The guitar is a fretted musical instrument that usually has six
strings. The sound is projected either acoustically, using a hollow
wooden or plastic and wood box (for an acoustic guitar), or through
electrical amplifier and a speaker (for an electric guitar). It is
typically played by strumming or plucking the strings with the
fingers, thumb or fingernails of the right hand or with a pick while
fretting (or pressing against the frets) the strings with the fingers
of the left hand. The guitar is a type of chordophone, traditionally
constructed from wood and strung with either gut, nylon or steel
strings and distinguished from other chordophones by its construction
and tuning. The modern guitar was preceded by the gittern, the
vihuela, the four-course
Renaissance guitar, and the five-course
baroque guitar, all of which contributed to the development of the
modern six-string instrument.
There are three main types of modern acoustic guitar: the classical
guitar (nylon-string guitar), the steel-string acoustic guitar, and
the archtop guitar, which is sometimes called a "jazz guitar". The
tone of an acoustic guitar is produced by the strings' vibration,
amplified by the hollow body of the guitar, which acts as a resonating
chamber. The classical guitar is often played as a solo instrument
using a comprehensive finger-picking technique where each string is
plucked individually by the player's fingers, as opposed to being
strummed. The term "finger-picking" can also refer to a specific
tradition of folk, blues, bluegrass, and country guitar playing in the
United States. The acoustic bass guitar is a low-pitched instrument
that is one octave below a regular guitar.
Electric guitars, introduced in the 1930s, use an amplifier and a
loudspeaker that both makes the sound of the instrument loud enough
for the performers and audience to hear, and, given that it produces
an electric signal when played, that can electronically manipulate and
shape the tone using an equalizer (e.g., bass and treble tone
controls) and a huge variety of electronic effects units, the most
commonly used ones being distortion (or "overdrive") and reverb. Early
amplified guitars employed a hollow body, but a solid wood body was
eventually found more suitable during the 1960s and 1970s, as it was
less prone to unwanted acoustic feedback "howls". As with acoustic
guitars, there are a number of types of electric guitars, including
hollowbody guitars, archtop guitars (used in jazz guitar, blues and
rockabilly) and solid-body guitars, which are widely used in rock
The loud, amplified sound and sonic power of the electric guitar
played through a guitar amp has played a key role in the development
of blues and rock music, both as an accompaniment instrument (playing
riffs and chords) and performing guitar solos, and in many rock
subgenres, notably heavy metal music and punk rock. The electric
guitar has had a major influence on popular culture. The guitar is
used in a wide variety of musical genres worldwide. It is recognized
as a primary instrument in genres such as blues, bluegrass, country,
flamenco, folk, jazz, jota, mariachi, metal, punk, reggae, rock, soul,
and many forms of pop.
Renaissance and Baroque
2.2.3 Resonator, resophonic or Dobros
2.2.5 Acoustic bass
2.3.1 Seven-string and eight-string
2.3.2 Electric bass
18.104.22.168 Truss rod
3.2.5 Pickups and electronics
5.5 Amplifiers, effects and speakers
6 See also
7 Notes and references
7.3.1 Books, journals
8 External links
Lute § History and evolution of the lute, Gittern, and
Citole § Origins
Illustration labeled "cythara" in the Stuttgart Psalter, a Carolingian
psalter from the 9th century. The instrument shown is of the
chordophone family, possibly an early citole or lute
Before the development of the electric guitar and the use of synthetic
materials, a guitar was defined as being an instrument having "a long,
fretted neck, flat wooden soundboard, ribs, and a flat back, most
often with incurved sides." The term is used to refer to a number
of chordophones that were developed and used across Europe, beginning
in the 12th century and, later, in the Americas. A 3,300-year-old
stone carving of a Hittite bard playing a stringed instrument is the
oldest iconographic representation of a chordophone and clay plaques
Babylonia show people playing an instrument that has a strong
resemblance to the guitar, indicating a possible Babylonian origin for
The modern word guitar, and its antecedents, has been applied to a
wide variety of chordophones since classical times and as such causes
confusion. The English word guitar, the German Gitarre, and the French
guitare were all adopted from the Spanish guitarra, which comes from
Andalusian Arabic قيثارة (qīthārah) and the Latin
cithara, which in turn came from the
Ancient Greek κιθάρα
Many influences are cited as antecedents to the modern guitar.
Although the development of the earliest "guitars" is lost in the
history of medieval Spain, two instruments are commonly cited as their
most influential predecessors, the European lute and its cousin, the
four-string oud; the latter was brought to Iberia by the
Moors in the
At least two instruments called "guitars" were in use in Spain by
1200: the guitarra latina (Latin guitar) and the so-called guitarra
morisca (Moorish guitar). The guitarra morisca had a rounded back,
wide fingerboard, and several sound holes. The guitarra Latina had a
single sound hole and a narrower neck. By the 14th century the
qualifiers "moresca" or "morisca" and "latina" had been dropped, and
these two cordophones were simply referred to as guitars.
The Spanish vihuela, called in Italian the "viola da mano", a
guitar-like instrument of the 15th and 16th centuries, is widely
considered to have been the single most important influence in the
development of the baroque guitar. It had six courses (usually),
lute-like tuning in fourths and a guitar-like body, although early
representations reveal an instrument with a sharply cut waist. It was
also larger than the contemporary four-course guitars. By the 16th
century, the vihuela's construction had more in common with the modern
guitar, with its curved one-piece ribs, than with the viols, and more
like a larger version of the contemporary four-course guitars. The
vihuela enjoyed only a relatively short period of popularity in Spain
and Italy during an era dominated elsewhere in Europe by the lute; the
last surviving published music for the instrument appeared in 1576.
Meanwhile, the five-course baroque guitar, which was documented in
Spain from the middle of the 16th century, enjoyed popularity,
especially in Spain, Italy and France from the late 16th century to
the mid-18th century.[B][C] In Portugal, the word viola referred to
the guitar, as guitarra meant the "Portuguese guitar", a variety of
Guitar collection in Museu de la Música de Barcelona
Guitar Player (c. 1672), by Johannes Vermeer
Guitars can be divided into two broad categories, acoustic and
electric guitars. Within each of these categories, there are also
further sub-categories. For example, an electric guitar can be
purchased in a six-string model (the most common model) or in seven or
Main article: Acoustic guitar
See also: Extended-range classical guitar,
Flamenco guitar, Guitar
battente, Guitarrón mexicano, Harp guitar, Russian guitar, Selmer
guitar, and Tenor guitar
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Acoustic guitars form several notable subcategories within the
acoustic guitar group: classical and flamenco guitars; steel-string
guitars, which include the flat-topped, or "folk", guitar;
twelve-string guitars; and the arched-top guitar. The acoustic guitar
group also includes unamplified guitars designed to play in different
registers, such as the acoustic bass guitar, which has a similar
tuning to that of the electric bass guitar.
