The electric guitar was born out of necessity. Going back to the big band era, acoustic guitar players needed an instrument that could be heard over all the brass and woodwind instruments. They also need to be heard over the banjos and mandolins on the front porch. In the 1930s, companies such as Rickenbacker and Gibson started to add guitar pickups to their instruments, which allowed musicians to plug them into an amplifier for added volume. Rickenbacker added a pickup to their Hawaiian guitar (also known as a lap steel guitar) “Frying Pan” model, and similarly, Gibson added a pickup to their electric Hawaiian EH-150 model. Soon after that, Gibson introduced the iconic ES-150, which gave players the very best of both worlds. It gave guitarists a world-class Gibson hollow body guitar with a built-in pickup, which made it the perfect fit for guitarists who played large ensembles. In 1951, Fender revolutionized the electric guitar market even further by unveiling the first ever mass-produced solid body electric guitar, now known as the Telecaster, which was introduced in order to combat the feedback that hollow body electric guitars produced. Then in 1952, Gibson worked closely with one of the most widely respected guitarists of the era to create the first Gibson solid body electric guitar, now known as the Les Paul and named after its co-inventor.
Early proponents of the electric guitar on record include Alvino Rey (Phil Spitalney Orchestra), Les Paul (Fred Waring Orchestra), Danny Stewart (Andy Iona Orchestra), George Barnes (under many aliases), Lonnie Johnson, Floyd Smith, Big Bill Broonzy, T-Bone Walker, George Van Eps, Charlie Christian (Benny Goodman Orchestra), Tampa Red, Memphis Minnie, and Arthur Crudup.
Yes, most of them are very useful! These days there are hundreds of online tutors offering great guitar lessons. And there’s no need to throw your money at the first offer you see, as a lot of quality instructional and tutorial videos are completely free on platforms such as YouTube. Generally, paid courses tend to be better because they are tested and are well-structured, and – in theory – you should be able to progress faster. But it all depends on your budget and on your will to learn on your own.
Is there a book you could recommend for an adult who already plays another instrument (violin/viola) but wants to learn guitar? It would be for my son who is 32 and expressed an interest in guitar recently. I have an acoustic guitar he could use but I thought I’d get him a beginning guitar book as a gift to go with it.
Since the output of an electric guitar is an electric signal, it can be electronically altered by to change the timbre of the sound. Often, the signal is modified using effects such as reverb and distortion and “overdrive”, the latter effect is considered a key element of electric blues guitar music and rock guitar playing.
The Fender Stratocaster is one of, if not the best known electric guitars in the world. Above all, it favours versatility, comfort and style, and is the first port of call for many budding players. Over the years, Stratocaster shaped guitars have been used by pretty much everyone from Jimi Hendrix to Eric Clapton, and its impact in the world of rock and blues cannot be underestimated. It features three ‘single coil’ pickups, which offer a range of different tones, and is hands-down one of the simplest guitars to pick up and play. Players of heavier music styles tend to overlook the Strat as its pickups aren’t geared towards driving amps with tonnes of gain, so if it’s a bona-fide metal machine you’re after you may want to look elsewhere, but if it’s a solid all-rounder with a range of different tones you’re after, you should definitely make a Strat your first port of call.
Thank you for writing this article, now I have all the time I need in buying my first electric guitar. I’ve been playing acoustic for like 10 years. I think this is the right time to upgrade my skills.
The chord below (an Am) is going to be used for demonstration. Firstly, you’ll notice the name of the chord labeled up the top. Next you’ll see a “grid” below it. This grid represents your guitar fretboard. The 6 lines running downwards represent the six strings on your guitar with the fattest and lowest sounding string on the left hand side. The horizontal lines represent the frets on your guitar neck. The top line is the top of the neck.
Always get the facts. Ask what has been done to make the instrument easier to play. Many important issues rest on the quality and playability of your instrument. There is no greater impedance to progress, developing proper technique and the enjoyment of learning to play than a poorly constructed instrument or one that is not correctly set up. Both the electric and the acoustic guitar will play with relative ease as long as they are properly adjusted and the size is well suited for the player.
