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Electric Guitar

Everyone who has ever heard a rock or country band play knows what an electric guitar is. But how much do people really know about electric guitars. Not all electric guitars are the same, they aren’t even all designed the same way. In this article we will take a good look at electric guitars. We will find out where they come from, how they are made, and what the different kinds of electric are, and what they do for the band.

What Is an Electric Guitar?

One of the most common questions people ask is, “How is an electric guitar different from a regular guitar?” People are quick to note the similarities between the two guitar types. There are two significant differences between an electric guitar and its acoustic cousins. One of these differences is something called the pickup. The pickup is a piece of thin metal that has wires attached to one end.

The pickup is an important part of what makes the electric guitar so easily heard in large arenas. The pickup takes the sound waves from the strings and translates them into electrical impulses that are then transmitted back to the amplifying unit. This is much like placing a preamp with a microphone; without it, you would barely be able to hear anything.

History of the Electric Guitar

There is still some question as to who invented the first electric guitar. Inventors and musicians were working on the idea almost immediately after electricity itself came into common usage. The idea was to be to transmit the sound of the guitar to a larger area. The first attempts used small speakers like the ones found in telephones. These speakers were placed in various parts of the guitar body.

Later attempts used the same approach, except microphones were placed instead of speakers. The result was the same, however. Although the sound of the guitar was indeed amplified, it was too low and weak to be heard over a large area. Experimentation continued throughout the early part of the nineteenth century. The electric guitar as we know it today was finally invented in the year 1931.

The first electric guitar to use an amplifier was invented in 1931 by Paul Barth and George Beauchamp of the National Guitar Association. They built a guitar from a wooden model of an acoustic one, later adding the pickup and the wiring to make it work. They called their creation the “Frying Pan.” Funny name aside, the guitar worked, and soon everyone wanted one.

Electric guitars became a necessity when the big band sound came out. No one could hear the guitar playing next to the brass instruments. The first electric guitars were commercially produced in the year 1932 by a company that was formed by Beauchamp, Barth, and a third person, Adolph Rickenbacker. In 1934, they changed the name to “Rickenbacker Electro-Stringed Instrument Company” and began to produce electric instruments in earnest.

After the early success of the first “electrical instruments,” other companies were formed that soon started producing their own version of the electric guitar. Some of these early companies, like Gibson, and Les Paul, are still big names when it comes to big names in the guitar world. They are still putting out quality guitars year after year that are coveted by musicians around the world for their quality of craftsmanship.

Electric guitar playing began appearing in musical recordings around the year 1933. It was a Hawaiian band who produced some of the earliest recording that featured electronic instruments. Then in 1935 a musician named Bob Dunn began to use an electric guitar in his recording sessions. He is also credited with being one of the first to test out the electric guitar’s true musical potential by trying to implement a new “sound” with it, something that relied heavily on blues and jazz for its musical influences.

The first electric guitars were made of tin, aluminum, and any other handy alloy that could be beaten into thin sheets. Musicians began hitting the stage with them in 1932. The first man ever to play an electric guitar was a musician named Gage Brewer. Brewer had two of the earliest electric guitars made, and he took them to all of his performances, which helped build their popularity.

Not every electric guitar is the same, although it might appear that way at first to the untrained eye. There are a lot of things that every electric guitar has in common, things they need to have in common in order to function as an electric guitar. There are also a lot of similarities between electric and acoustic guitars, but there are some significant differences.

Parts of the Electric Guitar

Every guitar has a head, a neck, and a body. These parts can be made out of various materials. Some of the parts are made of wood, but they can also be constructed with a hard polymer plastic, and in some cases metal alloys. Every guitar has strings, though some guitars have more strings than others. These strings can also be made from different types of material.

The guitar begins with the head, or headstock. Here is where the keys that will tune the strings are attached. A small strip of material called the “nut” is also installed near the keys to help support the strings near the head of the instrument. The truss rod is also installed on the headstock, it helps regulate the tension of the guitar strings on the neck, so the neck isn’t bent and the strings don’t get snapped.

The neck of the guitar is where a lot of the action takes place when the guitar is played. The neck is a long solid piece that connects the headstock to the body of the guitar. The strings are stretched down the neck to where they will be attached to the body. The frets are also located on the neck of the guitar. The frets help adjust the pitch of the string being plucked when they are held down. The neck of the guitar is usually glued or bolted to the guitar body.

