Pál Szakács/ January 9, 2019/ Art Gallery/ 0 comments

The forerunner of the electric guitar is the acoustic guitar. What is the essential difference between these two? With an electric guitar, the vibration of the strings is picked up by so-called pickups, also called elements. They convert the vibration of the strings into an electrical signal, which is then sent to an amplifier.

There are also guitars with a piezoelectric element. These are not actually electric guitars, because the piezoelectric element works like a microphone. In that case there is therefore an electrically amplified (acoustic) guitar. About pick-ups will soon be more, first we dive into the history of the electric guitar.

Pioneering time

The history of the electric guitar begins in the twenties of the last century. At that time the big bands came up. Because of the volume of such a big band, the need arose to make the guitar, which was completely acoustic at that time, sound louder. That’s why guitars were getting bigger and were provided with steel strings. But at a certain moment the limit was reached. The use of https://musiety.com/an-expert-squier-jaguar-review/ happens to be the best here.

The idea arose to pick up the sound of the strings with built-in magnetic elements (the so-called pick-ups) and to amplify this sound electrically. In 1931, guitar builder Rickenbacker was the first to come with such a guitar and was also able to produce it in a factory.

But because the guitars had a hollow body (hollow body), there was a technical limitation to the amplification because hollow guitars are very sensitive to feedback (rounding). Thus they experimented with guitars that were provided with a solid body (solid body).

A well-known pioneer in this field was Les Paul, who later linked his name to a guitar series by the famous Gibson brand. Les Paul was one of the first to build a solid body guitar. That was in the early forties. He went there several times to guitar manufacturer Gibson. However, that showed no interest, so the solid body guitar of Les Paul threatened to die a silent death.

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Fender and Gibson

In the early fifties the guitar builder Leo Fender was the first to produce solid body electric guitars in the factory. He designed a production process with which large numbers of electric guitars could be produced at the lowest possible cost. Those were the Fender Esquire and even more famous Fender Telecaster. This made the electric guitar affordable for more people, especially for young people. Moreover, with its penetrating sound, the Telecaster proved to lend itself well to blues, R & B, country and rock ‘n’ roll.

More and more musicians discovered the Fender Telecaster. That made Gibson realizes that they too had to come with a solid body guitar. That is why they still sought contact with Les Paul and together with him developed Gibson his first electric solid body guitar. The name of Les Paul was connected to the guitar and that is how the first Gibson Les Paul came on the market.

The Fine Details

We now have a huge number of different guitar brands and a much larger number of small specialized companies that build or customize electric guitars by hand (‘customize’). The guitar brands Fender and Gibson are often regarded as the archetypes of the electric guitar. Some guitarists have a strong preference for one of the two brands. You will also find all sorts of discussions on internet forums.

The difference between a Fender and Gibson can be heard. A Fender has more treble and has a more penetrating sound, the sound of a Gibson is a bit warmer and rounder. That’s because almost all Gibson’s have a glued neck and the Fender’s a screwed neck. Fender also uses single coil pickups and Gibson uses humbuckers.

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