The Ultimate Guitar Sourcebook by Tony Bacon

405b21c9440cd17-261x361.jpg Author Tony Bacon
Isbn 9781937994044
File size 69MB
Year 2012
Pages 288
Language English
File format PDF
Category music


THE ULTIMATE GUITAR SOURCEBOOK Tony Bacon CONTENTS EARLY GUITARS 16TH & 17TH CENTURIES 1 2 CHAPTER TWO LYRE, CITTERNS, HARPS EARLY ODDITIES 1 4 EARLY ELECTRICS RICKENBACKER BIRTH OF THE ELECTRIC GUITAR 7 8 CHAPTER ONE GIBSON FIRST ELECTRICS 8 0 ACOUSTIC GUITARS LES PAUL LOG & CLUNKERS 8 2 CLASSICAL GUITARS ANTONIO DE TORRES 18 PAUL BIGSBY THE MERLE TRAVIS GUITAR 8 4 CLASSICAL GUITARS EUROPE 2 0 LEO FENDER THE BROADCASTER 8 6 CLASSICAL GUITARS REST OT THE WORLD 2 2 FLAMENCO GUITARS TRADITIONAL & MODERN 2 4 CHAPTER THREE MARTIN EARLY GUITARS 2 6 SOLID-BODY ELECTRIC GUITARS MARTIN EARLY GUITARS II 2 8 FENDER TELECASTER 9 0 MARTIN STYLES & SIZES 3 0 FENDER TELECASTER II 9 2 MARTIN DREADNOUGHTS 3 2 FENDER TELECASTER III 9 4 MARTIN NEW GENERATIONS 3 4 FENDER STRATOCASTER EARLY MODELS 9 6 ARCHTOPS D’ANGELICO 3 6 FENDER STRATOCASTER CUSTOM COLORS 9 8 ARCHTOPS D’AQUISTO 3 8 FENDER STRATOCASTER CHANGING FACES 1 0 0 ARCHTOPS D’AQUISTO II 4 0 FENDER STRATOCASTER MODERN MODELS 1 0 2 ARCHTOPS EPIPHONE & STROMBERG 4 2 FENDER MODELS VARIATIONS ON A THEME 1 0 4 ARCHTOPS EARLY GIBSON 4 4 FENDER MODELS GRUNGE & SQUIER 1 0 6 ARCHTOPS EARLY GIBSON II 4 6 FENDER MODELS SQUIER IDENTITY 1 0 8 ARCHTOPS AMERICAN MADE 4 8 LEO AFTER FENDER MUSIC MAN & G&L 1 1 0 ARCHTOPS AMERICAN CONTEMPORARY 5 0 GIBSON LES PAUL GOLDTOP 1 1 2 ARCHTOPS EUROPEAN 5 2 GIBSON LES PAUL CUSTOM 1 1 4 FLAT-TOPS GIBSON 5 4 GIBSON LES PAUL STANDARD 1 1 6 FLAT-TOPS GIBSON II 5 6 GIBSON LES PAUL STANDARD REISSUES 1 1 8 FLAT-TOPS EARLY NORTH AMERICA 5 8 GIBSON LES PAUL JUNIORS & SPECIALS 1 2 0 FLAT-TOPS MODERN NORTH AMERICA 6 0 GIBSON LES PAUL LES PAULS & SGs 1 2 2 FLAT-TOPS BOUTIQUE & MULTI-STRING 6 2 GIBSON MODELS ODD SHAPES 1 2 4 FLAT-TOPS EUROPEAN 6 4 GIBSON MODELS GOOD, BAD, UGLY 1 2 6 FLAT-TOPS ASIA & AUSTRALASIA 6 6 OTHER AMERICAN MAKERS THE FIFTIES 1 2 8 FLAT-TOPS OVATION & THE ELECTRO 6 8 OTHER AMERICAN MAKERS THE SIXTIES & SEVENTIES 1 3 0 FLAT-TOPS THINLINE ELECTRO-ACOUSTICS 7 0 OTHER AMERICAN MAKERS THE EIGHTIES 1 3 2 RESONATOR GUITARS DOBRO & NATIONAL 7 2 OTHER AMERICAN MAKERS THE EIGHTIES II 1 3 4 STEEL GUITARS LAPS & PEDALS 7 4 OTHER AMERICAN MAKERS SUPERSTRATS 1 3 6 OTHER AMERICAN MAKERS PAUL REED SMITH 1 3 8 OTHER AMERICAN MAKERS HIGH-END INSTRUMENTS 1 4 0 BRITISH MAKERS JIM BURNS 1 4 2 BRITISH MAKERS THE BURNS CONNECTION 1 4 4 BRITISH MAKERS VOX & THE NEW BREED 1 4 6 EUROPEAN MAKERS GERMANY 1 4 8 AMERICAN GALLERY ARCHTOPS 2 2 0 EUROPEAN MAKERS GERMANY II 1 5 0 AMERICAN GALLERY ARCHTOPS & SEMI-SOLIDS 2 2 2 EUROPEAN MAKERS ITALY 1 5 2 AMERICAN GALLERY SEMI-SOLIDS II 2 2 4 EUROPEAN MAKERS NORTH & EAST EUROPE 1 5 4 EUROPEAN GALLERY ARCHTOPS & THINLINES 2 2 6 JAPAN ORIGINALS & EARLY COPIES 1 5 6 FAR-EAST GALLERY ARCHTOPS & THINLINES 2 2 8 JAPAN ARIA 1 5 8 JAPAN IBANEZ-THE EARLY YEARS 1 6 0 CHAPTER FIVE JAPAN IBANEZ SUPERSTRATS 1 6 2 ELECTRIC BASS GUITARS JAPAN IBANEZ TODAY 1 6 4 FENDER PRECISION BASS 2 3 2 JAPAN YAMAHA 1 6 6 FENDER PRECISION VARIATIONS 2 3 4 OTHER ASIAN MAKERS KOREA & CHINA 1 6 8 FENDER TELECASTER & JAZZ BASS 2 3 6 NEW MATERIALS SYNTHETICS & ALUMINUM 1 7 0 FENDER JAZZ BASS II 2 3 8 BEYOND SIX STRINGS TWELVE-STRING GUITARS 1 7 2 FENDER OTHER BASSES 2 4 0 BEYOND SIX STRINGS TWELVE STRING GUITARS II 1 7 4 RICKENBACKER 4000-SERIES BASSES 2 4 2 BEYOND SIX STRINGS DOUBLE-NECK GUITARS 1 7 6 GIBSON EB SERIES & OTHER BASSES 2 4 4 BEYOND SIX STRINGS DOUBLE -NECK GUITARS II 1 7 8 GIBSON OTHER BASSES II 2 4 6 PORTABLE GUITARS SIX STRINGS ON THE MOVE 1 8 0 EPIPHONE BASS MODELS 2 4 8 AMERICA OTHER BASS MAKERS 2 5 0 CHAPTER FOUR HOLLOW & SEMI-SOLID ELECTRIC GUITARS AMERICA OTHER BASS MAKERS II 2 5 2 AMERICA MULTI-STRING BASSES 2 5 4 AMERICA MULTI-STRINGS & MORE 2 5 6 GIBSON EARLY ARCHTOPS 1 8 4 EUROPE BRITISH BASS MAKERS 2 5 8 GIBSON ARCHTOPS 1 8 6 EUROPE BASS MAKERS 2 6 0 GIBSON SUPER 400CES ARCHTOPS 1 8 8 THE FAR EAST BASS MAKERS 2 6 2 GIBSON L-5CES ARCHTOPS 1 9 0 THE FAR