Electric guitar

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A type of guitar with a solid body that, unlike a standard acoustic guitar, does not amplify the volume of the instrument. Instead, an electric guitar has electromagnetic "/pickups" that convert the vibration of the steel strings into electric signals, which are then fed to an amplifier through a cable or radio device. Without this equipment, the electric guitar is virtually inaudible. Because it does not need to be naturally loud, the body of an electric guitar can be of virtually any shape, and has been made into a variety of forms.

It was invented by Les Paul and also (independently) by Leo Fender.

Most electric guitars are fitted with six strings and are tuned the same way as a standard guitar, but seven-string models exist. A few electric guitars are fitted with two sets of strings and heads (the top of the guitar where the strings are anchored) - essentially two instruments in one.

The sound of the electric guitar is modified by the entire sound chain, including the distortion of the amplifier (traditionally a valve amplfier in order to produce the desired 'valve sound').

The sound of the electric guitar is frequently further modified by feeding its signal though an /effects units before the final amplification, to produce effects such as /fuzz, /wah and /sustain, in effect turning the electric guitar into the input of a simple synthesizer.

The electric guitar is used extensively in blues and rock and roll music.

A 'MIDI guitar' is an electric guitar fitted with sensors for sound and note articulation. It is used to drive a guitar synthesizer or other electronic musical instrument.

There are hybrid guitars fitted with pickups that can be played as either acoustic or electric instruments. Hybrid guitars are popular in country music.

Some notable exponents of the electric guitar include Jimi Hendrix, Eddie van Halen, Joe Satriani.