How a electric guitar works

Acoustic Electric Guitar

Guitar makers and players have always searched for ways to increase the instrument's volume. Electronic amplification was one of the most successful innovations for building a louder guitar. Some of the earliest electronic experiments from the 1920s and 1930s involved simply attaching a pickup to an acoustic guitar. An electric-acoustic guitar is also called a hollow-body electric guitar

Electric guitar pioneers tried a variety of ways to pick up the instrument's sound and amplify it. George Beauchamp and Paul Barth developed the first successful electromagnetic pickup system; it was applied to the Rickenbacker Frying Pan guitar, marketed in 1932.

Today, pickups are electromagnets mounted under the guitar strings. They sense the strings' vibrations and convert them into electrical signals that travel through a cable to the amplifier to increase the sound. There are two kinds of pickups: single-coil and double-coil, or humbucking. The latter give a fuller sound.

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Solid-Body Electric Guitar

As makers and players continued to investigate ways of increasing the volume of the electric guitar throughout the 1940s, it became clear that a solid body was a key design feature.

In a hollow guitar, the string's vibrations are transferred to the guitar's body. Since the pickup cannot tell string and body vibrations
apart, the signal can be jumbled.  In a solid-body guitar, the great mass of the solid body has minimal response to the vibrations of the strings. So the pickup "picks up" a cleaner signal of the strings' pure tone.

When the solid-body guitar is plugged into an amplifier, the electrical impulses created by the pickups are converted into sound by the amplifier. Special-effects boxes, such as the fuzz box that creates a distorted sound, can change the signal from the pickups, which changes the sound that the amplifier produces.

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