EAST BASS MAKERS II 2 6 4 GIBSON & OTHERS ARCHTOP SIGNATURE MODELS 1 9 2 GIBSON THINLINE MODELS 1 9 4 CHAPTER SIX GIBSON THE ES-335 1 9 6 BEYOND GUITAR GIBSON THE ES FAMILY 1 9 8 SPECIAL EFFECTS BUILT-IN SOUNDS 2 6 8 GIBSON THINLINE VARIATIONS 2 0 0 GUITAR SYNTHESIZER EARLY ATTEMPTS 2 7 0 GIBSON THINLINE SIGNATURE MODELS 2 0 2 GUITAR SYNTHESIZER EARLY ATTEMPTS II 2 7 2 EPIPHONE ARCHTOPS 2 0 4 GUITAR MODELING LINE 6 VARIAX 2 7 4 EPIPHONE THINLINES 2 0 6 GUITAR MODELING FENDER 2 7 6 GUILD ARCHTOPS & THINLINES 2 0 8 GUITAR MODELING GIBSON 2 7 8 GRETSCH WHITE FALCON 2 1 0 GRETSCH ARCHTOPS 2 1 2 GLOSSARY 2 8 0 GRETSCH ARCHTOP SIGNATURE MODELS 2 1 4 INDEX 2 8 4 RICKENBACKER SEMI-HOLLOW GUITARS 2 1 6 PICTURE KEY 2 8 7 RICKENBACKER SEMI-HOLLOW GUITARS II 2 1 8 INTRODUCTION This book tells the story of the guitar through one of the best collections of guitars ever brought together in one book. Dig deep and you’ll see guitars from the late 16th century to the early 21st century, with everything from the cheapest beginner’s acoustics to expensive instruments designed to appeal to the most demanding players and collectors. The book shows hollowbody, semi-solid, and solidbody guitars and basses: acoustics, electrics, and hybrids of the two. Laid out before you are great guitars, silly guitars, guitars to make you catch your breath, and guitars to make you smile. Here are famous guitars, everyday guitars, valuable guitars, battered guitars, guitars from museums and guitars from the stage, pointy guitars that fuel the mosh pits, and gentle guitars that soothe the ear. Simplicity The guitar’s essential simplicity has always offered a challenge to anyone who chooses to make one guitar, one thousand guitars, or one hell of a guitar. How do you improve on such a straightforward, practical object? People from many different backgrounds have risen to the challenge, building instruments that they hope will bring guitarists nearer to their ultimate guitar. Some of these designers have been musicians, like the inventive and influential Les Paul, bringing a player’s mind to bear directly on the nuts and bolts of the guitar. Other makers have been engineers, keen to apply their natural skills with raw materials or with electronics to an object that links craftsmanship, science, and art—just as radio-repairman Leo Fender did in the 1950s when he showed how to take the guitar into the age of mass production. This book shows how hundreds of makers, from one-man workshops to vast corporate factories, have put their own improvements into practice. It demonstrates how each of them has taken the basic designs that have inspired all who build guitars. Some ideas have succeeded, many more have failed. This book is intended to show the successes and the failures, as well as plentiful examples of the countless guitars that fall somewhere between the two. Technique INTRODUCTION The guitar is an attractive musical instrument, and most who pick it up for the first time find it a simple matter to achieve a relatively successful sound from some rudimentary notes and chords. In this respect, it is an easy instrument for the beginner. But as with all musical instruments, there are very few players who can be said to have mastered the guitar. This opposition of simplicity and difficulty is at the root of the guitar’s popularity. 7 INTRODUCTION Another reason for the guitar’s great popularity is its almost universal musical adaptability. Probably no other instrument has been used regularly in such a wide variety of music, with the possible catch-all exception of percussion. Try to imagine an absence of guitars in rock, flamenco, blues, metal, rhythm ’n’ blues, country, punk, bluegrass, jazz, folk, rock ’n’ roll, pop, reggae, grunge, indie, thrash, or even (if you can remember it) rockabilly. And in its “classical” form, the guitar, a largely non-orchestral instrument, has its own solo repertoire. It has occasionally been placed in ensemble and orchestral settings, as in the works of the 20th-century Spanish composer Joaquín Rodrigo. Even the piano, the only other serious