Are you looking for the best electric guitar reviews? This is exactly what this post is all about but before we talk about that, allow me to divert the discussion a little bit for the sake of background.
What is an electric guitar? Is this a “too simple” question to answer? If you already know what an electric guitar is, don’t go away because we will be taking this question a little bit farther.
What comes to your mind when you hear music? Personally, when I listen to music, the first thing I concentrate on is the arrangement of instrumentals.
I’m very sensitive when it comes to guitars and anything related. May be you are like me or different.
Would you like to know more about electric guitars? If yes, that’s why I said you should stay because a lot is on the way. We will be discussing more background and functionality of an electric guitar.
What is the hidden story about electric guitars? How was it born and how does it function? What else do I need to have in place to have it work properly? This and many more will be discussed here.
To begin with, we have both acoustic and electric guitars and in this post we will be focusing on the latter.
What is an Electric Guitar?
An electric guitar uses pickups (one or more) to convert the strings’ vibrations into electrical signal or sound. These vibrations occur when the guitarist strums the strings using their fingers or plectrums.
An acoustic guitar on the other hand produces sound from the body itself.
Electric guitars never function alone, they work with other electrical instruments. These include guitar amplifiers, mixers, audio cables and speakers. All these appliances/equipment MUST use electricity to function.
Below we will be discussing about historical background of electric guitars.
What is the Story Behind an Electric Guitar?
You want to know how did the electrical guitar come to existence right? We will be talking about that here.
The first guitar that came to existence was the acoustic guitar which uses its hollow body for sound production. The makers however thought of improving it and so they improvised pickups that were used to pick up and amplify the sound.
However, all didn’t end there, the process of invention was still underway. In 1931, the first electric guitar was made by a guy known as George Beauchamp, the general manager of the National Guitar Corporation. Paul Barth, the vice president, came in to assist in the development process.
A. The Invention of the Electrical Guitar
The first body of an electric guitar was a maple wood and was commonly known as aluminum “frying pan”. Harry Watson, the factory superintendent of the National Guitar Corporation was the first to build this body of an electric guitar.
The commercial production of electrical guitars began late summer of 1932 by the Ro-Pat-In Corporation (Electro-Patent-Instrument Company), in Los Angeles.
After it’s invention, the electric guitar was later adopted by jazz guitarists, who so much wanted to play single-note guitar solos in large big band extravaganzas. In 1934-35, it was developed into a multiple stringed instrument which was capable of producing more musical notes and sounds.
B. Later Days of Electric Guitar
Though the inventor of the electric guitar was one, there were other exponents who included Les Paul, Lonnie Johnson, and Charlie Christian. These guys worked together with others towards the improvement of the electric guitar.
In the 1950s and 1960s, the electric guitar became the most popular and important instrument in jazz and pop music. It evolved into a multi-sound instrument that is capable of playing different musical styles and genres.
The electric guitar therefore, became a multi-purpose instrument which could be used to play pop, rock, country music, blues and jazz. It became a major ingredient in the development of heavy metal music, rock and roll, electric blues, rock music and other music genres.
C. The 21st Century Electric Guitar
Is it true that the guitar is in danger of getting outdated? I’ve heard such allegations before and whether it’s right or wrong, we cannot close our eyes to what is happening in the music industry.
We are talking of an instrument that has gone too far in its development and evolution, but we need to stop and think. In this Century though, do musicians still use it as they did in the 1980s and 1990s? Does it still contain the same authority as it used to have in the year 2000?
Personally, I believe that the electric guitar’s popularity has continued to grow up to today, however, the latest technology still stands out to be a major threat. The introduction of advanced digital pianos has shaken the guitar industry.
A digital piano today is programmed to perform tens of tasks (multi-task) by a click of button. A guitar on the other hand can only perform a single task. Someone will still ask why do I need an electric guitar if I can have it played on a digital piano amidst other tasks?
For those who understand the importance of the guitar, will still settle down for it despite the involvement of the surrounding technology.
What is an Electric Guitar Made Of?
