Monday, July 13, 2009

Guitarzzz ...

Happy Birthday to the Gibson electric guitar! Seventy-two years ago today, the Gibson electric guitar was patented in the United States. Gibson's general manager, Guy Hart, was awarded this patent. Rock 'n' roll.

"Gibson’s electric guitar wasn’t not the first to market, but its pickup design was superior to competing models — especially after guitar-makers begin dropping them into their new, innovative designs over a decade later.

Guitarists have a reputation for coaxing as much volume as possible out of their instruments — whether it’s advisable or not. But guitarists playing in dance bands, larger combos and jazz orchestras in the early 1930s certainly needed the volume boost. They were often playing in situations where they were straining to be heard over the drums, brass and audience chatter.

The newest, loudest design of the era was the resonator guitar. Usually made of metal, it had a series of aluminum resonators built into the body. The resonators amplified the acoustic instrument and gave players an edge they couldn’t get out of the common acoustic guitar.

But of course, the ax-slingers were always asking for more volume, so inventors of the day were constantly experimenting with crude electronic-amplification systems.

The first viable electric guitar was designed by guitarist George Beauchamp, who began manufacturing them along with Swiss-born engineer Adolph Rickenbacker. The guitars made by Beauchamp and Rickenbacker were of the “lap steel” variety, which the player holds flat in the lap and slides a metal bar up and down the strings to play different notes."

[Thanks Wired]

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