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The Implications of the Electric Guitar

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Afro_Raven  
8 Mar 2010 07:23 | Quote
Joined: way back
United Kingdom
Lessons: 1
Karma: 20
Moderator
Hey folks,
So, after the success of my previous essay (for which I got a high-level 2:1 and a great deal of praise from my module lecturer on conducting my own research via this website) I've decided to call on you fine people to throw in some opinions, ideas and general banter on my next writing endeavour.
This time, the essay question asks me to pick a particular development within music technology/sound recording and discuss its implications on popular music styles and practices. The topic I've chosen is the introduction of electronics/electricity into the guitar, so what I'd like to know is how you folks think this has affected or changed how music functions/the creation of music/musicians' attitudes etc. How does the electric guitar affect the music industry, as well as changing the roles of a musician/recording studio/engineer?

I understand that it's a very broad subject, so please feel free to throw in any ideas that you have, even if you don't think they're relevant they might act as a springboard for me to come up with something else!

Thanks all!

Afro
Empirism  
8 Mar 2010 08:43 | Quote
Joined: 23 Jun 2008
Finland
Lessons: 4
Karma: 35
What comes to mind, is that recent innovations like moog guitar ( www.moogmusic.com/moogguitar/ , http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vF2OwtdlTaM ) have improved the sound possibilities without using effect pedals or mixing.

I think it affect to musicans positive way. In jamming and composing process forexample where musicians try new stuff and explore, becomes wider and deeper cause of scape of sounds. It might lead to musicians to new innovations or morph existing ones.

Some people may throw up some horrorscenarios where sound engineers have no use in the future, but I dont believe that. Sound engineers still needed to do the hard part of the mixing and mastering the tracks.

Musically thinking, I think it not lead to any new rules or improve theoretical facts on music. But it might broaden it to new level, when it comes to what listener hear.

Empirism
Schecter_player  
8 Mar 2010 12:05 | Quote
Joined: 12 Jul 2009
Canada
Karma: 3
Well, electronics and electricity in music would also refer to use of the internet and computers in music. This opens up the possibly of home recording to a vast array of people. This also opens up the sharing of music to many more people.

In a much more mundane sense, electric guitars are much louder than acoustic guitars. This allowed guitarists to play a much wider array of techniques on the guitar. Previously i would be impossible to play a melodic line on guitar while playing with a band. It simple wouldn't be heard. This allowed the guitar to emerge a more melodic instrument and birthed the "guitar solo".

Overall, these developments didn't ever hurt the potential of the instrument. However, it did force the instrument into niches. I.E. the classic rock and roll guitar. It essentially gave the guitar a stigma or reputation.

thats all i can say for now, hahaha.
carlsnow  
8 Mar 2010 12:43 | Quote
Joined: 29 Apr 2009
United States
Lessons: 2
Karma: 23
i will only approach 'the advent/1st-usages' portion of this incredibly long study. if i took a larger bite i'd still be typing tomorrow a.m. lol

SO

the invention of 'the electrified guitar' was, as most great inventions, born out on necessity(or perhaps 'want')
my 2-cents are quite elementary and matter of fact-ish:

ever try and hear you acoustic-guitar over the (upright)Bass, Drums, Piano ??? (+ add reed(s)/horn(s) here_____) its a virtual "no go".
old 10" Django Reinhardt platters, however close to his guitar the Mic was, attest to this and thus the "need" for "volume assistance".
With electronics introduced to solve this very problem, the electric-guitar was born (also then known as the 'electronic' or 'electrified' guitar) and areas of Jazz and Blues that were inaccessible to the six-stringers of the day were opened.
as we all know THAT was only the beginning
or
...and the rest is history.

(and without its invention the below 'signature' would not exist)
RAWK!
Cs


deefa  
8 Mar 2010 14:27 | Quote
Joined: 22 Dec 2007
United Kingdom
Karma: 8
I agree with Carl. Virtuoso performers like Reinhardt made amplification an absolute necessity if such performances were to be enjoyed by anything more than a couple of dozen listeners in a small room. It also has to be remembered that the guitar was becoming more and more popular amongst the poorer classes of musicians due to a) its size and therefore its mobility and b)its relative cheapness compared to the other great popular instrument of the era, the piano.
More players = more virtuoso's = more spectators requiring larger venues thus needing greater amplification etc etc.
It has to be noted also that amplification of instruments went hand in glove with another great invention that brought music to the people, the gramophone.
macandkanga  
8 Mar 2010 15:10 | Quote
Joined: 03 Oct 2008
United States
Karma: 21
In regards to industry: The electric guitar is much cheaper to mass produce because of the parts its made of. This also makes it more fixable and replaceable. In fact, I made an electric guitar myself! It's much more difficult to make or fix an acoustic. It's also easier to be customize once purchased.

Look-up accessories for the acoustic vs the electric. There are limited possibilities for the acoustic. For the electric it's endless.

Really to sum it up, most people want their acoustic to play and sound like an acoustic. If you want it to play and sound different, buy another one that does that. I have two steel string acoustics, a hand made spanish classical acoustic, a mini acoustic, and a uke. All that I have paid for in addition to the instruments themselves are strings. The two electrics I own have been modified countless times over the years with new frets(you can do that on an acoustic too though), different size strings, pickups, internal electronics, pedals, devices of all sorts for the computer, amps, speakers, software, on and on.

Hope this helps Afro!
macandkanga  
8 Mar 2010 15:21 | Quote
Joined: 03 Oct 2008
United States
Karma: 21
One more thing. True story: In 1979, I traded a Tony Alva skate board for a busted up 1972 Telecaster. I had to replace the body and just did it myself in woodshop with solid ash. years later, I replaced the neck. I added new pickups and decided all the wiring needed to be replaced. The tuning pegs and bridge are all that remain from the original guitar! I actually have enough parts from the old guitar to build another one!
carlsnow  
8 Mar 2010 15:50 | Quote
Joined: 29 Apr 2009
United States
Lessons: 2
Karma: 23
macandkanga says:
I traded a Tony Alva skate board for a busted up 1972 Telecaster.


CRAZY! i've owned both of these(down to '72) at one time or another! LOL ...Tony Alva....man o man o man does that bring back some memories!


RAWK!
Cs


Afro_Raven  
8 Mar 2010 17:37 | Quote
Joined: way back
United Kingdom
Lessons: 1
Karma: 20
Moderator
Thanks for all the input guys - keep it coming!

Afro
deefa  
10 Mar 2010 08:41 | Quote
Joined: 22 Dec 2007
United Kingdom
Karma: 8
Another way to look at the way electric guitars have effected music is through the rise of effects (FX). Could FX have ever happened BEFORE electric amplification of instruments/vocals? Would the Moog synthesiser have been invented if the piano and organ industry hadn't felt threatened by the electric guitar (particularly when guitarists like Hendrix and Blackmore started incorporating feedback as a musical art form in itself).
I'll let you know if I think of anything else. BTW Afro, you said you'd let us have a wee skeggy at your last essay! When you're ready. No pressure!


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