Mainly, the electric guitar is made up of wood. The other materials involved in making the guitar depends on the type of the guitar as well as which part we are talking about. This will be discussed in details in the following subsection.
Three main parts of the electric guitar and what they are made of:
1. The Head Stock: – Made of wood, tuners made of steel
2. The Neck: – The keyboard/fingerboard is made up of wood, inlays and fret bars are made of steel.
3. The Body: – Made up of solid wood, pickups, strings and volume tuners are made of steel. Some other body parts are either laminated or made of plastic.
All guitar parts will be discussed in details below.
Parts of An Electric Guitar
Let’s now discuss each part of an electric guitar and their functionality. Before we go any farther, I’d like you to take time and study the following diagram of the common parts of both an acoustic & electric guitar.
An Electric Guitar has THREE MAJOR PARTS
1. HEAD STOCK
The head stock has several important parts: –
a. Tuning Machine Heads
In a typical electrical guitar, there are six tuning machines. Their work is to rotate the string holders during the tuning of the strings. These tuning machines are small wheels which look like gears and are made in a way to make the tuning job easy.
b. String Holders
The common name is ‘string holders’ and they must be attached to the tuning machines. Some people call them ‘trees’ because of the way they erect out and have holes where the strings are attached for tuning.
c. Truss Rod
In an electrical guitar, truss rod is an iron bar which runs underneath the fingerboard and they act as stabilizers for maintaining the tension of the strings. In some guitars, the truss rod is adjustable while on the modern guitars, they have a nut on both ends for adjusting tension.
Now let’s discuss about the components of the neck.
See the picture below.
a. Top Nut
Top nuts divide both the fingerboard and the headstock. They are normally spacers between the strings and the fingerboard. The work of the top nut is to hold strings in position.
These are elements mostly made up of steel and runs across the full width of the finger board. The main function of a fret is to divide up the neck into fixed segments at intervals related to a musical framework.
In the modern guitar, one fret represents one semitone. The player presses down the string on the spaces between frets to produce a note.
On a guitar, inlays are decorative materials fixed on the fingerboard on or on other locations. Inlays can be found in acoustic guitar hole, sides or even at the back side of the body. Though most people would brush off the functionality of inlays, once you spot them on the fingerboard, their job is to mark the keyboard.
These markings are good when it comes to playing the guitar especially for beginners. One can easily identify the difference in frets.
This is the entire keyboard of the guitar which is fixed and laminated on top of the neck. Important parts like inlays and frets are within the keyboard .
The musician presses down the strings on the fingerboard to change the vibration length thus producing different musical tones.
The body has the following important components: –
a. Bridge with Tremolo System
To start with, let me talk about the bridge. A bridge is a device that literally supports the strings on a stringed instrument. It’s used to transmit string vibration into another compartment which in turn amplifies the sound.
When we talk about a ‘bridge with tremolo system’, we are simply talking about a bridge with vibrato features. This is a special bridge mainly fitted in the modern electric guitar and it creates variations in pitches according to how it’s operated.
Bridges can be found in many stringed instruments like guitars, violin etc.
b. Hum Bucker Pickup
This is a special type of electric guitar pickup that uses single or double coils to cancel out the interference picked up by coil pickups. This action is caused by electromagnetic interference, particularly the main hum.
Most pickups normally use magnets which in turn produce a magnetic field around the strings and induce an electrical current in the surrounding coils as the strings vibrate. This vibration undergoes a magnetic action then translated into sound.
c. Single Coil Pickup
This is one among the two most popular pickups and is commonly used in most electrical bass guitars. It electromagnetically converts the string vibration into the sound output. Depending on the design of the guitar, the number of pickups may vary from one to three.
Most modern guitars have either two or three. Each pickup has a different tone from the other, so they are not the same.
d. Tremolo Arm
Another name for Tremolo is vibrato. In an electric guitar, a tremolo system is used to temporarily change the pitch of the strings during a play. A tremolo arm is a steel bar that is pressed up and down by the arm to effect the vibration function (see diagram up).
