Guitar

The guitar is a String instrument pinches played with the Doigt S or a Plectre (or médiator ). The vibration of the cords is amplified by the resonance body, the handle being used to modify the height of the notes.

There exist various types of guitars, (acoustic, electric, electroacoustic…), all resulting from the traditional Guitare, and which share characteristics and common techniques of play while bringing a specific sound richness to this family of instruments. The guitar is an instrument whose popularity, already established at the last centuries, was accentuated with the international diffusion of the Anglo-Saxon rates/rhythms at the 20th century (Jazz, Blues, pop, Rock).

Origins

The first known traces of instruments similar to the guitar go up with -3000 approximately in Perse. Étymologiquement, the word “guitar” is a combination of two words: Guit which comes from the Sanskrit Sangeeta meaning “music”, and the second part tar , purely Perse and which means “agreement” or “cord”. The Sanskrit was initially an official language of the Aryen S, inhabitants of Iran and the North-West of India. In spite of close sonorities, the word “guitar” is not derived from the word Sitar, which indicates a string instrument, but passed certainly by the Greek word Kithara (ϰιθάϱα) , and in an unquestionable way by the Arab will qîtâra , then the Spanish will guitarra . In fact the Moor S brought the first guitars to Europe, in Spain at the 10th century. The modern form appeared in this country, after various evolutions of the guitars Latin are and sques Moor, undoubtedly while passing by the Vihuela. Although close to the Lute, it constitutes a different family and their evolutions are distinct.

The Guiterne was a popular instrument during the fourteenth century. It remained of use until half of the seventeenth century. The guiterne was played with a plectre, had a flat body, the body and the handle was built of the same piece of wood. The gittern had usually four simple cords.

For the famous Spanish guitarist Paco de Lucía, the inventor of the guitar such as it is known calls Zyryab. Born with Baghdad, he lived at the end of the 8th century at the court of Cordoue. He added a fifth cord to the Oud (the Arab lute) and founded a music school which had a considerable influence on the arabo-Andalusian Musique.

It is the Spanish violin maker Antonio de Torres, in 1874, who gave to the guitar the form and dimensions of the traditional Guitare current. Many variations were created at the 20th century (folk, electric jazz, ) starting from this Torres guitar.

General characteristics

Characteristic of musical currents appeared these hundred last years like the Rock'n'roll or the Blues the Worked Nova, the guitar is also used in the Jazz, the traditional works, the musics traditional (Latin-American music, Celtic Musique, etc), and in other musical forms still. With the Piano, it is probably the instrument more used in the world.

By its reduced obstruction and its weight, its harmonic richness, its moderate cost, its adaptation to many musical styles, it is the favorite instrument of much for the accompaniment of the song. As it makes it possible to sing at the same time as one plays about it, it is also appraisal per many contemporary song writers and performers, especially at their beginnings. Some remained to him, or remain to him always faithful, among which one can quote Georges Brassens, Jacques Brel, Felix Leclerc, Maxime the Forester, Graeme Allwright, Hugues Aufray, Eric Clapton, Paul McCartney, Mark Knopfler.

Components of a guitar

Located, as its name indicates it, at the end of the handle, it is on it that come to stick the cords . Their tension can be modified to grant them using the mechanical , a system of endless screw actuated by key , which involve small rollers on which the cords are rolled up. Those pass then by the Sillet of head , small bar generally in bone (or plastic for the guitars of lower quality), in which small grooves are dug which guide each cord towards the handle with leaving the head.

There exist also guitars with double handle . These two in parallel assembled handles make it possible to change Accordage during a piece while preserving the same guitar, and can even be used into simultaneous. Thus for example the Polish guitarist of it Adam Fulara makes use, in particular during its interpretations in Tapping of Bach to the guitar. There exist also guitars doubles handle of which one is simple and the other gone up with 12 cords.

There exist also electric models without head. Fashion at summer initiated in the middle of the Eighties by the firm Steinberger. Hangs and the tuning of the cords are done on the level of the rope-maker.

The guitarist grips the cords of the right hand and blocks the cords with the fingers of his left hand. The left-handeds person reverse the position of the guitar, like those of the cords (except some like Albert King or Jimi Hendrix), to keep the low registers upwards: the handle is then on the right. In addition to the displacement of the cords, other modifications are necessary on an acoustic guitar for left-handed person: the stopping (small bar of wood reinforcing the table) Sounding board is indeed different on the side of the low registers and acute, and must be turned over.

It should however be noted that some estimate that a left-handed person can completely play on a guitar assembled for a droitier, as it is the case for other instrumentalists (violonists, etc).

