Electric Guitar History

Many genres of music rely heavily on the use of electric guitars. Electric guitars use magnets that pickup the sounds made buy their strings. The sound is then converted though an amplifier. Electric guitars can modify sounds in many different ways. There are hundreds of different types of electric guitars.

It is not certain exactly when the first application of pickups on a guitar occurred. However a pickup was developed by Loyd Loar. He was working for Givson between 1920 and 1924. Several prototypes were developed by the company but not accepted by the “agents.” There did not yet seem to be a market for these prototypes

The fist commercially successful electric instruments were first found on the market in the 1930's. The "Frying Pan" which was a Hawaiian Guitar was produced by Rickenbacher in 1931. This was the first instrument using a modern style electromagnetic pickup.

It was not until the late 30's that electric guitars really became well known. This was due to the fact that less attention was on guitar manufacturing due to world events. It was at this time that Charlie Christian and Benny Goodman's band bought many Gibson ES-150's. These were electric Spanish guitars.

Development of more electric guitars was further stunted by the war. Many people with manufacturing skills were pressed into going into the military. Back in 1929, Les Paul had experimented with his own pickups and he felt that stiffer instruments needed to be made to keep the pickup in place. Therefore he had John D'Anglelico put a block inside an instrument to keep the top still. He commissioned an instrument from Larson Bros in 1937. This instrument did not have any sound holes and had a heavy and solid top. He think experimented with "The Log" and in 1941 he built this guitar at Epiphone's New York Factory.

Paul Bigsby and Leo Fender were doing experimenting of their own. Bigsby made the solid body instrument in 1947. . The Fender Electric Instrument Company was funded in 1947. The following year they began marketing the "Broadcaster" which became the "Telecaster." The production of solid body, two pickups guitars have begun.
In 1951, the first electric based guitar was marketing by Fender. The Les Paul was created by Gibson in 1952. The 3 pickup Stratocaster was purchased by Fender in 1953.

The next great invention resulted form the work of Seth Lover and Walter Fuller. They created the humbucking pickup. The first guitar to use this invention was Gibson's ES 135. IN 1957, this innovation became part of Les Paul guitars. By now the basic essence of the modern electric guitar was present. However, more innovations have come since then. For example, the first company to put transistorized preamps in guitars and basses was the Alembic Company.

Over the years manufacturers of electric guitars have continued to improve on the basic chrematistics and features of the electric guitar. They improve upon an instrument whose root dates back several decades.