When you first listen to a song, with the exception of the lyrics, the first sound that you’re going to recognize is the sound of the guitar. No guitar has changed music, quiet like the electric guitar.
Before the electric guitar, there was America’s beloved acoustic guitar. It greatly changed music in that it allowed musicians alternatives to the mandolin and banjos. The acoustic guitar is a huge asset for songwriters because of its portability, which allowed musicians to write or perform their music almost anywhere.
When the electric was first built in the 1930’s, it was met with strong resistance. Critics actually believed that the sounds would not be appealing to music lovers and they didn’t believe the electric guitar would make it off the assembly line. Even the original creator couldn’t have imagined the impact that the electric guitar would have on the music industry. No one in those days could have. The very first electric to be manufactured and sold to the general public was built by the Electro String Company in 1931. These guitars were actually made from cast aluminum, and people actually referred to them as “frying pans”, which prompted the Gibson Guitar Corporation to create their ES-150 guitar. These guitars quickly became popular and this particular Gibson guitar became one of Gibson’s best sellers, ever. And when artists began to realize that the electric gave them the flexibility to create their own musical style, it started to change the sound of music.
The invention of the electric was a huge asset to concert halls. Before it, concert halls we’re smaller, accommodating smaller crowds. This was because the acoustic guitars’ sound was hard to hear from a distance. It allowed venues to expand because the sound could be amplified, allowing much more people to hear the concerts from a greater distance. Concerts started to change forever. Now, instead of a musician playing for a few hundred people, they were playing for a few thousand. And today, musicians are performing for a few hundred thousand fans and selling out every single seat!
Electrics have evolved from the original production. There are additional pickups on the modern guitars that allow artists to create unique, individual music styles. No guitar has been able to capture the emotions of a song or its musician like the electric guitar. What makes the guitar able to do this is that it can be amplified. You can’t have one without an amplifier. When used alone, it doesn’t create the mood changing sounds that the amplifier does. The electric guitar and amplifier go hand in hand. The amplifier to the electric guitar is the bread to the butter in the music industry.
No one can truly evaluate the way music has changed over the last several years. Great music has the power to change lives. Music expresses what simple words alone cannot. The electric guitar expresses the feelings that words cannot. The sounds of the electric guitar are electrifying (no pun intended). It has created some of the best performances ever. It has become the very definition of rock and roll. It will continue to revolutionize music for generations to come.