The handle

The handle is an essential part, since it is used to the guitarist to determine which notes it will play, and how (and sometimes to play them directly, thanks to techniques like the Legato). On a traditional guitar, the handle is connected to the body by the heel , piece of wood stuck which can adopt different forms according to the violin makers. With the electric guitars, the handles screwed, less expensive to produce and easier appeared to repair but which can deteriorate sound qualities of the instrument. Certain manufacturers, in particular Gibson Guitar Corporation, thus continue to use the technique of the handle stuck on their top-of-the-range models, the such the Paul from Gibson. This technique guarantees better a Sustain with the sound of the guitar. The majority of the guitars are assembled “on the left”, i.e. in position of play, the handle is placed at the left of the musician. However, there exist also reversed instruments intended for the left-handeds person, called “guitars left-handed person”.

By convention, the serious cord more is in top of the handle and more acute in bottom, in a traditional configuration of droitier. This convention is also reflected on the name of the hands: in general one calls “right hand” that which scrapes the cords above the case, the “left hand” being that which plates the agreements and the notes on the handle, whatever indeed the hands which carry out these actions.

In addition, the handles of the metal cord guitars (electric and folk) are in general equipped with a " truss rod" , bars metal crossing the handle in order to help it to resist the very important tension exerted by the cords. This truss rod is generally adjustable, which makes it possible to the guitarist to adapt the shape of its handle to its personal preferences, but also with the various ties of cords, even with the ageing of wood.

The key

The touches , fine plank of wood hard - often in ebony, Palissandre or maple - fixed on the handle, or being able to be integral part of this one in the case of a maple handle without brought back key (proceeded used in particular by Fender) is the part on which the guitarist poses the fingers of his " hand gauche" to modify the height of the sounds produced by the cord S. the various notes are separated by there bars called Frette S ( to freight in English means “to cut out wood”) which delimit " cases". The key is prolonged starting from the handle on the sounding board for the acutest notes.

The hoops are posed with precise interval which goes reducing itself when one approaches the body. Distance of hoop to other is determined by report/ratio of root twelfth of 2 ($\ sqrt \left\{2\right\}$) or ($2^ \left\{1 \ over12\right\}$), which corresponds to approximately 1,059463 (the width of a box is 1,06 times that of the box which follows it, by going up the serious ones towards the acute ones) the twelfth bar divides the cord into two parts equal lengths, and corresponds with an interval of a octave compared to the played cord " with vide" (i.e. without posing finger on the cord).

The distance between the sillet of rest and N e bar (counted starting from the sillet of head), or vibrating length, is given by the formula of mathematics:

$l=d \ cdot2^ \left\{- N \ over12\right\}$

where D is the tuning fork (length of the open string).

Cords

August 1st Generally six (Semi, Ré, Sol, If and Semi, or EADGBE), the cords vibrate and produce the notes. They are generally assembled, i.e. attached to the keys or the ankles of the head on a side and on the body (either with a rope-maker or on the rest) of the other, in general in the order of the notes which they produce “in neutral” (without support of the fingers on the key). Each cord has a different diameter: the lower the diameter is, the finer the cord is and the acuter the sound is. One frequently finds guitars with twelve cords, granted to unison two by two.

Note that one can also tune a guitar in open Accord, otherwise named open tact or Open Tuning, generally DADGAD (D D Ground D). The guitar then has the characteristic to play an agreement of D (in the case of the DADGAD) with all the played cords " with vide". The usual agreement of guitar (EADGBE) is that which makes it possible to play more pieces in different tonalities; the open tuning requires a Capodastre to change Tonalité. This technique is very much used in traditional music, which is generally Modale and Diatonique.

• the finest cord - and thus acutest - is called “chantarelle”, it corresponds to semi acute of the guitar.

• the thickest cord - and thus most serious - is called “bumblebee”, it corresponds to the semi low register of the guitar.

The cords have characteristics of different flexibility and resonance according to the matter used (primarily Nylon, Bronze, Nickel, Nylon, Cuivre and sometimes in Or in order to limit oxidation due to sweat. The choice of the cords is fundamental for the quality of the sound as for the pleasure of the play: the nylon cords produce a hotter sound indeed (i.e. privileging the serious frequencies ) that metal cords, which are sounder and produce a sound more shining (privileging the acute frequencies ). One also distinguishes them by their tie , or coefficient of flexibility . In general, more one cord has a weak tie plus it is flexible, but more its product is weak. The electric guitars, whose sound is amplified artificially, often have very weak ties compared to the acoustic guitars. It is necessary well to choose its cords according to the style of music played. Certain cords are favourable with the rock'n'roll of other with the blues and the classic. The higher ties require more developed musculature and can require a certain time of adaptation. The change of the tie of a guitar must be followed by an adjustment in order not to even deform to break the instrument (the tension on the handle varies according to the type of cord).

