evolution of the guitar

Timeline created by julianc
In Music
  • 200

    First guitar-like instruments

    The first guitar -like instruments are seen in multiple paintings and in carvings from anceint Egypt. These stringed intruments are thought to have been used for only religous reasons. (the actual date for this is around 1490 B.C.)
  • 242

    The Oud

    The Oud
    The Oud consists of a large, round soundbox (main body) and a short neck. It was used in Persia and what is now Iraq. It was plucked with an eagle's feather. The Oud came to Andalusia (southern Spain) where it evolved into new forms, ultimately developing into the (modern) guitar, with, of course, other infuences.
  • 500

    Other early Guitars in Europe

    In early medieval times, four- stringed intruments that are much smaller than modern guitars began to be played. They were similar to ukuleles and mandolins. These were almost always homemade, and had varying sizes. These instruments had many differing names depending on the region; some of these names include the Cuatro (from what is now Spain) and Guiterne (from what is now France.)
  • Jan 1, 1500

    Instruments get a 5th string- The Baroque

    Baroque guitarThe earlier four-stinged intruments got a 5th string in the Baroque era. These are like the 12 string guitars we have today (in terms of a richer sound.) These guitars were most likely used for entertainment at small parties and other occasions. This instument is often calledhe Baroque guitar.
  • A sixth string is added

    A sixth string is added
    A sixth string was added to the five-stringed instument from the Baroque era. Other than this innovation, the guitar stayed pretty much the same in terms of the size, shape and sound.
  • The first classical Guitars

    Early in the 18th century, the first classical guitars were invented. They had much flatter bottoms and were much bigger than their ancestors. These guitars were much more popular than the earlier versions of the instrument and are still used today.
  • The guitar comes to Colonial America

    The guitar comes to Colonial America
    Around 1700, the guitar came to the Americas along with the flocks of settlers. The guitar was still not very popular until after the Civil War, when larger, modern ones were used.
  • Antonio Torres and the Fan- Braced guitar

    Antonio Torres, a musician and inventor, made the first classical guitars with fan- braced tops. This development greatly helped with the volume and tone of the guitar. This exact method is still used in modern acoustics.
  • Nylon Strings

    Up until about 1870, the only material used for guitar strings were animal parts. These strings were bad because they went out of tune frequently and could easily break. Nylon strings are much more durable, easy to buy, and easy to play.
  • The first electric guitars

    The first electric guitars
    PickupsIn the early 1920s Adoph Rickenbacker invented the pickup. These devices are placed under the strings to amplify the sound. Along with the pickup came the first electric guitar. They had S shaped sound slits (like in the picture) so they could be played without an amplifier. These guitars were primarily used in jazz orchestras. With increasing popularity,elctric guitars were used by jazz musicians in nightclubs and bars.
  • Popularizing the electric guitar.

    Popularizing the electric guitar.
    African Americans in the Southeast U.S played blues and jazz. The guitar became very popular amog the black community. The man in the picture is Robert Johnson. He recorded in 1936 and his recordings were embraced, not only by blacks, but also whites. He popularized the guitar and also a new style of music.
  • Soild Body Electric

    Soild Body Electric
    Les PaulIn 1941, Les Paul, a musicain and inventor from Wisconsin, invented the solid body electric guitar. His invention was different from the earlier electric because it had no sound slits. Having no sound slits makes the guitar unable to produce (loud) sounds without an amplifier.This guitar was very simple, a rectangular block of wood with pickups and steel strings.
  • Leo Fender

    Leo Fender invents the stratocaster, a styilish, new guitar played by many famous musicians such as Jimi Herdrix, Eddie Van Halen, Buddy Holly, and Eric Clapton. Many guitars are based on this model.
  • Gibson and Les Paul

    Gibson and Les Paul
    In 1950, Gibson, originally a mandolin manufacturer, began selling Les Paul's new design. These guitars had a mahogany body, maple top, and rosewood fretboard.This guitar was called the Les Paul and is still the most popular guitar today, even 60 years later. Many famous musicians used these guitars. Some include Jimmy Page (Led Zepplin,) Slash, Pete Townshed (The Who,) and Paul McCartny. These guitars are so iconic that ones from this era sell for over $25,000!