When you press down the vibrato lever, the Tremolo system bridge shifts up or down to increase or reduce the tension on the strings. This is how the pitch changes.
see this diagram by Guitar Skills Builder.com
e. Scratch Plate
This is also known as the pickguard and it’s made up of either plastic or laminated materials. It’s placed on the finished surface of the guitar’s body and its function is to protect the guitar’s vanish from getting scratches from the guitar pick during playing.
f. Pickup Selector Switch
You will find this selector switch at the downside of your guitar as you hold it in play position. The work of the selector switch is to shift between different tones controlled by the pickup plates.
As indicated above, each pickup coil represents a different tone which is selected according to the song you are playing.
e. Volume & Tone Pots
Without going into advanced details of how volume and Tone Pots work, from a layman’s point of view, the volume knob manipulates the sound volume.
After the tone plate has been selected by the selector switch, the tone pot will regulate between the tremble, fine or bass tones of the sound production.
f. Jack Output
There are standard output jacks in the market today. These jacks both exist in mono and stereo applications. They accept 1/4 inch plugs.
Mono jacks are compatible with most electric guitars while the stereo ones can be used for stereo wiring. Jack Output is simply the pot used to plug out the sound vibrations to the amplifier thru the sound jack.
What To Consider When Choosing An Electric Guitar
What do you look for when buying an electric guitar? I know this is one of the many people’s concerns including myself. I’ve personally struggled with this aspect in the past before I overcame it. For the many years, I’ve assisted people in purchasing guitars, I’ve been asked this question as many times as possible.
Out of my own experience, I’ve compiled a list below to help you get an overview of what you look for in choosing an electric guitar.
1. The purpose of the guitar
What will you be using the guitar for? As a beginner, are you looking for a learning equipment? Are already a Pro and you want to advance your playing skills? Do you want to start a music band or a church choir? The answer to these questions will determine what guitar you will go for.
2. Your Budget
How much do you want to spend on buying the guitar? You must have a budget first because this is one of the major determinant factors. In as much you want to buy the best, it entirely depends on the money in your wallet or credit card.
3. Sound Production
What exact performance are you expecting in terms of sound production? Different guitars are loaded with different tone setting options and so you must be willing to define clearly what you really want. If you are a beginner, for example, you don’t want many tone options in a guitar compared to being a professional.
4. The Manufacturing Material
Many people don’t care about the wood used so long as there is sound but this is an important aspect to consider. As you know, materials determine a lot of things such as durability, performance and maintenance cost.
5. Who Else Is Involved
If you will not be handling the guitar alone, you must lay guidelines to govern the handling of the instrument. All guitars whether acoustic or electric are delicate and they must be handled with a lot of care and many people don’t know that. Whoever else is involved may determine the lifespan of the guitar.
6. Other Equipment Involved
An electric guitar does not operate alone you require some more equipment like amplifiers, connection cables, and speakers. When you are setting aside your budget, don’t forget about this extra equipment. These days we have different options in buying an electric guitar.
You may find a guitar sold alone or a package of all the equipment being sold at one price. You need to do some research and find out what is included before you make a purchase.
7. Maintenance Cost
Guitars just like any other instruments, require maintenance. The best thing with guitars, with proper handling, the maintenance cost is low. Some of the things you need for maintenance includes the following: –
- Strings changing. Read more on guitar strings: Best electric guitar strings reviews
- Guitar cleaning kit
- Guitar strings cleaner & lubricant
- Fret-board conditioner,
- Guitar Strings changing tools
- Peg Winder & Strings cutter.
Well, you may be asking yourself, “Do I need to involve someone in servicing my guitar?” My simple answer is No you don’t need to unless it’s broken or damaged. With the above mentioned equipment available, it’s easy to maintain your guitar including changing the strings. In every product, there is a simple description on how to use it.
8. Storage & Security For Your Guitar
Before you buy your electric guitar and other related equipment, you must start thinking about where you will be keeping them after use. The first immediate thing you should think about is a box or the portable leather case.
You want to make sure that you are storing your instruments in a safe and secure place where nothing can fall on them. Think of a clean, dry well ventilated place. Avoid storing your guitar in high humid places because this may affect the instruments in diverse ways.