The body

It is a fundamental part with regard to the emission of the sounds and which, consequently, conditions the quality of the instrument mainly. That is true as well for the acoustic Guitare with Caisse of resonance (out of varnished wood for the majority) as for the Electric guitar with the generally full body, even if the microphones and amplification play a part quite as important in the second case.

Body of a acoustic Guitar

The body of an acoustic guitar is equipped with a Caisse of resonance. It is composed of three principal parts: the table or Sounding board, the bottom and the fish-plate S .
• the table, fine piece of wood (spruce, red Cedar…) in two parts reinforced by an internal stopping, is put in vibration by the cords via the rest , small piece of wood at which the cords are fixed. They pass there on a smooth sillet, contrary to the sillet of head grooved. The vibration produced by the table is amplified by the case of resonance as a whole and leaves the instrument by the Rosace or stops. The rosette indicates also the decorated part which surrounds the opening, work of very fine marquetry in the guitars of Luthier S. It is one of the parts with which they can best express their virtuosity in the work of wood.

• the fish-plates are two fine pieces of wood forming the section of the case. Among wood used, one finds inter alia the Palissandre. The corrugated shape of the fish-plates is obtained hot by applying wood to a cylinder heated to bring it to the desired curve.

• the bottom, like the table, is obtained by means of two symmetrical halves in purple wood or other wood, often connected to the center by a vein.

Body of a Electric guitar

The electric guitar is generally deprived of case of resonance, because the amplification of the sound is entrusted there primarily to micro located under the cords. Its body thus simply consists of a rather thick piece of wood, on which rest, handle and sometimes cords are fixed.

If the electric guitars are mainly of type solid body (full body), of many models exist with semi-hollow bodies ( semi hollow ) or completely hollow ( hollow ). These guitars are lighter, and a more crystalline sound compensates for less powerful vibrations.

Micro

Located on the table, between the rest and the handle, under the cords, the microphones are one of the most fundamental elements of an electric guitar, because it is on them that rests, in the absence of Caisse of resonance of a sufficient size, all the Amplification of the sound. The principle in is simple: each microphone contains Aimant S which generate weak a Magnetic field. While vibrating, the cords disturb this field, which makes it possible the microphone to collect this vibration and to transmit it to a Amplificateur.

There exist many types of microphones, of which each one has an operation and a " couleur" of its private individual. Most widespread are the microphones " simple bobinage" and the microphones " doubles bobinage".

The simple microphones winding were the very first: the magnet (in AlNiCo, i.e. Aluminum/Nickel/Cobalt, or out of Ceramic alloy of the type) is surrounded by several thousands of turns of a wire of fine and varnished Cuivre forming winding. These microphones have the defect to be sensitive to the interferences (electromagnetic fields ambient products for example by lightings with the Néon, the Transformateur S, the cathode screens, etc).

To mitigate this problem, one created in the Années 1950 the micro doubles winding, or Humbucker S, association of two simple microphones winding reversed. This combination makes it possible to filter the disturbances by eliminating the component continues signal thanks to the inversion of the Polarization S and the directions of windings of the two simple microphones coupled.

Lastly, the microphones can be passive or active. The difference is that with a micro credit, the signal is immediately treated by a pre Amplificateur. The micro credits thus need an external food (of the pile S). Thanks to their weak impedance, they are insensitive with the interferences and produce a very powerful signal. These microphones are especially used for the low guitars, but they are also frequent in the guitarists playing in styles Rock and Métal, because their strong level of exit facilitates the Saturation Amplificateur S.

Recently, of new microphones known as optical is born, which optically measure the vibrations of the cords using a Laser beam. These new types of microphones are completely insensitive with the interferences, and allow, according to their manufacturers, the best returned Harmonique S of the cord.

The vibrato

Certain electric guitars are equipped with a mobile rest on which can come to be screwed or block a metal stem allowing to modify the tension of the cords, in a movement creating an effect of Vibrato. A device more sophisticated, allowing extremely important variations of tension, was developed by the mark Floyd Pink . In addition to a different rest, it includes a blocking system of the cords at the level it sillet in order to strongly limit to them désaccordage, which can intervene with other models of vibratos such as for example on Fender.

Other elements

The body of a guitar can support many other elements. Some have a purely esthetic goal, like the " pickguard" , round part placed beside the cords on the table, and which aims at preventing that too full movements of Plectre come to damage the varnished guitar.