The body of the electric guitar is its widest part. This is where the strings are connected, and the other equipment is added. The first electric guitars featured a hollow body. The solid body version of the electric guitar was introduced in 1934. This is the type that is most commonly used today. After the success of the first solid body guitar models, other instrument manufacturing companies began producing their own versions.

Electric Guitar Shapes

The shape of the body can be quite different from guitar to guitar. Each company had their own idea of what the perfect guitar should look and sound like. Guitar bodies were most often built out of quality wood. Sometimes other materials were used, like metal, plastic, and in one unique case, cardboard. Most of the time the body is carved as a solid piece, but there are some variants that have been partially hollowed out as well. Musicians and craftsmen both claim that using different shapes and body styles can change the way the music sounds as it is being played.

Types of Electric Guitars

The type of electric guitar that most people are familiar with is the six string variant. This guitar is sometimes called the “lead guitar” when it's used in bands. The first electric guitars had six strings, but that was because they were being modeled after their acoustic ancestors, which also have six strings. But the lead guitar is not the only type of electric guitar available today.

One of the more familiar variants of the lead guitar is called the bass guitar. The bass guitar is very similar to the lead guitar, but the neck is longer on a bass, and the bass guitar only has four strings. The bass guitar was developed soon after the lead guitar, although early models were bigger and harder to tune. These problems weren’t really solved until the year 1951. The Fender Company introduced the Fender Precision Bass. It was small and light enough to be carried easily. It was also far easier to tune. This guitar became the standard for the industry, and later manufacturer’s efforts were inspired by the Fender model.

Another popular variant to the electric guitar is the twelve stringed guitar. The twelve string is exactly what it sounds like, a guitar with twelve strings that are strung in six pairs that are tuned to the same note. Musicians and manufacturers claim that the sound made by the twelve string guitars is fuller and richer. Some notable artists preferred the twelve string electric guitar, like Jimmy Page and George Harrison. The seven stringed guitar has also seen a rise in popularity lately. The seven stringed guitars add a string below the low string. It gives the musician one more note to work with on the low side. Several musicians that are with popular bands are using a seven stringed variant. This type of guitar playing is often featured in the music of bands like Dream Theater, the Deftones, and other metal bands.

There are also other variations out there that have seven, eight, and even ten strings. Guitar manufacturers continue to experiment with body designs in order to improve the quality of their instruments. Some companies make guitar bodies that are hollow, or partially so. Others make guitars that can be used both as an acoustic or an electric guitar. There are other interesting variants out there, each designed in response to someone’s musical dream.

Conclusion

The invention of the electric guitar changed music forever. It was probably meant to be, no matter what, once electricity was invented, other things had to follow. The electric guitar allows a musician to bring an element of self to their performance, which is not as easy to do with an acoustic guitar. It is hard to pick one guitar as the best, so we won’t do that here. We will say that no guitar is any worse than the person playing it.

A lot of people see bands playing, and they think “I want to learn how to do that!” Well, it isn’t easy to learn how to play the guitar; don’t let those crash course ads fool you. If you want to play well, and let’s hope everyone at least wants to play well, it will mean lots of practice, and countless hours of playing the same stuff over and over again. Yes, it sounds boring and torturous, but the end result is worth it. For people who have never played guitar before, it is probably best to start out learning on a six string acoustic. This is a good idea for many reasons, once you have mastered the fundamentals of playing on the acoustic guitar, playing an electric one will come easily to you. Not everyone in the band will be able to play lead though, so you may also want to consider learning how to play the bass as well. A good musician is never limited to just one instrument.

There are now several different computer programs that allow people to make their own music on the computer with computer generated instruments. These programs can do everything a full band can do, and the end result can even be recorded and marketed as a song if it is done right. While we applaud the initiative of these artists for getting their music out there, we don’t think all these advances are good ones. Creating music on a computer is nice, but it only goes so far. It will never replace the thrill a crowd gets when they hear their favorite artists begin the opening chords of their favorite songs. Computer generated instruments will never quite capture the uniqueness and quality of the instruments crafted by some of the best guitar makers in the world.

Whichever guitar you decide to pick up, we hope that you will remember, the instrument is never to blame. It is most assuredly wasteful when musicians smash guitars because they are having a bad day. Take care of the equipment, and it will take care of you. It is more than a saying, properly maintained equipment will sound much better than stuff no one looks after.

Music | Hobbies


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