The Introduction of the Electric Guitar

647 WordsFeb 25, 20183 Pages
According to the Smithsonian Institute, “electronic amplification is one of the most successful innovations brought around at the end of the 1930s.” The 1920s had a rise in the popularity of dance music, and the recording industry was getting started. This was also the start of the Big Band Era (guitaristsource.com). Guitar makers started experimenting to develop a new, louder, guitar. Electrical amplification was developed by the radio industry in the 1920s (howstuffworks.com). In 1931, George Beauchamp and Adolf Rickenbacker would go on to develop an electromagnetic pickup they would later use to create the electric guitar. This first model would go on to be called the “Frying Pan”, because of its resemblance to the cookware. This first model was often played flat on the lap (howstuffworks.com). Eventually, electric guitars began commercial production in the 1930s (Goertzen 435). In 1939, Les Paul, an acoustic guitarist, developed a new type of electric guitar by placing the old pickup on a solid block of wood. This new solid body guitar didn’t have the feedback problems that the hollow-bodied electric guitars had. Also, it had a greater sustain than earlier models (howstuffworks.com). In order for an electric guitar to work, it needs a pickup and an amplifier. Pickups are electro-magnetic pieces on the guitar’s body, and they are usually found on the guitar’s body in between the bridge and the fretboard. These electro-magnets create magnetic fields, which then
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