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Guitar: History, Science, and Construction By John Widmaier
A Quick Overview I explored the evolution of the guitar throughout history, how it has changed into what we know today. Also, I looked into the science behind the sound that we all recognize. Last but not least, I researched, and put into use, the process of constructing a guitar.
Why is it Relevant? Who can honestly say that they don’t listen to music that utilizes the guitar. Almost all modern music has been influenced by a guitar, whether it’s the lead instrument, or if it was used to simply compose a melody for another instrument. If you listen to music the guitar, you probably listen to guitar.
Originates in Spain 15th Century http://www.helmink.com/Antique_Map_Blaeu_Spain/Antique_Map_Blaeu_Spain.jpg
The ladies loved a lute player http://www.music.iastate.edu/antiqua/images/lute1.jpg http://gallery.photo.net/photo/1046936-md.jpg
The Baroque Period: The Guitar Changes 6 Strings!!
Characteristics of a Sound Wave Frequency Amplitude
How an acoustic guitar makes noise It is important to understand what the source of a guitar’s sound is if one is to understand it completely Contrary to what one may think is, the strings of a guitar make very little noise. The purpose the string is to transmit particular frequencies of vibrations to the bridge of a guitar. Through the bridge, those vibrations are then transmitted to the top plate of the guitar body. The guitar’s top plate is actually the surface which transfers the vibration to the air.
How strings affect the sound The pitch of a string as it’s vibrating has many variables Mass of string Thicker strings vibrate slower, therefore are lower pitched String tension The tighter a string is tuned, the faster it will vibrate, creating a higher pitch The length of the string available to vibrate freely This is what is being changed as the finger presses down on a string Shortening the string (finger higher on the neck) creates a higher pitch
How Electric Guitars Work Electric Guitars are not all that different than their acoustic counterparts Electric guitars, however, use “pickups” to transmit vibration into electrical signals. A pickup is essentially a magnet that is wrapped in coil, creating an electromagnet. When the steel guitar string vibrates, the pickup senses it, then transmits it as an electrical signal From there, the electrical signal is sent to the amplifier, where it is boosted so it has enough power to drive a speaker. Pre-amp Signal Modulation Signal Amplification Output
Guitar Construction Additional Electronics Neck Basic parts of an electric guitar Pickups Body
Types of Wood The body of an electric guitar is made of solid wood, lacking air pockets to resonate sound because they are not necessary Common Woods used in guitars Basswood Mahogany Walnut Soft or Hard Maple Spruce Ect.
Construction of main parts The neck is generally made out of the same wood as the body Then a strip of another type of wood is laid on top of the neck The body is shaped into whatever shape is desired, since the shape will have little to no effect on the sound. The body generally has a cut away section which allows easier access to the higher notes
How to string a guitar To string a guitar: Feed the string through its appropriate hole in the bottom of the guitar body Then pull the string through and feed it through the tuner Wrap the end which is sticking out the other end of the tuner around once or twice Feed it through once more Then turn the tuning peg to add sufficient tension to the string to bring it to the correct pitch Repeat with the remaining strings
Conclusion To conclude, I would just like to say that guitar has played an important role in my life. It’s one of my favorite pastimes. Also, weather you realize it or not, the guitar’s influence is everywhere, and is a major driving force behind the entire music industry.
Works Cited “Guitar and Lute". Earthlink. May 10, 2010 <http://home.earthlink.net/~guitarandlute/gtrhstry.html>.
"A Brief History of the Guitar". Riff TV. May 10, 2010 <http://www.rifftv.com/guitar_history.htm>.
"The Invention of the Electric Guitar". Smithsonian. May 10, 2010 <http://invention.smithsonian.org/centerpieces/electricguitar/credits.htm>.
“Gibson About Us". Gibson USA. May 10, 2010 <http://www.gibson.com/en-us/Support/AboutUs/>.
"How Electric Guitars Work". How Stuff Works. May 10, 2010 <http://entertainment.howstuffworks.com/electric-guitar.htm>.
"Guitar Acoustics". The University of New South Wales. May 10, 2010 <http://www.phys.unsw.edu.au/music/guitar/>.
Articles Used History of the Guitar http://guitar.about.com/od/education/a/history_guitar.htm How Electric Guitars Work http://entertainment.howstuffworks.com/electric-guitar.htm A Brief History of the Guitar http://www.rifftv.com/guitar_history.htm