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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.



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