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Electric Guitars

About Electric Guitars:

Looking for electric guitars for sale? We have a wide selection of the best new and used electric guitars for sale. As authorized dealers for Fender, Collings, Taylor, Heritage and other top brands we have many excellent instruments in-stock ready to ship! Electric guitars are an excellent option for beginners as the necks are smaller and the strings are lighter gauges than acoustic guitars making them easier to play. They do however require amplification (sometimes called amps) to make their sound louder. Luckily there are many excellent and affordable guitar amp options available. 

When were electric guitars invented? Electric guitars were invented in the 1930s in response to guitar players requiring louder guitars to keep up with bigger bands and eventually rock and roll.

How do electric guitars work? Electric guitars operate off the principal of magnetism, where a magnetic electric guitar pickup detects the vibration of the metal guitar string, which translates into an electric signal that is sent to a guitar amplifier.

And how much are electric guitars, do they cost allot? You can get a good quality electric guitar for as little as a few hundred dollars and they can get as expensive as hundreds of thousands of dollars for rare collector models, particularly vintage guitars. 

Why buy from a small independent guitar store? Big guitar stores such as Guitar Center, Sweetwater and Musicians Friend are owned by hedge-funds and other investors, whereas independent stores (such as Northern Lights Music) are often family owned and operated. When you choose to make a purchase at a local, small or independent store you are voting with your dollars to support local economies and more of your dollars go towards supporting family business rather than big corporations and vulture capitalists. With a small shop you get a more personalized experience with individual attention and in the process you make a lasting relationships.

A Brief History of Electric Guitar

The history of Electric Guitar begins in the 1930s, but really took off in the 1950s when Leo Fender and the Gibson brands introduced their iconic electric guitar models. One of the most popular and earliest electric guitar designs was the Fender Telecaster which was basically a block of wood for the body with a solid maple neck and a couple of pickups. People loved the Telecaster but wanted a more comfortable body shape, so they subsequently came out with the Stratocaster. The Fender Stratocaster had a more contoured body, less blocky than the telecaster and featured three single coil pickups. Around the time of the Stratocaster and Telecaster came out an entirely different design from Les Paul and the Gibson guitar company. The Gibson Les Paul featured hum-bucking pickups (the pickups had less noise than the single coils of the stratocaster) and had more output than the single coils. Those pickups combined with the solid Mahogany body/neck construction made the Les Paul a favorite for those looking to drive their amplifiers into distortion, particularly in Rock and Roll and then later, Metal. These three iconic guitar body shapes, the Les Paul, Telecaster and Stratocaster remain some of the most in-demand electric guitar designs to this very day as they have iconic tones and looks that are hard to beat. As time progressed many more innovations came to the electric guitar, particularly in the late 1960s to 1970s when Alembic guitars invented active electronics which further increase pickup output, increase clarity and added the option of sweeping q-filters. Alembic also introduced the through-neck construction that has also been copied many times. Alembic guitars and electronics were seen in the hands of many of the most iconic bands of the 70s and 80s including the Grateful Dead, Led Zeppelin and the Who amongst others. By the time that the 80s rolled around there were numerous new guitar shapes being created including many pointy guitars for metal bands coming from such names as BC Rich, Charvel and others. Despite this, the iconic, original designs from the 50s and 60s persisted. To this day many top artists still swear by the Les Paul, Stratocaster and Telecaster. These designs are also replicated by numerous brands with their own take on headstock design, color options and pickups. Today we see some modern and innovative designs including headless guitars where the tuners are on the body along with instruments with seven or more strings but at our shop, we prefer the classics, modeled after those iconic Fender and Gibson designs from long ago. 

Finding your Sound, Choosing your Tone

The best way to find the right fit of an electric guitar for your particular style is to look to your favorite musical artists. Who do you enjoy listening to and what is their style? That is often a great place to start, because by emulating your role models. And it doesn't stop with the style of guitar they play. You might also take a look at what kinds of pedals and amplifier they use because those are keys to that sound that you know and love. 

Solidbody: Solid body guitars, such as the Stratocaster and Telecaster are solid chunks of wood with little acoustic tone from the body itself. Les Pauls are often solid as-well but as we will see it is not always. 

Chambered Body: Sometimes guitarists find the weight of Solidbody guitars to be too heavy for long gigs or extended playing. What they do in this situation is they actually remove pockets of wood inside the body, below the top in order to lighten the weight. This is great on Les Pauls, because they can chamber the Mahogany on the back while retaining the look of the solid Maple top. Another examble of a chambered body would be a Thin-line telecaster, which features a chambered body, where the hollowing is visible through an F hole in the top. While these models benefit from lighter weight, some people prefer the tone and sustain of a fully solid construction, this is why most guitars are not chambered. 

Semi-hollowbody: The semi-hollow body offers some acoustic tone, similar to an acoustic guitar, but without full acoustic resonance. This is excellent for achieving a slightly drier, less jazzy tone and excels in situations where you like a good dry overdrive tone. Classic models that feature this construction include the ES-335 amongst others. 

Full Hollowbody: A full hollowbody guitar is similar to the semi-hollow but lacks the center block of wood. This increases the acoustic tone of the guitar, giving it a springier, jazzier sound.