Renaissance and Baroque
Baroque guitars are the ancestors of the modern
classical and flamenco guitar. They are substantially smaller, more
delicate in construction, and generate less volume. The strings are
paired in courses as in a modern 12-string guitar, but they only have
four or five courses of strings rather than six single strings
normally used now. They were more often used as rhythm instruments in
ensembles than as solo instruments, and can often be seen in that role
in early music performances. (Gaspar Sanz's Instrucción de Música
sobre la Guitarra Española of 1674 contains his whole output for the
Baroque guitars are easily
distinguished, because the
Renaissance guitar is very plain and the
Baroque guitar is very ornate, with ivory or wood inlays all over the
neck and body, and a paper-cutout inverted "wedding cake" inside the
Main article: Classical guitar
Classical guitars, also known as "Spanish" guitars, are typically
strung with nylon strings, plucked with the fingers, played in a
seated position and are used to play a diversity of musical styles
including classical music. The classical guitar's wide, flat neck
allows the musician to play scales, arpeggios, and certain chord forms
more easily and with less adjacent string interference than on other
styles of guitar.
Flamenco guitars are very similar in construction,
but they are associated with a more percussive tone. In Portugal, the
same instrument is often used with steel strings particularly in its
role within fado music. The guitar is called viola, or violão in
Brazil, where it is often used with an extra seventh string by choro
musicians to provide extra bass support.
In Mexico, the popular mariachi band includes a range of guitars, from
the small requinto to the guitarrón, a guitar larger than a cello,
which is tuned in the bass register. In Colombia, the traditional
quartet includes a range of instruments too, from the small bandola
(sometimes known as the Deleuze-Guattari, for use when traveling or in
confined rooms or spaces), to the slightly larger tiple, to the
full-sized classical guitar. The requinto also appears in other
Latin-American countries as a complementary member of the guitar
family, with its smaller size and scale, permitting more projection
for the playing of single-lined melodies. Modern dimensions of the
classical instrument were established by the Spaniard Antonio de
Torres Jurado (1817–1892).
A guitarist playing a blues tune on a semi-acoustic guitar
Main article: Steel-string acoustic guitar
Flat-top or steel-string guitars are similar to the classical guitar,
however, within the varied sizes of the steel-stringed guitar the body
size is usually significantly larger than a classical guitar, and has
a narrower, reinforced neck and stronger structural design. The robust
X-bracing typical of the steel-string was developed in the 1840s by
German-American luthiers, of whom Christian Friedrich "C. F." Martin
is the best known. Originally used on gut-strung instruments, the
strength of the system allowed the guitar to withstand the additional
tension of steel strings when this fortunate combination arose in the
early 20th century. The steel strings produce a brighter tone, and
according to many players, a louder sound. The acoustic guitar is used
in many kinds of music including folk, country, bluegrass, pop, jazz,
and blues. Many variations are possible from the roughly
classical-sized OO and Parlour to the large Dreadnought (the most
commonly available type) and Jumbo. Ovation makes a modern variation,
with a rounded back/side assembly molded from artificial materials.
Main article: Archtop guitar
Archtop guitars are steel-string instruments in which the top (and
often the back) of the instrument are carved, from a solid billet,
into a curved, rather than a flat, shape. This violin-like
construction is usually credited to the American Orville Gibson. Lloyd
Loar of the Gibson Mandolin-
Guitar Mfg. Co introduced the
violin-inspired "F"-shaped hole design now usually associated with
archtop guitars, after designing a style of mandolin of the same type.
The typical archtop guitar has a large, deep, hollow body whose form
is much like that of a mandolin or a violin-family instrument.
Nowadays, most archtops are equipped with magnetic pickups, and they
are therefore both acoustic and electric. F-hole archtop guitars were
immediately adopted, upon their release, by both jazz and country
musicians, and have remained particularly popular in jazz music,
usually with flatwound strings.
Resonator, resophonic or Dobros
An 8-string baritone tricone resonator guitar.
Resonator guitar and Dobro
All three principal types of resonator guitars were invented by the
John Dopyera (1893–1988) for the National and Dobro
(Dopyera Brothers) companies. Similar to the flat top guitar in
appearance, but with a body that may be made of brass, nickel-silver,
or steel as well as wood, the sound of the resonator guitar is
produced by one or more aluminum resonator cones mounted in the middle
of the top. The physical principle of the guitar is therefore similar
to the loudspeaker.
The original purpose of the resonator was to produce a very loud
sound; this purpose has been largely superseded by electrical
amplification, but the resonator guitar is still played because of its
distinctive tone. Resonator guitars may have either one or three
resonator cones. The method of transmitting sound resonance to the
cone is either a "biscuit" bridge, made of a small piece of hardwood
at the vertex of the cone (Nationals), or a "spider" bridge, made of
metal and mounted around the rim of the (inverted) cone (Dobros).
Three-cone resonators always use a specialized metal bridge. The type
of resonator guitar with a neck with a square cross-section—called
"square neck" or "Hawaiian"—is usually played face up, on the lap of
the seated player, and often with a metal or glass slide. The round
neck resonator guitars are normally played in the same fashion as
other guitars, although slides are also often used, especially in
Main article: Twelve-string guitar
The twelve-string guitar usually has steel strings, and it is widely
used in folk music, blues, and rock and roll. Rather than having only
six strings, the
12-string guitar has six courses made up of two
strings each, like a mandolin or lute. The highest two courses are
tuned in unison, while the others are tuned in octaves. The 12-string
guitar is also made in electric forms. The chime-like sound of the
12-string electric guitar was the basis of jangle pop.
Acoustic bass guitar
Main article: Acoustic bass guitar
The acoustic bass guitar is a bass instrument with a hollow wooden
body similar to, though usually somewhat larger than, that of a
6-string acoustic guitar. Like the traditional electric bass guitar
and the double bass, the acoustic bass guitar commonly has four
strings, which are normally tuned E-A-D-G, an octave below the lowest
four strings of the 6-string guitar, which is the same tuning pitch as
an electric bass guitar. It can, more rarely, be found with 5 or 6
strings, which provides a wider range of notes to be played with less
movement up and down the neck.
Main article: Electric guitar
Eric Clapton playing his signature custom made "Blackie" Fender
Electric guitars can have solid, semi-hollow, or hollow bodies; solid
bodies produce little sound without amplification. Electromagnetic
pickups convert the vibration of the steel strings into signals, which
are fed to an amplifier through a patch cable or radio transmitter.
