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History of the Electric Guitar
An electric guitar has many of the same features as an acoustic guitar, but the electric guitar has a different sound due to amplification. The strings of an electric guitar are usually made out of metal, which produces a rich vibration. When the musician plucks the strings, these vibrations turn into electrical impulses that travel to a separate amplifier. Many different musical styles feature the music of electric guitars.
People began experimenting with ways to amplify guitars during the 1930s. Big-band music was becoming very popular during this era, and musicians wanted a way to play guitars to make this music, but acoustic guitars simply were not loud enough. The initial electric guitars were hollow. Electromagnetic transducers were responsible for the transmission of the electrical impulses to the amplifier to produce the music.
The construction and design of electric guitars includes a wide variety of models. The headstock on the end holds the mechanisms for tuning. The neck has the frets for finger positioning to make the notes. The body of the electric guitar is usually made out of some type of wood. Common types of wood include alder, ash, mahogany, poplar, and basswood. Strings positioned over the pickups make the necessary electric current, which produces the tones.
Sounds and Effects
The shape of an electric guitar does not have an impact on the sound it produces. The sound of this type of instrument is determined by the signal produced by the pickups. Different options will vary the tones and sounds produced by the guitar. For example, dual-coil pickups will produce a warm sound. Single-coil pickups give off a crisper and brighter sound. The type of amplifier used will also determine the sound.
The solid-body electric guitar helps the instrument avoid feedback, and strong vibrations are a hallmark of this type of guitar. A full hollow-body guitar has a hollowed-out area that makes it similar to an acoustic guitar. This type of electric guitar can be played either plugged or unplugged. Other electric guitars have hollows within the bodies at specific places to create special tones.
- Invention of the Electric Guitar: Musicians had long desired a way to amplify the sounds of guitar music, and the invention of the electric guitar achieved this purpose.
- History of the Electric Guitar: During the 1930s, technology had advanced to the point where inventors began working on designs to produce electric guitars.
- A Brief History of the Electric Guitar: Big-band music of the 1930s made musicians want a way to amplify guitar music. This motivated the drive to design electric guitars.
- The History of the Electric Solid-Body Guitar: Electric Hawaiian guitars needed amplification to produce their music. These were one of the first types of electric guitar.
- First-Ever Electric Guitar Patent Awarded to the Electro String Corporation: Acoustic guitars predate electric guitars, but they were not loud enough. It wasn't until it was possible to amplify guitar music with an electric guitar that guitar music became mainstream in various music genres.
- The Evolution of the Electric Guitar: The first electric guitar made was called the Rickenbacker "Frying Pan" because of its shape.
- The Earliest Days of the Electric Guitar: Adolph Rickenbacker and George Beauchamp were the originators of a company, and they were involved with the design and production of the first electric guitar.
- The Basics: Three Types of Electric Guitars: Electric guitars fall into three categories: hollow-body, solid-body, and semi-hollow-body.
- Electric Guitar Buying Guide: Design and materials have a significant impact on the tone produced from an electric guitar.
- Types of Electric Guitar: A solid-body electric guitar is made out of a solid wood body with just enough space inside it to allow for the electronic components. The quality of the wood is a factor in the sound produced by this instrument.
- About Electric Guitars and Basses (PDF): In the early days of electric guitars, musicians were placing a pickup device under the strings to convert the vibrations produced by the strings into electrical energy.
- What Makes Electric Guitar Sounds Differ? (PDF): Learn about how adding a pickup to a guitar can increase the instrument's volume.
- Body Woods and an Electric Guitar's Frequency Spectrum (PDF): Different woods can create different sounds when they are used to make an electric guitar.
- The Art and Evolution of the Guitar (PDF): Different shapes and sizes of electric guitars are mostly provided as options for the musician's comfort.
- The Electric Guitar (PDF): Distortions and feedback were two major problems of the initial electric guitar designs.
- The Making of a Cultural Icon: The Electric Guitar (PDF): The design of the solid-body electric guitar eliminated many of the feedback problems of this instrument.
- A Historical and Technical Analysis of the Guitar Pickup (PDF): The acoustic guitar is one of the oldest types of instruments. However, it was not until technology enabled amplification that guitar music became more popular.
- History of the Guitar (PDF): Both electric and acoustic guitars have the same components, such as a neck, tuners, frets, body, saddle, and bridge.
- Wood It Matter? A Comparison of Solid-Body Electric Guitars (PDF): Guitars made of different types of wood were compared in a study. The conclusion of the study indicates that individual guitarists determine tonal differences based on their personal tastes and opinions.
- The Development of the Electric Jazz Guitar in the 20th Century (PDF): Explore the guitar's evolution through the recent centuries to the point where inventors created the electric guitar.
- A Brief History of the Guitar (PDF): With its long neck, frets, soundboard, and body, a guitar is a type of instrument that dates back to ancient times.