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Friday, 15 May 2015


The modern word, guitar, was adopted into English from the Spanish word guitarra, which itself probably comes from the word kithara. The kithara, a version of the two-stringed lyre, was primarily used by professional musicians in ancient Greece.

Although guitars were found throughout Europe in medieval times, they became synonymous with Spain. The chief popularizer, and possible inventor, of the instrument in its modern form was the sixteenth century Spanish novelist Vicente Espinel.

The Dobeo is an acoustic guitar with a single resonator with its concave surface uppermost. John Dopyera, together with his brothers Rudy, Emile, Robert, and Louis, developed the Dobro in 1928. They named it as a contraction of Dopyera Brothers' coupled with the meaning of "goodness" in their native Slovak language.

Aaron Thibeaux "T-Bone" Walker was the first blues musician to record with an amplified guitar. Walker made his recording debut in 1929 with Columbia Records billed as Oak Cliff T-Bone, releasing the single "Wichita Falls Blues"/"Trinity River Blues.”

In 1931 Adolphus Rickenbacker, a Swiss toolmaker who had settled in Los Angeles, designed and built the world's first electric guitar with George Beauchamp. Because of its odd shape, it was nicknamed 'Rickenbacker's Frying Pan'. The pair were granted a patent for their invention in 1937.

Leo Fender launched the broadcaster (later Telecaster) electric guitar in 1948, the first mass-produced solid-body electric guitar. The Telecaster became especially popular with country music players.

In 1954 Leo Fender introduced the Stratocaster, which became a favorite instrument of many rock stars. Fender devoted his life to improving guitar design, but never mastered the instrument himself.

It was Chuck Berry who established the guitar as the focal point of rock, and introduced descending pentatonic double-stops

A Fender Stratocaster once owned by Eric Clapton, nicknamed "Blackie," was sold at an auction for a then world record $959,500 on June 25, 2004.

Clapton with "Blackie" performing in 1978
In 2006, another Stratocaster—signed by a large group of celebrities, including Clapton—was auctioned to benefit the victims of the 2004 Asian tsunami. It sold for $2.8 million, surpassing Blackie's record.

Again in 2006 the first guitar that Sir Paul McCartney ever held fetched £330,000 at an auction at London’s Abbey Road Studios. It was sold with the former Beatle’s blessing by his schoolfriend Ian James, who wanted to use the money to fund his retirement.

Brian May, the lead guitarist of Queen, plays almost exclusively on a home built guitar called 'Red Special' which be built with his father when he was a teenager.

John Mayer became interested in the guitar at the age of 13 after watching Marty McFly play one in Back to the Future.

Matt Bellamy, frontman of the band Muse, holds the world record for most guitars smashed on a tour. He demolished 140 guitars during the 2004 Absolution tour.

The flame-shooting guitar in Mad Max: Fury Road weighed 132 pounds and shot real flames that were controlled using the whammy bar.

Sources Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia,,

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