The sound is frequently modified by other electronic devices (effects
units) or the natural distortion of valves (vacuum tubes) or the
pre-amp in the amplifier. There are two main types of magnetic
pickups, single- and double-coil (or humbucker), each of which can be
passive or active. The electric guitar is used extensively in jazz,
blues, R & B, and rock and roll. The first successful magnetic
pickup for a guitar was invented by George Beauchamp, and incorporated
into the 1931 Ro-Pat-In (later Rickenbacker) "Frying Pan" lap steel;
other manufacturers, notably Gibson, soon began to install pickups in
archtop models. After World War II the completely solid-body electric
was popularized by Gibson in collaboration with Les Paul, and
Leo Fender of Fender Music. The lower fretboard
action (the height of the strings from the fingerboard), lighter
(thinner) strings, and its electrical amplification lend the electric
guitar to techniques less frequently used on acoustic guitars. These
include tapping, extensive use of legato through pull-offs and
hammer-ons (also known as slurs), pinch harmonics, volume swells, and
use of a tremolo arm or effects pedals.
Some electric guitar models feature piezoelectric pickups, which
function as transducers to provide a sound closer to that of an
acoustic guitar with the flip of a switch or knob, rather than
switching guitars. Those that combine piezoelectric pickups and
magnetic pickups are sometimes known as hybrid guitars.
Hybrids of acoustic and electric guitars are also common. There are
also more exotic varieties, such as guitars with two, three, or
rarely four necks, all manner of alternate string arrangements,
fretless fingerboards (used almost exclusively on bass guitars, meant
to emulate the sound of a stand-up bass), 5.1 surround guitar, and
Seven-string and eight-string
Seven-string guitar and eight-string guitar
Solid body seven-string guitars were popularized in the 1980s and
1990s. Other artists go a step further, by using an eight-string
guitar with two extra low strings. Although the most common
seven-string has a low B string,
Roger McGuinn (of
The Byrds and
Rickenbacker) uses an octave G string paired with the regular G string
as on a 12-string guitar, allowing him to incorporate chiming
12-string elements in standard six-string playing. In 1982 Uli Jon
Roth developed the "Sky Guitar", with a vastly extended number of
frets, which was the first guitar to venture into the upper registers
of the violin. Roth's seven-string and "Mighty Wing" guitar features a
wider octave range.
Main article: Bass guitar
A Fender Precision Bass-style bass guitar.
The bass guitar (also called an "electric bass", or simply a "bass")
is similar in appearance and construction to an electric guitar, but
with a longer neck and scale length, and four to six strings. The
four-string bass, by far the most common, is usually tuned the same as
the double bass, which corresponds to pitches one octave lower than
the four lowest pitched strings of a guitar (E, A, D, and G). (The
bass guitar is a transposing instrument, as it is notated in bass clef
an octave higher than it sounds (as is the double bass) to avoid
excessive ledger lines.[jargon]) Like the electric guitar, the bass
guitar has pickups and it is plugged into an amplifier and speaker for
Machine heads (or pegheads, tuning keys, tuning machines, tuners)
Heel (acoustic) Neckjoint (electric)
Body sides (ribs)
Sound hole, with Rosette inlay
Fretboard (or Fingerboard)
Modern guitars can be constructed to suit both left- and right-handed
players. Normally, the dominant hand (in most people, the right hand)
is used to pluck or strum the strings. This is similar to the
convention of the violin family of instruments where the right hand
controls the bow.
Left-handed players sometimes choose an opposite-handed (mirror)
instrument, although some play in a standard-handed manner, others
play a standard-handed guitar reversed, and still others (for example
Jimi Hendrix) played a standard-handed guitar strung in reverse. This
last configuration differs from a true opposite handed guitar in that
the saddle is normally angled in such a way that the bass strings are
slightly longer than the treble strings to improve intonation.
Reversing the strings, therefore, reverses the relative orientation of
the saddle, adversely affecting intonation, although in Hendrix's
case, this is believed to have been an important element in his unique
Main article: Headstock
See also: Nut (string instrument)
The headstock is located at the end of the guitar neck farthest from
the body. It is fitted with machine heads that adjust the tension of
the strings, which in turn affects the pitch. The traditional tuner
layout is "3+3", in which each side of the headstock has three tuners
(such as on Gibson Les Pauls). In this layout, the headstocks are
commonly symmetrical. Many guitars feature other layouts, including
six-in-line tuners (featured on Fender Stratocasters) or even "4+2"
(e.g. Ernie Ball Music Man). Some guitars (such as Steinbergers) do
not have headstocks at all, in which case the tuning machines are
located elsewhere, either on the body or the bridge.
The nut is a small strip of bone, plastic, brass, corian, graphite,
stainless steel, or other medium-hard material, at the joint where the
headstock meets the fretboard. Its grooves guide the strings onto the
fretboard, giving consistent lateral string placement. It is one of
the endpoints of the strings' vibrating length. It must be accurately
cut, or it can contribute to tuning problems due to string slippage or
string buzz. To reduce string friction in the nut, which can adversely
affect tuning stability, some guitarists fit a roller nut. Some
instruments use a zero fret just in front of the nut. In this case the
nut is used only for lateral alignment of the strings, the string
height and length being dictated by the zero fret.
Main article: Neck (music)
See also: Fingerboard, Fret, Truss rod, Inlay (guitar), Set-in neck,
Bolt-on neck, and Neck-through
A guitar's frets, fretboard, tuners, headstock, and truss rod, all
attached to a long wooden extension, collectively constitute its neck.
The wood used to make the fretboard usually differs from the wood in
the rest of the neck. The bending stress on the neck is considerable,
particularly when heavier gauge strings are used (see Tuning), and the
ability of the neck to resist bending (see Truss rod) is important to
the guitar's ability to hold a constant pitch during tuning or when
strings are fretted. The rigidity of the neck with respect to the body
of the guitar is one determinant of a good instrument versus a
The shape of the neck (from a cross-sectional perspective) can also
vary, from a gentle "C" curve to a more pronounced "V" curve. There
are many different types of neck profiles available, giving the
guitarist many options. Some aspects to consider in a guitar neck may
be the overall width of the fretboard, scale (distance between the
frets), the neck wood, the type of neck construction (for example, the
neck may be glued in or bolted on), and the shape (profile) of the
back of the neck. Other types of material used to make guitar necks
are graphite (
Steinberger guitars), aluminum (Kramer Guitars, Travis
Bean and Veleno guitars), or carbon fiber (
Modulus Guitars and
ThreeGuitars). Double neck electric guitars have two necks, allowing
the musician to quickly switch between guitar sounds.
