20 interesting guitar facts

Svetlana February 02 2022

Guitars are built with different types of wood, depending on their budget and function. Bass guitars typically have alder or ash bodies, while an electric guitar's body is generally made up of mahogany or swamp ash.

Typical acoustic steel string models are made with spruce or cedar tops; classical models use Spanish cedar for the top. Electric guitar necks are usually maple (on cheaper electrics) and rosewood (on more expensive models). Acoustic-electric guitars can also be fitted with piezoelectric pickups to amplify the sound of the instrument when plugged into an amp.

All those guitars are made of wood, mostly spruce or cedar. Their quality depends on the price, that is why popular models are more expensive than average ones. There are three basic types of guitar construction:

  • acoustic-electric - it is built for both acoustic and electric sounds
  • jazz box - has a narrower neck to handle intricate fingerings more easily
  • solid body - provides feedback more easily so it is generally used by metal bands

So, that is the general info, that everyone knows. Let`s show up 20 interesting guitar facts, that most likely not all of you know.

  1. The first guitar in history dates back to the year 1000. And it was an Arabic instrument. It looked like a long-neck lute. However, compared to modern guitars it was very different since it had a bowl-shaped back. The sound on this guitar was created by plucking the strings stretched along the neck. And the strings were made of silk.
  2. The first Spanish guitars, as we know them today, were brought from Italy in the late 16th century. And they were enormously different from those Arabic instruments. They had a flat back and a straight neck, which was glued to the body of a guitar instead of being attached with a mortise and tenon joint as it was used before. However, that wasn`t the only difference – these new models also had six double strings instead of single ones to have softer sound, so they weren`t suitable for playing arabesques yet at all.
  3. In 1821 German-Spanish virtuoso guitarist Fernando Sor (1778-1839) published "Method for Spanish Guitar". It is considered to be the world's first guitar method. In this book, he included a list of musical genres for classical guitars, including variations on a theme by Mozart and Beethoven symphonies, a waltz by Diabelli, a march from Rossini's "William Tell" opera, etc.
  4. The most expensive guitar in history was offered at auction in the year 2006. It was made by American luthier Cumpiano-Dunn and it consisted of solid silver plates with parts made of a gold alloy, diamonds, and other rare materials. The price was $3.5 million.
  5. Les Paul (1915-2009), one of the most influential electric guitarists, invented multi-track recording technique together with his friend/co-inventor, engineer/technician extraordinaire  (and first manager of The Beatles), one of the most influential electric guitarists Les Paul, invented multi-track recording technique together with his friend /co-inventor, engineer/technician extraordinaire, one of the most influential electric guitarists.
  6. The first electric guitar was invented in the year 1931 by George Beauchamp (with help of Paul Barth and Harry Watson). Gibson Guitar Corporation hired him. But soon after that, they started mass production of his guitars, so he decided to leave the company.
  7. Guitars were made from mahogany, a tropical tree species that were growing in America until wartime shortages forced manufacturers to abandon the reliable wood in favor of alternative materials. "During WWII there were restrictions on all mahogany being used," said Henry Wilson, guitar market historian.
  8. The first guitars with their bodies carved into traditional guitar shapes appeared in the early 20th century. Before that time they looked quite different – it was either bowl-shaped or had an oval body with a long tailpiece where strings are attached to tuning keys.
  9. 9. Italian makers created famous classical guitars, for example, Paolo Soprani (1886-1971), Renato De Barbieri (1912–1981), Mario Maccaferri (1889–1963), etc. But also French took a love for this kind of music and created some great guitars, for example, Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume (1820–1883).
  10. 10. The best-selling guitar in history is a Spanish model, a classic acoustic one. It was designed by the brilliant luthier Antonio de Torres Jurado (1817–1892) and today we know it as "nylon-string" guitar. This instrument can be recognized by its fan-like rosette design that symbolizes the sun and moon of ancient Mexico.
  11. The guitar music explosion was in the 1950s-1970s. Bands like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and Led Zeppelin were becoming huge hits. It is no coincidence that this era was also the time of mass production of guitars with electric amplification.
  12. There are many kinds of guitars in the world, but the most commonly used for playing rock music is an electric one. They rely on pickups to convert string vibrations into electrical signals so it can be amplified through speakers. It looks quite similar to acoustic guitar, except it has a solid body instead of a hollow one.
  13. Ibanez popularized 7- and 8-stringed guitars in the 1980s. Since then many guitarists liked to use these instruments, but only a few bands became famous with their songs written for them. They are very rare and usually used live only.
  14. In 2007 Gibson Guitar Corporation introduced the world's first mechanical instrument - "Robot Guitar". It is controlled by a computer and its strings are moved by pistons. It was supposed to be used in the future for recording and live shows, but not much has changed since then and no one knows what it is actually good for.
  15. The biggest guitar maker in the world, Fender Musical Instruments Corp., was founded by Leo Fender (1909–1991) who built his first electric instrument in the year 1946. His instruments quickly gained popularity among musicians such as Buddy Holly, Hank Marvin, and Keith Richards. And soon after that... Gibson Guitar Corporation sued him for copying its designs!
  16. At the same time, the smallest guitar was made in the year 2006. It was only 6" long and it belonged to an American, Jake S. Parker. It took him 8 years to build it!
  17. There are thousands of guitar makers in the world, but some of them are really special because they make their guitars by hand using old-school methods without using any machines for woodworking or parts assembling. For example "GWW Guitar Works" from California is one of them. They also created a prototype instrument that can be played on 3 strings (two bass ones - E A D and one-octave string A). As you can hear, this sounds like a thunderstorm!
  18. Every day somewhere in the world someone composes a guitar song. It is very difficult to find out how many songs are created in total because people don't use their real names to publish them, but there are some successful tracks. For instance "Down Under" by Men at Work was composed by Colin Hay who also played it on his own instrument.
  19. The greatest guitar song of all time is thought to be " Voodoo Child " from Jimi Hendrix (1942–1970). All guitars in it were played by Mr. Hendrix himself and there is nothing left to add to it!
  20. The biggest guitar collection in the world belongs to a Japanese artist, Akinori Ikeda. Second place is taken by Mr. Hank Marvin who is a professional guitarist from The Shadows band. He has only 41 guitars at home! He always has it at hand, whatever it takes!