contender for the title of the world’s most popular musical instrument, does not feature in quite so diverse a range of styles and forms. Given this universality, one might imagine that the guitar would help establish common ground between the various musical styles. But the interchange between players involved in the broadly defined “classical” and “popular” areas is limited. This isn’t down to any limitations imposed by the instrument, however: the neo-classical shred guitarists of the 1980s, exemplified by Sweden’s Yngwie J. Malmsteen, proved that in the right hands the electric guitar could be every bit as fluidly expressive as Niccolò Paganini’s violin had been. Young musicians learning the guitar have traditionally been encouraged to amass knowledge on the technical aspects of playing, to fill their heads with scales, arpeggios, and impressive licks. The negative side of this admirable diversity comes when new players begin to wonder about taking their playing beyond the merely technical. Technique is, of course, essential, but not if it is at the expense of the most valuable quality a guitarist can posses—what some call feel, or soul, or spirit. The balance between technique and feel on any guitar is a constant negotiation, and guitarists usually fall into one camp or the other. Very few players have ever been celebrated as equally adept at both aspects of guitar playing. INTRODUCTION Versatility 8 The guitar is a unique musical instrument: nothing else combines in such a portable package so much harmonic, melodic, and rhythmic potential. Even played on its own, the guitar offers a remarkable range of harmony to the player, who has continuous access to over three octaves (four on many modern electrics), with polyphony limited only by the guitarist’s dexterity and the musical context. The guitar’s ability to sustain notes or chords is also of great importance. INTRODUCTION INTRODUCTION The overall musical potential of the guitar is kept in a continual state of development by pioneering players. Just one example from many will suffice: during the 1980s, a two-handed “tapping” style was extended and updated by some fusion and metal guitarists. It gave them the ability to play with rapid violin-like leaps, impossible with normal playing techniques. This is a good demonstration of the constant interplay between guitarists and those who design and make guitars. Tapping benefits from a long fingerboard: suddenly, guitars were regularly seen with 24 frets (and more in some cases). But what comes first? The player’s need, or a new kind of guitar? Often it’s hard to work out the source of such developments. Is it the new type of instrument that inspires a style of playing, or do guitarists’ new methods provoke new kinds of guitars and hardware? Did Floyd Rose and Dave Storey’s locking vibrato systems encourage the new breed of tapping guitarists to start using extreme vibrato techniques? Or were these designers trying to provide a device that could do things that players were trying unsuccessfully to achieve with existing systems? Did dance-band musicians lead the way to electric guitars in the 1930s and 1940s, or was it the guitar companies looking to expand their market? At the end of the 18th century, was it players or guitar-makers who decided that a six-string instrument should supersede the contemporary guitars with five or six doubled courses? It has always been a mixture of both, and as long as this dialogue between guitarists and guitar-makers continues—and each side listens to what the other is saying—then the future of the instrument should be a healthy one. The guitar has been fashionable on and off since the 1660s, but during the 20th century it became one of the most popular of all musical instruments. Its popularity has experienced various peaks, particularly in the early 1970s, the mid 1980s, and at various times in the decades that followed. And it has regularly outsold other instruments since its rise to prominence. Despite the trends of popular music, there has been no shortage of newcomers to the instrument. Most major manufacturers provide a steady stream of quality beginners’ instruments, and a shift by big American brands to offshore production in the Far East, especially since the early 1980s, has made it possible for them to maintain profit margins, even during leaner times. One often-lamented development has been the decline of the music store as the place where these beginners make their first purchases. The digital age has seen the rise of the online store, with its lower overheads, increasing success, and distinct lack of community. 