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Published by Pradeep Tiwari

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Published by: Pradeep Tiwari on Jul 24, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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The guitar is a musical instrument with ancient roots that is used in a wide variety of musical styles. It typically has six strings, but four, seven, eight, ten, and twelve string guitars also exist. Guitars are recognized as one of the primary instruments in blues, country, flamenco, rock music, and many forms of pop. This is also a solo classical instrument. Guitars may be played acoustically, where the tone is produced by vibration of the strings and modulated by the hollow body, or they may rely on an amplifier that can electronically manipulate tone. Such electric guitars were introduced in the 20th century and continue to have a profound influence on popular culture. Traditionally guitars have usually been constructed of combinations of various woods and strung with animal gut, or more recently, with either nylon or steel strings. Indian Origin Before the development of the electric guitar and the use of synthetic materials, a guitar was defined as being an instrument having "a long, fretted neck, flat wooden soundboard, ribs, and a flat back, most often with incurved sides". Instruments similar to the guitar have been popular for at least 5,000 years. The guitar appears to be derived from earlier instruments known in ancient India and Central Asia as the “Sitara”. The oldest known iconographic representation of an instrument displaying all the essential features of a guitar being played is a 3300 year old stone carving of a Hittite bard. The modern word “Guitar” was adopted into English from Spanish “guitarra”, derived from the Latin word “cithara”, which in turn was derived from the earlier Greek word “kithara”. Prospective sources for various names of musical instruments that guitar could be

derived from appear to be a combination of two Indo-European roots: guit-, similar to Sanskrit sangeet meaning "music", and -tar a widely attested root meaning "chord" or "string".

The Spanish vihuela or "viola da mano", a guitar-like instrument of the 16th century, appears to be an aberration in the transition from the renaissance instrument to the modern guitar. It had lute-style tuning and a guitar-like body. Its construction had as much in common with the modern guitar as with its contemporary four-course renaissance guitar. The Vinaccia family of luthiers is known for developing the mandolin, and may have built the earliest extant six string guitar. Gaetano Vinaccia has his signature on the label of a guitar built in Naples, Italy for six strings with the date of 1779. This guitar has been examined and does not show tall-tale signs of modifications from a doublecourse guitar although fakes are known to exist of guitars and identifying labels from that period. The electric guitar was patented by George Beauchamp in 1936. However, it was Danelectro that first produced electric guitars for the wider public.

Acoustic guitars
An acoustic guitar is one not dependent on an external device to be heard. The acoustic guitar is quieter than other instruments commonly found in bands and orchestras so when playing within such groups it is often externally amplified. Many acoustic guitars available today feature a variety of pickups which enable the player to amplify and modify the raw guitar sound. There are several notable subcategories within the acoustic guitar group: classical and flamenco guitars; steel string guitars, which include the flat top or "folk" guitar; twelve string guitars and the arch top guitar. The acoustic guitar group also includes unamplified guitars designed to play in different registers such as the acoustic bass guitar which has a similar tuning to that of the electric bass guitar.

Electric guitar

Electric guitars can have solid, semi-hollow, or hollow bodies, and produce little sound without amplification. Electromagnets pickups convert the vibration of the steel strings into electrical signals which are fed to an amplifier through a cable or radio transmitter. The sound is frequently modified by other electronic devices or the natural distortion of valves (vacuum tubes) in the amplifier. There are two main types of pickup: single coil and double coil (known as humbuckers), each of which can be passive or active. The electric guitar is used extensively in jazz, blues and rock and roll, and was commercialized by Gibson together with Les Paul and independently by Leo Fender of Fender Music. The lower fretboard action (the height of the strings from the fingerboard) and its electrical amplification lend the electric guitar to some techniques which are less frequently used on acoustic guitars. These techniques include tapping, extensive use of legato through pull-offs and hammer-ons (also known as slurs), pinch harmonics, volume swells and use of a tremolo arm or effects pedals. Seven-string solid body electric guitars were popularized in the 1980s and 1990s in part due to the release of the Ibanez Universe guitar, endorsed by Steve Vai. Other artists go a step further, by using an 8 string guitar with two extra low strings. Although the most common 7 string has a low B string, Roger McGuinn (Of Byrds/Rickenbacker Fame) uses an octave G string paired with the regular G string as on a 12 string guitar, allowing him to incorporate chiming 12 string elements in standard 6 string playing. The electric bass guitar is similar in tuning to the traditional double bass viol. Hybrids of acoustic and electric guitars are also common. There are also more exotic varieties, such as guitars with two, three or rarely four necks, all manner of alternate string arrangements, fretless fingerboards (used almost exclusively on bass guitars, meant to emulate the sound of a stand-up bass), 5.1 surround guitar, and such. Some electric guitar and electric bass guitar models feature Piezo-electric pickups,

which function as transducers to provide a sound closer to that of an acoustic guitar with the flip of a switch or knob, rather than switching guitars.
Regards, Santabanta Forum

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