There is something about the electric guitar that just captures the hearts of people. Maybe it’s the sound, or the way that it makes you feel when you play it. Whatever it is, there’s no doubt that the electric guitar is one of the most popular instruments in the world.
Important Facts About Electrical Guitars
Want to know more about electric guitars? From the history to how they’re made, learn these fun facts about electric guitars will give you a better understanding of what makes these instruments so special.
LET’S DIVE IN!
1. The History of the Electric Guitar
The electric guitar has a long and rich history. It has been used in countless different styles of music ever since. From jazz to rock, the electric guitar has found a home in just about every genre imaginable.
The electric guitar was invented around 1936 by Charlie Christian, a jazz guitarist who attached a pickup to an acoustic guitar so he could play solos in his band. This marked the beginning of electric guitars, and it changed music forever.
2. What is an Electric Guitar?
An electric guitar is a type of guitar that uses pickups to convert the vibration of its strings into electrical signals. These signals are then sent to an amplifier, which makes them loud enough for people to hear. Electric guitars come in a variety of shapes and sizes — each with their own unique features.
String Vibration ➠ Pickups ➠ Electrical Signals ➠ Amplifier
3. Parts of an Electric Guitar
Many of the parts on an electric guitar are similar to those on an acoustic guitar in function, but they differ in appearance, sound production and sometimes additional features.
These parts can be classified into four main groups:
- Guitar wood parts: the body, the neck, fretboard, and headstock
- Guitar hardware: metallic parts like bridge, tailpiece, tuning pegs, and tremolo
- Guitar electronics: pickups, potentiometers and capacitors, and pickup selector switch
- Other components: guitar strings, truss rod, nut of the guitar, frets, and pick guard
Though people often think electric guitars are made from metal, they’re actually crafted from wood just like an acoustic guitar. The body, neck and fretboard are the three main parts of an electric guitar and they are made of wood.
The body is the largest part of the guitar and it serves as the platform to which all other parts are attached. The neck is glued or bolted to the body and it’s where the strings are attached. The fretboard is a thin piece of wood that sits on top of the neck and it’s where you place your fingers to play notes.
The hardware on an electric guitar includes the bridge, tailpiece, tuning pegs, and tremolo. The bridge is what the strings are attached to and it helps transfer the vibrations from the strings to the body. The tailpiece is a small piece of metal that anchors the strings at the back of the guitar. The tuning pegs are located at the headstock and they’re used to tune the strings. The tremolo is a bar that’s attached to the bridge and it’s used to create vibrato effects.
The electronics on an electric guitar include the pickups, potentiometers and capacitors, and pickup selector switch. The pickups are what convert the string vibrations into electrical signals. The potentiometers and capacitors are electronic components that control the volume and tone of the guitar. The pickup selector switch is used to select which pickups are active.
The other parts of an electric guitar include the strings, truss rod, nut, frets, and pick guard. The strings are what you pluck to create sound. The truss rod is a metal rod that runs along the inside of the neck and it helps keep the neck straight. The nut is a small piece of plastic or metal that’s located at the headstock and it holds the strings in place. The frets are thin strips of metal that are placed along the fretboard and they’re used to create different notes. The pick guard is a small piece of plastic or metal that’s placed on the body and it protects the guitar from being scratched by picks.
4. Different Types of Electric Guitar
There are many different types of electric guitar, each with its own unique features.
The most common type of electric guitar is the solid body guitar. Solid body guitars are made of one solid piece of wood and they’re the most popular choice for rock and metal guitarists.
Non-solid body guitars include hollow body guitars, semi-hollow body guitars, and chambered body guitars.
Hollow body and semi-hollow body guitars are made of two pieces of wood with a hollow space in between them.
A full hollow-body guitar has a large, deep body that doesn’t have a solid center. Semi-hollow body guitars have a solid center block, while chambered body guitars have several small chambers in the body.