Others aim improving or at modifying the sound. The electric guitars thus in general carry of the rotary buttons (so called Potentiomètre S or " potards") allowing to manage volume and the " tonalité" (proportion of acute frequencies and serious), as well as a selector allowing alternatively to select one or the other of the micro . Lastly, certain electroacoustic guitars (see low) are equipped with a pre Amplificateur which makes it possible to modify the sound on the guitar itself.

Types of guitars

There exist many types of guitars, whose principal ones are the acoustic guitars and electric. These two big families were divided during time into many sub-genera, sometimes very specialized, which testify to the harmonic richness of the guitar.

So historically, the acoustic models obviously preceded the electric ones, the two types of instruments cohabit today. Theoretically, they are intended for different musical genres but in practice, this distinction does not impose anything: the majority of the musical genres can adopt various sonorities, and are thus playable on various types of guitars. The concerts " unplugged" (" débranchés") what gives certain high-speed motorboats of the electric guitar are there for us to prove it.

Old guitars

The characteristics of the guitar, very old instrument, evolved/moved much during the ages before arriving at the instrument which we know today. Among the old models, one can in particular distinguish:
• the Guiterne

• the guitar Rebirth with four choruses (three double cords and simple).
• the Guitar baroque with five choruses (five double cords or four double cords and simple).
• the romantic guitar (six simple cords granted like those of the guitar of the Twentieth century).

Acoustic guitar

These guitars are known as “acoustics” because the sound is amplified mechanically in particular by the Sounding board and the Caisse of resonance integrated into the instrument, or by a system known as with resonator.

It is the model more running, comprising three acute cords generally in Nylon and three cords low out of silk, spun and sheathed metal.

The nylon cords exist since 1940, date on which they started to replace the cords in bowel. Nylon is indeed much less sensitive to the changes of Hygrométrie and Température. Moreover, its solidity allows important tensions and thus a sound volume good higher.

The Tessiture of the traditional guitar, i.e. the extent of the notes being able to be played, of most serious with acutest, is, as the illustration shows it below, of three octave S and a Quinte. The touches, is punt. Mechanics with endless screws - which replaced the ankles as from the 19th century - is integrated into the head as on a Violon. The handle, as for him, is generally divided into twelve boxes, the key - which counts seven additional boxes on the Sounding board - comprising nineteen boxes on the whole.

It should be noted that the partitions for traditional guitars are written an octave with the top of its reality emitted by the guitar. For example the the of reference to 440 Hz is noted on the range in the second line space. However he with final will be played like a the with 220 Hz, and this in order to avoid the inopportune changes of key, knowing that if the C clef fourth line had been chosen, on the one hand, the guitar had not been an instrument transposing instrument.

The usual nomenclature indicates the size of the guitars as follows:

• 1/4 for a length of cords of 40 cm and an Middle Age from 5 to 6 years.
• 1/2 for a length of cords of 48 cm and a 7 years Middle Age.
• 3/4 for a length of cords of 58 cm and an Middle Age from 8 to 9 years.
• 7/8 for a length of cords of 63 cm corresponding to a person of small size.
• 4/4 for a length of cords of 65 cm corresponding to a person of ordinary size.

Guitar “folk”

This guitar draws its name owing to the fact that it was a long time the instrument privileged to accompany the artists by American Musique folk. The first model of this type was designed by the Martin violin maker, in 1898. It is equipped with six metal cords giving a more important sound volume: three acute in Brass or Steel and three low with a heart (principal wire) out of brass or steel slipped by of metal (various possible alloys). To resist the more important tension of the metal cords, its form is dug than that the traditional guitar: one employs the term of dreadnought . That involves also a stopping different from the table of harmonie.
Of the instruments with twelve cords (the cords are doubled) are sometimes used for a richer and more powerful sound. One finds examples of use of these guitars on the discs of artists like Bob Dylan, Tom Petty or Paul McCartney. The touches is slightly bent. One finds mechanics with endless screw on the head, but contrary to the traditional guitar, the axis on which is rolled up each cord is perpendicular to the latter. The handle is generally divided into fourteen boxes, plus seven boxes on the sounding board, that is to say on the whole 21 boxes. Lastly, many guitars folk are provided with a cut side ( cutaway ) improving the access to the acute ones.

The guitars folk are presented primarily in three forms: the 000 near to the format great traditional concert , the traditional dreadnought and the jumbo with the more supported roundnesses and the more powerful sound. These guitars are the instruments of predilection for the acoustic Blues, the country, and of course the music Folk.

Guitar “flamenco”

Especially employed, as its name indicates it, by the musicians of Flamenco, this guitar resembles a traditional guitar, and has of them the main features (six nylon cords…), but is finer and slightly smaller. It also consists of wood different, generally of the spruce or the Cèdre for the table and of the Cyprès for the fish-plate S and the bottom. This difference explains a more nervous sound and more dynamics. It also often has a plate of transparent protection called " golpeador" between the rosette and the rest to protect wood from the scratches at the time of the " golpes".

