March 18, 2013

Back in the Day.

Did you know modern guitar has very ancient roots? There are 3000 year old stone carvings showing stringed instruments that can be seen as the ancestors of the Strat and Martin, but the origins could be older than that. And many different cultures have contributed to the story.

Greece, Persia, North Africa, India, Scandinavia, Germany, Spain. All of these countries and civilisations have used stringed instruments not dissimilar to the guitar to make music.

In fact I have worked with a musician from Iran (once called Persia) who played a long necked, lute type instrument called a Tar. It is clearly an old instrument that has played it’s part the development of the single cutaway, electro-acoustic guitar I am looking at as I write this.

And many other early instruments have not changed for centuries. The Oud and the Sitar look the same now as they did several hundred years ago.

Some instrument historians think the word “guitar” originates from the Arabic word “gitara”, which might come from the Latin “cithara” which might have come from the Greek “kithara”. So, as an aspiring Guitar God, you are part of a very old story.

Ancient picture An ancient Egyptian stringed instrument.

The modern electric guitar is the new kid on the block. It developed gradually from the beginning of the 20th century, finally appearing as a recognisable electric guitar in the mid 1930’s. The great manufacturers like Gibson and Fender vied with each other to create innovative designs and technical breakthroughs.

Did you know that the first really electric guitar is sometimes called “The Frying Pan”?

The Frying Pan

I wonder what guitars will look like in the year 2223? Maybe we’ll run a competition soon to see who can design the best “Guitar of the Future”.

Catch ya later.



Posted by in Acoustic, Electric, general, Guitars and tagged as , ,

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