No matter what type of music you prefer, we all know and love the sound of a guitar playing. And while we can all pinpoint what a guitar sounds like, there are many facts about the guitar that most people don’t know! Read on to learn the top 10 things you didn’t know about the guitar.
1. The guitar dates back to ancient Egypt
The first known guitar dates back 3.500 years to ancient Egypt. It was made using cedar and a rawhide soundboard. It only had three strings and looked a lot different than the guitars you’re used to seeing today! If you’re interested in checking it out yourself, this early iteration of the guitar is on display at the Archeological Museum in Cairo. Anyone up for a trip?!
2. It take a very long time to make a guitar
Depending on the guitar manufacturer, it can take up to 6 months to make one guitar! Of course larger guitar manufacturers can mass-produce instruments faster but for smaller companies, the average time it takes to build a guitar can vary between 3-6 weeks in total. For more complex (and expensive) guitars, it can even take up to 6 months!
3. All hail the Jimmys/Jimis
While it’s all a matter of opinion, most people regard either Jimmy Page or Jimi Hendrix (or both!) as the best guitar player of all time. And it’s not hard to understand why. During his short life, Jimi Hendrix single handedly changed rock ‘n’ roll (and many other genres) music forever. The best part? Jimi rose to icon status all while playing the guitar upside down! This is because Jimi was left-handed however, lefty guitars were pretty rare in the 60’s. This led to him most likely being trained on a right-handed guitar which is why he chose to play it upside down.
Jimmy Page also left a huge mark on the guitar scene with his famous mix of blues and rock. It’s not a surprise that Led Zeppelin fans continue to blast their music over 4 decades after the band broke up. And most of that credit goes to Jimmy Page on the guitar!
4. Different types of guitars
While you may be familiar with the most popular guitars such as the steel-stringed acoustic or the electric guitar, there are actually many more variations. These variations can differ in amount/type of strings, the body of the instrument, and the accessories needed to play. Each variation of the guitar produces a slightly different sound and tone which is why there are preferred guitars for each genre of music!
5. How a guitar comes together
There are 14 different parts of the guitar. Yep, you read that right! While it may not look like it from the outside, 14 different components make up the beloved guitar and are all crucial to how it sounds. The parts of a guitar include:
6. The Telecaster didn’t always have that name
If you ask a random person to name a guitar, chances are they’re going to name the Fender Telecaster. This is because the Telecaster was one of the world’s first mass-produced and commercially successful guitars. It was released in 1950 along with its sister guitar called the Esquire. But the Telecaster didn’t always rock the famous name. When it was first released, it was called the Broadcaster but due to a conflict over a drum set with the same name, Fender had to change directions. This led to Fender ripping off the labels of the first batches of the Telecaster which meant guitars in this production run were dubbed “No-casters.” A year later, the guitar was officially named Telecaster and the rest is history!
7. The Fender factory gets to work
With Fender being one of the biggest names in guitar, it’s no surprise that their factory is putting in some major work! In fact, they produce about 90,000 guitar strings a day which is a little over 32,000 kilometers each year! That’s enough to wrap about the entire globe! On a yearly basis, the Fender factory produces around 250,000 guitars and they also made other instruments like violins! And did you know that the founder of Fender, Leo Fender, wasn’t even a guitar player? He actually played the saxophone!
8. Pandemic guitarists
Over the COVID pandemic, it was estimated that at least 16 million people took up playing the guitar. According to a study done by Fender, most of these guitar newbies were women and two thirds were between the ages of 13-34. Many of these people are also TikTok users which is no surprise given the rise of small, independent guitarists growing in popularity on the platform each day!
9. The most popular instrument?
In the early 20th century, the acoustic guitar was by far the most popular instrument across genres. This is because the acoustic guitar is incredibly versatile and is the primary sound in many songs. Although the guitar continues to be one of the most loved and played instruments on the planet, it now shares the title with the piano.
10. The bass guitar wasn’t always popular
For a long time, people considered the bass guitar a cheap/poor man’s version of the double bass. When the bass guitar was first released in the 30’s, it was pretty unpopular and not looked at by the top musicians. It wasn’t until about 20 years later when people got tired of trudging around with double basses that they gave in and started opting for the bass guitar instead!
Guitar Lessons Toronto
If all of these guitar fun facts have you ready to start playing, reach out to Greater Toronto Music School to get your lessons started! We offer in-person private lessons and virtual online lessons to fit any busy schedule. Call us today to get your musical journey started!