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Origin and Anatomy of Guitar- A Beginners Guide for Newbie on Guitar Lessons

Origin and anatomy of guitar
Written by Rohan Mathew

Guitar” today is one of the most popular and melodious instruments available around the world. Today guitar is not anymore the same instrument which used to be once backing in early days. More than the instrument itself, it is the artist who gave the new level of reorganization to the instrument with uncountable melodious music with the help of a guitar.

We all have different taste in music. As we know music is a bridge that connects everyone despite race or color, Music has no bound. Generally, we know that music is created with the help of some instruments accordingly and among those musical instruments ‘Guitar’ is one of a kind. It is one melodious music instrument that almost everyone in the whole world and almost everywhere knows or least heard of. And it is also very easy to learn, so for more further information on origin and anatomy of guitar lets get started.

Origin and anatomy of guitar

Origin and Anatomy of Guitar

We can say it is an ancient instrument that is over 4000 years if traced from its origin. Many claim it to be descendent of Lute and some say Greek Khitara to be its ancestor. But according to the research of Dr. Michael Kasha, the fact of the guitar being descendent of Lute failed to prove. He came up to the conclusion that ‘Lute’ has nothing to do with the evolution of guitar but it sure had influence which is undeniable.

He further added that the evolution of guitar is based on the influence of the development of fretted Lute. And it would be correct to say that fretted Lute was the immediate ancestor of the guitar. Guitar derived its name from an old ancient language Sanskrit naming ‘tar’ for strings. During its early days, four string guitar was pretty much dominant in almost all the parts of Europe.

During the 16th century, the first four-course “Chitarra” appeared in Spain. Then later it was replaced by the five-course “Guitarra battente” that appeared in Italy about the same time.  And when we talk of the modern guitars that we see today took its shape by 1790. There are numbers of dignitaries who designed this melodious instrument and of course, their names are important too.

Origin of guitar

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George Lois Ponormo, Antonio Torres a Spanish designer who gave a new and elegant look to the modern guitar, Llyod loar who joined Gibson during the early 1920’s and refined the “jazz” guitar. Electric guitars took its birth during the late 1920’s when pickups were added. About solid body electric guitar Les Paul, Leo Fender, Paul Bigsby, O.W. Apleton had great effort and it is often debated that who actually is the right contender that came up with the idea of constructing the solid body electric guitar during the times of late 1930’s and early 1940’s.

Anatomy of Guitar

There are varieties of the guitar as we see today. Starting from its shape, size and materials we always have the privilege to choose according to our comfort and range of the amount. And in case if we want to upgrade our instrument it is very important to know the names of each and every part of the guitar.

  1. Head or Headstock
  2. Tuning heads/tuners/machine heads/pegs
  3. Nut
  4. Frets
  5. Neck
  6. Body
  7. Pickups
  8. Bridge
  9. Strap pin
  10. Whammy bar/tremolo
  11. Selector switch
  12. Volume/Tone/Knob
  13. Output jack
  14. Saddle
  15. Bridge pins
  16. Soundboard/top
  17. Fretboard
  18. Strings

Origin and anatomy of guitar 1


 Sound and Amplification

The sound of acoustic guitar depends on its soundboard and quality of strings. Now the question arises that “how is the sound of acoustic guitar produced?” As we know acoustic guitar have a hollow body when strummed or plucked the vibration of the strings produce sound resonating with its body. In addition to this, the sound of guitar varies with different frequencies when the strings are being pressed with the finger and then strummed or plucked. The tension of strings also matters.

With the introduction of pickups and microphone, it is easy to amplify the sound of acoustic guitar electrically and it has a great deal to match up with other loud instruments especially during a show or a concert or recordings. However, during its early day’s many guitarists had tons of problems with the amplification of acoustic guitar as it produced unwanted noise which is known as feedback.

Ovation’s parabolic bowls in 1960 helped to reduce the problem of feedback that gave better amplification of acoustic guitar. He further developed carbon-based composites with a thinner soundboard in the 1970s that helped to reduce feed even more. If a rubber disc is fitted in the sound hole it helps to reduce noise. Piezo and magnetic pickups are commonly used in acoustic guitars.

origin and anatomy of guitar 2


The electric guitar has a solid body unlike the hollow body of acoustic guitar for which it gives the ability to sustain sound more. Further unlike the acoustic guitar, it produces very less sound without amplification as it doesn’t have a hollow body. As a result, the sound cuts through the air.

Therefore amplification and speakers are must in its case. Its pickup act as a sensor to sense sounds when the strings vibrate, it then automatically converts the sound into electrical impulses. It is a kind of instrument where can play with sound in accordance with the way and style of we want with the help of effect processor. It won’t be wrong to say that because of electric guitar many genres like rock and roll, blues, rock, heavy metal etc were developed. It was also a dominant instrument during 1950s-1960s for pop music.

So, now that you have learned all about the origin of the guitar along with all the specifications of the origin and anatomy of guitar, you will be glad to hear that soon I will be posting more articles where you will be able to watch and learn how to play guitar easily (along with video tutorial). So stay tuned for more upcoming articles.


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About the author

Rohan Mathew

I love to post about Travel, Entertainment, Food, Pets, Tech, News, Games, Fashion, etc. I work for Webkorr Technologies. In my free time, I read and write.
My personal interest in cricket

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