9 INTRODUCTION INTRODUCTION Collectables 10 Many guitars have become collectable: as musical instruments, certainly—but also as historic objects, maybe even as pieces of industrial art, or cultural icons. We have tried to make sure that the guitars in this book are genuine and—a great worry to collectors—that wherever possible they are in original condition, without major modifications or restoration. To the musician, this obsession with originality is absurd, as the very modification that might make a guitar more playable instantly devalues it in the eyes of the collector. To the collector, any alteration is, at the extreme, an irreversible molestation of the past. It depends on what the guitar has been bought for. Is it to play, or is it to hang on the wall? Ideally, both should be possible. Collectors and musicians were among the many observers who drew a deep breath in 2004 when Eric Clapton’s “Blackie” Stratocaster was sold at auction for a record-breaking $959,500 (plus buyer’s premium) to benefit the guitarist’s Crossroads drug-rehabilitation charity. In 2011, actor and guitarist Richard Gere sold by auction his collection of more than 100 vintage guitars and amplifiers, raising $936,000 for humanitarian causes. Among them were guitars once owned by Albert King and Peter Tosh. Many collectors reject these value-by-association sales and argue that a guitar is made valuable by its inherent quality as an instrument, its condition, its desirability among other collectors, its age, its rarity, and, probably last, who owned it. Musicians are often left in the cold when guitars become fashionable among collectors, who can push up prices up to a level where players cannot hope to afford them. The choicest examples of the original Gibson Les Paul sunburst-finish Standard model have commanded five- and six-figure sums, so an example is unlikely to turn up on stage at the average concert. Some of these guitars have inevitably attracted the professional investor, who considers them merely as commodities with a certain market value. Far from reaching the stage, some rare instruments are more likely to be found locked in a climate-controlled bank vault, an environment not usually noted for its musical stimulation. There is sometimes snobbery attached to the use of old guitars. “They don’t make them like they used to” is a commonly heard defense. This value attached to the mojo of vintage instruments has led companies to create brand new artificially-aged instruments for a willing clientele eager to buy fresh vintage. Fender’s Time Machine series of so-called “relic’d” Stratocasters, Telecasters, and Precision and Jazz Basses come with various levels of ageing. Even up close, the effect can be convincing. Today, in Fender’s Custom Shop, it seems as if they really do make them like they used to—down to the last ding, scratch, and pickup-wind. INTRODUCTION When it comes to guitars, however, age is no guarantee of quality. Makers will tell you that two guitars built in exactly the same way from exactly the same piece of timber can sound very different from one another. Move up a step or two to mass production and, despite the consistencies of such a process, there are still the vagaries of timber and the Friday-afternoon guitar to deal with. Each batch of guitars has potentially good and bad instruments. Some say that an old worn guitar is the best bet, the theory being that it has been played because it is a good one. But then it could just as easily be a bad one that has been abused by careless