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Substitution of another device for the plectrum, for instance the cello bow (as famously used by Jimmy Page) and the e-bow, a device using electromagnetic feedback to vibrate strings without direct contact. Like feedback, these techniques increase sustain, bring out harmonics and change the acoustic envelope.
Semi-acoustic guitars have a hollow body (similar in depth to a solid-body guitar) and electronic pickups mounted on the body. They work in a similar way to solid-body electric guitars except that, because the hollow body also vibrates, the pickups convert a combination of string and body vibration into an electrical signal. Whereas chambered guitars are made, like solid-body guitars, from a single block of wood, semi-acoustic and full-hollowbody guitars bodies are made from thin sheets of wood. They do not provide enough acoustic volume for live performance, but they can be used unplugged for quiet practice. Semi-acoustics are noted for being able to provide a sweet, plaintive, or funky tone. They are used in many genres, including blues, funk, sixties pop, and indie rock. They generally have cello-style F-shaped sound holes. These can be blocked off to prevent feedback, as in B. B. King’s famous Lucille. Feedback can also be reduced by making them with a solid block in the middle of the soundbox.
The use of the vibrato bar (whammy bar or tremolo arm), including the extreme technique of dive bombing. The tremolo arm varies string tension to raise or lower pitch. Instead of bending individual notes, this lets the player bend all notes at once to sound lower or higher.
From the award winning team that produced the best selling Ultimate Guitar Book comes the most comprehensive book about the electric guitar. Its A-to-Z format covers more than 120 makers from around the world and details their successes and failures through 1,200 unique color, studio quality photographs. The book focuses on the iconic electric guitar with an introduction that places the electric guitar in a historical context, running from early acoustic instruments in the 16th century to amplification experiments in the 1930’s. The main body of the book is the A-to-Z of brands, covering the key 65-year period from 1935 to 2000.

Fender held an event in New York to introduce the lineup, and I attended and got to sample a few of the new guitars. These are China-made instruments, but the quality is quite good (as it is for Fender’s more traditional Paramount lineup of acoustics, which I’ve also fiddled with) and there’s no questioning how much fun it is to get your hands on such expressive axes.
Fender hasn’t traditionally been strong on the unplugged side. That’s been the realm of competitors such as Gibson, Taylor, and especially Martin, a 185-year-old Pennsylvania company that makes the acoustics that pretty much every musician who pays attention wants to own.
Bring back teaching music theory and harmony to the public school system. I spent my money on music school only to learn what the so called best guitarist never knew how to do. Now what? Mr. Q public votes for the best on things they know nothing about.
So my comment may be 3 years late, but in 2010, bands like A7X and Slipknot were around. Maybe their music is not as mainstream as most of the entries on this list, but Synyster Gates is one of the most technically proficient guitarists in metal/rock.
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.
Some solid-bodied guitars, such as the Gibson Les Paul Supreme, the PRS Singlecut, and the Fender Telecaster Thinline, among others, are built with hollows in the body. These hollows are designed specifically not to interfere with the critical bridge and string anchor point on the solid body. In the case of Gibson and PRS, these are called chambered bodies. The motivation for this may be to reduce weight, to achieve a semi-acoustic tone (see below) or both.[29][30][31]
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Quite often, power chords are played with only down-strums, and often with a technique called palm muting, which might make it less vital to mute the unused strings. But it is REALLY important to mute them because many songs do use up- and down-strums with power chords (‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ springs to mind). Also, if you don’t mute them, and you play loud with distortion, the strings might ring out—even if you don’t pick them—and which will make your chords sound messy. So make sure you get your string muting sorted now!
Getting your guitar action set up by a good luthier can make a huge difference to your guitar’s playability (you’ll usually find someone at your local store). I have a number of private students that found an AMAZING difference when they had set their guitar up correctly, and of course I get all mine done too. If you are struggling to play barre chords on an acoustic guitar, then a too-high action could certainly be a part of the problem.
When buying an electric guitar, you should know the level of experience of the person you are purchasing it for. Electric guitar cost for beginners is typically much lower than that made for experienced guitar players. It is also worth noting that left-handed electric guitars are often more expensive than their right-handed counterparts. Consider the need for more expensive hardware, as you can shave some cost off of the purchase by avoiding floating bridges and active pickups. Also, you can lower the associated electric guitar cost by purchasing a gig-bag instead of case, or a soft case instead of a hard case.
Full hollow-body guitars have large, deep bodies made of glued-together sheets, or “plates”, of wood. They can often be played at the same volume as an acoustic guitar and therefore can be used unplugged at intimate gigs. They qualify as electric guitars inasmuch as they have fitted pickups. Historically, archtop guitars with retrofitted pickups were among the very earliest electric guitars. The instrument originated during the Jazz Age, in the 1920s and 1930s, and are still considered the classic jazz guitar (nicknamed “jazzbox”). Like semi-acoustic guitars, they often have f-shaped sound holes.
With expiration of the Fender patent on the Stratocaster-style vibrato, various improvements on this type of internal, multi-spring vibrato system are now available. Floyd Rose introduced one of the first improvements on the vibrato system in many years when, in the late 1970s, he experimented with “locking” nuts and bridges that prevent the guitar from losing tuning, even under heavy vibrato bar use.
This entire list gets canned just for the omission of one the greats if not the greatest of all-time.. Duane Allman. One of the few I agree with RS about. Jimi Hendricks? Great…MAYBE. Very good? Probably. Top ten? Not on this panet.
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.
An excerpt: “Steeped in mystery, hogwash, and pop voodoo, guitars have become period pieces of almost totemic significance — some timeless, others dated as a crew cut; some spiffy as a showroom Bugatti, others funky as a Studebaker up on blocks.”
Klaus its pleasing to see that you’ve included Rory Gallagher, he quite frequently gets ignored because he shunned commercialism to stay true to guitar playing. Admittedly I’m biased, Rory was related to me but I had the pleasure to meet and talk to him a few times and his down to earth personality was a credit.
Several magazines and websites have compiled what they intend as lists of the greatest guitarists—for example The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time by Rolling Stone magazine, or 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time by Guitar World magazine.
Electric guitar design and construction vary greatly in the shape of the body and the configuration of the neck, bridge, and pickups. Guitars may have a fixed bridge or a spring-loaded hinged bridge that lets players “bend” the pitch of notes or chords up or down or perform vibrato effects. The sound of a guitar can be modified by new playing techniques such as string bending, tapping, hammering on, using audio feedback, or slide guitar playing. There are several types of electric guitar, including the solid-body guitar, various types of hollow-body guitars, the six-string guitar (the most common type, usually tuned E, A, D, G, B, E, from lowest to highest strings), the seven-string guitar, which typically adds a low B string below the low E, and the twelve-string electric guitar, which has six pairs of strings.
I really don’t think you should spend less than about £250 ($400) because you will end up with something hard to play, and you probably won’t enjoy playing! At the cheaper end, both Yamaha and Fender make very good budget acoustic guitars. Lately I have played a lot of cheap Yamahas that were good; they are mass-produced, but mass-produced well. 
I think for the general beginner an electric guitar is probably the best instrument, mainly because they are a little easier to play and so you will see results faster, which will inspire you to play more.
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