a stringed musical instrument with an hourglass-shaped body and a long neck. commonly has 6 strings (4 on a bass guitar), though 8 or 12 are not uncommon. typical varieties include the:

There are a lot of different styles of guitar playing, and the skill needed to play most of them is unique from the others; e.g. standard guitar, or guitar guitar, uses regular tonic scales and scads of odd finger movements like slides, bends, picks, scrapes, hammer-ons, pull-offs, barre chords, and harmonics, to name a bunch. For that matter, there are over 1100 different named chords that can be played.

Blues guitar, similar to Jazz guitar, uses a special 'blues scale'. E-G-A-B-D-E-G-A-B-D-E-G is the note sequence for the blues base notes; most tunes use only these notes and maybe a semitone bend or two.

Classical guitar is very much like guitar guitar, except that the stringency is such that the student is required to make each note sound perfectly, whereas in normal guitar errors can be masked very easily. When this skill is carried back to other types of play, the result is usually phenomenal.

The guitar was first invented around Italy and Spain during the Renaissance, and it was a lot smaller than its modern day conterparts. As the guitar started getting more and more popular, it started to evolve. Classical guitar as we know it first appeared in Spain during the 19th century. Steel-string guitar was also developed around that time. The invention of the electric guitar together with the development of the recording industry shaped the music and culture today. Today the guitar is the most popular instrument with over 50 million players.

Also, a GNOME application that's a GUI for tar. It attempts to provide an user-friendly interface for tar, zip and other archivers.

Regrettably, it's not as user-friendly than, say, Microsoft's backup tools that came with DOS 6.22. (Personally, I really wish BRU and other "cool" programs would be free software...)

The guitar as an instrument, as well as the name 'guitar' are ultimately derived from the Ancient Greek 'Kitarra,' which was a sort of lyre. This word eventually passed into Arabic as 'Quitar' and likely described a range of stringed instruments such as udes. In the middle ages, the people of the Iberian Peninsula adopted this word from their Moorish rulers, and it was applied to the stringed instrument being developed and played by the local gypsies and others. The word became 'guitarra' in Spanish and the English word 'guitar' is a borrowing from that. So we have the rather unique situation of an English word being descended from Ancient Greek but not through Latin or Rennaissance era scientific borrowing, but through Arabic.

However the acoustic guitar as we know it today did not assume its present form in terms of appearance, sound, and tuning until possibly as late as the 19th century. This is an amazingly recent pedigree for an instrument that has so dominated and defined many of the popular forms of music worldwide in the past 50 years.

Many believe that the guitar's developmental beginnings lie in the ancient cultures of Rome, Egypt, and the Near East (Babylonia). Evidence of the existence of guitar-like instruments (such as the arabic Oun) has been found in the artwork of all three cultures, as well as in some of their respective literature. Most of the archeological evidence gathered on the early guitar, or the Lute, seems to suggest that it was originally created as a crude variant of the harpsichord. The guitar's design underwent a great deal of change and improvement before becoming the instrument we know and play today, but many basic aspects of it's design have remained virtually unchanged. Essentially, every guitar has three components, strings, the neck that they are stretched over, and a body for amplification of the sounds they make when plucked, strummed or picked.

The first written mention of the guitar dates from the 14th century. In this account, it was described as having 3 double courses (string pairs) and a single string, which was used to play higher notes. The instrument experienced a surge of enthusiasm and popularity in 16th century Spain, where, due to it's relative lack of expense and portability, it became the preferred instrument of the country's lower and middle classes. Eventually, during the 17th century, a fifth course of strings was added and citizens of other European countries began to develop a level of fondness for the guitar equal to that of the Spanish. From there, the instrument's use slowly began to spread to the colonies of the New World, Central Asia, and to a certain extent, Africa.