owners. Materials INTRODUCTION Science can tell us a little about the way a guitar behaves as a physical object, but it begins to flounder when it tries to advise guitar-makers about their craft. Of course, some makers do analyze in a scientific manner the nature of the instruments they are building and react to that information in their production methods. Many firms use such techno-inspired facilities as computercontrolled routing on their production lines. While you are unlikely to see a craftsman tuning and carving an individual guitar top in a modern massproduction guitar factory, science has at least brought a greater degree of consistency to the still essentially human process of mass-production. The American success story that is Taylor Guitars is an example of how a company can cleverly refine its mass-production process by continually incorporating new technology. However, to emphasize the predominance of know-how over materials, in 1995 Taylor created a guitar from oak pallets that demonstrated the importance of construction over expensive exotic woods, later adorning a small run of the guitars with a fingerboard-inlay showing a forklift truck. The message was simple: materials are only part of the story. Despite that and the continuing importance of the luthier’s craft, materials are of prime concern to today’s manufacturers. Environmental responsibility and the scarcity of traditional tonewoods has led guitar-makers of all stripes to experiment with new types of wood and even, in some cases, new materials altogether. As you’ll see in these pages, guitar makers have messed with carbon-fiber, plastic, and other synthetic materials in attempts at new designs and new processes. Ecological concerns and the emergence of more sustainable guitar woods mean we will probably see more experiments with alternative materials and construction methods in the future. Great guitar designs are not quantifiable, and that in itself is part of their greatness. The ultimate guitar has yet to be produced, but this sourcebook will acquaint you with many of the others. 11 EARLY GUITARS 16th & 17th CENTURIES To appreciate more fully the modern guitars dealt with in the main body of this book it is useful first to consider the early history of the guitar. To begin, a simple definition: the guitar is a plucked, stringed instrument that has a “waisted” body with incurved sides. There is, according to experts on its history, little evidence of such an instrument existing before the 15th century. That is not to say that broadly similar stringed instruments did not exist long before that time. But a barrage of confusing instrument names and hazy historical data cloud the issue, and even the experts disagree. In this book we are concerned with surviving guitars, and the late-16th-century instrument shown below is among the earliest that are still in existence. The earliest guitars had four “courses” (a single, double, or even triple string): the fourcourse “treble” instrument, despite being surpassed by the five-course guitar, lasted until at least the 17th century. Some early guitars feature superb decoration, exemplified by the ornate soundhole on the 17th-century Italian example on the facing page. These guitars, which were probably owned by the wealthy, may well have survived more for their charm as objects than their utility as instruments. The guitar was a great popular success at this time, yet peasants’ guitars have rarely survived. Italian music book, c.1620 c.1590 five-course guitar c.1590 five-course guitar This may be the oldest surviving “full size” guitar, according to its former owner, Robert Spencer. Construction and decoration are similar to a small guitar dated 1581 by Portuguese maker Belchior Dias that is in the Royal College of Music collection, London. Music book, c1620 E A R LY G U I TA R S 1836 Panormo 12 c.1760 Salomon modified five-course guitar c.1760 Salomon modified five-course guitar The guitar was made in Paris by Jean-Baptiste Dehaye Salomon. It has been modified with two added tuners and an extra bridge