Yeah. He may have to sit down when he plays, but he’ll have you on your feet when he does. BB’s creamy yet piercing tone, his unique vibrato and his absolute flawless ability to express his emotions through the guitar earn him a spot in the top ten. King’s years of fame haven’t gone to his head. He is still as humble as ever giving front row seat tickets to fans waiting in a cold parking lot just to have a glimpse of him. BB King can’t play chords. Nor does he sing and play at the same time. But he has worldwide recognition of his accomplishments as an artist. That’s a mark of a truly great guitarist.
Before we go into the parts of an electric guitar, it’s worth noting that there are three different body types: solid body, hollow body, and semi-hollow body. The main difference between them is the way the bodies are constructed, and the amount of resonance they produce. If you’re into punk, rock, metal, or any style of fast or heavy music, then it should be solid body all the way. It allows for louder sounds and more sustain, while avoiding the feedback issues that affect some hollow bodied instruments at higher volumes. The hollow and semi-hollow bodied guitars on the market will appeal to players who prefer softer styles, such as jazz, country and blues, as well as soft rock and pop, as they offer a full, rich and more resonant sound with lots of bass. Beginners will be best off sticking to a solid bodied guitar, as they are easier to handle in most scenarios. For the rest of this anatomical breakdown we’ll focus on solid body guitars.
Electric guitars are generally the easiest to play: the strings are thinner, the ‘action’ is low (see below) and therefore they are easier to press down. Barre chords on acoustic guitar can be very demanding and require a lot of finger strength. Cheaper acoustic guitars can be very hard to play higher up the fretboard. Classical guitars have nylon strings, which are softer than steel strings, and easier to press down. However, the neck is much wider on a classical guitar, which can be a struggle for beginners. The action is likely to be higher, as well. In general, they are softer-toned and don’t project as well as a steel string acoustic, which makes for quieter practising, which could be a consideration.
Wherever you purchase your first guitar from, make sure to take it to a local professional or friend with some experience and ask them to set it up for you. They may charge you a few dollars, but it’ll be worth it to have fresh strings, a good action, and correct tuning. If possible, ask them if you can watch how they set it up, so next time you can try it yourself.
Looking at the hardware and a good fixed bridge is sometimes more important than a tremolo-style bridge – especially if you are a beginner. Save the vibrato effects and epic divebombs for later on, when you’re a more confident player. A fixed bridge will also help keep your tuning in tact.
This tome, which claims to have taught more than a half-million people to play guitar, debuted in 1979. Refreshingly, it assumes you know nothing about guitar and starts at the very beginning. There’s no flowery prose, just simple, straightforward advice.
Having humbucker pickups (sometimes just a neck pickup) and usually strung heavlly, jazzboxes are noted for their warm, rich tone. A variation with single-coil pickups, and sometimes with a Bigsby tremolo, has long been popular in country and rockabilly; it has a distinctly more twangy, biting tone than the classic jazzbox. The term archtop refers to a method of construction subtly different from the typical acoustic (or “folk” or “western” or “steel-string” guitar): the top is formed from a moderately thick (1 inch or 2–3 cm) piece of wood, which is then carved into a thin (0.1 in, or 2–3 mm) domed shape, whereas conventional acoustic guitars have a thin, flat top.
Written by longstanding Gibson correspondent Dave Hunter and guitar historian Walter Carter, this DVD and spiral-bound book set covers the complete range of Gibson guitars. Read excerpts of the book here, here, and here.
In the 1950s and 1960s, some guitarists began exploring a wider range of tonal effects by distorting the sound of the instrument. To do this, they used overdrive — increasing the gain of the preamplifier beyond the level where the signal could be reproduced with little distortion, resulting in a “fuzzy” sound. This effect is called “clipping” by sound engineers, because when viewed with an oscilloscope, the wave forms of a distorted signal appear to have had their peaks “clipped off”, in the process introducing additional tones (often approximating the harmonics characteristic of a square wave of that basic frequency). This was not actually a new development in the musical instrument or its supporting gear, but rather a shift of aesthetics, such sounds not having been thought desirable previously. Some distortion modes with an electric guitar increase the sustain of single notes and chords, which changes the sound of the instrument. In particular, distortion made it more feasible to perform guitar solos that used long, sustained notes.
