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Y Tu Mama Tambien

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The Evolution of the Guitar in the Music Industry

The electric guitar has played a tremendous role in the music industry. Various guitar players have literally changed the genres of music because of their style and originality. The history of the electric guitar started in the early 1930's by a man named George Beauchamp. He began looking for new ways to increase the volume intensity of the guitar. He knew that passing a wire through a magnetic field would produce a change in the intensity, which in turn could be used to create a changing electric current in a properly coupled coil of wire. This was also the same way that electric motors, generators, phonograph needles, acoustical speakers, and many other products were being developed and marketed at this time.

George Beauchamp has been experimenting with the development of the electric guitar since 1925. He started practicing by simply using a phonograph needle to produce a very thin string, and then placed it on a piece of two by four. He believed that if a device could be developed which could "pick up" the vibrations of each string, then it could covert the vibrations into different varieties in electrical current that can change into amplification into a public announcement. (PA)

The earliest origins of the acoustic guitar are hard to date back. Most people believe the electric guitar dates back at least as early as the Renaissance. Early guitar style instruments such as the Lute did not have metal frets; instead of having metal frets, they were made of gut. The frets could be moved depending on what notes where needed. The Spanish were known for the classical guitar, as we know it today, which dates back to the mid-19th century.

Certain woods provide a better sound, although the woods used are often very expensive as they tend to be Brazilian rain woods. A lot of new guitars are made of a compound of woods as this is cheaper and easier to make. Compound woods do not make the guitar sound as rich so often a 'solid top' is fitted to an otherwise compound guitar. This keeps prices low at the same time as providing a much nicer sound.

Acoustic guitars come in many different sizes, the most popular type of acoustic guitar is the 'Dreadnought' size, this produces a great sound whether finger picking or strumming with a guitar pick. "Electro acoustic guitars are now available. These are basically an acoustic guitar with a built in pickup. This enables the guitar to be amplified or recorded at the same time as still sounding like an acoustic. Electro acoustics also often have a cutaway design, allowing the player greater access to the higher frets." (www.google.com/geocities.com/SunsetStrip/Stage/1918/guitar.htm)

In the past, guitarists noticed that they could not be heard over the sound of drums and brass instruments. Amplifiers and microphones had been around for a while, so the most obvious thing to do was to microphone the acoustic guitar. This worked to some extent but often caused problems with feedback, it also meant the guitarist had to sit right in front of the microphone and could not move around. A very well known guitarist named Les Paul, came up with a way of electrifying his guitar with a needle from an old record player plugged into an old radio. This helps amplify the guitar but still caused feedback problems because of the acoustics hollow body. Les Paul decided to build a solid bodied guitar with a built in magnetic pickup. He approached different companies to make his design and eventually Gibson took the offer.

Leo Fender, a man who works on making solid body electric guitars, again revolutionized the electric guitar with the idea of a bolt on neck, this was to help make the process of the neck more proficient and stable rather than a glue on neck. This was originally done for common sense as the neck of the guitar would be easier to change. Leo Fender also took the electric guitar to the production line, first with the Esquire model and then the Telecaster, (the purpose of a pickup is to convert the vibration of a string into an electrical signal) which featured an extra pickup, Fender again revolutionized electric guitar design with the Stratocaster model. After listening to some great guitarists suggestions, Leo Fender designed a guitar with two cutaways, a contoured body, and 3 pickup. The Stratocaster went on to become the most popular and most copied guitar shape of all time. Over 55 years later the "Strat" design has changed very little.

An electric guitar is a type of guitar with semi-solid body or solid body that utilizes electromagnetic "pickups" to convert the vibration of the steel-cored strings into electrical current. The current may be electrically distorted to achieve various tones prior to being plugged into an amplifier, which produces the secondary sound. In distinction to most stringed instruments, the solid-body electric guitar does not rely as widely on the acoustic properties of its building to amplify the sound produced by the vibrating strings. "The electric guitar does not need to be naturally loud, and its body can be virtually any shape. In fact, since all the sound produced by the amplifier comes from string vibrations detected by the electric pickups, an electric guitar that produces minimal acoustic sound will actually have maximal sustain. Since less of the energy from the string is changed as sound energy. The electric guitar is used extensively in many popular styles of music, including blues, rock and roll, country, pop and jazz."

Electric guitars were originally designed by a variety of luthiers, electronics buffs, and instrument manufacturers, in varying combinations. Some of the earliest electric guitars used tungsten pickups and were manufactured in the 1930s by a man named Rickenbacker. The popularity of the electric guitar began with the big band era, the amplified instruments being necessary to compete with the loud volumes of the large brass sections common to jazz orchestras of the thirties and forties. Initially, electric guitars consisted primarily of hollow "archtop" acoustic guitar bodies to which electromagnetic transducers had been attached." (www.guitarhistory.us/?GuitarHistory.)

The instrument that is most well known today is the "solid body" electric guitar: a guitar made of solid wood, without having airspaces within it. One of the first solid body electric guitars was built by musician and inventor Les Paul in the early 1930s, working after hours in the Epiphone Guitar factory. "His "log" guitar, so called because it consisted of a simple rectangular block of wood with a neck attached to it, was generally considered to be the first of its kind until recently, when research through old trade publications

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