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● The guitar is a plucked string instrument, usually played with fingers or a pick. The guitar consists
of a body with a rigid neck to which the strings, generally 6 in number, are attached.
● Acoustic guitars with hollow bodies have been in use for over a thousand years. There are 3 main
types of modern acoustic guitar, the classical guitar (nylon string guitar), the steel string
acoustic guitar and the archtop guitar. The tone of an acoustic guitar is produced by the vibration
of the strings, which is amplified through the body of the guitar. The classical guitar is often played
as a solo instrument using a finger-picking technique.
● Electric guitars rely on an amplifier that can electronically manipulate tone. Early amplified guitars
employed a hollow body, but a solid body was found more suitable. Guitars are recognised as a
primary instrument in genres such as blues, bluegrass, country, flamenco, jazz, metal, reggae,
rock, soul and pop.
● Before the development of the electric guitar, a guitar was defined as being an instrument having “a
long fretted neck, flat wooden soundboards, ribs, and a flat back, most often with incurved sides.
The term is used to refer to a number of related instruments that were developed and used across
Europe, beginning in the 12th
● The word "guitar" has been derived from the name "chartar" in Old Persian, which means "four
strings". The oldest existing guitar-like instrument, which was discovered in Egypt, is now kept in
the Archaeological museum in Cairo. It belonged to the Egyptian singer called Har-Mose. This
instrument had three strings, and a plectrum was attached to the neck with the help of a cord.
Polished cedar wood was used to make the guitar's body, and it could possibly be one of the most
ancient string instruments to be preserved.
On the right is a bowl harp which is now
known as the original predecessor to the
guitar. Since then it is believed that the
ancestor of the guitar started with instruments
now known as bowl harps and tanburs
(below). Usually, these were made with
tortoise shells for the body which was to
amplify sound, and a long bent stick for a
neck, and for strings often animal guts or silk
strands were used.
Types of guitars
● Acoustic guitars
● Classical guitars
● Electric guitars
● Bass guitars
● 7 string guitars
● 12 string guitars
● Double neck and multiple neck guitars
● Custom shop guitars
● Celebrity specially designed guitars
● Harp guitars
● Archtop guitars
● Blues and jazz guitars
● Hollowbody guitars
● The classical guitar is a 6 string plucked instrument from the family of
instruments called cordophones. The classical guitar allows the soloist to
perform complex melodic material, as does the piano.
● The phrase “classical guitar” can refer to at least 3 concepts:
The instrumental technique-the individual strings are usually picked with
Its historic repertoire, though this is of lesser importance, since any
repertoire can be played on the classical guitar
Its shape, construction and material
● The name “classical guitar” does not mean that only classical repertoire
can be played on it, although classical music is a part of the instruments
● The steel string acoustic guitar is a modern form of guitar descended from
the classic guitar, but strung with steel strings for a brighter, louder sound.
An acoustic guitar produces a dynamic sound through the vibration of
strings, which are played with a plectrum or with fingers. The guitar body is
hollow, and it resonates the sound after the tension that is applied on the
strings is released. The sound intensity and amplitude depends on the
exertion of pressure on the strings.
● An acoustic guitar's body varies depending upon its size and make. Hollow
bodies produce a deep and thick sound, which is not possible with the
ones that have a relatively flat soundboard. The type and quality of strings
that are used also determines the sound quality and crispness of this
instrument. Although they are used without any amplification, you can
amplify them by using microphones or pick-ups. Some companies also
manufacture them with inbuilt plug-in jacks, to connect them to electric
amplifiers. Some of the most commonly used guitar types are the steel
string, the nylon string (classical guitar), and the lap-steel string guitars.
● The idea of using electricity to create louder string instruments
already existed by the end of the 19th century. But it was only
during the 1920s and 1930s that engineers, makers, and musicians
began to solve some of the challenges of electronic amplification.
● Around 1931 George Beauchamp, working with Adolph
Rickenbacker, produced an electromagnetic pickup in which a
current passed through a coil of wire wrapped around a magnet,
creating a field which amplified the strings' vibrations. Introduced on
a lap-steel known as the Frying Pan, the pickup made this guitar the
first commercially viable electric.
