Guitar Musician News

Electric Guitars Overview

by on Apr.26, 2012, under General, Guitar Talk

Time wise, electric guitars are a fairly new musical invention. Nevertheless, there is no instrument that has had as much impact in recent history as electric guitars. The most popular types of music in the world all incorporate electric guitar work, including jazz, blues, and rock and roll.

Concept

The concept of the electric guitar is fairly simple. Around the middle of the 20th century, players of blues and jazz in the southern United States wanted to be able to play along with louder, accompanying instruments and still be heard. The only option was to find a way to up the amplification of the guitar’s natural sound. Several models were introduced. Gibson, Les Paul, and Leo Fender all developed and sold electric guitar models. These instruments became even more popular when their visibility increased with the rise of rock and roll through Elvis in the 1950s and then The Beatles in the 1960s.

Electric guitars are usually solid bodies, with the pick up housed right with the end pegs. The pickups are housed within a hollow part of the guitar body.

Electric Guitar Accessories

Electric guitar accessories have a big overlap with those found for acoustic guitars, although many innovations were originally intended for electrics. Among the most popular electric guitar accessories are pedals and amps. Pedals add to the effects that an electric guitar already has housed within its body, causing greater distortion and modifications. Other accessories such as electric guitar cases and electric guitar stands are popular with acoustic guitar owners as well, and can be used interchangeably.

One accessorizing item that electric guitar players need that might not occur to acoustic only players is a tool box. The electric guitar strings are often enclosed and sealed in with a panel, so players will need a screwdrivers and replacements in order to change their electric guitar strings. In addition, the play of experts such as Eddie Van Halen and Jimi Hendrix showed that modifications on electric guitars could greatly change the sound that was produced, often making signature sounds with unique (and often secret) techniques.

Electric guitar accessories continue to develop as new sounds enter into the popular conscious. Not long ago, the most widespread devices were individual foot pedals that needed to be hooked up in sequence in order to supply a wide range of musical effects. With the rise of digital technology, these effects can now be housed in one small unit, thus making individual models obsolete. The new effects systems are often cheaper than the traditional models. They still operate on the foot pedal concept, however, and most will include a separate pedal for the “wah” effect.

Electric guitars offered musicians a whole new way to get the feeling of their music across. Using the same musical principles as acoustic guitars, players were able to enhance techniques (such as hammer-ons and slides) that were used only rarely and with limited effect by acoustic models. The difference in electric guitar strings in that they are slinkier and easier to manipulate also contributed to the unique sound of electric guitars.


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