The neck joint or heel is the point at which the neck is either bolted
or glued to the body of the guitar. Almost all acoustic steel-string
guitars, with the primary exception of Taylors, have glued (otherwise
known as set) necks, while electric guitars are constructed using both
types. Most classical guitars have a neck and headblock carved from
one piece of wood, known as a "Spanish heel." Commonly used set neck
joints include mortise and tenon joints (such as those used by C. F.
Martin & Co.), dovetail joints (also used by C. F. Martin on the
D-28 and similar models) and Spanish heel neck joints, which are named
after the shoe they resemble and commonly found in classical guitars.
All three types offer stability.
Bolt-on necks, though they are historically associated with cheaper
instruments, do offer greater flexibility in the guitar's set-up, and
allow easier access for neck joint maintenance and repairs. Another
type of neck, only available for solid body electric guitars, is the
neck-through-body construction. These are designed so that everything
from the machine heads down to the bridge are located on the same
piece of wood. The sides (also known as wings) of the guitar are then
glued to this central piece. Some luthiers prefer this method of
construction as they claim it allows better sustain of each note. Some
instruments may not have a neck joint at all, having the neck and
sides built as one piece and the body built around it.
The fingerboard, also called the fretboard, is a piece of wood
embedded with metal frets that comprises the top of the neck. It is
flat on classical guitars and slightly curved crosswise on acoustic
and electric guitars. The curvature of the fretboard is measured by
the fretboard radius, which is the radius of a hypothetical circle of
which the fretboard's surface constitutes a segment. The smaller the
fretboard radius, the more noticeably curved the fretboard is. Most
modern guitars feature a 12" neck radius, while older guitars from the
1960s and 1970s usually feature a 6-8" neck radius. Pinching a string
against a fret on fretboard effectively shortens the vibrating length
of the string, producing a higher pitch.
Fretboards are most commonly made of rosewood, ebony, maple, and
sometimes manufactured using composite materials such as HPL or resin.
See the section "Neck" below for the importance of the length of the
fretboard in connection to other dimensions of the guitar. The
fingerboard plays an essential role in the treble tone for acoustic
guitars. The quality of vibration of the fingerboard is the principal
characteristic for generating the best treble tone. For that reason,
ebony wood is better, but because of high use, ebony has become rare
and extremely expensive. Most guitar manufacturers have adopted
rosewood instead of ebony.
Sinéad O'Connor playing a Fender guitar with a capo
Almost all guitars have frets, which are metal strips (usually nickel
alloy or stainless steel) embedded along the fretboard and located at
exact points that divide the scale length in accordance with a
specific mathematical formula. The exceptions include fretless bass
guitars and very rare fretless guitars. Pressing a string against a
fret determines the strings' vibrating length and therefore its
resultant pitch. The pitch of each consecutive fret is defined at a
half-step interval on the chromatic scale. Standard classical guitars
have 19 frets and electric guitars between 21 and 24 frets, although
guitars have been made with as many as 27 frets.
Frets are laid out to
accomplish an equal tempered division of the octave. Each set of
twelve frets represents an octave. The twelfth fret divides the scale
length exactly into two halves, and the 24th fret position divides one
of those halves in half again.
The ratio of the spacing of two consecutive frets is
displaystyle sqrt[ 12 ] 2
(twelfth root of two). In practice, luthiers determine fret positions
using the constant 17.817—an approximation to 1/(1-1/
displaystyle sqrt[ 12 ] 2
). If the nth fret is a distance x from the bridge, then the distance
from the (n+1)th fret to the bridge is x-(x/17.817).
available in several different gauges and can be fitted according to
player preference. Among these are "jumbo" frets, which have much
thicker gauge, allowing for use of a slight vibrato technique from
pushing the string down harder and softer. "Scalloped" fretboards,
where the wood of the fretboard itself is "scooped out" between the
frets, allow a dramatic vibrato effect. Fine frets, much flatter,
allow a very low string-action, but require that other conditions,
such as curvature of the neck, be well-maintained to prevent buzz.
The truss rod is a thin, strong metal rod that runs along the inside
of the neck. It is used to correct changes to the neck's curvature
caused by aging of the neck timbers, changes in humidity, or to
compensate for changes in the tension of strings. The tension of the
rod and neck assembly is adjusted by a hex nut or an allen-key bolt on
the rod, usually located either at the headstock, sometimes under a
cover, or just inside the body of the guitar underneath the fretboard
and accessible through the sound hole. Some truss rods can only be
accessed by removing the neck. The truss rod counteracts the immense
amount of tension the strings place on the neck, bringing the neck
back to a straighter position. Turning the truss rod clockwise
tightens it, counteracting the tension of the strings and
straightening the neck or creating a backward bow. Turning the truss
rod counter-clockwise loosens it, allowing string tension to act on
the neck and creating a forward bow.
Adjusting the truss rod affects the intonation of a guitar as well as
the height of the strings from the fingerboard, called the action.
Some truss rod systems, called double action truss systems, tighten
both ways, pushing the neck both forward and backward (standard truss
rods can only release to a point beyond which the neck is no longer
compressed and pulled backward). The artist and luthier Irving Sloane
pointed out, in his book Steel-String
Guitar Construction, that truss
rods are intended primarily to remedy concave bowing of the neck, but
cannot correct a neck with "back bow" or one that has become
twisted.[page needed] Classical guitars do not require truss
rods, as their nylon strings exert a lower tensile force with lesser
potential to cause structural problems. However, their necks are often
reinforced with a strip of harder wood, such as an ebony strip that
runs down the back of a cedar neck. There is no tension adjustment on
this form of reinforcement.
Inlays are visual elements set into the exterior surface of a guitar,
both for decoration and artistic purposes and, in the case of the
markings on the 3rd, 5th, 7th and 12th fret (and in higher octaves),
to provide guidance to the performer about the location of frets on
the instrument. The typical locations for inlay are on the fretboard,
headstock, and on acoustic guitars around the soundhole, known as the
rosette. Inlays range from simple plastic dots on the fretboard to
intricate works of art covering the entire exterior surface of a
guitar (front and back). Some guitar players have used LEDs in the
fretboard to produce unique lighting effects onstage.
are most commonly shaped like dots, diamond shapes, parallelograms, or
large blocks in between the frets.
Dots are usually inlaid into the upper edge of the fretboard in the
same positions, small enough to be visible only to the player. These
usually appear on the odd numbered frets, but also on the 12th fret
(the one octave mark) instead of the 11th and 13th frets. Some older
or high-end instruments have inlays made of mother of pearl, abalone,
ivory, colored wood or other exotic materials and designs. Simpler
inlays are often made of plastic or painted. High-end classical
guitars seldom have fretboard inlays as a well-trained player is
expected to know his or her way around the instrument. In addition to
fretboard inlay, the headstock and soundhole surround are also
frequently inlaid. The manufacturer's logo or a small design is often
inlaid into the headstock. Rosette designs vary from simple concentric
circles to delicate fretwork mimicking the historic rosette of lutes.
