The history of the modern guitar as we know it, dates back to the 14th century although stringed instruments are descended from the Romans around 40 AD. The modern guitar as we know it today, probably originated in Spain in the 16th century and became popular in European countries in the 16th and 17th centuries. The 16th century guitar had three pairs (courses) of strings plus a single string (highest). By the 17th century, a fifth pair of strings had been added.
By the mid-18th century the guitar developed into the instrument we know today and double courses of strings became single and a sixth string was added above the lower five. The 19th century guitar makers made a number of modifications to broaden the body, increase the curve of the waist, thinned the belly and changed the internal bracing. Machine made pegs replaced the hand made wooden turning pegs. All guitar replacement parts were either hand carved or hand made.
It took a couple of centuries for Spanish guitar musicians, composers and virtuosos to move the guitar from a tavern instrument to its popularity and prominence as a classical instrument today. The electric guitar emerged in the United States in the 1930's and has a solid non-resonant body. The sound from the strings is electronically amplified and controlled by the performer. The electric guitar became the instrument of choice for rock musicians in the 1960's, remaining so today.
The popularity of the guitar crosses over to video games with the introduction of Rock Band and Guitar Hero. These video games allow players to simulate the performance of popular rock music by playing with controllers modeled after musical instruments: lead guitar, bass guitar and drums. As popular as these video games are, real rock musicians such as Bill Wyman, former bass guitar player from the Rolling Stones has expressed concern that kids using these games are not really learning how to actually play the instruments.
Real guitar enthusiasts take their interest in another direction by learning about their instrument from the inside out. They learn how to repair the instruments from experimenting with different strings to rebuilding the body, the bridge, and the neck. Fortunately, there are suppliers that are fulfilling an increasing need for guitar replacement parts. Many suppliers are found online for fast service along with the expertise on advising about the various guitar replacements for full repair.
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