Electric guitars are one of the most popular musical instruments. Many people play the electric guitar every day whether it’s for fun or for their job, and a lot of people have even taught themselves to play.
There are different types of electric guitars. Many guitars actually have varying string numbers. There are seven-string guitars, eight-and-nine string guitars, ten-string, and even twelve-string guitars. These guitars feature different sounds because the number of strings affects how the sounds are made. There are also double neck guitars with two necks that allow the guitarist to play both the guitar and the bass. Solid body electric guitars are the most common. They have no internal cavity and no sound holes. They are made of hardwood and the sounds they make are produced by pickups on the guitar that are converted into an electric signal that is transferred to an amp and then speaker.
The electric guitar wasn’t invented until 1932, when the big band era was on the upswing. The first person to every play a true electric guitar was a jazz guitarist named Vaughan Reed. The first type of guitar was a kind of hollow bodied acoustic guitar that used tungsten pickups. It was manufactured by a company called Electro String Instrument Corporation. This guitar was called the “Rickenbacker.” One of the earliest and most influential players was Les Paul, who eventually helped develop the most famous line of electric guitars ever, the “Les Paul” model by Gibson.
In 1946, a radio repairman named Clarence Leonidas Fender invented another guitar he named the “Esquire” which became popular with country music artists. Then, in 1954, the company’s most well-known guitar was unleashed: the Fender Stratocaster, aka the “Strat.” In 1951, the company started to produce the first bass guitar to ever be commercially successful, the Fender Precision Bass. In 1962, the Vox company introduced the Phantom guitar and a year later, they developed a special tear-dropped shaped guitar called the Mark IV. This guitar found popularity after artists like Rolling Stones’ artist Brian Jones, and Johnny Thunder of the New York Dolls used it.
At first, the electric guitar had a hard time catching on because it was considered a novelty, all flash and no substance. It became popular with jazz artists and then country artists. In the 1950s, it started to catch on when pop bands stated using them. After that, they became established rather quickly and are now closely associated with a “rock star” image.
For more information, check the following sites:
The Electric Guitar: Discusses electric guitars in depth as well as famous guitars.
Guitar Overview: An overview of electric guitars.
Modal Analysis of an Electric Guitar: Discusses the vibrations of electric guitars.
The History of the Electric Solid Body Guitar: A look at the development of the guitar.
History & Players: Discusses electric guitars and the most famous people who played them.
Invention of the Electric Guitar: Some information about different aspects of the guitar.
Gibson History: History of the famous Gibson guitar.
Legendary Les Paul: Devoted to the most famous electric guitar, the Gibson Les Paul.
How the Electric Guitar Works: Howstuffworks.com's explanation of the electric guitar.
Electric Gallery: An extensive gallery of electric guitar photos.