Thanks to Hollywood, which sometimes play up mushy scenes with the man serenading his cat love of his life, we now recognise the guitar to be a very handy and romantic musical instrument to use, to melt the heart of your other half.
Early forms of the guitar appeared as far back as 3000 years ago. There are other forms of the guitar such as the banjo, the lute—which was a popular instrument during the European Middle Ages—the mandolin, and the cello guitar. The Spanish equivalent of the English word ‘guitar’ is ‘guitarra’, with tar meaning ‘string’ in ancient Sanskrit.
The guitar is a fretted and plucked string instrument, which makes music from the vibrations of strings. The action of plucking the strings with hands, fingers, or a pick causes the strings to vibrate; the frets (or metal wires) on the finger board define the notes.
Types of guitars
The Baroque guitar was popular in the 1600s during the European Renaissance. It was the predecessor to our modern day classical guitar, which is also known as the Spanish guitar. With nylon strings and a wide neck, the classical guitar is mostly played with an ensemble, and is most suitable for classical music, although you do hear it being played for other styles of music. The guitarist will pluck the 9 or 10 strings with their fingers or fingernails.
In the 1800s, Antonio Torres Jurado, an important Spanish guitarist and luthier (someone who makes or repairs stringed instruments), created the recognizable designs of the modern day classical and accoustic guitars. Most of today’s guitars are derivatives or alterations of Torres’ designs.
Accoustic guitars (folk guitars) have steel strings and a thinner neck as compared to the classical guitar. It is usually played with a pick, and is used for all genres of music, including country, folk, pop and rock.
In the 1930s, other inventors and guitar makers alike were busy working on electric guitars, around the same time the first patent for the electric guitar was awarded to George Beauchamp and Adolph Rickenbacker from the United States. Lester William Polsfuss, aka Les Paul (American jazz, country and blues guitarist, songwriter and luthier) pioneered the Gibson Les Paul, a solid-body electric guitar for Gibson Guitars, which made the sound of rock and roll possible.
Also popular during the 1900s was Leo Fender’s Fender Telecaster. Fender and Gibson continue to be recognisable brands producing quality guitar models.
Electric guitars are popular in rock, pop, and jazz music, because of its ability to make all sorts of interesting sounds, just by plugging in and using different amplifiers (amps), distorters and effects.
In 1935, American musician and an inventor of stringed musical instruments, Paul Tutmarc invented history’s earliest electric bass guitar, the fretted and solid-body Audiovox Model 736 Bass Fiddle, designed to be used in a horizontal position.
The bass guitar is usually accompaniment to the drums and percussion to form the rhythm section of a band. Unlike having the 6 strings of most standard guitars, bass guitars have 4, and plays notes one octave lower than electric guitars.
|Rock||Eric Clapton – inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 3 times||Started with blues, then ventured into Rock & Roll|
|Bass||Terry Gene Bollea – aka THE Hulk Hogan||Spent 10 years playing bass for different Rock & Roll bands in LA before becoming the wrestler we recognise him as|
|Country||Keith Urban – married to Nicole Kidman||Considered one of the best country music performers|
|Blues||Stevie Ray Vaughan||A blues and rock guitarist|
Just to give you a snippet of professionalism:
You have reached THE stage of your musical journey, when you can continue playing despite a broken string and needing to change guitars!
Feeling inspired yet? Then come on down to Bloom School of Music & Arts to ask about our individual or group guitar lessons. Click here for a free assessment.
If you are still not convinced to start learning the guitar, follow 12-year-old Miguel in his tumultuous journey to be recognised as a musician in his family of shoemakers. This beautiful and heart-warming animation is sure to put you at the edge of your seat from the very start to the end.
What will your musical journey be?