channel, designed to accommodate a sixth course. There is no room on the neck for more strings, so the sixth course probably ran free of the neck on the bass side, over an extended nut. 1832 Fernando Sor Method 1832 Fernando Sor Method The book of music on the facing page is a collection of Italian songs from about 1620, handwritten with tablature and rhythmic symbols for a strummed guitar accompaniment. The three hand illustrations (above) are from Fernando Sor’s 1832 book, Method For The Spanish Guitar; the two on the right are “to be avoided”. c.1804 Pagés six-course guitar This instrument was made in Cadiz, southwestern Spain, by Joséf Pagés. He was among the first in Spain to use a fanstrutting system, later developed by Antonio de Torres (see pages 18–19). c.1804 Pagés sixcourse guitar 1836 Panormo The son of an Italian violin-maker, Louis Panormo ran a prolific workshop in London. This 1836 specimen shows how Panormo often included elements from the best contemporary instruments (compare its shape to that of the Pagés, pictured right, for example). Panormo regularly fitted superior machine heads rather than pegs, and was one of the few makers outside Spain using fan-strutting. E A R LY G U I TA R S 17th-century decorated soundhole detail 13 LYRE, CITTERNS, HARPS EARLY ODDITIES The instruments shown on this page are not mainstream guitars, but they do highlight an interesting tributary of European design. Principally in France and as a result of the so-called “classical revival,” the lyre guitar (below left) rather fancifully adopted the shape of the ancient Greek lyre—an outline often used in the West as a symbol of music. It has been suggested that its great popularity around the early 19th century, mainly with amateur players, influenced the move at this time by many makers of conventional guitars to six single strings. The “English guitar” with six metal-strung courses and a small, rounded body shape was very popular in Britain from the middle of the 18th century to the early 1800s, when it was ousted by the conventional Spanish-style guitar. As we have seen, guitar c.1810 Wornum lyre guitar Lyre guitars were made around 1800 when a classical revival made fashionable such combinations as guitar and lyre or guitar and harp. This Wornum lyre guitar (below) was made in London around 1810. Note the complement of six single strings, by-then becoming predominant. A similar example is seen in the print on the facing page, from around the same period. makers had begun by the mid-16th century to adopt five courses and a generally larger instrument than the early “treble” four-course guitar. Tunings of the “baroque” fivecourse guitar varied widely, but by the middle of the 18th century had started to become standardized toward A/D/G/B/E—in other words, as the top five strings of the modern guitar. At about the same time as a vogue (primarily in France and Britain) for some unusual instruments related to the guitar, conventional makers started around the late 18th century to move from five to six courses on their guitars, with the extra course tuned to a low E. From there a simple refinement was made, at first in Italy and France, to six single strings: the result, adopted widely elsewhere, was an instrument looking and sounding a little closer to the modern guitar. c.1775 Preston “English guitar” c.1810 Wornum lyre guitar E A R LY G U I TA R S c.1775 Preston “English guitar” The above instrument was not a guitar at all, but a type of cittern. John Preston worked in London around the 1750s and made many “English guitars,” which were more popular in Britain at this time than the conventionally shaped guitar. c.1920 Larson harp guitar Brothers Carl and August Larson of Chicago crafted many fretted innovations between the mid-1890s and the early 1940s, including these two contrasting harp guitar designs. 