Best Electric Guitar Reviews: Must Read Before You Buy An Electric Guitar
Before you buy an electric guitar, I’ve gone an extra mile and compiled the best electric guitar reviews for you. Let’s look at different guitars.
Main Features Of This Product
- The body is constructed with hardwood and so you are sure it will give you a very long service before it gets damaged.
- It’s a classic electric guitar design with 22 frets. These are enough frets for you as a beginner and if you want to advance your playing skills, it’s the best for you.
- The Features of the Amp includes: – A guitar and microphone outlet, volume control, treble and base control, and drive button. Enough features right?
- This set has volume integrated regulator so you can adjust your volume the best you want.
- What is Included: Guitar, Case, Connection cable, Amplifier, plectrum, tremolo gear.
- This guitar is durable enough
- It has enough frets for your play
- All related equipment is included.
- It’s credit card friendly because the price includes all you need
- You can use this guitar with any amp
- The Amp is for indoor use only, it’s not suitable for outdoor
- Limited input, you can’t use multiple equipment on this amp. It’s designed for only one guitar
About this Guitar
- Despite that this guitar is made of Agathis wood, it has one of the best tones. You get the best sound you require at a cheaper price.
- It is equipped with a maple bolt-on neck which is good for handling and playing. This makes your playing time enjoyable and fun.
- This Yamaha guitar has a sonokeling fingerboard. This is best thin fingerboard wood which allows a nice grip and enhances user experience.
- It contains a vintage tremolo bridge which allows timely vibratos. With the tremolo gear, you can make different tone variables and this is one of the best features you can take your music career to another level.
- This guitar is loaded with with 5 Position Switches which allows multiple selections. Do I need to mention the advantages of these switches? Of course this means variety in sound/tone varieties.
- This guitar is one of the best in performance
- It is designed for easy handling
- Has the best features for your music career
- It is affordable in price
- Portability is a fact you can’t overlook
- Agathis wood is not one of the best wood for a guitar. It’s a low quality material.
- It’s not packed with extra equipment so that means more expense for you.
- LyxPro electric guitar is actually a full-size 39 inch guitar. This is a guitar for professionals and you can play any music on it.
- This guitar comes with all the necessary accessories with it: – A 20W amplifier, digital clip-on tuner, 6 strings, 2 picks, tremolo bar, shoulder strap, and carrying bag. You just buy and start playing immediately!
- The price includes all you need: – Once you buy this guitar, you don’t need to buy anything more, as you can see in the list above, everything you need is provided for you.
- This is a perfect kit for beginners, intermediate and all classes of players. If you a beginner, just go for it. When you become a professional, you will still use the same guitar you don’t need another one.
- LyxPro electric guitar is perfectly equipped with rosewood fingerboard, Canadian maple neck, Solid wood body, S-S-S pickups, One-way tremolo, Pickup switch, Volume & tone controls. All these are user friendly features that you need in playing your music
- See we have made everything easy for you when it comes to playing and operating LyxPro electric guitar.
- Best for beginners and professional guitarists
- The pack includes all you need to play your guitar
- It’s a user friendly guitar
- A very affordable equipment and pocket friendly. You save your money when you buy this guitar.
- It is durable and easy to maintain
- Has the best performance
- One of the best selling in the market.
- Not suitable for a large crowd
About This Product
- Again this is a full size electric bass guitar which can be used by all sorts of people. If you are looking for a bass guitar to use for learning, playing in the choir or band, you have a perfect choice here.
- This guitar comes with a handsome pack of accessories which include: Guitar Amp, leather Case, shoulder Strap and connection Cable. You just have all you needed here.
- By purchasing this guitar, the price includes everything you need to start playing straight away.
- Depending on your location, this product ships as fast as possible and within a few hours or days you will have your guitar with you. If you are like me, you need to have what you purchased immediately, you don’t want to wait for weeks and months.
- This guitar package kit has been approved by many training teachers. It’s therefore suitable for beginners and can be used for training & learning process.
- The price is amazingly low compared to other products. I’m sure you’ll like this package because it saves some money back for your other needs.
