Electric guitars have been around since the 30s when, with Rickenbacker leading the way, hollow body amplified guitars began to be produced for the big bands of the day, which were growing in size and needed a more strident voice from their guitars. An early electric guitar got into the hands of the great Charlie Christian, whose enthusiasm and influence put wind under the new instrument’s wings, persuading many of his contemporary musicians of its merits.
But the electric guitar really entered its heyday after the Second World War, when Les Paul was actively developing the solid-body electric guitar. The hollow-body electric guitar never went away, though, and in today’s market the variety of styles and sounds is practically endless. These include variants on the standard 6 string format such as 7 string, and even 8 string guitar, with, in a conventionally tuned guitar, its low B string below the low E, and the 12 string electric guitar, which has six pairs of strings.
Wood quality and type are obviously important for hollow-body guitars. But many argue that wood type and quality is just as important for the sound of a solid-body guitar. Hard woods tend to be favoured, as giving a warmer tone and greater sustain. Experiments are always taking place in the use of composite materials, mixing woods with the likes of carbon fibre and aircraft grade aluminium alloy.
Of course the heart of the electric guitar is its pickup. Given that the sound we hear is affected relatively little by the resonance properties of the guitar body, a great deal of variation exists, with piezo pickups used to produce an “acoustic” sound.
Along with the development of the electric guitar has gone the development of its amplifier and the Effects Units used in conjunction with it. Effects units appeared in the 1960s as a means of modifying the signal reaching the amplifier to give effects such as distortion, wah-wah, reverb and so on. In the form of a foot-controlled “stomp box”, these units have remained separate from the amplifier, although the 90s saw the arrival of elaborate pedal-operated multi-effects devices that multiplied the number of effects available to the guitarist.
At Music Mart, we have a huge range of electric guitars for sale, from makers like Fender, Gretsch, Ibanez Yamaha and Cort, covering all styles and budgets and including left-handed models.
This Japanese make features 24 frets and a narrow neck to allow faster playing. Ibanez make both solid and hollow body guitars.
Starting in the mid 60s, Yamaha began to make a range of solid body guitars which grew to include 4 and 5 string basses, easily rivalling in quality the American designs by which they were inspired.
A great entry level guitar range for aspiring guitarists, South Korea’s Cort make acoustic, electro-acoustic and solid body electric guitars, all representing great value.
If you would like to learn more about our electric guitars do please give us a call on (08) 9250 2015 or send us an email enquiry