Wednesday, January 24, 2007

How Electric Guitars Work

Electric guitars are considered one of the more significant inventions of the 20th century. This holds true from the popular music culture point of view. The electric guitar has its roots in the original acoustic guitars, obviously. In order to cater to larger audiences, the sound produced by the instrument needed to be loud and clear. The original guitar did not cater to the required and desired high quality sound production. This gave way to the electric guitar.

Rock and roll bands realized the urgent need to define the tone and character of the music produced by a guitar. This requirement was adequately fulfilled by the electric guitar. An electric guitar, as the name suggests, makes use of electricity to transmit the sounds produced. It has six strings, which are tuned with the help of a tuning peg. It has several frets and a long neck. The guitar body is usually made of solid wood and sounds are produced by the magnetic pickups. These pickups are controlled by several knobs at the end of the neck. To produce sounds, an electric guitar senses the vibrations of the strings electronically. They are then sent as an electronic signal to a connected amplifier and speaker.

There is a magnetic pickup mounted under the strings on the body of the guitar body. This pickup consists of a bar magnet wrapped with as many as 7,000 turns of fine wire. The electric guitar is a product of pure physics. The coils and magnets have the capacity to turn electrical energy into motion and vice versa. In the case of an electric guitar, the vibrating steel strings produce a corresponding vibration in the magnet's magnetic field. This causes a vibrating current in the coil. This current is then transferred to the amplifier and finally to the speakers.