Guide to Electric Guitar

An electric guitar is basically a guitar that requires external amplification. Without the amplification, this instrument is not able to produce a sound. Unlike the traditional look of a guitar, electric guitars are treated to look like metal or sometimes plastic and are quite colorful. However, just like any other guitar, some of the electric guitars were made out of wood. The sound of an electric guitar varies depending on the materials used for its body.

Most of the electric guitars were useless without its amplifier. These kinds of guitars have a featured device called pickups that are embedded in their bodies. Pickups convert the vibrations of the electric guitar’s strings into an electric signal. The signal is then sent to the amplifier through the cable connected on both the instrument and the amplifier. In other words, an electric guitar must have an amplifier before it can really be considered as an instrument for playing music. Back then, when practicing, it is not necessary to plug the electric guitar on its amplifier. Its hollow part is able to produce enough sound even when it is not plugged in. Nevertheless, an amplifier is still needed to make the most use of an electric guitar.

Guitars have a long history dated back from the 1930s in which the hollow body guitars play as the pioneer among the innovations.Just like any other instruments that have undergone to several modifications, the electric guitar, too, had been modified for years.It all started in 1930 when Charlie Christian began using an acoustic guitar with a pickup device attached to the guitar’s body for his solo in his band. With the pickup, it was able to produce a volume that can be heard outdoors or in large areas. This is said to be the birth of the famous electric guitar. In fact, these instruments are often used in playing blues or jazz.

A photo of the Fender Stratocaster

Since it was just the beginning of the electric guitars, several problems were spotted in Christian’s electric guitar. In fact, the pickups attached to an acoustic guitar created the phenomenal ‘feedback.’ It was when the amplifier causes the instrument to create a resonating sound. Consequently, the semi-acoustic guitars were invented. Semi-acoustic guitars, also called as semi-hollow guitars, produce sounds that are somewhere in between the hollow-body guitar and the solid-body guitar.

By the 1940s, the solid-body guitars then came in. It was when the hollow cavity of the guitar was removed, making it difficult for the sound to resonate. Created with about twenty-one to twenty-four frets, electric guitars can easily reach the higher pitch frets. Interestingly, there were also electric guitars that have about twenty-six frets, meaning it has a higher pitch range in comparison to those that have twenty-one or twenty-four frets. The pitch of this instrument increases one semitone, each fret. However, as the pitch increases, the space between the frets becomes narrower, making it difficult for the performer to press.

Additionally, the shapes of these instruments vary in different forms. It was also then when Leo Fender, a famous guitar amplifier manufacturer, designed and marketed the first solid-bodied guitars. By 1949, Fender Esquire was regarded as the first solid-body guitar.

During the 1950s, several innovations of instruments were released. In the 1960s, modern electric guitars were completed. Instead of woods, experimentations using glass fiber and plastic for the electric guitar’s body were conducted in the subsequent years. As well as that, electric bass, a lower pitch electric guitar, was placed alongside the electric guitar. However, in comparison to the electric guitars, the electric bass is noticeably larger and has four strings. The strings of the electric bass are also thick, tense, and requires a force to be strung. Its neck and strings are also much longer than the electric guitars.

Also, improvements like reduced noise, tuned string pitches, and long-lasting guitar coatings were established. With the advent of technology like timber control and sensorsin the 21st century, electric guitars became easier to play. Although there were quite many variations of electric guitars, its future is closely related to what the performers actually want.