The guitar électrique' is a type of Guitare equipped with a generally full body ( solid body ) and which produces sounds via micro S collecting and transforming the vibrations of the cords into electrical signal. This signal can then be modified by various accessories like pedals of effects before being amplified and converts into aural signal by a amplifier of guitar, which significantly increases the power and the richness of the instrument.
Contrary in the majority of the string instruments, the electric guitar does not owe its sonority only with its acoustic characteristics - even if they remain important for the total quality of the stamp. Thanks to the microphones of this electromechanical Instrument, one saw developing a new art of the stringed-instrument trade bringing the even eccentric original shapes of guitar. One can note besides that in theory, a guitar with the most reduced possible body will have excellent a Sustain .
The first electric guitars are the work of heteroclite teams, including/understanding Luthier S, bitten the electronic ones and manufacturers of instruments. One finds models as of the Années 1930 at Rickenbacker, of the guitars provided with micro S in Tungstène. The development of the electric guitar coincides with that of the formations Big band , of the jazz bands in which the guitar could not compete any more in noise term of level with the multitude of other instruments, coppers included/understood. At the base, the guitars were more simply electrified: a guitar Archtop with case of resonance was equipped with Transducteur S electroacoustics.
Nowadays, most of the electric guitars are known as solid body , because they do not have case of resonance: their body is full. One of the first solid body was conceived by the famous guitarist and inventive the Paul at the beginning of the Années 1940, whereas he worked, as a host, in the factory of Epiphone Guitar . Its guitar was called log (“the English beam”) because it was of rectangular form, simply provided with a handle and a head. But of thorough research revealed that other electric guitars had already been before manufactured. They were prototypes of violin makers, unquestionable model having even been marketed in small series, as at Audiovox and Rickenbacker towards 1935.
Orville Gibson, violin maker, also proposed a guitar semi-acoustics equipped with microphones. But it is by the electrician and manufacturing of amplifier Leo Fender, that the first model “solid body” with success is manufactured in 1950: Fender Telecaster, followed in 1954 by the electric guitar most spread and copied since then: the Stratocaster. This same year leaves the Gibson the Paul, still today an instrument of luxury. Fender will invent also the low electric modern, which replaced the preceding prototypes and the double basses used hitherto.
The Paul and Stratocaster remain the two types of electric guitars dominant, with the forms copied many times. First Fender introduced on the market the idea of the handle screwed and manufactured separately body, idea largely widespread today.
Invented in the United States, the electric guitar quickly was essential all around planet, its manufacture too. The Italian instrumental invoice already developed in the Fifties, seized this new instrument, quote Eko, Davoli, Crucianelli, Meazzi, Galanti and well of others. In Germany also, or many American soldiers were stationed, beautiful instruments were produced: Höfner, Hoyer… Let us quote also Hagström in Sweden.
In France the first cantors of the electric guitars were into 1956 the Brothers Jacobacci followed in 1978 by Christophe Leduc, in 1980 by Patrice Vigier, and in 1982 by Lag. Very many craftsmen will settle then contributing to give an international repute to the French stringed-instrument trade, quote Franck Cheval, Maurice Dupont or Frederic Pons.
Principle and operation
Types of electric guitarsAn electric guitar generally comprises six cord S Métal lic. Three of them, the low ones - even four for the guitars of Jazz - are spun, i.e. provided with a sheath. The traditional agreement with vacuum is, of the most serious note to acutest: semi the D ground if semi (E HAS D G B E in international notation). There exist also electric guitars with seven cords (the additional cord being often more serious, a if ) generalized by Steve Vai, and others with twelve cords grouped per pairs for a powerful and crystalline sound. One also finds guitars with two handles allowing to couple in only one instrument a guitar six cords and one twelve cords as Jimmy Page played about it, or acoustics and electric.
Several types of electric guitars exist:
- the guitars with full bodies known as solid body , very popular in the Rock'n'roll and the pop, are very general-purpose. One can quote among the models the most representative Gibson SG, Fender Telecaster, Fender Stratocaster and Gibson the Paul;
- the guitars half-cases or quarter of case known as semi-hollow , with or without central beam, have a “hot” sound more and are preferred in the rock' roll and the blues. The Gibson ES-335 and its alternatives are among the most known models;
- the guitars with case known as hollow , to which the guitars archtop belong, are equipped with micro doubles and are used primarily in jazz, because they offer a rounder sound. The Gibson ES-175 is a widespread example.
