Electric Guitar Body History
The Electric Guitar
The electric guitar is a marriage of twentieth-century technology to the time-honored convenience and playability
of the classical and Spanish guitar. The first electric versions of the acoustic guitar were made in the early 1900s. a result of ongoing efforts by inventors,
tinkerers and musicians. In the 1950s. Leo Fender developed the first mass-produced and affordable electric guitar.
How Does Electric Guitar work?
Electric guitars make sound by creating electromagnetic induction through pickups containing copper wire wrapped
around a magnet The discovery by Michael Faraday and Joseph Henry in 1831 of electro-magnetic induction
brought about many technological benefits, including the invention of the telephone some
45 years later. Some say that it was not long before guitar players were experimenting with telephone
receivers attached to acoustic guitars in an effort to become amplified.
Some history: The First Electric Guitars
Some of the earliest electric guitars adapted hollow-bodied acoustic instruments and used tungsten pickups.
This type of guitar was first manufactured in 1931 by the Electro String Instrument Corporation under the
direction of Adolph Rickenbacher and George Beauchamp. The guitar was called a Rickenbacker.
Another early solid-body electric guitar was designed and built by musician and inventor Les Paul In the
early 1940s. His ‘log guitar consisted of a simple 4x4 wood post with a neck attached to it and home-made
pickups and hardware. The instrument was patented and is often considered to be the first of its kind,
although it shares nothing in design or hardware with the solid-body Les Paul' model sold by Gibson.
In 1946. radio repairman and amplifier-maker Clarence Leonidas Fender, better known as
Leo Fender, designed the first commercially successful solid-body electric guitar with a
single magnetic pickup, which was initially named the Esquire. This was a departure
from the typically hollow-bodied Jazz-oriented instruments of the time and immediately found
favor with country & western artists in California. The two-pickup version of the Esquire was called the
Broadcaster. However. Gretsch had a drum set marketed with a similar name (Broadkaster). so Fender
changed the name to Telecaster.
Modern Electric Guitar Pickups
A magnetic pickup consists of a permanent magnet wrapped with a coil of a few thousand turns of fine enamelled copper wire. The
single-coil pickup can have subtle variances in tone, even when mass-produced successfully, as were the classic
pickups of the original Telecaster and Stratocaster. That's why some Strats may sound magnificent and others merely acceptable.
One problem with single-coil electromagnetic pickups is that they pick up hum along with the musical signal.
The desire for a guitar that could reject this unwanted hum led to the development of the
humbucking pickup concurrently and independently by Gibson and Gretsch.
A humbucking pickup generally comprises two standard pickups wired together with identical
coils bathed in fields of opposite magnetic polarity. The two coils are wired to cancel the
hum produced by each. The signal from the vibrations of the guitar strings is captured by
both pickups and added together, doubling the output Side effects are a rounder tone with
fewer highs than that produced by a Strat or Tele, and a hotter signal more easily able
to overdrive an amp for a warm distortion effect.
A super humbucker V2 pickup on an Ibanez Studio electric guitar. Humbucking pickups are generally made up of two single pickups wired together.