Marry me!

In 2001 there was registered the first marriage to a guitar! Chris Black was playing for his bride Jenny when suddenly the idea of marrying her came up. The ceremony was held in a music shop and was attended by two witnesses!

In 2007 Japanese woman Masami Ueda (40) married Gibson Les Paul guitar. It took place in the wedding chapel at Tokyo fashionable hotel Grand Hyatt and only people who had an invitation could get inside. There were no reporters allowed, but we know that it happened with some presentation of the new model from this company and the guitar cost about $10 000.

Some other marriages with non-human beings include people marrying dolphins, cats, and even a dead fish! This trend was started in the year 2008 when a Chinese woman married a dead dolphin that local fishermen found on the beach. Mr. Xi had to pay for it and got married only because he was told that this creature could listen to his problems!

Currently, there are about 7 000 registered unions with people marrying objects or animals all over the world, so who knows what will happen next...

Musical guitar influencers

Jimi Hendrix popularized the use of guitar feedback in mainstream rock music. He is thought to be one of the greatest guitarists in the world. The fame was posthumous, though. He was known for his guitar playing and recognizable style and influenced musicians across genres.

The history of this person began when young Jimi Hendrix went to live with his grandmother in Vancouver. He didn't like school, but he loved spending time near the water and watching boats come and go around the city.

Jimi was an average student at best; he dropped out of high school at age 16, after being suspended for poor behavior. After quitting school, he found a job as a dishwasher at the local coffeehouse where he quickly became friends with female guitarist Melinda May.

Together they played acoustic guitars around town filling in whenever her band needed another guitarist. Eventually, they would play behind her while she sang folk songs backed by The Casuals, who also backed musicians such as Tony Young and Chuck Beal. Right now this man is believed to be one of the most influential guitarists in rock history.

His success came when he was spotted by Little Richard, who invited him to play at some shows. Soon Jimi found himself playing other gigs with stars like Sam Cooke and Jackie Wilson. His talent earned him his first recording contract with an R&B label called Bitter Sweet (he didn't like the name).

It seemed that young Hendrix's career would take off. However, not much happened after this record - Jimi couldn't get along with the owners of small labels; they thought he was too wild and unpredictable to work with on a regular basis (it is believed that they sabotaged their own deals trying to make Jimi look bad).

Guitars manufacture

Each year there are made about 1.5 million guitars in the world! The biggest number is produced in Japan. Around 645 000 units come from there, 340 000 - China, followed by Korea (150 000 units), Indonesia (75000 units), USA (60 000), and Mexico (50 000).

A guitar is a string instrument with usually six strings tuned to perfect fifths. The sound is projected either acoustically or through electrical amplification. It can be played by strumming, picking, tapping, flicking, slapping, popping, strumming, thumping, or picking with the fingernails. Guitars are used across musical genres worldwide. At first, they were used almost exclusively for accompaniment in popular music but have since become one of the most popular and versatile instruments in the world.

Bottom Line

When talking about popular music, there are many things that can be said. The most important thing is that it's very beautiful and no one should miss hearing it. With every single day new songs are created, so people won't get bored easily.

So if you want to know more about the musical instruments used in this genre - keep your eyes on our website! We will be glad to help you find something interesting for yourself or even for a gift, don't hesitate to contact us via social media! And remember: music speaks louder than words!