Modern History of the Electric Guitar

Timeline created by guitarmaster
In Music
  • Frying Pan Guitar

    Frying Pan Guitar
    The first electric lap steel guitar was made by George Beauchamp in 1931. It had a solid aluminum body where an electro magnetic microphone was mounted to pickup the vibrations from the guitar strings. This guitar was named "the frying pan" because it looked like an aluminum frying pan with a neck attached to it.
  • Electro String Guitar

    Electro String Guitar
    Rickenbacker combined the idea of the Hawaiian guitar and the frying pan to make the electro string guitar. This guitar was an acoustic guitar with a steel top and an electro magnetic pickup, so it could be amplified.
  • Les Paul Log

    Les Paul Log
    The first solid body electric guitar was designed and built by Les Paul. Dubbed "the log" because it was simply a single piece of wood with a pickup attached to it. This served as the building block for the modern electric guitar.
  • First Spanish Solid Body Guitar

    First Spanish Solid Body Guitar
    Merle Travis worked with Paul Bigsby to develop the first Spanish style electric guitar
  • Fender Telecaster

    Fender Telecaster
    Leo Fender built and sold the first production solid-body electric guitar. Due to his love of television, he named it the Telecaster.
  • Gibson Les Paul

    Gibson Les Paul
    Partnering with Gibson, Les Paul designed the famous Les Paul solid-body guitar and made it available to the public
  • Gretsch 6128 Duo Jet

    Gretsch 6128 Duo Jet
    Gretsch introduces their first electric guitar the "Gretsch 6128 Duo Jet"
  • Fender Stratocaster

    Fender Stratocaster
    Leo Fender introduces his second legendary solid-body electric guitar design.
  • Rickenbacker 360/12

    Rickenbacker 360/12
    Rickenbacker introduces their first solid-body electric guitar, the "Rickenbacker 360/12"
  • Van Halen Frankenstein

    Van Halen Frankenstein
    Eddie Van Halen wows the world with his two handed tapping technique and his custom made "Van Halen Frankenstein" guitar.
  • 7 String Electric Guitar

    7 String Electric Guitar
    The first 7 string electric guitar was made by Kirk Sand in partnership with Lenny Breau. It debuted at the NAMM show later that year.
  • Paul Reed Smith Custom

    Paul Reed Smith Custom
    Paul Reed Smith takes custom and high end guitars to the next level with his custom guitar company PRS Guitars
  • Ibanez Jem

    Ibanez Jem
    Ibanez Jem, designed by Steve Vai and the Ibanez custom shop team, introduced innovative electric guitar features like a full 2 octave neck, scalloped fretboard, and extended cutaway. It also revolutionized the Floyd Rose style bridge by routing a reverse cavity in the body for the bridge to spring back.
  • Guitar Lessons on the Internet

    Guitar Lessons on the Internet
    The first online guitar lesson website was started to provide video based guitar lessons on the computer.
  • Guitar Hero

    Guitar Hero
    The video game, Guitar Hero, introduced electric guitars to a whole new demographic and generation.