Guitar “manouche”

With the body broader and less thick than a guitar folk, with more tended cords (although dependant on each player) and fixed at the case by a metal rope-maker according to a mode closer to the violin than of the guitars, the guitar manouche has sometimes a cut side and a rather fine handle. It is also equipped with six cords, often metal.

Realized at the origin under the mark Selmer, of a Italian Violin maker of the name of Maccaferri which will give him this completely singular form, it will be used by many musicians of Jazz which appreciate it for its sound particularly powerful and clear, but especially very recognizable (approaching a little what one calls a sound " feutré").

It is Django Reinhardt which will really popularize it, and will make it indissociable of its style commonly called the Manouche Jazz. Today still, the jazzmen manouches heirs to Django (like Biréli Lagrène, Fapy Lafertin, Tchavolo Schmitt, Stochelo Rosenberg or Yorgui Loeffler) continue to use this style of guitars.

One has noted for a few years that this style of play - and consequently the use of this kind of guitar become again popular.

Resonator guitar

This type of guitar has for principal characteristic to be equipped with a " résonateur" metal, which gives him a sound powerful and specific to its system of amplification, and a characteristic aspect. Used in particular in the Blues and the Country, the resonator guitars can be played as all the other guitars (it were used thus by many players of blues), the resonator guitars are also often played in " Slide " , and of many models of guitars hawaiiennes to resonator exist.

Guitar Hawaii enne

Guitar played flat using a metal object which slips on the cords (not to be confused with the Ukulele which is another String instrument pinches moreover small size equipped with four nylon cords).

Archtop guitar

Of English arched (curvature, arched, arched) and signal (above, here the Sounding board). Invented by Orville Gibson with the the United States in 1905, this type of metal cord guitar, is inspired by the methods of manufacture of the traditional string instruments (Violon, Violoncelle).

They have a Sounding board and a bottom carved with the manner of a violoncello, and the table is bored of Ouïe S in F . These guitars are bulky (up to nineteen inches). Their cords, metal as on a guitar folk, are attached to a rope-maker, the manner of the violoncellos. The rest floating (and not stuck to the sounding board as on the traditional guitars or folk) is simply maintained in place by the pressure of the cords.

Today, these guitars are generally equipped with magnetic microphones (like the electric guitars) and popular near the musicians of Jazz, such John McLaughlin. The addition of microphones, combined to a stronger tie of cords led has to create guitars 3/4 of case or 1/2 case, whose case of resonance is not completely hollow in order to give a greater resistance to the instrument. While following this evolution the first electric guitar " appeared; solid body" Gibson mark: the the Paul .

Electroacoustic guitar

It is about a acoustic Guitare equipped with a sensor, which makes it possible to play amplified, as with an electric guitar. So in the beginning, these guitars were simple instruments folk or traditional to which one added a microphone, one finds today guitars specifically designed for this use. They thus often have a " side coupé" on the level of the case, in order to facilitate the access to the acute ones. Some of these guitars are also equipped with a pre Amplificateur integrated, sometimes very sophisticated, which makes it possible to work the sound directly on the instrument. Lastly, the technology of amplification made it possible to produce low electroacoustic, which constitutes an important progress: indeed, low purely acoustic could not, for lack of a Caisse of sufficiently large resonance, to produce very audible sounds.

The sensor, placed on the Sounding board or the case, can be presented in several forms:

• piezoelectric sensor placed under the sillet of rest or stuck on the Sounding board;

• micro of electrostatic type placed in the case of the guitar on the level of the Rosette, or even integrated in a hollow bar and seals placed under the sillet of rest;
• micro magnetic placed across the rosette, but only for the metal cord guitars.

To obtain a good sound amplified with an electroacoustic guitar, it is necessary to use dedicated amplifiers which raise the mediums and balance its acoustics.

Electric guitar

Appeared in the Years 1930 to compensate for the sound lack of volume of the guitars compared to the other instruments of the orchestras of Jazz, the electric guitar is equipped with one or more micro simple or double (see higher) which transmit the sound to an amplifying . This system not only makes it possible to obtain a sound much more powerful, but also to work over again this sound and to add various effects, to it most known being the Saturation.

Released by its microphones of many constraints, such as the obligatory presence of a Case of resonance of sufficient size, the electric guitar can adopt the most varied forms. It generally comprises six metal cords including three (or four, in Jazz) are spun, but of the models with twelve cords (arranged per pairs) exist, as well as many other variations. The handle can be divided into 21 boxes (Fender Stratocaster), 22 (Gibson the Paul) or more (24 for the Paul Reed Smith).