19 Joe Bonamassa Joe Bonamassa is an American blues rock guitarist, singer and songwriter. When he was only 12 years old, Bonamassa opened for B.B. King. He was born 8th May 1977. He is known to be one of the greatest blues guitarists ever.
Matthew Bellamy is just Uprising. Not much to say being an amazing guitarist, I reckon the best of all time! You listen to him for the 1st time, you’ll suddenly change your mind because he’ll blow it like hell.
Another consideration, and something you’ll read a lot about, is the pickups, which give the guitar its voice. There are two kinds of pickup in this price range: the single-coil (which gives a bright, sparkly sound) and the humbucker (which is fuller, meatier and perfect for rock and metal). Both are as common as each other in this budget range, and a guitar with a mix of both will offer you the best versatility.
The most technical electric guitarist…ever. Steve Vai may not be as flash as the likes of John Petrucci and Paul Gilbert, but when he does go flat-out, he’s untouchable. Vai has mastered every technique imaginable, but still has soul. ‘Passion and Warfare’ and ‘The Ultra Zone’ are must haves. – Floods
Piano lessons provide for more instant gratification. It is simply easier to play a note – all you have to do is sit up straight, pick your wrists up, gently curl your fingers and press a key. Granted, the piano does become tricky later on when you start to play rhythmically independent notes between different fingers and hands. With guitar, there’s more coordination involved in the beginning. Students have to learn how to pluck and fret the string at the same time without dampening the sound, whereas beginner piano students won’t use two hands right away.
An electric bass guitar uses the four lowest strings on a standard guitar, but is tuned an octave lower. A basic electric bass with amplifier and cord starts around $100-$400 used or $200-$500 new; can easily run $500-$1,500 and can be $2,000-$5,000 or more for professional models.
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When deciding piano vs guitar lessons, it boils down to preference. These are all fairly minor considerations in the scheme of things, especially compared to other instruments. Do you want instant gratification on the piano with all your keys laid out in front of you like a map of music? Or are you willing to work a little harder to memorise the fretboard quickly so you shred on electric guitar? Both piano and guitar are equally good at providing the essential fundamentals of music that other instruments like drums or voice don’t offer. They are both excellent beginner instruments that offer different paths to the same goal – to enjoy playing music and perhaps even become a professional musician someday.
So where do you start in a section as massive as this one? From acoustic to electric, nylon to steel stringed, hollow body to solid body, all styles are represented here, so having a good idea of what you’re looking for will definitely help. The best place to start is usually with the brand, as each one has a reputation for something different, allowing you to narrow things down from there. For example, you’ll instantly recognize names like Fender, Gibson and Ibanez as trailblazers of the electric guitar, while others like Martin, Taylor, and Breedlove are more famous for the unparalleled quality of their acoustic instruments. After that, you’ll want to look at things like body type, tonewood, strings, size, orientation and performance level. Once you have a general idea about each of these, your decision gets that much easier. Just remember, it all comes down to personal preference, so as long as you’re happy with the guitar you choose you can’t go wrong. The guitar is a special instrument, with a different meaning to every player. Whether you’re taking your first steps into the world of music or you’re a professional rocking out in front of sold out stadiums all over the planet, strumming, plucking and picking on a guitar is a way to express yourself that can’t be duplicated with anything else. So pick up a guitar here and start playing… you’ll be glad you did.
In conclusion, after reviewing the most popular beginner guitar books on the internet, I still think the book should be the supplement to learning guitar, with the primary learning tool being video lessons.
The guitar player who makes his guitar sound anything but a guitar. Helicopter rudders, disc scratching, and his use of the kill switch for staccato like guitar riffs has made him probably the most innovative guitar player of our time. He is a guitarist who can take feedback, and ground hum from his own body into coherent music. Be it Rage Against The Machine, or Audioslave you can always see Morello’s signature licks shining through.