- This is “all classes of people” guitar. This means it can be played by professionals, beginners and people advancing their music career.
- Best choice for personal and group use
- Easy to maintain
- It’s portable. despite it’s size, you can still take it with you. The cases provided enables portability
- Very affordable and wallet friendly
- The amp is limited for personal use
- The sound won’t be enough for a large crowd
About This Product
- Epiphone’s Les Paul Player Pack is the best you can invest in.
- It has everything you need to start playing your guitar right away. You don’t need to go back for more shopping.
- This guitar includes two genuine classic hum bucker pickups and a 10-watt Electra guitar amp with a 10ft guitar cable. This takes care of all your sound and Tone needs.
- Epiphone Les Paul Player pack also includes a clip-on headstock chromatic tuner, so you won’t struggle when getting your guitar on tune.
- It also comes with a guitar strap, medium picks, and an easy-to-carry gig bag. This enhances portability and mobility.
- For beginners, the Les Paul Player Pack provides a free downloadable guitar lessons from media. These lessons will guide a learner on how to get started.
- You will find everything in one pack, no extra shopping.
- This kit is designed for easy operation
- Epiphone’s Les Paul play pack is all you need to get started.
- It’s affordable and pocket friendly
- It’s portability feature makes it a good choice for many players.
- Suitable for both beginners and professional players
- It’s not a common brand
- The body and neck of this guitar is made of mahogany and the paint color is cherry red.
- It has a slim neck with a scale length of 24.75 Inch. This becomes easy to handle
- The fingerboard has a “dotted” inlays for easy marking. At least you won’t skip some frets.
- This guitar’s neck joint is fixed with bolt-on with a tapered heel and reign-forced with other 4 bolts.
- You will find these strings: D’Addario 10, 13, 17, 26, 36, 46. So once you buy this guitar, you don’t have to worry to get more strings immediately.
- The tailpiece is a stop bar and has nickel hardware.
- Controls includes 1-master volume and 1 master-tone with kill-pot. It also has lock-tone tune-o-matic bridge. All these features enhances sound production
- What about the pickups? It has a 650 humbucker neck pickup and 700 humbucker bridge pickup. Both of these pickups gives you a full time guarantee of the best performance.
- Durability of this guitar is highly guaranteed by the manufacturing material.
- You are assured of high performance
- When you buy this guitar you are assured of reliability.
- The design allows portability.
- This is a true mark of quality for those who care like you and I.
- Best exchange of your money
- Mahogany is a little bit heavy and bulky
- Doesn’t come with any amp, connection cables, etc, so you have to buy them separately.
About this Guitar
- Jackson JS32 guitar is a brand new product from the manufacturer.
- This guitar has a sleek and legendary appearance which will definitely please you. I’m sure you will like the classic V-shaped bottom which leaves every eye wanting to see more of it.
- According to the manufacturer, the JS32 Rhoads Electric Guitar features the following: an alder body, rock maple neck, and a 24-fret compound-radius rosewood fingerboard, two high-output Jackson CVR2 humbucking pickups, and a Floyd Rose-Licensed JT580 double-locking 2-point tremolo. All these features enhance your experience with this guitar.
- It has a compound radius fingerboard which is unique to Jackson that lets you operate on the guitar like no other. It is more rounder near to the nut which makes it perfect for fingering and crushing the chords those riffs.
- The Jackson JS32 has 24 frets that are properly finished which are easily accessible on all models.
- This compound radius fingerboard ensures effortless string bending and super-fast shredding all the way up to the 24th fret without much straining. This makes your playing experience much fun and enjoyable.
- These Jackson guitars have a reputation of not only playing better but the appearance is so sweet too.
- This guitar has a high-output and custom-voiced covered pickups designed for full, rich tone which provides maximum overdrive and sustain.
- This is one of the latest model in the market
- It give the best sound quality
- Easy pressing on the frets
- Sleek shape and appearance
- The 24 frets are best for professionals
- Jackson JS32 is preferably not for beginners.
- It is not pocket friendly because you have to budget for the amplifier and other instruments involved.
