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The cigar box guitar -- referred to by enthusiasts as a "CBG" -- is a primitive stringed instrument that has experienced a limited resurgence on the American music scene. The roots of the guitar reach back to the American Civil War. Troops on both sides of the conflict crafted CBGs in the field when traditional guitars were not available. A basic CBG consists of a cigar-box body, a 1-by-2-by-36-inch wooden neck and standard guitar tuners and strings. Blues great Lightning Hopkins and rock legend Jimi Hendrix both stated that the first instrument played by either was a CBG.
The lap steel guitar is played in a horizontal position on the player's lap, rather than upright in the more popular fashion. Some lap steel guitars have the familiar guitar-body curves found on other guitars, while some are straighter in form. You fret the strings from above rather than from the side, using a bar, instead of your fingers. The Hal Leonard Lap Steel Guitar Method is an instructional book and accompanying CD.
Ovation, a guitar manufacturer in Connecticut, is well-known for pioneering round-back acoustic/electric guitars. The company makes these guitars with a solid top and high-quality piezo-electric pickups but forgoes the traditional wooden back and sides. Instead, Ovation's acoustic/electrics have a rounded one-piece bowl molded out of a composite fiberglass. The purpose is to minimize the amount of feedback encountered by acoustic musicians playing through a P.A. system at full volume in large centers.
Today, the Cort Guitar Corporation is known as an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) for guitar brands such as Ibanez, ESP, Schecter and G&L. In its earlier days, it mostly manufactured inexpensive guitars as well as brand-name copies. During the 1970s, the Korean-based company manufactured acoustic guitars, notably under the names Cortez and Cortley, of which the J6000 was a popular model. Currently, the Cortez and Cortley J6000 have somewhat of a cult following.
In the 1970s, large volumes of low cost guitars were being imported to America from the Far East. In order to compete, the CF Martin guitar company, which had always produced high-end acoustics, introduced the Sigma range as a more affordable alternative. The steel and nylon-strung guitars used cheaper woods and materials to keep costs down.
The Yamaha APX4A is an acoustic/electric guitar. This means that it is an acoustic guitar with pickups that give it the amplification capabilities of an electric guitar. The APX4A was designed as an acoustic instrument, but it is well known for its electronic versatility and accurate electronic reproduction. The APX series of Yamaha guitars has been in production for more than a decade, but the APX4A has been discontinued from production.
Resonator guitars have been produced since the early part of the 20th century and were popularized by many of the great early blues musicians. Resonator guitars have remained popular with many contemporary guitarists, including Dire Straits' Mark Knopfler and Ray Davis of the The Kinks, because of their distinctive tone. Several types of resonator guitar construction leads to an interesting range of tones and sound.
In the early days of guitar amplification, guitar "amps" had one volume control knob and a few other controls to adjust tone. Today's guitar amps are often loaded with sound effects and controls to further process and alter audio signals, allowing musicians to fine tune their sound. The inclusion of pre-gain and post-gain controls on an amp can create a wide tonal range, from a laid-back mellow sound to screaming distortion and long sustain.
While it's common for rockers to sing about their "six-strings," you don't hear them singing much about the 12-string guitar. The 12-string isn't quite as widely used as the traditional guitar, but it features the same fret patterns, albeit with a more diverse and wide-ranging sound. There are numerous interesting facts about the instrument's origins and how it became popular among musicians.
Luthiers have used all sorts of non-traditional materials to produce guitar bodies. Epoxy resin, plexiglass, carbon fiber and even stone. The materials used in the construction of a guitar have always had a big impact on its tone. The species of wood in a body or neck can have a dramatic impact on the instrument's tone. As a result, creative guitar-builders have often experimented with unusual materials to create unique sounds. Metal, particularly steel and aluminum, have become a popular medium with several builders.
Zoom's "G" guitar pedals are range floor-mounted multi-effects units. Each of them includes the same built-in drum machine, which uses a set of digital drum sounds to play from a bank of prerecorded patterns in a number of styles. Each of the three Zoom models featuring the drum machine has an array of different features that accompany it. They also use varying methods of controlling the speed of the beat.
The manufacturing industry in Korea was a source of worry for many western guitar manufacturers in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The cheap replicas of Fender and Gibson's licensed designs threatened to take away their customer base. However, since the early 1990s many of the big-name brands have moved manufacturing operations for their entry-level guitars to Korea, taking advantage of the ever-improving quality of their instruments.
The Yamaha Magicstomp guitar effects pedals are powerful tone-shaping effects processors that give you access to over 100 different guitar sounds. Two different types of Magicstomp pedals are available, one for regular electric guitars and one for acoustic-electric guitars. While these two different types of pedals function the same way, they have two entirely different sets of built-in sounds.
Zen is a branch of Japanese Buddhism with roots in China. Zen has historically been based on immediacy and spontaneity, and it has been associated with many classical Japanese art forms such as calligraphy and gardening. More recently, the name of Zen has been attached to many pop-culture activities with little or no connection to Buddhist practice.
As the name suggests, a fretless guitar is a guitar without any frets acting as the lower end node of a vibrating string. Although they are played essentially the same way as other guitars, fretless guitars offer trained musicians more creative possibilities than fretted guitars because they can support a variety of different playing styles and are not bound to the standard chromatic scale.
The sound of a guitar is influenced by the type of wood used to build it. Most guitars are made of mahogany, alder, ash, basswood, walnut and spruce. Some timbers used in guitar making are becoming rare and expensive, and replacements are needed from a more ecologically sustainable wood that still has good acoustic qualities. Paulownia wood has been used to make both electric and acoustic guitars, and it appears to fit the bill.
The speaker cabinets on guitar amps come in two main forms: open and closed. Most combo amps, those that have the amplifier and speaker built into a single cabinet, feature open-backed cabinets, whereas most separate amp cabinets are fully enclosed. It's useful to know a little bit about the design properties of each type of cabinet so that you can decide for yourself if you need to add some dampening.
The Fender Musical Instruments Corporation had its start in 1946, when Leo Fender first created the simple solid-body electric guitar, which was a major improvement over the amplified hollow body instruments then in use. Over the years, the company grew to become one of the top global manufacturers of guitars, basses and amplifiers.
A floating bridge is any type of bridge that literally floats above the body of the guitar. For most guitarists, the term "floating bridge" calls to mind floating tremolo units, although some old-style tailpieces that are mounted to the bottom of the guitar are also technically floating bridges. (Epiphone Casino guitars tend to use this type of bridge.) Both of these types of bridges have an effect on your guitar's sound and playability.