Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Invention of the Electric Guitar By Jay Jenkins


Today we are so focused on our IPods and burned CD’s but we rarely take a minute to recognize the roots of these sounds. For the most part a lot of what music is happens to come from the electric guitar. This breakthrough of an invention came in 1932 and was invented by George Beauchamp.


The electric guitar was first manufactured in the 1930’s. The earliest electric guitars had small sound holes on them. These types of guitars are still quite popular but not as popular as the new models. There are many types of electric guitars such as Solid Body, String-Through Body, Solid-Acoustic, Semi-Acoustic, Chambered, Electric Acoustic, Seven string, Eight and nine string, Ten string, Twelve string, 3rd bridge and double neck guitar. All these types of electric guitars are very different from acoustic guitars. Acoustic guitars, which have hallow bodies are used another way. Both acoustic and electric guitars convert their sound by just simply playing the strings but the electric guitar needs to be hooked up with special audible equipment like guitar amplifiers oppose to the or it would not be loud enough to perform with. Acoustic may be more natural playing but electric guitars in most cases are more upbeat and better suited for songs in the category of rock, jazz and the classics.


There are many people who had the idea of constructing inventions such as the electric guitar but the man who made the first successful instrument of this sort was George Beauchamp. Beauchamp was born on March 18, 1899. He was born and raised in Coleman County, Texas and grew up playing the violin and the lap steel guitar. As he got older these instruments inspired him to experiment with the idea of creating instruments. Beauchamp tried to invent the electric lap steel guitar and then went on to create the electric violin and eventually the first successful electric guitar. Beauchamp was involved with music nearly all his life until he died of a fatal heart attack on March 30, 1941. He was a brilliant inventor of musical instruments and gave a gift to the musical world through is creation of the electric guitar.

Electric guitar

Impact On World/Humanity:

 The Electric Guitar has without a doubt changed the world for the better. It has impacted the way we listen to music. It is a great addition to most songs we hear. Music inspires us and the electric guitar creates a sound that gets us out of our seats, pumps people up and makes us want to go out and do something with our lives. The electric guitar made the way for music like Rock, Jazz and many others. These types of music have influence lives everywhere around the world. Famous musicians like Jimi Hendrix would have never had gotten the chance to change the world with their music if not for the electric guitar. It is safe to say that the electric guitar has left a mark on the world today.

Journal Article:

In the Journal Article, “A Brief History of the Electric Guitar”, it describes all the types of electric guitars and what makes them different and how they are built. It says how popular the solid body electric guitar type is compared to others. Rollin’s also explains how the breakthrough of the electric guitar jumpstarted bug bands in the 30’s and 40’s.

Bellis, Mary “History of the Accoustic Guitar and Electric Guitar” Dec. 2010
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Rollins, Gary “A Brief History of the Electric Guitar” Jan. 2010
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Lollar, Rick “History of the Electric Guitar” Feb. 2005
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Brain, Marshall “How Electric Guitars Work” Jul. 2002
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