Know your Instrument Guitar

Know Your Instrument – Guitar

Learning a musical instrument is a hoot and a half but requires plenty of practice. But when you learn to play the guitar, it will not only help you to relax but also give your creative side an outlet. It can be very rewarding to create your own music, especially if you are in a band with friends or family. When playing the guitar, the key is not about how well you play but about having fun while doing it! So buckle up and let’s take a dive into the past and learn about the guitars early history, how it evolved, different types, the modern-day Pioneers, and some of the all-time greats to ever play the instrument.

Where it all began:
It is considered that the guitar was originated in Spain during the 16th century, the name guitar was derived from the term “Guitarra Latina”. Gitterns (small, plucked guitars) became the first little, guitar-like instruments with a circular back, similar to the lute, produced during the Spanish Middle Ages. Modern guitar-shaped instruments did not appear until the Renaissance when the body and size came to resemble those of a guitar. With time, the guitar began to gain popularity, and in 1850, Spanish guitar maker Antonio Torres Jurado is credited with giving the instrument a form and structure. He revolutionised the instrument, increasing the body size, altering its dimensions, and employing fan bracing. The interior component of wood reinforcements used to attach the guitar’s top to prevent damage while under pressure is referred to as the bracing pattern. Torres’ redesigned guitar dramatically increased the instrument’s volume, tone, and projection, and his design has remained unchanged since.

Evolution of the Guitar:
Nearly two centuries after its introduction, the flat-top acoustic guitar remains the most popular type of acoustic guitar. Christian Frederick Martin, a German-born American guitar maker, invented the flat top. To help the guitar body manage the added stress of modern steel strings, Martin changed the old-fashioned fan bracing with X-bracing, which had been a problem for the old Torres-style guitars. Orville Gibson is widely credited with the invention of the archtop guitar. This guitar has F-holes, an arched top and back, and a movable bridge, which improves the tone and volume of the instrument. Gibson designed guitars with cello-like bodies, which allowed the instruments to produce a louder tone. Flat top guitars were immediately adopted by jazz and country performers, as well as large bands and swing bands. In 1931, George Beauchamp and Adolph Rickenbacker received the first patent for the electric guitar. At around the same time, many other innovators and guitar builders were working on electronic versions of these old instruments. Les Paul, for example, is credited with inventing the solid-body guitar used by Gibson Guitars, and Leo Fender is credited with inventing the Fender Telecaster in 1951. The Fender Telecaster, Gibson Les Paul, and Gibson SG all contributed to the evolution of solid-body electric guitars that are still used today.

Types of Guitar:
For each person, the term “guitar” has a different meaning. It may be the resonant strum of a steel-string acoustic over a campfire, the boom of a Les Paul electric through a Marshall guitar amp, or the delicate fingerpicking of a seasoned classical performer. The world of guitar is vast and diverse, encompassing a wide range of instruments in a variety of genres and timbres.

Here are a few types of guitars:

1. Acoustic
2. Acoustic-electric
3. Nylon-string classical
4. Resonator
5. Electric
6. Hollowbody
7. Semi-acoustic
8. Solidbody
9. Bass
10. Lapsteel/ Pedal steel

Modern Day Pioneers:
Since we’ve read a lot about the guitar, its evolution, and also seen a variety of them. Now let’s take a look at a few guitarists who’ve pioneered the instrument in the past decade.

Mark Tremonti: Mark Tremonti’s track record as a musician is nearly unrivalled in current heavy music; the Alter Bridge and Creed guitarist, who we’ll refer to as Captain Riff, has sold more than 50 million albums during his career.

Mark Tremonti

Tosin Abasi: Abasi, the eight-string-playing extended ranger, has been widely renowned for making distinctive songs. He’s also well-known for crafting high-minded prog-metal-funk-classic-electro-rock since his debut with “Animals as Leaders” approximately a decade ago. His ideas are, without a doubt, ahead of their time.

Tosin Abasi

Gary Clark Jr: Gary Clark Jr. burst into the world in 2010 with a spectacular performance at the Crossroads Guitar Festival, and he’s been dubbed “the new face of the blues” ever since he’s been one of the most influential guitarists in the world.

Gary Clark Jr

Nita Strauss: To say that anyone can upstage Alice Cooper on his own stage is an understatement, but the shock-rock legend may have found his match in current guitar foil Nita Strauss, whose ability to tear it up on the fretboard is matched only by her consummate showmanship and unabashed love of performing – she’s The Flash in every stylistic sense.

Nita Strauss

John Petrucci: John Petrucci has been “the most recognised and popular guitarist in the field of progressive metal” for nearly three decades. And he hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down in the last decade.

John Petrucci

All-Time Greats:
Covering all the legends who’ve ever played the guitar could be a blog in itself, so here are a few greats from the past who paved the path for all guitarists today.

Jimi Hendrix:  Despite the fact that his mainstream career lasted only four years, he had a huge impact on the music industry and remains one of the most celebrated musicians of the twentieth century.

Jimi Hendrix

Eddie Van Halen: The man needs no introduction for all Van Halen fans around the world, Eddie with his brother Alex, co-founded one of the greatest rock bands of all time and it’s safe to say is an inspiration to millions around the world.

Eddie Van Halen

Eric Clapton: Guitarist with Cream, Derek and the Dominos, and MORE, best known for the classic track “Wonderful Tonight,” which has sold over 4 million copies worldwide. Eric was a cultural icon and a forerunner in his day.


Keith Richards: An English musician, composer, and singer who rose to prominence as a co-founder of The Rolling Stones, probably the greatest rock band of all time. He’s been a member of iconic bands like The Dirty Mac and The New Barbarians throughout his career.

Keith Richards

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