History of the Guitar

9 mins read

It is extremely tough to trace a line back to the precise birth of the instrument we know as the guitar today, as there is a lot of myth and unpredictability surrounding its origins.

This is generally due to the truth there have actually been a number of similar instruments throughout the ages. Lots of historians claim the guitar came from at numerous points in time. Some believe the guitar in its earliest type go back some 4000 years, however no-one actually knows for sure. This is because of a variety of artworks that depict guitar-like instruments being utilized at various times throughout history. Numerous ancient Egyptian paintings represent musical instruments that might be misinterpreted for the guitar.
A popular theory is that the guitar could have been created by the classical-era Greeks. This is due to confusion, nevertheless, mainly with the resemblance of its name with the Kithara. The Kithara remained in truth a type of harp or lyra, which bares little resemblance with the guitar besides in name.

The guitar as we know today seems an ancestor of the lute. The lute had four strings which would be plucked, not strummed similar to a guitar. The body was oval fit and had a rounded back. The drawback of this building and construction was that the lute was not a really loud instrument, suggesting it might not be played along side other instruments. Although missing out on a lot of the components these days’s guitar, it is an important step in the guitars evolution.
The very first composed mention of the guitar as a distinct instrument is from the 14th century. In this extremely early form the instrument had three double courses (or sets) of strings plus a single string (tuned the highest in pitch), comparable in contrast to the lute, as pointed out earlier.

The next step was in the vihuela, which came from Spain at some point in the 15th century. The vihuela had a somewhat ‘pinched’ waist– less noticable than today’s guitar and a smaller sized body then the lute. It likewise had actually included treble strings, once again arranged in sets and was made to be strummed instead of plucked as the lute was.

It wasn’t until the 16th century that the 2 instruments were ‘combined’, in a way of speaking, when an instrument was made with a body like that of the vihuela but closer in size to the lute.
The guitar became popular throughout Europe during the 16th and 17th centuries and by the late 17th century a 5th course of strings had actually been included listed below the other 4. By the mid-18th century the guitar started to take its modern type. The double courses were changed to single strings, and a 6th string was included above the existing five. It is very uncertain whether this took place in France or in Italy, but the resulting instrument was extremely comparable to that of which we understand today.
The late 18th-19th century, guitar makers changed numerous aspects of the instruments design. These consisted of expanding the width and thinning the depth of the body, increasing the curve of the waist, and adding internal bracing– all in effort to amplify the sound. The end result indicated the guitar might now be played along side other instruments without struggling to compete in regards to volume.

The guitar ended up being very popular with people because it was a really easy instrument to find out a minimum of a few standard chords and tunes. Nevertheless, the guitar was not accepted well with the ‘major’ musical community, thus the factor there is extremely few concertos composed for the instrument– and is still dismissed by numerous classically trained musicians today. In the early 19th century, Fernando Sor turned into one of the most respected composers for, and promoters of, the guitar as a ‘performance’ instrument. It was him, and others like him, which led the way for AndrĂ©s Segovia to emerge and assist bring the guitar to the immense popularity it takes pleasure in today.

The 20th century has seen most of the instrument’s improvements. Firstly the strings used, which were feline gut till that time, were changed by metal and nylon ones. The classical guitar was then modified to make the steel string acoustic guitar we know today. This required extra bracing to reinforce the body, and the intro of the truss rod to offer assistance to the neck. Once again this led to an even louder instrument.
Lots of tried to enhance the noise even more by amazing the guitar. A number of the first efforts were made by the Martin Company in the 1930’s. It was here the development of the magnetic pick-up happened. The first amplifiers came about around the very same time and were originated by Leo Fender.

The very first ‘electrical’ guitars were nothing more then existing acoustic guitars that had actually been modified to consist of a magnetic pick-up. This triggered many issues due to the truth that they had hollow bodies, which would resonate the sound produced by the amp in addition to the strings of the guitar– which produces ‘feedback’.

It was Les Paul that established the first ‘strong’ bodied guitar which he called ‘The Log’– due to it being little bit more then a slab of wood with a neck and two double coil pick-ups attached. To make his creation more attractive he stuck two halves of an acoustic guitar on either side, giving it a more standard appearance. He went on to offer the idea to Gibson who still produce the ‘Les Paul’ model that you see today.

It was Leo Fender nevertheless, that really brought the electric guitar into mass production and made it offered at far less an expense then all previous efforts (more on the Fender story can be seen on our ‘History of Fender’ section). The very first mass production guitar was the Broadcaster, which we now called the Telecaster, which was launched in 1948. He later on went on to develop and produce the Stratocaster, in 1954, probably the most well known electric guitar to date. Leo Fender was also the innovator of the electrical bass guitar which he developed for live use along side the guitar, as a typical contrabass could not contend in terms of volume – The first model being the Fender Accuracy Bass.

Ever since different kinds of the guitar have actually come and gone but the primary type of the instrument has actually seldom varied far from what we have seen from the 1950’s onwards. The main distinctions have actually been in the option of products used in the manufacture of the guitar. This has mainly remained in the effort of producing increased sustain or merely due to the shortage of particular woods. Nowadays a total variety of guitars are available, from the lower priced entry level designs to the premium customized shop models for everybody to enjoy, what ever our level of capability.

Our Score

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.