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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The Guitar Story



No other musical instrument has had such a great impact as guitar on the mindset, lifestyle and values of generation across ages. To see a great guitarist play in full swing is a sight of immense pleasure and satisfaction for the soul. For some playing guitar is one form of playing tribute to the ultimate power and for few others it’s also a path to nirvana.


The word guitar comes from a middle ages instrument called a guittern.Here’s the Indian connection to guitar from Indo-European roots: guit-, similar to Sanskrit sangeet meaning "music", and -tar a widely attested root meaning "chord" or "string"..

The history of guitar is very interesting and it’s the only musical instrument which plays the most important role in deciding the genre and type of music being played. The history of guitar is very interesting to say the least .It dates back to the 15th century in Spain and this early instrument was a "four course" guitar, from which the ukulele is derived. The first guitars were very small, and were originally strung with four pair of strings. Each pair was called a course. During the Renaissance, the guitar never had the respect the lute enjoyed. It was not considered a serious instrument.

During the Classical period there were many publications, composers and performers. Fernando Sor, Mauro Guilliani, Matteo Carcassi, Fernando Carulli and many others wrote music, published methods and performed concerts.

Sor played the guitar as a solo instrument at the London Philharmonic Concert in 1817. At the end of the 19th century, the guitar had fallen out of favor, but was resurrected by Francisco Tarrega Segovia was one of many guitarists that were influenced by him. Tarrega began the tradition of playing with the fingernails.

Up until this point the instrument itself was small and narrow. Antonio de Torres (1817 - 1892) worked with the design and construction of the guitar. He increased the size and experimented with anything that would improve the sound, and was especially interested in volume. He was the first maker to use "fan" bracing underneath the top. He once built a Guitar with a spruce top and paper mache back and sides to prove his theory that it was the top that produced most of the volume. He was the father of the modern guitar.

Although Segovia did all these things, the real debt that we owe to him is that of making the guitar truly a world instrument. By traveling and performing throughout the world, he brought respect and recognition to the instrument.Nylon strings were a big improvement over gut strings. They replaced gut in 1946. The first amps came out toward the end of the 1930's. However, the main improvements were made by Leo Fender. The first electric guitars were hollow bodied models. Enter Les Paul. His first electric hard-body guitar was basically a log (it was even called “the log”) with a neck and two double-coil pick-ups set into it. He gave it its distinctive look in order to make it more attractive, and then sold the idea to Gibson. And they still make it. An then came blues, rock and roll and the rest is history…….Some of the legendary guitarists of all time have been profiled here

9 comments:

Shikha said...

I had gone for guitar classes for almost a year..but unfortunately my knowledge is almost nil now..thinking about continuing classes

Tremlanquer said...

i wish i could make my guitar talk; you've heard Iron Man - Black Sabbath? in the album version, anthony lommi makes his guitar go "i ammm IrONN mAANNN" its just soo cool! Cobain was a left handed guitarist, just like me hehe

Ajit said...

Yup Iron Maidan,Black Sabbath is cool....Cobain was good, I enjoy Clapton,Santana,Van Halen, Jimmi Hendrix and Knopfler.

Naveen Roy said...

Cool post dude....on my favourite instrument.....

Have you guys listened to Jeff Beck then.....esp the song "Songbird"...

Ajit said...

Yup Jeff Beck is nice

Hiren said...

Very informative. In my view, glamour is associated more with Guitar than any other instrument.

Vamsee said...

wow, this is quite a interesting and informative post Ajit...I feel like getting to know more about Guitar in more close quarters :)

shuchikasahay said...

informative, liked the trivia

Anonymous said...

best regards, nice info »