One also finds electric guitars with seven cords (the additional cord, more serious, being granted in if ), used in the metal and popularized by Steve Vai, more rarely with eight cords (employed in particular by the group Meshuggah), as well as guitars with two handles (used in particular by Jimmy Page and Mike Rutherford) allowing to couple in only one instrument a guitar six cords and one twelve cords, or acoustics and electric, a guitar and a low … One finds many other kinds of guitars, more marginal: with multiple handles (up to eight!), with square body, in the shape of V…

There exist very many types of electric guitars, which all belong to the one of the three following families:

• the guitars with full body or solid body , very popular in the Rock'n'roll and the pop, are, as their name indicates it, deprived of case of resonance. Very general-purpose, these guitars are also less cumbersome, and their sound is not parasitized by the effects induced by a case of resonance to high volume, such as acoustic feedback called wrongly Larsen. One can quote among the models the most famous Fender Telecaster, Fender Stratocaster and Gibson the Paul.

• the guitars half-cases or quarter of case , are equipped with a case of resonance of limited size, in general equipped with Ouïe S on the sides of the Sounding board. With or without central beam, they have a “hot” sound more and are preferred in the Rock'n'roll “Roll and the Blues. They are nevertheless sometimes prone to the Larsens, and support very important saturations badly. The Gibson ES-335 are among the most known models.

• the guitars with case , or guitars archtop (see higher), are equipped with micro doubles and are used primarily in jazz, because they offer a rounder sound.

Low guitar

Usually called low , this alternative of the electric guitar appeared in the Années 1950 to mitigate the sound lack of power of the Contrebasse S in the orchestras of Rock-and-roll. It is one of the rare instruments designed right from the start to be amplified: the majority of low are thus electric.

It generally has four cords (but one finds models from five to twelve cords, independent or doubled) with a longer handle and cords larger than on the other types of guitar, which gives a serious sound much more , in general of a octave. The traditional tuning of low is the same one as that of the Contrebasse, i.e. that of the four most serious cords of a guitar, but an octave below. The low electric one is employed massively in the Rock, the Blues and their derivatives, like by certain musicians of jazz or jazz-fusion like Jaco Pastorius, Stanley Clarke, Victor Wooten or Marcus Miller (bass player of Miles Davis).

There exist also low acoustics, derived from the original electric instrument, but the majority of them sin by their lack of sound power, of with a Caisse of too small resonance. A case of resonance of bigger size would make the instrument very cumbersome.

There exists however an enormous acoustic low guitar mainly used with the Mexico by the groups of Mariachi S . Called Guitarron, this instrument can have four or six cords, the model with six cords being most current.

Other guitars

The original acoustic guitar was the base of very many experiments since its invention, and only part of these instruments are still used today, even in a marginal way.

There exist for example guitars with a different number of cords: One often finds in the acoustic groups of the guitars with twelve cords: the six usual ones, coupled individually with their respective octave (except two acuter, doubled in unison). The guitarist of jazz Tiny Grimes used a guitar with four cords. Certain traditional musicians as Narciso Yepes play on a guitar with ten cords, independent or doubled. Some also play with guitars with three cords, like the members of the group Rock Presidents off the United States off America, who use a guitar of which three of the six cords were withdrawn, and low with two cords. In the same frame of mind, the guitarist of the Rolling Stones, Keith Richards, often withdraws the cord of semi low register of his guitars.

One can also quote the guitars " fretless" (" without frettes"), with the smooth key, on which the notes are obtained with the manner of a double bass, the Guitare baritone approaching low, the Guitare tenor with four cords made to be used by players of banjo, and the models of training cuts “1/2” or “3/4”, with reduced dimensions, to facilitate their catch in hand by children. Lastly, the guitar “toy”, more or less factitious, is impossible to circumvent catalogs of toys.

Quality of a guitar

The guitar is a fragile instrument because made up of dissimilar elements in their composition (wood, metal, nylon) to which one inflicts great physical efforts. It is enough to think of the tension which is exerted on the cords when they vibrate, or so that the traction represents cords for the handle (in standard tuning, the tension of each cord represents a weight of approximately six kilograms), or the temperature variations for the wood of the case, without counting the permanent risks of shock since the instrument is essentially “wandering”. The ideal guitar is thus a balanced combination of all its components with an aim of reaching an acoustic excellence which one hopes to see to improve with time. It is a work of professional who requires knowledge in the acoustic field and of physics. Even the guitars produced “with the chain” by the famous brands require this knowledge.

Here thus some criteria to know to appreciate a guitar a long time.

