Introduction to Electric Guitars by Helene Goldnadel

The electric guitar has become one of the most popular instruments, as well as one of the most versatile instruments in modern music, since it was first developed in the 1930s. It is little wonder so many people want to learn electric guitar; it’s such an exciting and expressive instrument, and is suited to almost any style of music. But have you ever thought what makes it so versatile? How it differs from acoustic and classical guitars? There are many ways to differentiate between acoustic guitars and electric guitars. Helene Goldnadel discusses some of them below:

 

The first and most obvious is that whereas acoustic guitars have hollow bodies, electrics usually have solid bodies. Electric guitars have pickups that help in producing sound so they don’t need a sound box like acoustic guitars. Because of the fact they have to be amplified, their sound can be shaped and modified by all manner of effects to produce some very unique sounds. They also normally have much lighter strings than acoustic guitars, as well as more frets, and easier access to the high end of the neck. Because of this, the electric guitar is ideally suited to playing solos and lead parts, and over the years many new techniques of playing it have been developed.

 

The need for an electric guitar arose due to the classic guitar being too quiet to contribute to the music a band produced in many various settings. This problem particularly began obvious in the concert hall music of the 1880’s. Later, the big bands of the 20’s got their power and swing from the drums and brass. That is when the acoustic guitar became a second-tier instrument, producing melodies that not even the musicians of the band could hear in many cases. This is when the need for an innovation for the guitar was obvious. George Beauchamp, who designed the very first crude electric guitar right in his house, played Hawaiian guitar, and according to guitar historian Richard Smith, Hawaiian music as a genre was a key factor in the invention of the electric guitar.

 

There are many manufacturers of electric guitars, and they all have many different models. They all vary in design, but the body of an electric guitar usually falls into one of two types.

 

For example, Gibson guitars fall into the single-cut with a cutaway at the bottom of the guitar category. Hollow body guitars by PRS with a slightly more accessible fret board at the end.

 

ESP guitars are also very versatile instruments that cater to a musician who wants to play any specific genre. ESP guitars (Korean made) come equipped with EMG pickups that sound different and punchy.

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