Bindings that edge the finger and sound boards are sometimes inlaid.
Some instruments have a filler strip running down the length and
behind the neck, used for strength or to fill the cavity through which
the truss rod was installed in the neck.
Main articles: Sound box, Solid body, Bridge (instrument), and
See also: Vibrato systems for guitar
In the guitar, the sound box is the hollowed wooden structure that
constitutes the body of the instrument.
In acoustic guitars, string vibration is transmitted through the
bridge and saddle to the body via sound board. The sound board is
typically made of tone woods such as spruce or cedar. Timbers for tone
woods are chosen for both strength and ability to transfer mechanical
energy from the strings to the air within the guitar body. Sound is
further shaped by the characteristics of the guitar body's resonant
cavity. In expensive instruments, the entire body is made of wood. In
inexpensive instruments, the back may be made of plastic.
In an acoustic instrument, the body of the guitar is a major
determinant of the overall sound quality. The guitar top, or
soundboard, is a finely crafted and engineered element made of
tonewoods such as spruce and red cedar. This thin piece of wood, often
only 2 or 3 mm thick, is strengthened by differing types of
internal bracing. Many luthiers consider the top the dominant factor
in determining the sound quality. The majority of the instrument's
sound is heard through the vibration of the guitar top as the energy
of the vibrating strings is transferred to it. The body of an acoustic
guitar has a sound hole through which sound projects. The sound hole
is usually a round hole in the top of the guitar under the strings.
Air inside the body vibrates as the guitar top and body is vibrated by
the strings, and the response of the air cavity at different
frequencies is characterized, like the rest of the guitar body, by a
number of resonance modes at which it responds more strongly.
The top, back and ribs of an acoustic guitar body are very thin
(1–2 mm), so a flexible piece of wood called lining is glued
into the corners where the rib meets the top and back. This interior
reinforcement provides 5 to 20 mm of solid gluing area for these
corner joints. Solid linings are often used in classical guitars,
while kerfed lining is most often found in steel string acoustics.
Kerfed lining is also called kerfing because it is scored, or
"kerfed"(incompletely sawn through), to allow it to bend with the
shape of the rib). During final construction, a small section of the
outside corners is carved or routed out and filled with binding
material on the outside corners and decorative strips of material next
to the binding, which are called purfling. This binding serves to seal
off the end grain of the top and back.
Purfling can also appear on the
back of an acoustic guitar, marking the edge joints of the two or
three sections of the back. Binding and purfling materials are
generally made of either wood or plastic.
Body size, shape and style has changed over time. 19th century
guitars, now known as salon guitars, were smaller than modern
instruments. Differing patterns of internal bracing have been used
over time by luthiers. Torres, Hauser, Ramirez, Fleta, and C. F.
Martin were among the most influential designers of their time.
Bracing not only strengthens the top against potential collapse due to
the stress exerted by the tensioned strings, but also affects the
resonance characteristics of the top. The back and sides are made out
of a variety of timbers such as mahogany, Indian rosewood and highly
regarded Brazilian rosewood (Dalbergia nigra). Each one is primarily
chosen for their aesthetic effect and can be decorated with inlays and
Instruments with larger areas for the guitar top were introduced by
Martin in an attempt to create greater volume levels. The popularity
of the larger "dreadnought" body size amongst acoustic performers is
related to the greater sound volume produced.
Most electric guitar bodies are made of wood and include a plastic
pick guard. Boards wide enough to use as a solid body are very
expensive due to the worldwide depletion of hardwood stock since the
1970s, so the wood is rarely one solid piece. Most bodies are made
from two pieces of wood with some of them including a seam running
down the center line of the body. The most common woods used for
electric guitar body construction include maple, basswood, ash,
poplar, alder, and mahogany. Many bodies consist of good-sounding, but
inexpensive woods, like ash, with a "top", or thin layer of another,
more attractive wood (such as maple with a natural "flame" pattern)
glued to the top of the basic wood. Guitars constructed like this are
often called "flame tops". The body is usually carved or routed to
accept the other elements, such as the bridge, pickup, neck, and other
electronic components. Most electrics have a polyurethane or
nitrocellulose lacquer finish. Other alternative materials to wood are
used in guitar body construction. Some of these include carbon
composites, plastic material, such as polycarbonate, and aluminum
The main purpose of the bridge on an acoustic guitar is to transfer
the vibration from the strings to the soundboard, which vibrates the
air inside of the guitar, thereby amplifying the sound produced by the
strings. On all electric, acoustic and original guitars, the bridge
holds the strings in place on the body. There are many varied bridge
designs. There may be some mechanism for raising or lowering the
bridge saddles to adjust the distance between the strings and the
fretboard (action), or fine-tuning the intonation of the instrument.
Some are spring-loaded and feature a "whammy bar", a removable arm
that lets the player modulate the pitch by changing the tension on the
strings. The whammy bar is sometimes also called a "tremolo bar". (The
effect of rapidly changing pitch is properly called "vibrato". See
Tremolo for further discussion of this term.) Some bridges also allow
for alternate tunings at the touch of a button.
On almost all modern electric guitars, the bridge has saddles that are
adjustable for each string so that intonation stays correct up and
down the neck. If the open string is in tune, but sharp or flat when
frets are pressed, the bridge saddle position can be adjusted with a
screwdriver or hex key to remedy the problem. In general, flat notes
are corrected by moving the saddle forward and sharp notes by moving
it backwards. On an instrument correctly adjusted for intonation, the
actual length of each string from the nut to the bridge saddle is
slightly, but measurably longer than the scale length of the
instrument. This additional length is called compensation, which
flattens all notes a bit to compensate for the sharping of all fretted
notes caused by stretching the string during fretting.
The saddle of a guitar refers to the part of the bridge that
physically supports the strings. It may be one piece (typically on
acoustic guitars) or separate pieces, one for each string (electric
guitars and basses). The saddle's basic purpose is to provide the end
point for the string's vibration at the correct location for proper
intonation, and on acoustic guitars to transfer the vibrations through
the bridge into the top wood of the guitar. Saddles are typically made
of plastic or bone for acoustic guitars, though synthetics and some
exotic animal tooth variations (e.g. fossilized tooth, ivory, etc. )
have become popular with some players.
Electric guitar saddles are
typically metal, though some synthetic saddles are available.