14 1910 Bohmann harp guitar Painting of Wornum lyre guitar player, c.1810 1910 Bohmann harp guitar Joseph Bohmann was born in Neumarkt, Bohemia (now the Czech Republic) and settled in Chicago in 1878, where he supplied guitars to Sears. Harp guitars were a specialty, and this example features 12 subbass strings and seven “sympathetic strings” inside. c.1920 Larson harp guitar 1920 Dyer Symphony Harp Guitar Style 8 William John Dyer was an instrument dealer in Minnesota. His Symphony series of harp guitars were built by the Larson Brothers, the Chicago-based maker. This Style 8 specimen has six sub-bass strings and ornate inlays. E A R LY G U I TA R S 1920 Dyer Symphony Harp Guitar Style 8 15 CHAPTER ONE ACOUSTIC GUITARS T here are principally two kinds of acoustic guitar: the flat-top and the archtop. The general description of a flat-top with a round soundhole covers classical nylon-strung instruments as well as steel-strung “folk” guitars. The archtop acoustic was a later development, designed to increase the volume of the basic instrument. Volume has driven many subsequent innovations in the acoustic guitar’s history. The resonator tradition that began in the late 1920s, with spun metal cones inside the body to amplify the sound, was one such solution. Meanwhile, ever-larger bodies and refinements to the construction and internal bracing of purely acoustic instruments led to increased projection of the instrument’s voice. Companies such as Martin progressively evolved the steel-string instrument, and in doing so came to dominate the market and define what we think of as an acoustic guitar in our mind’s eye. Meanwhile, the parallel traditions of the classical and the flamenco guitar thrive to this day. The opportunities afforded by mass production, particularly in the Far East, have placed affordable and often quality acoustic instruments in the hands of many more aspiring players in recent times. As we approach the present day, larger US firms such as Taylor and Japanese manufacturers such as Yamaha peacefully coexist alongside a procession of specialist “boutique” makers around the globe. High-end hand-made creations from artisan luthiers such as Lowden, Collings, and others offer a variety of woods, shapes, and sizes, with modern cutaway and pickup options, alongside classic traditional designs. Meanwhile, the abiding popularity of acoustic music and the enduring romantic ideal of the lone troubadour strumming away into the night guarantee a healthy future for the acoustic guitar. 1 CLASSICAL GUITARS ANTONIO DE TORRES During the 19th century the guitar began to develop into the instrument generally referred to now as the “classical” guitar. The maker most responsible for this development was Antonio de Torres of Spain. Around 1800, the European guitar had moved away from five courses to six single strings. Many of the early six-string instruments had relatively small bodies with transverse strutting inside the top, such as those made in the 1830s by the Frenchman René Lacôte. Torres, however, introduced a bigger but not heavier body with wider bouts, and established the fan-strutting pattern inside the top of the body as the most effective for the Spanish guitar. Torres’s methods produced a tonally more wide-ranging instrument, particularly in the bass, and his ideas for an integrated guitar were widely adopted in Spain, and also in other guitar-making centers far beyond. Torres was born near Almeria, and worked in Seville (1852–69) and Almeria (1875–92). His designs developed his theory that the guitar’s top was the key to its sound. Torres’s fan-strutting pattern for the top’s underside, his characteristic “doming” of the lower bout, his shifting of the bridge proportionately further up the body, and his uses of relatively thin woods all combined to produce strong but not heavy guitars with a responsive, rounded sound and an elegant plainness. The best known contemporary guitarist to use Torres instruments was Francisco Tárrega (1852–1909), who was among the first to establish the guitar as a “serious” musical instrument. The maker José Romanillos, in his book Antonio de Torres—Guitar Maker, estimated that Torres made some 320 guitars during his two active periods, of which 66 had been traced. ACOUSTIC GUITARS 1860 Torres first epoch (I) 18 1860 Torres first epoch (I) This early example of Torres’s influential handiwork has a spruce top, a four-piece cypress back, and cypress sides. 