8 Things You Didn’t Know about the Electric Guitar
The electric guitar may be well known among music fans and guitar players, but there are plenty of facts about this iconic instrument that most people don’t know. Here are our top eight under-the-radar electric guitar facts.
1. The Luxury Guitar
There have been a lot of special editions of electric guitars over the years. Those with celebrity signatures are probably among the best known, as are specialty guitars made for stars, but there was one made by Gibson that was worth thousands. A team of jewelry and musical experts worked together to make a guitar in 2015 that was adorned with more than 400 diamonds and about 1.6k of gold. Now, that’s a stylish guitar!
2. The World Record
How long do you think a person could continuously play an electric guitar? For four and half days, Irish guitarist David Browne played his electric instrument. He managed to fit in more than 1,300 songs over the course of those days, taking breaks of no more than 30 seconds for each one. This amazing accomplishment took place in Dublin’s Temple Bar Inn, and it has yet to be topped.
3. The First Stratocaster Sold
Just a few years ago, in 2014, the very first Stratocaster ever produced was sold to private collector. The vintage 1954 instrument was sold for a whopping $250,000 to a US collector who chose to go unnamed. The serial number for this one is #0100, so if you see it out in the world, you know it is worth something.
4. Electric Guitar Riffs Sent to Space
Back in 1977, two exploratory spacecraft were launched. These were Voyager 1 and Voyager 2, and they contained phonograph recordings of various kinds of music. The music included the electric guitar song “Johnny B Goode”, performed by Chuck Berry. This music was sent into space to whoever or whatever might be listening. There has been no word yet on whether the signals have been picked up, though.
5. Electric Guitars Owe Their Start to Hawaii
There is a really interesting story about how Hawaii plays an important role in the musical instrument industry. The guitars that were brought to the island by visitors didn’t stay there, so the people of Hawaii developed their own after being enamored with the guitar. The ukulele was born there as a result, but the steel guitar was another lesser known invention to come out of this bit of history. That instrument led the way for the development of the electric guitar later on.
6. Early Electric Guitars Crossed Musical Boundaries
You might think that rockers were the only ones to use electric guitars, but in the early days of this instrument, it is was championed by musicians of many different genres. Jazz musicians, country music singers and blues singers all got behind the new instrument and helped propel it to the iconic and well known status it has achieved today.
7. Electric Guitars Come in Tons of Different Variations
There are only three main body types of electric guitars. These are solid, semi-hollow and hollow. However, there are a multitude of variations on these that you could pick from. Because you want to ensure that you choose the right kind of guitar for your style, you should use a resource like Music Groupies to find a guitar that works well for you.
Some of the top rock musicians in the world have added their own touches to electric guitars that they use on stage. Eddie Van Halen in particular was known for adding tape and other decorations to his guitar to make it something special. These custom-designed guitars are nicknamed “Frankenstrats”.
Did you know any of those? We hope there were a few that were new to you, and now that you have learned these facts, you can use them to impress your friends with how much you know about electric guitars.
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