The pickguard, also known as the scratchplate, is usually a piece of
laminated plastic or other material that protects the finish of the
top of the guitar from damage due to the use of a plectrum ("pick") or
fingernails. Electric guitars sometimes mount pickups and electronics
on the pickguard. It is a common feature on steel-string acoustic
guitars. Some performance styles that use the guitar as a percussion
instrument (tapping the top or sides between notes, etc.), such as
flamenco, require that a scratchplate or pickguard be fitted to
Classical guitar strings
The standard guitar has six strings, but four-, seven-, eight-, nine-,
ten-, eleven-, twelve-, thirteen- and eighteen-string guitars are also
available. Classical and flamenco guitars historically used gut
strings, but these have been superseded by polymer materials, such as
nylon and fluorocarbon. Modern guitar strings are constructed from
metal, polymers, or animal or plant product materials. Instruments
utilizing "steel" strings may have strings made from alloys
incorporating steel, nickel or phosphor bronze. Bass strings for both
instruments are wound rather than monofilament.
Pickups and electronics
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Main article: Pickup (music technology)
Fender Stratocaster has features common to many electric guitars:
multiple pickups, a vibrato bar/vibrato unit, and volume and tone
Pickups are transducers attached to a guitar that detect (or "pick
up") string vibrations and convert the mechanical energy of the string
into electrical energy. The resultant electrical signal can then be
electronically amplified. The most common type of pickup is
electromagnetic in design. These contain magnets that are within a
coil, or coils, of copper wire. Such pickups are usually placed
directly underneath the guitar strings. Electromagnetic pickups work
on the same principles and in a similar manner to an electric
generator. The vibration of the strings creates a small electric
current in the coils surrounding the magnets. This signal current is
carried to a guitar amplifier that drives a loudspeaker.
Traditional electromagnetic pickups are either single-coil or
double-coil. Single-coil pickups are susceptible to noise induced by
stray electromagnetic fields, usually mains-frequency (60 or
50 hertz) hum. The introduction of the double-coil humbucker in
the mid-1950s solved this problem through the use of two coils, one of
which is wired in opposite polarity to cancel or "buck" stray fields.
The types and models of pickups used can greatly affect the tone of
the guitar. Typically, humbuckers, which are two magnet-coil
assemblies attached to each other, are traditionally associated with a
heavier sound. Single-coil pickups, one magnet wrapped in copper wire,
are used by guitarists seeking a brighter, twangier sound with greater
Modern pickups are tailored to the sound desired. A commonly applied
approximation used in selection of a pickup is that less wire (lower
electrical impedance) gives brighter sound, more wire gives a "fat"
tone. Other options include specialized switching that produces
coil-splitting, in/out of phase and other effects.
Guitar circuits are
either active, needing a battery to power their circuit, or, as in
most cases, equipped with a passive circuit.
Fender Stratocaster-type guitars generally utilize three single-coil
pickups, while most Gibson
Les Paul types use humbucker pickups.
Piezoelectric, or piezo, pickups represent another class of pickup.
These employ piezoelectricity to generate the musical signal and are
popular in hybrid electro-acoustic guitars. A crystal is located under
each string, usually in the saddle. When the string vibrates, the
shape of the crystal is distorted, and the stresses associated with
this change produce tiny voltages across the crystal that can be
amplified and manipulated.
Some piezo-equipped guitars use a hexaphonic pickup. "Hex" is a prefix
meaning six. A hexaphonic pickup produces a separate output for each
string, usually from a discrete piezoelectric or magnetic pickup for
each string. This arrangement lets on-board or external electronics
process the strings individually for modeling or Musical Instrument
Digital Interface (MIDI) conversion. Roland makes hexaphonic pickups
for guitar and bass, and a line of guitar modeling and synthesis
products. Line 6's hexaphonic-equipped
Variax guitars use on-board
electronics to model the sound after various vintage instruments, and
vary pitch on individual strings.
MIDI converters use a hexaphonic guitar signal to determine pitch,
duration, attack, and decay characteristics. The
MIDI sends the note
information to an internal or external sound bank device. The
resulting sound closely mimics numerous instruments. The
can also let the guitar be used as a game controller (i.e., Rock Band
Squier) or as an instructional tool, as with the Fretlight Guitar.
On guitars that have them, these components and the wires that connect
them allow the player to control some aspects of the sound like volume
or tone using knobs, switches, or buttons. The most basic electronic
control is a volume knob. Some guitars also have a tone-control knob,
and some guitars with multiple pickups have pickup selector switches
or knobs to determine which pickup(s) are activated. At their
simplest, these consist of passive components, such as potentiometers
and capacitors, but may also include specialized integrated circuits
or other active components requiring batteries for power, for
preamplification and signal processing, or even for electronic tuning.
In many cases, the electronics have some sort of shielding to prevent
pickup of external interference and noise.
See also: Stringed instrument tunings
Notationally, the guitar is considered a transposing instrument. Its
pitch sounds one octave lower than it is notated on a score.
In standard tuning, the C-major chord has three shapes because of the
irregular major-third between the G- and B-strings.
A variety of tunings may be used. The most common tuning, known as
"Standard Tuning", has the strings tuned from a low E, to a high E,
traversing a two octave range—EADGBE. When all strings are played
open the resulting chord is an Em7/add11.
The pitches are as follows:
Interval from middle C
major third above
minor second below
perfect fourth below
minor seventh below
minor tenth below
minor thirteenth below
The table below shows a pitch's name found over the six strings of a
guitar in standard tuning, from the nut (zero), to the twelfth fret.
In the standard guitar-tuning, one major-third interval is interjected
amid four perfect-fourth intervals. In each regular tuning, all string
successions have the same interval.
For four strings, the 5th fret on one string is the same open-note as
the next string; for example, a 5th-fret note on the sixth string is
the same note as the open fifth string. However, between the second
and third strings, an irregularity occurs: The 4th-fret note on the
third string is equivalent to the open second string.
Chords can be shifted diagonally in major-thirds tuning and other
regular tunings. In standard tuning, chords change their shape because
of the irregular major-third G-B.
Guitar tunings § Alternative
Open tunings and Regular tunings
Standard tuning has evolved to provide a good compromise between
simple fingering for many chords and the ability to play common scales
with reasonable left-hand movement. There are also a variety of
commonly used alternative tunings, for example, the classes of open,
regular, and dropped tunings.
Ry Cooder plays slide-guitar with open tunings.
Open tuning refers to a guitar tuned so that strumming the open
strings produces a chord, typically a major chord. The base chord
consists of at least 3 notes and may include all the strings or a
subset. The tuning is named for the open chord, Open D, open G, and
open A are popular tunings. All similar chords in the chromatic scale
can then be played by barring a single fret.
Open tunings are
common in blues and folk music, and they are used in the playing
of slide and bottleneck guitars. Many musicians use open
tunings when playing slide guitar.
