History of the Guitar Part 1

It is believed that the history of the guitar began in the ancient Near East. There, the archeologists found instruments and representations of them that served as landmarks or guideposts in the relatively uncharted territory of the guitar's beginning.

Among the artifacts excavated from Babylonia, the most relevant were the clay plaques dated (1900-1800 B.C.). These showed nude figures playing musical instruments, some of which bear a general resemblance to the guitar. Close examination of the instrument on the plaque shows it to have a distinctly differentiated body and neck. Its back is undoubtedly flat; the manner in which it rests against the priest's chest precludes the possibility of its being bowl-shaped. It is clear that the right hand pluck the strings. The number of strings is unfortunately not clear but on another plaque, at least two strings are shown on the instrument. Evidence of guitar-like instruments has been noted in Assyria, Susa (an ancient city north of the Persian Gulf: capital of the Persian Empire), and Luristan.

Guitars, or similar instruments, have been around for thousands of years. The Electric guitar was first manufactured in the 1930s by Rickenbacker. Original Electric guitars used tungsten pickups. Pickups basically convert the vibration of the strings into electrical current, which is then fed into the amplifier to produce the sound.

The very earliest Electric guitars featured smaller soundholes in the body. These guitars are known as semi-hollow body Electric guitars and still are somewhat popular today, mainly due to the fact that they are flexible guitars.

However, with the use of pickups, it was possible to create guitars without soundholes (like the Acoustic and Classical guitars have) that still had the ability to be heard, if plugged into amplifiers. These guitars are called solid body Electric guitars.


Lawrence Dewey

Loz Dewey Audio