Generally, solid body instruments have more sustain and are less likely to feedback than either semi-hollow or fully-hollow guitars.
5. Difference Between an Electric Guitar and an Acoustic Guitar
An electric guitar is different from an acoustic guitar in a few ways.
First, electric guitars have pickups that convert the string vibrations into electrical signals. Acoustic guitars don’t have pickups and they rely on the body of the guitar to amplify the sound.
Second, electric guitars have thinner strings than acoustic guitars. This makes them easier to play but it also gives them a brighter sound.
Third, electric guitars are available in a wider variety of shapes than acoustic guitars. Acoustic guitars typically have the same body shape, but they come in different sizes and with a cutaway. Electric guitars have a more diverse range of shapes and sizes.
Fourth, electric guitars can have different numbers of strings. The most common number of strings for an electric guitar is six, but they can also have seven or eight strings.
Finally, electric guitars are typically played with a pick, while acoustic guitars are usually played with the fingers.
6. Choosing Your First Electric Guitar
There are a few things to consider on what to look for in an electric guitar.
First, you need to decide what style of music you want to play. This will help you narrow down the choices and find the right guitar for you. The body shape is specifically related to the genre of music.
A solid body shape is usually used for rock and metal, while a semi-hollow body is better for blues and jazz. However, the solid body guitar is also a versatile instrument that can be used across many genres, including country, rock, pop, folk soul, blues, and R&B.
Second, you need to consider the pickups. Pickups are what convert the string vibrations into electrical signals. There are three main types of pickups: single coil, humbucker, and P90. Single coil pickups are the most common and they’re known for their bright, twangy sound. Humbuckers are two single coils that are wired together and they’re known for their thicker, warmer sound. P90 pickups have a unique midrange sound that is higher than single coil pickups, but lower than humbucker pickups.
Finally, you need to decide on the budget. Electric guitars can range in price from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. It’s important to find a guitar that’s in your budget and that you’re comfortable with.
For beginners, we recommend solid body guitars that don’t have a tremolo. The tremolo is a device that allows you to change the pitch of the strings by pressing down on the bridge. It’s a great feature for experienced guitarists, but it’s not necessary for beginners.
As you become more advanced in your guitar skills, you can look into getting a better quality instrument by checking these details.
- Neck Shape
- Tuning Machines
- Set Neck vs Bolt-on
- Number of Strings
- Number of Frets
- Scale Length
7. Get an Amplifier!
You’ll need an amplifier to play your electric guitar. The amplifier is what takes the electrical signals from the guitar and turns them into sound. You need an amplifier to make an electric guitar work.
There are two main types of amplifiers: combo amplifiers and head amplifiers. Combo amplifiers have the amplifier and speaker built into one unit, while head amplifiers have the amplifier and speaker separate.
Combo amplifiers are great for beginners because they’re small and portable. They’re also less expensive than head amplifiers. Head amplifiers are more powerful and they offer more flexibility in terms of the sounds you can create. However, they’re also more expensive and they require an external speaker.
When choosing an amplifier, you’ll need to consider the power, tone, and features. The power is measured in watts and it determines how loud the amplifier can get. The tone is the sound of the amplifier and it’s affected by the type of amplifier, the type of speakers, and the settings on the amplifier. The features are the extra functions that some amplifiers have, such as reverb, tremolo, and effects loops.
8. Basic Tips for Care and Maintenance
Here are some tips to keep your electric guitar in good condition:
- Store your guitar in a dry, cool place.
- Use a soft cloth to wipe down the body of your guitar after playing.
- Be careful not to drop your guitar or hit it against hard surfaces.
- Replace the strings regularly.
- Make sure the electronics are working properly.
- Have your guitar set up by a professional every few years.
Why the Electric Guitar Rocks!
The electric guitar is a versatile and popular instrument that has been used in many different genres of music. It’s easy to play and it can make a wide range of sounds. If you’re looking for an instrument that you can play for a lifetime, the electric guitar is a great choice.