For the standard tuning, there is exactly one interval of a major
third between the second and third strings, and all the other
intervals are fourths. The irregularity has a price - chords cannot be
shifted around the fretboard in the standard tuning E-A-D-G-B-E, which
requires four chord-shapes for the major chords. There are separate
chord-forms for chords having their root note on the third, fourth,
fifth, and sixth strings.
In contrast, regular tunings have equal intervals between the
strings, and so they have symmetrical scales all along the
fretboard. This makes it simpler to translate chords. For the regular
tunings, chords may be moved diagonally around the fretboard. The
diagonal movement of chords is especially simple for the regular
tunings that are repetitive, in which case chords can be moved
vertically: Chords can be moved three strings up (or down) in
major-thirds tuning and chords can be moved two strings up (or down)
in augmented-fourths tuning.
Regular tunings thus appeal to new
guitarists and also to jazz-guitarists, whose improvisation is
simplified by regular intervals.
On the other hand, some chords are more difficult to play in a regular
tuning than in standard tuning. It can be difficult to play
conventional chords especially in augmented-fourths tuning and
all-fifths tuning, in which the large spacings require hand
stretching. Some chords, which are conventional in folk music, are
difficult to play even in all-fourths and major-thirds tunings, which
do not require more hand-stretching than standard tuning.
In major-thirds tuning, the interval between open strings is always a
major third. Consequently, four frets suffice to play the chromatic
Chord inversion is especially simple in major-thirds tuning.
Chords are inverted simply by raising one or two notes by three
strings. The raised notes are played with the same finger as the
original notes. In contrast, in standard tuning, the shape of
inversions depends on the involvement of the irregular
All-fourths tuning replaces the major third between the third and
second strings with a fourth, extending the conventional tuning of a
bass guitar. With all-fourths tuning, playing the triads is more
difficult, but improvisation is simplified, because chord-patterns
remain constant when moved around the fretboard.
Stanley Jordan uses the all-fourths tuning EADGCF. Invariant
chord-shapes are an advantage of other regular tunings, such as
major-thirds and all-fifths tunings.
Extending the tunings of violins and cellos, all-fifths tuning offers
an expanded range CGDAEB, which however has been impossible to
implement on a conventional guitar.
All-fifths tuning is used for the
lowest five strings of the new standard tuning of
Robert Fripp and his
former students in
Guitar Craft courses; new standard tuning has a
high G on its last string CGDAE-G.
Another class of alternative tunings are called drop tunings, because
the tuning drops down the lowest string. Dropping down the lowest
string a whole tone results in the "drop-D" (or "dropped D") tuning.
Its open-string notes DADGBE (from low to high) allow for a deep bass
D note, which can be used in keys such as D major, d minor and G
major. It simplifies the playing of simple fifths (powerchords). Many
contemporary rock bands re-tune all strings down, making, for example,
Drop-C or Drop-B tunings.
Many scordatura (alternate tunings) modify the standard tuning of the
lute, especially when playing
Renaissance music repertoire originally
written for that instrument. Some scordatura drop the pitch of one or
more strings, giving access to new lower notes. Some scordatura make
it easier to play in unusual keys.
Though a guitar may be played on its own, there are a variety of
common accessories used for holding and playing the guitar.
Main article: Capo
A capo (short for capotasto) is used to change the pitch of open
strings. Capos are clipped onto the fretboard with the aid of spring
tension, or in some models, elastic tension. To raise the guitar's
pitch by one semitone, the player would clip the capo onto the
fretboard just below the first fret. Its use allows players to play in
different keys without having to change the chord formations they use.
For example, if a folk guitar player wanted to play a song in the key
of B Major, they could put a capo on the second fret of the
instrument, and then play the song as if it were in the key of A
Major, but with the capo the instrument would make the sounds of B
Major. This is because with the capo barring the entire second fret,
open chords would all sound two semitones (aka one tone) higher in
pitch. For example, if a guitarist played an open A Major chord (a
very common open chord), it would sound like a B Major chord. All of
the other open chords would be similarly modified in pitch. Because of
the ease with which they allow guitar players to change keys, they are
sometimes referred to with pejorative names, such as "cheaters" or the
"hillbilly crutch". Despite this negative viewpoint, another benefit
of the capo is that it enables guitarists to obtain the ringing,
resonant sound of the common keys (C, G, A, etc.) in "harder" and
less-commonly used keys. Classical performers are known to use them to
enable modern instruments to match the pitch of historical instruments
such as the
Renaissance music lute.
Main article: Slide guitar
Example of a bottleneck slide, with fingerpicks and a resonator guitar
made of metal.
A slide, (neck of a bottle, knife blade or round metal or glass bar or
cylinder) is used in blues and rock to create a glissando or
"Hawaiian" effect. The slide is used to fret notes on the neck,
instead of using the fretting hand's fingers. The characteristic use
of the slide is to move up to the intended pitch by, as the name
implies, sliding up the neck to the desired note. The necks of bottles
were often used in blues and country music as improvised slides.
Modern slides are constructed of glass, plastic, ceramic, chrome,
brass or steel bars or cylinders, depending on the weight and tone
desired (and the amount of money a guitarist can spend). An instrument
that is played exclusively in this manner (using a metal bar) is
called a steel guitar or pedal steel. Slide playing to this day is
very popular in blues music and country music. Some slide players use
Dobro guitar. Some performers who have become famous for
playing slide are Robert Johnson, Elmore James, Ry Cooder, George
Harrison, Bonnie Raitt, Derek Trucks, Warren Haynes, Duane Allman,
Muddy Waters, Rory Gallagher, and George Thorogood.
A variety of guitar picks
A "guitar pick" or "plectrum" is a small piece of hard material
generally held between the thumb and first finger of the picking hand
and is used to "pick" the strings. Though most classical players pick
with a combination of fingernails and fleshy fingertips, the pick is
most often used for electric and steel-string acoustic guitars. Though
today they are mainly plastic, variations do exist, such as bone,
wood, steel or tortoise shell. Tortoise shell was the most commonly
used material in the early days of pick-making, but as tortoises and
turtles became endangered, the practice of using their shells for
picks or anything else was banned. Tortoise-shell picks made before
the ban are often coveted for a supposedly superior tone and ease of
use, and their scarcity has made them valuable.
Picks come in many shapes and sizes. Picks vary from the small jazz
pick to the large bass pick. The thickness of the pick often
determines its use. A thinner pick (between 0.2 and 0.5 mm) is
usually used for strumming or rhythm playing, whereas thicker picks
(between 0.7 and 1.5+ mm) are usually used for single-note lines or
lead playing. The distinctive guitar sound of
Billy Gibbons is
attributed to using a quarter or peso as a pick. Similarly, Brian May
is known to use a sixpence coin as a pick, while noted 1970s and early
1980s session musician David Persons is known for using old credit
cards, cut to the correct size, as plectrums.