How Does An Electric Guitar Work?
Many people would like to know how an electric guitar works and I will just answer this in simple terms. As discussed above, when the guitar is played, the movement of the strings produces a signal by generating small electric current in the magnetic pickups. That’s all you need to know for now.
For an electric guitar to benefit you, you require other important instruments.
What Do You Require to Play an Electric Guitar?
1. Power Amplifier
A power amplifier is an important instrument which is used to magnify or amplify the sound. When the guitar is played, the magnetic signal from the strings goes through the volume and Tone circuits to the output jack then it’s transmitted to the amplifier.
The amplifier on the other hand transmits this sound to the speakers through connection cables. Depending on what kind of amplifier you have, it may play other roles like equalizing or mixing sound, adding some effects on the sound production etc. You can’t play your electric guitar without an amplifier.
Learn more about electric guitar amps here.
2. Connection Cables
The next important things that you require is the connection cables which are used to connect one appliance to another.
You need a connection jack to transmit sound from the guitar to the amplifier. You connect that from the ‘jack output.’
A connection cable to the speakers is necessary from the power amplifier. When you are buying your connection cables, make sure that you go for the best quality because poor quality may endanger your expensive machines.
Check out this interconnect cable below
About this Product
- It’s capable of carrying high current efficient service. This will give you the best service you require.
- This cable is 15 feet long and it can move wherever you want. I’m sure this is enough for both indoor and outdoor uses so you won’t require extra cables.
- This is a 12 gauge, the best for signal clarity.
- The quality of this cable ensures high quality sound production
- You don’t have to worry about shipping, it’s taken care of.
- Professionally high quality
- This is a high quality cable
- It’s cheap according to it’s quality
- It can be applicable to both indoor and outdoor setup
- Has the best gauge
The speakers are the ones that produce the sound produced by the guitar. They act as monitors without which you can’t get the feedback of your play. If you would like to buy speakers, check with the sellers to make sure that you purchase compatible instruments in terms of power and performance.
It is risky to buy bigger speakers (in terms of wattage) compared to a smaller amplifier. If the power amp isn’t as powerful as the speakers and vice-versa, the sound production and performance will be compromised.
You must always check the amp’s temperature to make sure its fine. Heating up is an indication of a problem. It may mean that there is either an overload or under load.
See the speaker I recommend
Features & Specifications
- The package includes two Peavey PV-115 Speakers.
- This PR 15 has a two-way sound reinforcement system consisting of a heavy-duty 15″ woofer and a RX14 titanium diaphragm,
- It has a dynamic compression driver which is mounted on a 90 x 40 degree coverage constant-directivity horn.
- The speakers have 400 watts program
- Offers a maximum 800 watts peak
- The speakers come with heavy-duty crossover
4. Electricity, Power.
I don’t need to say much on this, but in order to play your guitar, you need power either on DC or AC. In either case, you must make sure that before you connect your machines to the power, your electricity is stable enough.
If you are using DC from a power generator or solar, make sure that you use a power protector like fridge guard.
Remember, electricity is a good servant but a very cruel master! Meaning that you can take years to invest and purchase very expensive instruments only to lose them all within a matter of seconds. You must always make sure that your power is well protected.
Watch this video and see how an electric guitar works
I hope I have been able to give you enough information on what is an electric guitar, its historical background and how it’s made up of. We’ve discussed about the parts in an electrical guitar.
Before we even discuss about the the best electric guitar reviews and which guitar to buy, you need to know the functionality of every part of the guitar in order to make maximum use of it. That’s why I’ve created this information for you and I hope it has helped you.
It’s impossible to play guitar well if you don’t know how to use it. You will not be able to know how to handle or take care of your guitar if you don’t even understand each part and how it functions.
The last important bit of this article is how to use the electric guitar. We have discussed the things that you require in order to enjoy your music.
You need a power amplifier, connection cables, speakers and stable power, all these components are all important. We have made some excellent choices for you here, so make sure to make a guided decision..
I hope this information has really helped you.
Do you have any question or comment? If yes, please feel free to leave them below and I will be happy to assist you.