• the quality of the sound : purity, resonance, behavior of the note until the end of the vibration of the cords (called the “sustain”), absence of its parasite. This quality is given by the case of resonance (choice of the wood and the method of assembly), by the cords, finally by the microphones in the case of the electrified guitars. For these last, it is recommended to start by testing them disconnected in order to estimate independently quality of the Lutherie and electronics;
• the symmetry of the handle . The handle can undergo two principal deformations: it bores (it turns slightly on its axis) or it curves (it becomes curved). In the first case, the cords touch the handle by making unwanted noise; in the second, the curve moves away the cords from the handle, it is thus necessary to press more extremely on the cords to block them. As astonishing as that can appear, of the new guitars can present these defects (problem of storage or weakness structural of the handle);
• the adequacy of the sleeve to the morphology of the musician : its length, its width, its thickness make that a handle could be pleasant with certain morphologies, according to the length of the arms or the flexibility of the fingers, and a martyrdom for others;
• in the same way, the volume of the case or the weight of the guitar is constraints which can become awkward or painful with use.

The sonority of certain guitars evolves/moves in a notable way in time. Most sensitive to these evolution are the acoustic guitars, composed of wood ends and solid masses which, in the case of the spruce for example, can develop during their first years of use. In this case the sound will tend to become more flattering and more powerful. It is not the case of the economic guitars made of wood plywood. The acoustic guitars are also sensitive to the changes of hygroscopy and temperature.

Techniques of play

The guitar has very many techniques of play, adapted to the various types of guitar and the various interpreted styles of music. The techniques of play are also adapted to the various tastes and choices of the musician. To grip the cords, the use of the fingers is natural but one often uses an accessory, the Plectre (or médiator ), to accentuate claquant it of the sound.

Tuning (way of granting) and agreements of guitar

The guitars with 6 cords are generally tuned (of the low register to acute) with the notes
• semi (or E) (82,4 Hz) (Semi)
• the (or A) (110 Hz) (It)
• D (or D) (146,8 Hz) (D)
• ground (or G) (196 Hz) (Ground)
• if (or B) (246,92 Hz) (If)
• semi (or E) (329,6 Hz) (Semi)

The usual agreement:

• to listen to the open strings (file midday)

The guitar is written out of treble clef. But it is not a question of a true treble clef but of a treble clef to the lower octave. This is why, in the modern notation, one adds small “8” in lower part of this key to announce this transposition. The fact of having chosen the treble clef, undoubtedly for reasons of facility have regard to the popularity of the instrument, makes that the guitar is a Instrument transposing instrument. One thus calls an instrument whose musical notation does not correspond to its product. But the guitar is an instrument transposing instrument only because the treble clef was assigned to him. In the absolute, it had been necessary to choose the C clef fourth line, in which case the guitar would not have been transposing instrument. But this key, less known and less popular, was undoubtedly even not considered. This freedom in the choice of a faulty key probably comes owing to the fact that the guitar, being a rather weak instrument of volume, does not form part of the symphony orchestra and thus escapes the constraints of musical notation specific to this type of orchestra.

However, of many artists used other ways of granting, one will quote for example Frank Zappa, Nick Drake, Sonic Youth, Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin) or Pierre Bensusan which made their speciality of it. Among the other manners of granting, there exists the “DADGAD” (cords in D D ground D , of most serious with acutest), used in Celtic music and country. This agreement would have been found by Davey Graham in the years 1960. The interest of this agreement is on the one hand to facilitate the play thanks to smaller differences between the fingers, and on the other hand, to provide “low-bumblebees” (especially of D, the tonality most used in Irish music); n the other hand, the changes of tonality are more difficult. The DADGAD belongs to the ways of granting that one calls open Accord ( open tuning ).

Another interest of certain alternative tunings is that the rubbed cords with vacuum produce an agreement; it is then enough to bar a box to obtain the same acuter agreement.

; External bond: The DADGAD and others '' open agreement '' (open tuning, in English)

Agreements

The agreements of guitar are used in the music of accompaniment, either to give the rate/rhythm by beat (friction of several simultaneous cords while following a regular rate/rhythm), or to enrich the melody line by making arpeggios (regular and consecutive pinching of the cords).

To play an agreement consists in playing three notes simultaneously or more. The description of an agreement thus amounts identifying for the six cords the place where there are necessary to place the fingers and the cords having to remain dumb. On a guitar, the same height of note can be obtained various manners, the same agreement can thus be carried out in several ways (at least three or four, at the price sometimes of some extensions of fingers which can be painful). But from the configuration of the instrument, the triads are generally played in drop , i.e. in the order fundamental, Quinte, octave, third, fifth, octave . Concerning the agreements of seventh, this one then comes to replace the first octave. The Ninth, it, generally replaces the second octave.