Thumb picks and finger picks that attach to the finger tips are
sometimes employed in finger-picking styles on steel strings. These
allow the fingers and thumb to operate independently, whereas a flat
pick requires the thumb and one or two fingers to manipulate.
A guitar strap is a strip of material with an attachment mechanism on
each end, made to hold a guitar via the shoulders at an adjustable
length. Guitars have varying accommodations for attaching a strap. The
most common are strap buttons, also called strap pins, which are
flanged steel posts anchored to the guitar with screws. Two strap
buttons come pre-attached to virtually all electric guitars, and many
steel-string acoustic guitars. Strap buttons are sometimes replaced
with "strap locks", which connect the guitar to the strap more
The lower strap button is usually located at the bottom (bridge end)
of the body. The upper strap button is usually located near or at the
top (neck end) of the body: on the upper body curve, at the tip of the
upper "horn" (on a double cutaway), or at the neck joint (heel). Some
electrics, especially those with odd-shaped bodies, have one or both
strap buttons on the back of the body. Some
guitars, owing to their minimalist and lightweight design, have both
strap buttons at the bottom of the body. Rarely, on some acoustics,
the upper strap button is located on the headstock. Some acoustic and
classical guitars only have a single strap button at the bottom of the
body—the other end must be tied onto the headstock, above the nut
and below the machine heads.
Amplifiers, effects and speakers
A range of guitar combo amps and guitars for sale at a music store.
Electric guitars and bass guitars have to be used with a guitar
amplifier and loudspeaker or a bass amplifier and speaker,
respectively, in order to make enough sound to be heard by the
performer and audience. Electric guitars and bass guitars almost
always use magnetic pickups, which generate an electric signal when
the musician plucks, strums or otherwise plays the instrument. The
amplifier and speaker strengthen this signal using a power amplifier
and a loudspeaker. Acoustic guitars that are equipped with a
piezoelectric pickup or microphone can also be plugged into an
instrument amplifier, acoustic guitar amp or
PA system to make them
louder. With electric guitar and bass, the amplifier and speaker are
not just used to make the instrument louder; by adjusting the
equalizer controls, the preamplifier, and any onboard effects units
(reverb, distortion/overdrive, etc.) the player can also modify the
tone (aka timbre or "colour") and sound of the instrument. Acoustic
guitar players can also use the amp to change the sound of their
instrument, but in general, acoustic guitar amps are used to make the
natural acoustic sound of the instrument louder without changing its
sound that much.
Outline of guitars
List of guitar manufacturers
Notes and references
Kithara appears in the Bible four times (1 Cor. 14:7, Rev. 5:8, 14:2
and 15:2), and is usually translated into English as harp.
^ "The first incontrovertible evidence of five-course instruments can
be found in Miguel Fuenllana's Orphenica Lyre of 1554, which contains
music for a vihuela de cinco ordenes. In the following year, Juan
Bermudo wrote in his Declaracion de Instrumentos Musicales: 'We have
seen a guitar in Spain with five courses of strings.' Bermudo later
mentions in the same book that 'Guitars usually have four strings,'
which implies that the five-course guitar was of comparatively recent
origin, and still something of an oddity." Tom and Mary Anne Evans,
Guitars: From the
Renaissance to Rock. Paddington Press Ltd, 1977, p.
^ "We know from literary sources that the five course guitar was
immensely popular in Spain in the early seventeenth century and was
also widely played in France and Italy...Yet almost all the surviving
guitars were built in Italy...This apparent disparity between the
documentary and instrumental evidence can be explained by the fact
that, in general, only the more expensively made guitars have been
kept as collectors' pieces. During the early seventeenth century the
guitar was an instrument of the people of Spain, but was widely played
by the Italian aristocracy." Tom and Mary Anne Evans. Guitars: From
Renaissance to Rock. Paddington Press Ltd, 1977, p. 24.
^ "Definition of GUITAR". www.merriam-webster.com.
^ a b Kasha 1968, pp. 3–12.
^ Wade 2001, p. 10.
^ Farmer 1930, p. 137.
^ Strong 1890, p. 2788.
^ Summerfield 2003.
^ Tom and Mary Anne Evans. Guitars: From the
Renaissance to Rock.
Paddington Press Ltd 1977 p.16
^ Turnbull et al.
Guitar (From The
Renaissance To The Present Day) by Harvey
Turnbull (Third Impression 1978) - Publisher: Batsford. p57 (Chapter 3
- The Baroque, Era Of The Five Course Guitar)
^ Morrish, John. "Antonio De Torres".
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^ "Hybrid guitars". Guitarnoize.com. Archived from the original on
2010-12-25. Retrieved 2010-06-15.
^ "The Official Steve Vai Website: The Machines". Vai.com. 1993-08-03.
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^ Mottola, R.M. "Lutherie Info—Calculating
^ a b Sethares 2001, p. 16.
^ a b Denyer 1992, p. 158.
^ Denyer 1992, p. 160.
^ Denyer 1992, p. 119.
^ a b c Sethares 2001, pp. 52–67.
^ Patt, Ralph (April 2008). "The major 3rd tuning". Ralph Patt's jazz
web page. ralphpatt.com. cited by Sethares (2010). Retrieved 10 June
^ Griewank (2010, p. 10): Griewank, Andreas (January 2010),
Tuning guitars and reading music in major thirds, Matheon preprints,
695, Berlin, Germany: DFG research center "MATHEON, Mathematics for
key technologies", urn:nbn:de:0296-matheon-6755
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^ Denyer 1992, p. 121.
^ Sethares 2001, p. 62–63.
^ Tamm, Eric (2003) , Robert Fripp: From crimson king to crafty
master (Progressive Ears ed.), Faber and Faber (1990),
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the original on 26 October 2011, retrieved 25 March 2012
^ Fripp (2011, p. 3): Fripp, Robert (2011). Pozzo, Horacio, ed.
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Instruments In Depth: The
Guitar An online feature from Bloomingdale
School of Music (October 2007)
Guitar Research Archive
The Guitar, Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History, The Metropolitan Museum
of Art featuring many historic guitars from the Museum's collection
Acoustic guitar realistic simulator
By type (six string)
With additional strings
Electric guitar design
History of the classical guitar
List of guitars
list of manufacturers
Open (Slide and slack-key guitar)
(often most popular)
Double drop D
Minor thirds (3)
Major thirds (4)
All fourths (5)
Augmented fourths (6)
New standard (74, 3)
All fifths (7)
Repetitive (open pitches)
Augmented fourths (2)
Major thirds (3)
English open-C (3)
Russian open-G (3)
Minor thirds (4)
Steel guitar (C6, E9)
List * Category