A Brief History of the Electric Guitar

electric guitar

Those who have seen a band play live, will often find that the band includes an electric guitar. However, what do you really know about the electric guitar? Most people’s knowledge of the electric guitar is limited to the fact that it utilizes an amp to be heard and electricity. Other than that, people often overlook this popular instrument.

The Electric Guitar: The Early Years

Electric guitars were needed in the music setting. Bands were finding that acoustic guitars simply were not producing the loud notes that they needed to be heard. Thus, the need for such a guitar was evident, it simply needed to be designed and manufactured. There were several people who had the idea of making this type of guitar a reality. Those who know anything about electric guitars often attribute Les Paul with inventing the guitar. However, it was really a musician by the name George Beauchamp, and an electrical engineer by the name of Adolph Rickenbacker. It wasn’t until 1931, that the first available electric guitar came to the market, known affectionately as the “frying pan”.

How Electric Guitars Work

For those who are not familiar with the electric guitar, the basics of how this work are not hard to understand. First off, the electric guitar has a solid and thin body versus the hollow body of an acoustic guitar, a major difference that greatly affects the sound. What makes for that interesting sound that is associated with the electric guitar are the magnet pickups found in the guitar. Most of these guitars are going to contain two to three pickups in them, which are basically magnets wrapped in copper wire.

The amp is used with the electric guitar to get that loudness that people are wanting. It can be used without it, but it is not going to reach the volume that most people want when playing an electric guitar.

Fun Facts about Electric Guitars

  • The first recording of an electric guitar was made in 1933 by musicians in Hawaii
  • Electric guitars are considered to be one of the most notable instruments in all of music in terms of how this affecting genres of music
  • One of the most notable electric guitarists was Jimi Hendrix
  • These guitars are made for both left and right handed players
  • There are several string options including 7, 8, 9 and 12 stringed options, five necked guitar and the like

The electric guitar has had a profound effect on the music world. It is with the electric guitar that musicians are able to get louder notes, and to make those new sounds that make the music world what it is. Without the electric guitar, some of the most notable songs that have become anthems for some people would not have been thought of.