best wood for semi hollow body guitar

REVEALED: Best Wood For Semi Hollow Body Guitar

If you’re looking for the best wood for making a semi hollow body guitar, then you’ve come to the right place. To save time and headache, this article will take an in-depth look at the different types of woods that make for a good guitar sound.

Tonal qualities of the semi hollow body guitar will vary on several different factors, including the type of wood used, the density of that tonewood, the size of the chamber, and whether or not it has a top. Semi-hollow body guitars are typically best used for jazz guitar, blues and southern rock (especially country). They’re also great for playing softer music because they are generally louder than a solid body. They can be used for all styles of music however; it just takes a little more effort in getting your desired sound.

Best Wood For Semi-hollow Body Guitar


Alder is highly sought after because of its bright sound and equally bright appearance. This wood is often found in smaller, thinner pieces that have been split into quarters. This type of wood has long been the choice of most luthiers, as it takes on the shape of the body and neck perfectly. The spalted color can also add a modern look to guitars with a traditional style.

  • Appearance: Spalted.
  • Tonal Qualities: Bright sound with excellent sustain.
  • Types of fretboard wood: Rosewood, ebony, or maple. Smooth or figured.


Ash is one of the most popular woods for acoustic guitars. While it can be used for semi-hollow body guitars, it may not be the best choice. This wood is soft, and doesn’t work well with other hardwoods.

  • Appearance: Natural grain and color.
  • Tonal Qualities: Bright, warm tone that’s great for fingerstyle playing.


Maple is a popular choice for guitar tops. It has an attractive grain pattern that looks excellent when finished in a high gloss. This wood is also found on the sides of most guitars, and even on some fingerboards. It’s also one of the most common woods used for neck construction. It isn’t often used on semi-hollow body guitars though, as it’s not always completely stable.

  • Appearance: Natural grain and color.
  • Tonal Qualities: Warm tone with great sustain.


Walnut is one of the best choices for guitar tops, as it’s stable and easy to work with. It also has a beautiful grain pattern that’s great to look at, no matter whether you’re in the shop or in front of your guitar. The walnut is also very popular for fretboards, even though some argue that rosewood is more beautiful.

  • Appearance: Natural grain and color.
  • Tonal Qualities: Warm tone with excellent sustain.


Cherry tops are one of the most popular woods you’ll find in semi-hollow guitars. While it’s not as common as some of the other wooden options, it’s an excellent choice for top construction. You’ll often find rosewood on this type of guitar, because it makes for a more stable soundboard and neck construction. The body of the guitar is also commonly made from maple, with a spalted top to complete the look.

  • Appearance: Spalted grain pattern.
  • Tonal Qualities: Warm tone with great sustain.
  • Color: Light brown with red and orange tones.


Mahogany is most commonly used for the body construction of semi-hollow body guitars. It’s a popular choice because it’s easy to work with, yet still strong enough to help keep the guitar’s tone in tune. When it comes to the top, maple is the most common option. When combined with mahogany, this wood can offer a deep tone with plenty of sustain.

  • Appearance: Natural grain and color.
  • Tonal Qualities: Deep sound with excellent sustain.
  • Fretboard: Rosewood, ebony, or maple. Smooth or figured.

Brazilian Rosewood

Brazilian rosewood is one of the most sought-after woods for guitar construction. It’s extremely popular with luthiers because of its nice, deep tone. This wood is also fairly easy to work with, as it holds the shape well. You’ll often find this type of wood on semi-hollow body guitars with maple tops and mahogany bodies and necks.

  • Appearance: Brownish red color.
  • Tonal Qualities: Deep tone with excellent sustain.
  • Fretboard: Rosewood.


Pearl is one of the best choices for semi hollow body guitar tops. Why? It’s extremely light, but still strong enough to help keep the top in tune and comfortable for your hand. The color of this wood is also beautiful, and you’ll often find it combined with mahogany on semi-hollow body guitars.

  • Appearance: Light brown color.
  • Tonal Qualities: Warm tone with great sustain.

Related – wood for electric guitar neck

Tone Woods For Semi Hollow Body Guitars – Conclusion

There are many different kinds of wood that work well for semi-hollow body guitars. While the woods above are some of the most common, they’re not necessarily the only choices. Other options include ash, cedar, and spruce. It’s important to consider all of these woods before making a purchase though.