- was probably the most popular musical instrument of the XXth century.
Developed early in the 1930s in the United States of America electric
guitar has become a tool in hands of its masters Jimi Hendrix, Eric
Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan who prefer Fender Stratocaster and Jimi
Page, Slash, Gary Moore who played Gibson Les Paul. Without electric
guitar music styles including Blues, Rock, Jazz, Metal, would never have
a chance to exist.
Electric guitar has usually a solid, non-resonant body. Contrary
to an acoustic guitar which has a flat, waisted body with a round sound
hole and a fretted neck, electric guitar uses electric 'pickup' that
sends signals to an amplifier and its speakers. The performer
electrically amplifies and manipulates its sound.
A wire connecting the instrument to the amplifier is coiled around
a small magnet. This magnet induces a magnetic field above it on a
single string. When the string is plucked and oscillates at a certain
frequency it induces an electric flux in a coil surrounding the magnet.
The flux depends on the frequency of the string.
Fender Stratocaster is build with a set of three groups of
pickups. Contrary, Gibson Les Paul is equipped with only a set of two
groups. A switch enables a guitarist to change a desired tone. Les Paul
has a two-selection switch while Stratocaster is built with a
five-selection switch. Selecting pickup closer to a bridge will result
in a more metallic sound. Pickup closer to the neck produces thicker,
fuller sound. The sound difference arises from a fact that a pickup
located closer to a bridge better detects the low-frequency
oscillations. Also, sound modulations possible by changing the place
where a string is plucked as well as the angle of the pick when it
strikes the string.