Did you know there is a national holiday just for guitars? It is celebrated each year on February 11. Let’s dive a bit deeper into this magnificent instrument and how it all came about. To be honest, we said we had ideas, but there is only one way to do it. Grab your favorite axe and strum until you bleed.
- The first record of a guitar-like instrument was from 1500 BC. It is said to be from modern-day Iraq and called a Tanbur, a four-string instrument that looks like a banjo.
- The Anatolian people started using guitars for entertainment in 1400 BC. Historians have found visual paintings from ruins showing a poet playing this instrument.
- The Greeks found the guitar and carried it through Mediterranean trade routes.
- In 1400 BC, the Romans adopted the Greek guitar and named it “Chitara Romana”, which translates to Roman guitar.
- Between 1500 BC and the year 100, the guitar traveled throughout the world and became one of the most popular instruments.
- The guitar was adapted from the compound 12-string design to the baroque model with 4 strings in the 1600s.
- During the 1800s, the guitar started taking shapes in more modern designs.
- The famously known “Frying Pan” was the first electric guitar and it was developed by George Beauchamp and Paul Barth from the National Guitar Company in 1931.
- Around the same time as the creation of the first electric guitar, companies like Rickenbacker, Dobro, AudioVox, Volu-Tone, Vega, Epiphone, and Gibson would join NGC in the creation of electric guitar models.
- In 1946 BB King differentiated the way people play the guitar with his unique style of blues.
- The first Stratocaster electric guitar was released in 1954, today is one of the most copied designs by manufacturers around the world.
- Between 1950 and 1980 the guitar industry expanded tremendously, making it the most adored and used instrument on the planet.
- Today, the guitar is used in a multitude of genres, played in different styles, and by musicians of all levels.
Guitars gave musicians the chance to revolutionize music. People also saw that guitars help send political, economical, and cultural messages. Almost every culture in the world has its style of guitar.
Right as the Great Depression hit the USA, the first electrically amplified guitar was introduced. The guitar helped people see a new light through the financial burden that was taking place during those times. Due to its growing popularity, the guitar had a big impact on the economy of the United States and a new industry was introduced.
African Americans had a huge influence in the music industry as they gained a voice and planted a seed for musicians to come. The everlasting legacy of blues and rock and roll has allowed billions of individuals to appreciate music and guitar playing throughout the years.
The guitar has given many artists in different genres the ability to give people the voice they need to call for a change. From Chuck Berry to the Rolling Stones and Rage Against The Machine, musicians have used their influence to send a message of hope through their guitars.
The guitar is forever entwined in history. It helped people see the light when there was darkness. It gave people the confidence to express their opinions to the world. It has inspired people to be artistically creative and dream bigger.
So, what are your thoughts on the guitar? While we would love to write an extensive history and dive deeper into the different styles of this magnificent instrument, we rather start a conversation with you. Please head over to your social media platform of choice and tell us what you think of the guitar (or bass, or mandolin, or ukulele, or banjo, you get it ?).