Welcome to Lesson 1. In this lesson we will learn about the guitar: the history of the guitar, the parts of the guitar, and where the guitar fits in among the family of musical instruments.
History of the Guitar
The modern guitar descended from stringed instruments dating back about 5,000 years. Evidence of stringed instruments with hollow wood bodies have been found in many parts of the world, including Asia and Africa, dating back as far as 3,000 B.C. But the first instrument bearing a fairly close resemblence to the modern guitar was developed in Spain in the 16th Century (1500s). By the 19th Century, six-string acoustic guitars, very similar to those of today, were being manufactured and played all over Europe and America. In the late 1920s and early 1930s the electric guitar was invented and developed.
For a more complete history of the guitar follow this link: http://www.guyguitars.com/eng/handbook/BriefHistory.html
Parts of the Guitar
Here is a diagram of the parts of the guitar. Familiarize yourself with the parts of your guitar. During the course of learning how to play guitar there will be references to the various parts of the instrument. Carefully examine your guitar and find and familizrize yourself with the parts shown on this diagram. There will be a quiz on this!
Guitar's Relation to Other Musical Instruments
The guitar is classified as a string instrument and is among a type of instrument called the chordophone (which means it makes sound by means of vibrating strings stretched between two points). The main categories (sometimes called families) of instruments are: string, woodwind, brass, and percussion instruments. Other instruments in the string family include: bass guitar, banjo, harp, violin, viola, cello, mandolin, ukele, and the sitar. Some people include the piano in the string family, because it uses strings to make sound, but the strings are struck by pressing the keys which mechanically strike the strings (making it in some people's minds, a percussion instrument). Pianos are considered chordophones because they use strings to make sound.
Guitars are used in a variety of settings and musical genres, everything from classical music to heavy metal music, rock, blues, country, jazz, reggae, rhythm and blues, ragtime, bluegrass, folk, and more.
1) How old is the guitar? How many years have instruments similar to guitars been around?
2) Around what time (decade) was the electric guitar invented?
3) Where is the "nut" of the guitar?
4) Where is the bridge?
5) Where is the headstock?
6) Where is the neck?
7) Where is the body?
8) Where is the soundhole (acoustic guitar) and pickup(s) (electric)?
9) Where is the saddle?
10) Where are the frets?
11) Where is the pick guard?
12) Where are the tuning pegs?
13) What family of instruments does the guitar belong to?
14) Name at least four other instruments in the family of instruments that the guitar belongs to
15) Name at least five genres (types) of music that use guitar
1) 4,000 years 2) 1920s and 1930s 3-12) See diagram above 13) String Family
14) Answers may vary, but could include: bass guitar, banjo, harp, violin, viola, cello, mandolin, ukele, and the sitar
15) Answers may vary, but could include: classical music to heavy metal music, rock, blues, country, jazz, reggae, rhythm and blues, ragtime, bluegrass, folk