For many years, the guitar was, and perhaps still is, the only portable instrument that effectively allows the musical accomapnyment of voice across a broad range of styles. As bands innovated and produced a bigger sound, e.g. Dixieland, a need developed for more guitar volume and a sound that complemented, rather than clashed, with the sound of brass and percussion. Early innovators, experimenting with electronic means of amplification, started the journey to where we are today. Those whose names are still widely known include Adolph Richenbacher, Clarence Fender, and Les Paul. A reasonably complete account of the early history of the electric guitar would include a mulitiude of names and biographies from “One String” Willie to “Blind Boy Woody Two-Shoes” to Jimi Hendrix, all of whom streched the instrument to its limits, pointing the way for improvements.
Equally responsible for the rise in popularity were the performing and recording artists who used them. The first known recording of electric guitar performance was by George Barnes in 1938, who played a jazz style. If you don’t recall the name, it may be due to your having been born subsequently. But he was good. Not Jimi Hendrix good. More like Guy Lombardo good; rather within a context.
How They Work
Electric guitars do not produce much audible sound without amplification. This seriously limited their initial sales. The amplifier, as well as a reliable source of electricity, helped enormously. Today, with he widespread availability of electricity (except in Southern California and Iraq), and with the influence of the Beatles, and after the demise of Enron, the future looks bright for electric guitars.
Which Ones are Good
Fender American Deluxe Stratocaster FMT HSS - Simply phenominal variety of sound.
Gibson BFG – Incredible power, pure Les Paul sound.
Ibanez JEM7V – You wouldn’t believe me if I told you. A trio of screaming DiMarzio Evolution pickups (humbuckers at the neck and bridge with a custom single-coil in the mid position), coupled with Split-5 wiring give you all the tonal diversity you’ll ever be able to use. Lots of bass and treble response with a quick, precise attack. This guitar is FAST. You definitely play lead.