Very often, the guitarists by heart learn the positions of agreements, while starting with easiest to realize and the most frequent, known as “agreements basic”. There exist collections which give, in the form of diagram, the various positions of agreement. None can claim with exhaustiveness, but as for any polyphonic instrument, these agreements can be found by the interpreter, thanks to the rules defining the agreements of three sounds and more. To by heart learn many positions from agreements is thus not absolutely necessary.

On the partitions, the agreements either are presented in the form of diagram, or indicated by their name, to see the article on the agreements. To speak simply, the agreement bears the name of the note Fondamentale (C, do#, D, etc), decorated of a “m” lower-case if he is minor. One finds sometimes a figure to be followed, maj7 for an agreement of seventh major, 7 for an agreement seventh of dominant and one “+” for an increased agreement (“-” for a decreased agreement). Examples of agreement:

• C: major C
• Mim: semi minor
• LaM7: the major seventh = Do# Semi Sol#
• Sim7/5b: so minor seventh fifth flat = If D F the

Because of popularity of the guitar in the Anglo-Saxon countries, one finds also a notation “international”, which identifies the agreements by a letter: With (la), B (if), C (C), D (D), E (semi), F (F), G (ground). This notation with the advantage of being short and of being very current. The examples of agreements above will give:

• C for the agreement of major C
• EM
• AM7 or Amaj7
• Bm7/5b

Other notations exist, in particular that which consists in writing the minor agreements with tiny (EM --> E), which still shortens the writing.

Musical writing

The partitions for guitar are written according to two great systems of notation:

• the traditional musical notation: a succession of notes on a range of five lines.
- > this notation, universally known, rejects the beginner because it requires to learn the musical theory, then the equivalent of the notes of the partition on the guitar. N the other hand, the guitarist is able to play any music written on a range. It is very much used for the traditional guitar.
• the Fingering chart of guitar: on a range of six lines (each line represents a cord), one carries for each note a n° which corresponds to the position of the box on which the finger supports which blocks the cord (0 - open string, 1 - first box, etc). The rate/rhythm is written in lower part of these numbers as on a traditional partition.

- > this notation requires very little musical knowledge, since it is a question of placing its fingers on the good cord at the box indicated. All the kinds of music are not represented, which limits its employment. The fingering charts are very much used in the North-American guitar: Country, Blues, western, Ragtime. This notation was also the only used one for the guitar until the beginning of the 19th century. It with the advantage of being able to accurately reproduce the sets of fingers and the effects of Doigté specific to the guitar. Software which automatically translates the music on range into fingering chart starts to appear on the market.

To that, one can add a very popular notation:

• the list of agreement: names or diagrams of agreements are placed above the words of a song or a range.
- > particularly vague, this notation, which can be useful only for the accompaniment, with the advantage of not requiring any musical knowledge, of being easy to transcribe and of leaving a great freedom of interpretation. It makes the happiness of the collections of songs.

Works famous for guitar

list nonexhaustive

For the principal type-setters having written for the traditional guitar, to see : Category: Type-setter for traditional guitar.

Folk

• Sweet Home Alabama of Lynyrd Skynyrd
• Dust in the Wind of Kansas
• has Horse With No Name of America
• Yesterday of Beatles
• Hallelujah of Leonard Cohen, popularized by Jeff Buckley
• All Along the Watchtowers of Bob Dylan (the title will be taken again by Jimi Hendrix)
• Knocking one Heaven' S Door of Bob Dylan and taken again years later by many groups or artists
• Song For Kathy of Marcel Dadi

Some famous guitarists

The majority of the guitarists exploit several types of guitar. In particular the borders between “folk” and “electric” are porous: the key is the same one, and the guitarist chooses his guitar according to the sound which he wants to return. One thus indicated here the guitar privileged by each guitarist.

to see : Category: Traditional guitarist
• Guitar jazz/manouche/flamenco

to see : Category: Guitarist of jazz and : Category: Guitarist of flamenco
• Guitar folk and electric guitar

The majority of the type-setters and interpreters of music folk are guitarists, sometimes high level: Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Joan Baez (to quote most famous), even if they are more known for their vocal interpretations than for their instrumental competence. Some are however recognized for the quality of their instrumental work, in particular on the style Picking : Blackbird Travis, Chet Atkins, Marcel Dadi, Tommy Emmanuel, Jerry Reed.
* to see : Category: Guitarist of rock'n'roll , which gathers in fact of the interpreters of various styles (pop, rock'n'roll, folk, country, etc)
* by approximation of kind, to also see : Category: Guitarist of blues