The History Of The Electric Guitar

736 words - 3 pages

The History of the Electric Guitar Before there was the electric guitar, obviously there was the acoustic guitar, a late 16th century invention that is said to have been conjured up in Spain, a country that had made use of guitar-like string instruments as early as the 10th century. Over the next several centuries, the guitar evolved into a much more efficient instrument. The first guitars had only four strings. As the years passed, fifth and sixth strings were added to enhance the guitar's tone. Other than that, the guitar didn't change a whole lot"¦until the early 20th century.The earliest known commercially produced electric guitar was made by the Slingerland instrument company, but it saw little success due to skeptic traditionalists. Legendary guitarist Les Paul soon began experimenting with electric designs, none of which had any immediate success. It wasn't until the late 1940's that the electric guitar finally broke into the music scene. Radio repairman Leo Fender, who was also the founder of the Fender musical instrument company, brought the world the Fender Broadcaster, which was renamed the Telecaster in 1951. The Telecaster became a sensation and was the first electric guitar of many which would help jump start another sensation-rock & roll, during the 50's. In 1952, the Gibson musical instrument company introduced the Les Paul, named after the famous guitarist we mentioned earlier. The following year, Fender released what many consider the greatest, most versatile electric guitar of all time, the Fender Stratocaster. Even though the electric guitar had only been a hot item for three years, the Stratocaster was already revolutionary. It featured a streamlined body, graceful curves designed to make playing more comfortable. It's immediate success proved that the electric guitar would be around for a long time to come.These three guitars, introduced in consecutive years, helped spawn rock & roll. It wasn't just because they were loud (an electric guitar turned off sounds like a lousy acoustic). It was because now guitar players had the ability to change their sound, tone knobs and pickup switches allowed guitarists to create never before heard tones. The popular...

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