FRETS.COM Illustrated Glossary

Leabelly's Stella 12-string had trnasverse
Ladder Bracing
© Frank Ford, 2/20/99; Drawing courtesy of the Guild of American Luthiers

The earliest and most primitive guitars had simple transverse or "ladder" top bracing that looked something like this:

Later, around 1850,
fan bracing and cross bracing became the standard for most fine guitars. Ladder bracing was more often used on production instruments of lower price.

Washburn guitars were made with ladder bracing, as did the most famous 12-string guitar of all time, the Stella played by this man:


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