Certain electric guitars have a rest accepting a Vibrato (tremor or whammy bar in English) to carry out Bend S and Vibrato . The Floyd Pink is a type of rest which solves the problem of the fast désaccordage due to the use of the vibrato.
Type of microphones
See also: Micro (guitar)
The sound is collected by micro magnetic especially conceived to collect the vibrations of the cords. The role of the microphone is to transform into electrical signal the vibrations of the cords and to transmit this signal to a device of amplification.
The two forms most current for the electric guitar are the microphones simple and double winding.
- the microphones with simple winding (typical of the beginnings of the mark Fender) have a pure and transparent sound but collect the ambient electromagnetic disturbances (the “hum” produces by the transformers, video screens, tubes neon, telephones…).
- the microphones with double winding were created to remove the parasites collected by the micro ones has simple winding, they comprise two parallel reels whose magnetic field is reversed in order to cancel the electromagnetic disturbances. These microphones known as Humbucker S are characterized by a hotter sound, but often by a level of exit higher than on microphones with simple winding.
The microphones can be regulated in height, more or less close to the cords thanks to two screws located at their ends:
- close to the cords, the level of exit is higher but the magnetization of the microphone can disturb the vibration of the cord, (particularly on the microphones with simple winding);
- more distant, the level will be less low and the more favorable signal-to-noise report/ratio.
One can often observe buttons of control (Potentiomètre S Inverseur S) placed on the body of the guitar, they allow to modify sonority of it. These controls generally make it possible to modify volume, to select the microphones (whose stamp varies in function their distance to the rope-maker) or to adjust the tonality of the instrument (low-pass filter).
The sillet and the rest
The cords pinches with vacuums resound between the Sillet and the Chevalet. The sillet, which is located at the head guitar, close to mechanics, is a simple bar laid out perpendicular to the cords, equipped with six notches to let pass these last. The rest is fixed on the body of the guitar, it can be fixed or with articulation. This last sometimes is accompanied by a metal stem at the same time conceived to make swivel the rest (and create a simultaneous “bend” for all the cords, cf Vibrato ) and interfere with the magnetic field of the microphones.
The rest makes it possible to regulate the cords according to two axes:
- the axis parallel with the cords, via the fine screws tuner , which make it possible to make so that the cord sounds just, whatever the place where the fingers are positioned. Indeed, for mathematical reasons and of accuracy of the sound, the distance between the rest and the 12th hoop must be the same one as between the twelfth hoops and the sillet;
- the axis perpendicular to the body of the guitar, via the screw of trigger guard , which make it possible to position the cord with the height right:
- too low, she would curl (while vibrating against the hoops by producing a its parasite and a cripté sound),
- too high, she would obstruct the guitarist when he plays.
Treatment of the sound
The characteristic of an electric guitar is to allow a deterioration of the electrical signal. The diversity of the possible effects with an electric guitar in fact a very general-purpose instrument.
The electric guitar allows impossible effects with an acoustic instrument. If the Techniques of play for guitar make it possible to create some interesting sound effects, one understands by “effects” the very broad pallet of deterioration of the sound based uninterrupted on the treatment of the electrical signal provided by the microphones. External effects can thus be grafted with leisure, via pedals of effects or rack . Among these effects, one can quote:
the distortion of the sound, obtained by Saturation of an unspecified stage of amplification. Very much used in heavy metal and Hard rock; (example: Saxon, Metallica, AC/DC, Black Sabbath, Jimi Hendrix, etc)
- the Fuzz powerful and typified saturation (used by Jimi Hendrix and number of groups in particular known as Rock'n'roll psychedelic S);
- the reverberation , a more or less remote echo of its original simulating the effect which the emission of a sound in a large closed or half-open part can produce;
- the Delay or echo room , a recopy of the sound of the guitar with a shift in time parameterized by the duration between each repetition and variation of the volume of these repetitions according to time (example: the introduction of Another Brick In The Wall leaves 1 Pink Floyd or Smells Like Teen Spirit de Nirvana);
- the chorus , addition with the sound of the guitar of light disturbances in time and frequency of its original, which gives the impression that several guitarists play the same partition (example: introduction of As Ace You Are of Nirvana);
- the Flanger , with operation derived from the chorus (example: bridge of Are You Gonna Go My Way of Lenny Kravitz);
- the Phasing , re-injection of the signal with variation of phase;
- the Wah-wah , exaggeration of part of the frequencies of the sound controlled by a pedal known as of expression: if this one is lowered, the acute ones are supported, if it is raised, they are the low registers. Alternation gives an effect characteristic of squealing (example: the very famous introduction of Voodoo Child (Slight Return) of Jimi Hendrix);
- the Noise spoils which makes it possible to cut the sound automatically when the instrument is not played in order to avoid the breath produced by the electricals appliance intervening in the production of the sound. Some noise spoil are also used to produce a " ploc" characteristic at the beginning of each front, thus giving a special character to the piece.
