Electric Guitar History

Author: John Robert 

Electric guitar history begins in the 1920's and 1930's when two Los Angeles musicians George Beauchamp and John Dopyera began trying to find ways of creating louder guitars. They first created a resonator guitar using aluminum disks with a metal body that was three times louder than an acoustic guitar. The resonator guitar evolved into what me commonly refer to now as the dobro.

It wasn't until 1930 that Beauchamp and another man Paul Barth developed the first working pickup. They then contacted Harry Wilson who carved the neck and body of what would be the first electric guitar. They nick-named it the frying pan due to it's round body.

The first man to build and market an electric "Spanish" style guitar was Lloyd Loar. Loar created Vivi-Tone, a company dedicated to the production of spanish style electric guitars. However the design was poor and within a year Vivi-Tone failed.

In 1935 Gibson began work on developing a new guitar pickup. This pickup would become incorporated onto the standard f-hole arch-top guitar known as the ES-150. The Gibson ES-150 is considered the first modern electric guitar in history.

A milestone in electric guitar history, the ES-150 became an instant success. However their were still some undesirable characteristics. Because of the hollow body design there were often problems with feedback and distortion.

The answer to this problem was the solid body electric guitar. The solid body electric guitar can be accredited to two men. Les Paul and Leo Fender. Les Paul's idea was to take a 4x4 piece of pine and attach two magnetic pickups. He then glued two cutaway halves of the original hollow body design to the 4x4.

Leo Fender's model was slightly different. His solid body was made of oak and instead of gluing two halves of a hollow body to a solid middle Leo Fender had carved the entire body solid. In 1949 Fender released the first successful solid-body electric guitar called the "Esquire."

It wasn't until 1952 that Gibson decided to release Les Paul's version of the solid body electric guitar. Although Fender had been on the market for a short while Gibson's Les Paul quickly become the industry standard and to this day is considered the most sought after guitar in electric guitar history.

By the 1960's electric guitar history had hit its maturity. Gibson introduced the humbucking pickup which helped to reduce unwanted noise from the magnetic coils in pickups. Fender and Gibson came out with more futuristic designs like the SG and Stratocaster.

Since the 1960's There have been numerous electric guitar manufacturers to come on to the scene. Manufacturers like Ibanez, Jackson, Paul Reed Smith, Dean and B.C.Rich are just a few of the modern companies who are still continuing to make electric guitar history.
John Robert has been playing guitar longer than he can remember and teaching for the last three years. His innovative teaching methods have helped many guitarists maximize their practice time for optimal playing potential. To learn more great guitar playing tips visit Jam-o-rama.info

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