-sized offset guitar, was so named since it was initially designed for jazz players who preferred sitting while playing.
In 1958, Fender filed for a patent for the new guitar body, and it was granted in a few years. Then and now, the exaggerated asymmetry of the horns and waist make the offset guitar a balanced and comfortable instrument to play. It is true whether the guitarist plays sitting down or standing up.
Advantages Of The Offset Guitar
While it is commonly seen being used by guitarists in the rock ‘n roll, pop, and heavy metal genres, this guitar type is also popular among other guitar players. The offset guitar, after all, has many advantages that appeal to both the old and new generations of guitar players.
It is a versatile guitar because it can be easily switched to play from lead tones to rhythm tones at the turn of a switch. Think of it as a two-in-one guitar that can be used for casual jamming and professional performances. You will only carry one guitar instead of two instruments.
The bodies of regular guitars have symmetrical designs. But they may also be slightly awkward to play in a seated position. It is true for the Tele, Strat, and Les Paul styles. The reason: Your picking hand rests on the guitar’s body, so you’re likely to feel uncomfortable.
With the offset guitar, your picking hand is more comfortable and, thus, can easily pick on the strings. The guitar’s body moves, so to speak, the recess between the base and headstock.
You will also feel that the offset guitar feels more balanced while you’re playing in the seated position. There’s a lesser physical demand made by an offset guitar on your body since its horn directly rests on your leg.
Of course, the offset guitar is famous because it makes vibrato and bends easier to do, as well as it’s easier to play higher registers on the fingerboard. It has a richer and fuller tone, too, which lends itself well to nearly all music genres.
In conclusion, the offset guitar may be the new kid on the block of the guitar world. It is especially if you compare it with other types of guitars. But it is still popular today because of its numerous advantages for the player.