- the treble booster rocket (used by Brian May, Rory Gallagher, Eric Clapton…) ;
- the Larsen , which is not an effect in oneself, but the consequence (a priori undesirable) of the re-injection in loop (in English feedback ) of a sound already amplified, via (S the) microphonous one (S) of the instrument connected to this amplifier. It is born then a strident sound, whose amplitude believes until saturation. Some can nevertheless use this acoustic coupling with musical quality, like Santana in " Samba-Pa-ti" or Gary Moore in Parisian Walkways , etc;
- the compressing makes it possible to act on the dynamics of the entering signal;
- the Octaver makes it possible to add a doubling of the signal to one or more octaves the top or in lower part of that played;
- the Tremor which makes it possible to vary the intensity of the note and the volume of the signal (example: introduction of Boulevard off broken dreams of Green Day)
- the Multi effects is as for them a regrouping of several effects within one only and even pedal or module;
- There exist now effects for guitars in the form of Logiciel S. As example, one can quote Guitar Rig which is a whole of effects, simulator of amplifiers functioning in autonomous mode or within a software host.
See also: Amplifying for electric guitar
The amplifying makes it possible to amplify the signal received by the guitar in entry, and delivers at exit the sound thanks to a Haut-parleur or a helmet. The models modern for guitars and low amplify the sound twice. One distinguishes two “stages” having each one a role distinct and based on electronics components called Transistor S and/or lamps, following the technology retained by the manufacturer. The difference which resides between these two techniques of amplification are:
- the price to start, technology with lamps is much more expensive with the purchase since those Ci were replaced in the instruments electric by the transistors there is that of many years (manufacture of lamps in fall since they are exclusively reserved for amplification, therefore rise of the price);
- the sound also is very different for him. Lamp amplifications made one clean and powerful sound much more cordial, (that it is in its light or distortion) compared to those with transistor.
The first stage of amplification is the preamplifier or préampli, which gathers the functions of equalization or tonality and adjustment of profit. This stage is of an major importance for the guitarists and bass players. Indeed, it can present a behavior known as non-linear making it possible to cause one of the most required effects in the amplified instruments: when the sensitivity of entry (“profit”) is pushed to the maximum, a phenomenon of distortion of the sound is observed. The Sinusoïde S which represent its product by the guitar are flattened at their ends because of the non-linearity of the electronics components on-solicited by the too important profit in entry. A sinusoidal signal becomes consequently crenelated, producing a its characteristic which is sought by the guitarists of rock'n'roll or blues. In the Years 1960, guitarists as Jimi Hendrix popularized this type of sound, by combining the distortion of the préampli or of equipment dedicated with that of the amplifier of power.
The outgoing signal of the preamplifier is injected into stage Amplificateur known as of power, which is given the responsability to increase the signal with a level making it possible to feed one or more Haut-parleur S. This stage is him also likely to produce a distorted sound if it is assembled on its maximum level. The quality of this distortion being dependant on the technology of Electronics component used: Transistor S, lamps or tubes, etc
Certain “couples” guitar/amplifying became famous popularized by such or such artist:
- Fender Stratocaster/Marshall with lamps twin spool: Jimi Hendrix, John Frusciante…
- Gibson the Paul/Marshall: Jimmy Page, Slash,…
- Gibson SG/Marshall: Angus Young,…
- Fender Telecaster/Fender with lamps: Andy Summers,…
- ESP (microphones EMG) /Mesa Boogie: Kirk Hammett, James Hetfield,…
The electric guitar is very diversified in its forms and its techniques of construction, because general acoustics of the instrument does nothing but color the sound collected by the microphones and amplify it. The traditional shapes were regained, others appeared, but one finds a multitude of original guitars, in particular in metal (Flying V and EXplorer for example). mark B.C. Rich became famous thanks to its guitars of eccentric forms.
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