The Beauty of the Electric Guitar
Beauty of the Electric Guitar
The electric guitar was first invented in 1932 to allow jazz guitarists to play single note guitar solos in a big band ensemble. Shortly thereafter, blues guitarists took to the electric guitar as well eventually leading to its rise in pop music throughout the 1950s and 1960s. This trend continued for decades after with the electric guitar still being one of the most popular instruments today.
Types of Electric Guitars
Electric guitar bodies generally come in five different types. These types of electric guitars include:
- Solid Body
- Chambered Body
- Semi-Hollow Body
- Full-Hollow Body
Solid body electric guitars are the most popular type. This type of electric guitar was commonly used by Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Eric Clapton, and most other famous electric guitarists of the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s. They reduce unwanted feedback due to the extremely low noise the guitar itself makes. This allows the guitarist to create feedback and distortion only when they want it to create the sounds they desire. The most common way to create distortion and feedback is through overdriving the amplifier either through the signal sent from the guitar or applying heavier amplification.
Chambered body electric guitars look the exact same as solid body electric guitars except they have chambers drilled out inside the guitar itself. This achieves two purposes. It reduces the weight of the overall guitar which can really help relieve some of the strain of performances and also adds a small semi-acoustic tone to the guitar. This acoustic tone is still extremely small compared to the other three types of guitars.
Semi-hollow body guitars look similar to full-hollow body guitars except they have a solid wood block through the center of the body. This helps reduce vibrations and feedback caused by the guitar itself while still allowing for a semi-acoustic tone. They have one or more sound holes on the side of the body to allow the acoustics of the guitar to ring out. These types of guitars are most commonly associated with B.B. King and his famous guitar Lucille.
Full-hollow body guitars, or archtop guitars, are typically used for playing jazz music. They’re typically slightly larger than semi-hollow body guitars but carry a similar overall appearance. These guitars produce a warm tone commonly used in jazz music, although they also picked up in popularity among country musicians as well.
Acoustic-electric guitars simply add pickups to a standard acoustic guitar. This allows a performer to use an acoustic guitar on stage with the volume they require. While using a mic to record and amplify the sound of an acoustic guitar generally provides a more accurate tone, pickups reduce unwanted interruptions in a concert setting.
Each type of electric guitar has its own distinct purpose, sound, and look. This is why so many guitar enthusiasts collect a variety of different guitars to achieve the exact sound they want. It also simply looks great to have a range of different guitars hanging from the walls as each type of guitar has a beautiful appearance.