During the middle of the 18th century, the instrument took on it's modern form. Guitar makers made the four double courses single and added another, much deeper, sixth string to the mix. The body of the instrument was broadened vertically, made more curvy (earlier models had been somewhat box-like in their shape), and thinned at the waist.The wooden tuning pegs were also given an overhaul, being replaced by a modern, metal machine head.

This model was changed little for the following half-century or so, until, during the 1930s, a handful of musicians and inventors began to experiment with electricity as a means of amplifying the instrument's sound. Most notable among these innovators were Les Paul and one Leo Fender. Les Paul designed quite a few formative prototypes of the electric, but it was fender who perfected those designs and made them commercially viable. For that reason, Fender is now the world's most instantly recognizable, best-selling guitar brand.

Unlike traditional guitars, the electric guitar's sound isn't amplified by reverberations within a hollow wood body. Instead, the vibrations of the steel strings are detected and converted into an electric signal by rectangular magnetic plates called "Pick-ups". From here, the signal is sent to an amplifier, and in turn routed to a speaker, where it is reproduced as sound.

Guitar Parts
A guitar can be divided into three main parts:
  • The hollow body
  • The neck, which holds the frets
  • The head, which contains the tuning pegs

    The most important piece of the body is the soundboard. This is the wooden piece mounted on the front if the guitar's body, and its job is to make the guitar's sound loud enough for us to hear. In the soundboard is a large hole called the sound hole. The hole is normally round and centered, but F-shaped pairs of holes, as in a violin, are sometimes seen. Attached to the soundboard is a piece called the bridge which acts as the anchor for one end of the six strings. The bridge has a thin, hard piece embedded in it called the saddle, which is the piece that the strings rest against.

  • What Does a guitar look like?

    Alot of guitars vary in appearance, however your common acoustic and electrical guitar look as follows:

                              _____                            _-_
                             q o o p                         +|\G/|+
              The head  --   q o!o p                         +|\ /|+   -- The head
                             d o!o b                         +|\ /|+
                              \!!!/                           `|H|'
                              |===|                            |H|
                              |!!!|                            |H|
                              |!!!|                            |H|   -- The neck
               The neck  --   |!!!|                            |H|
                              |!!!|                            |H|
                              |!!!|                            |H|
                             _|!!!|__                          |H|
                           .+=|!!!|--.`.                 _-_   |H|   _-_
                         .'   |!!!|   `.\               /   \  |H|  /   \
                        /     !===!     \\              |    \_|H|_/    |
                        |    /|!!!|\    ||              \      |H|      /
                         \   \!!!!!/   //                \     |H|     /
    The body --           )   `==='   ((                  |            |
                        .'    !!!!!    `..               /     ===      \   -- The body
                       /      !!!!!      \\             /      ===  !    \
                      |       !!!!!       ||           |            |  o  |
                      |       !!!!!       ||           |       ---  /   o |
                      |       !!!!!       ||           \       ___ /   o  /
                       \     =======     //             \     |   |     l/
                        `.    ooooo    .;'               `-____\_/_____-"

    Playing the Guitar

    The guitar is played by plucking the strings with the fingers or a plectrum. When the strings are plucked, they vibrate. The vibrations travel through the saddle, to the bridge and then to the sound board.

    Frets are metal pieces cut into the fingerboard at specific distances. By pressing a string down onto a fret, you change the length of the string and therefore the pitch produced when it vibrates. The strings are tuned E A D G B e (E = second E below middle C; e = E above middle C). The player's left-hand fingers stop the strings at the appropriate frets to produce the desired pitches; the right-hand fingers pluck the strings. Some metal-strung guitars are plucked with a small flat plectrum, or pick.

    Gui*tar" (?), n. [F. guitare; cf. Pr., Sp., & Pg.guitarra, It. chitarra; all fr. Gr. ; cf. L. cithara. Cf. Cittern, Gittern.]

    A stringed instrument of music resembling the lute or the violin, but larger, and having six strings, three of silk covered with silver wire, and three of catgut, -- played upon with the fingers.


    © Webster 1913.

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