1888 Torres second epoch Torres left Seville and gave up guitarmaking for a time in 1870, but returned to the craft five years later in Almeria, beginning his “second epoch.” This 1888 instrument was one of 320 he built up until his death in 1892, at the age of 75. 1882 Torres second epoch 1860 Torres first epoch (II) 1860 Torres first epoch (II) Guitars like this underline the view that Torres originated the modern style of flamenco guitar. Note the body shape and materials. 1882 Torres second epoch This Torres guitar was discovered in South America in 1989. Like most Torres instruments it conforms to one of the several body shapes (plantilla is the Spanish term) that Torres used, all of which were related in overall proportions. ACOUSTIC GUITARS 1888 Torres second epoch 19 CLASSICAL GUITARS EUROPE Visually, most modern “classical” guitars bear the shape and general characteristics of Torres’s 19th-century designs, though some makers now use bigger bodies. Efforts for change have also taken place inside the guitar, principally in the layout of strutting under the guitar’s top, crucial to its overall tone and volume. It is the production of the latter quality, while retaining or even improving upon the former, that has exercised many maker’s minds, as the legendary Segovia pointed out in Christopher Nupen’s 1969 film about the great guitarist: “When I arrived in the musical world I began to play in very big halls, and from that moment all the makers tried to do a guitar that sounds better and stronger. To have this instrument with the strong sounds, and mellow, it is really a great achievement of the guitar makers.” Born near Granada in southern Spain, Andrés Segovia (1893–1987) did more than any other player to popularize the “classical” guitar on the concert stage. In 1912 Segovia replaced his first guitar (by Benito Ferrer) with a Manuel Ramírez (probably made in the Ramirez workshop by Santos Hernández). He changed in the late 1930s to a Hermann Hauser, which he used until about 1970, when he moved to new guitars by Fleta and José Ramírez. 1935 Hermann Hauser 1 1985 Romanillos “La Buho” José Romanillos was born in Madrid in 1932 and has lived in Britain since 1959. He set up a workshop near Julian Bream’s home in England in 1970. Romanillos’s son Liam has made guitars since 1991. Bream played Romanillos guitars, among others, from 1973 and used the guitar shown until 1990. ACOUSTIC GUITARS 1935 Hermann Hauser I Based in Munich, Hermann Hauser (1882–1952) made a variety of stringed instruments. Some earlier guitars were in an older, non-Spanish style, but he soon adopted the Torres style. His son and grandson were both also named Hermann Hauser: Hermann II continued to make guitars until his death in 1988, and Hermann III is still active. 20 1985 Romanillos “La Buho”

Author Tony Bacon Isbn 9781937994044 File size 69MB Year 2012 Pages 288 Language English File format PDF Category Music Book Description: FacebookTwitterGoogle+TumblrDiggMySpaceShare A stunning visual guide to the history and development of all types of guitars, packed with detailed information and profiling everything from the legendary Martin flat-tops to Gibson’s arch-tops guitars and Fender’s twelve-string electrics. The Ultimate Guitar Sourcebook is divided by type into nine chapters, each telling the full story of a major type of guitar. It is sub-divided geographically so the reader gets a global picture of guitar making from the United States to the Far East and from Europe to Australia. The introduction examines the development of the world’s most popular instrument over the years.     Download (69MB) Rush: Album by Album Alfred’s Guitar 101, Bk 1 & 2: An Exciting Group Course For Adults Who Want To Play Guitar For Fun! How To Play Blues Guitar All-Time Favorite Parking Lot Picker’s Guitar Solos Fretboard Roadmaps – Bluegrass and Folk Guitar Load more posts

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