● While the electric guitar sprang from the acoustic guitar, the
amplified four-string bass guitar developed from the upright double
bass. With its strings plucked or slapped (not strummed), the
horizontally played electric bass surpassed its bulky acoustic
predecessor in popularity decades ago.
● The bass guitar (also called electric bass, or simply bass) is a
stringed instrument played primarily with the fingers or thumb, by
plucking, slapping, popping, tapping, thumping or picking with a
plectrum, often known as a pick.
● The bass guitar is similar in appearance and construction to an
electric guitar, but with a longer neck and scale length, and four to
six strings or courses. The four-string bass—by far the most
common—is usually tuned the same as the double bass, which
corresponds to pitches one octave lower than the four lowest
pitched strings of a guitar (E, A, D, and G).
7 string guitar
● The seven-string guitar adds one additional string, commonly used
to extend the bass range (usually a low B) but it can also be used to
extend the treble range of the 6 string guitar.
● The additional string is commonly added in two different ways. The
first and most common method is to increase the width of the
fingerboard such that the additional string may be fretted by the left
hand. The second method is to leave the fingerboard unchanged
such that the extra bass string lies next to the existing bass strings
12 string guitar
● The twelve-string guitar is a steel-string guitar with twelve strings in six
courses, which produces a richer, more ringing tone than a standard six-
string guitar. Essentially, it is a type of guitar with a natural chorus effect
due to the subtle differences in the frequencies produced by each of the
two strings on each course.
● The strings are placed in courses of two strings each that are usually
played together. The two strings in each bass course are normally tuned
an octave apart, while each pair of strings in the treble courses are tuned
in unison. The tuning of the second string in the third course varies: some
players use a unison string while others prefer the distinctive high-pitched,
bell-like quality an octave string makes in this position. Some players,
either in search of distinctive tone or for ease of playing, will remove some
doubled strings. For example, removing the higher octave from the three
bass courses simplifies playing running bass lines, but keeps the extra
treble strings for the full strums.
Famous guitars – Gibson Les Paul
The Gibson Les Paul is a solid body electric guitar that was first sold in 1952. The Les
Paul was designed by Ted McCarty in collaboration with popular guitarist Les Paul,
whom Gibson enlisted to endorse the new model. It is one of the best-known electric
guitar types in the world, along with Fender's Telecaster and Stratocaster. Beyond
shaping and body design, there are a number of characteristics that distinguish the
Gibson Les Paul line from other electric guitars. For example, in a fashion similar to
Gibson's hollow-body instruments, the strings of Les Paul guitars are always mounted
on the top of the guitar body, rather than through the guitar body, as seen in competitor
Fender's designs. The Gibson also features a variety of colours, such as Wine Red,
Ebony, Classic White, Fire Burst, and Alpine White. Guns N’ Roses’ former guitarist
Slash is probably best known for three things: his messy mop of black hair, signature
top hat and sunburst Gibson Les Pauls. In fact his Les-Paul-through-a-Marshall-stack
sound is responsible for some of the most popular guitar riffs of all-time: “Welcome To
The Jungle” and “Sweet Child O’ Mine,”
Famous guitars – Fender Strat
The Fender Stratocaster is a model of electric guitar designed in 1954 by Leo Fender.
The Fender Musical Instruments Corporation has manufactured the Stratocaster
continuously from 1954 to the present. It is a double-cutaway guitar, with an extended
top "horn" shape for balance. Along with the Gibson Les Paul, it is one of the most often
copied electric guitar shapes. The Stratocaster's sleek, contoured body shape differed
from the flat, slab-like design of the Telecaster. The Strat's double cutaways allowed
players easier access to higher positions on the neck. The body's recessed curve on
the upper back, and a gradual chamfer at the front, where the player's right arm rests,
aided player's comfort. By the mid 70's, John Beck increasingly employed the
Stratocaster. He favoured two models:an early '50s sunburst and a 1960 yellow
mustard version. Several Jeff Beck Signature Strats have been produced, but the
current version features an alder body with a thin C-shaped maple neck in Olympic
White and Surf Green finishes, as well as a Custom Thinskin Nitro edition.