Whether it’s a Mariachi band or Led Zeppelin, the one thing both of them have in common is guitars. Guitars are the most popular of all musical instruments. Every kid dreams of being able to play the guitar like Jimi Hendrix. However, mastering the guitar is not an easy task. There are two main types of guitar, the steel-stringed acoustic guitar and the electric guitar. The acoustic guitar has a hollow body that resonates the vibration of the strings. Electric guitars however, have a solid body and it uses an amplifier to manipulate and shape the tone of the sound. Here are the four most famous electric guitars of all time.
The Gibson Flying V
Although designed in 1957 by Gibson’s then-president Ted McCarty, it wasn’t commercially available till 1958, until it was later discontinued in 1959. It was meant to be a futuristic guitar with its V design, but I guess the world wasn’t ready for it. It wasn’t until later, when musicians such as Jimi Hendrix and Dave Davies started using them that the trend caught on. Today the 1958-59 model of the flying V is worth $ 200,000 to $ 250,000. The flying V has sure come back with a vendetta after being initially discarded.
The Gretsch White Falcon
Introduced in 1955, the white falcon has been nicknamed as “The Dream Guitar”. Its inspiration came to Gretsch marketing strategist Jimmie Webster, while he was walking through the Gretsch factory. He wanted to design a guitar that would surpass the Gibson 400. The White Falcon has a large 17″ size with a gleaming white body, gold trim and a falcon engraved on the gold pickguard. Like the Flying V, the White Falcon was marketed as “the guitar of the future”. Initially, the company had no intention of actually manufacturing the model. However, after the overwhelming response it received during the unveiling, they changed their mind and music history was made.
The Fender Telecaster
Initially known as the “Broadcaster”, this electric guitar went on floors in 1949. Where all others had failed, the Telecaster was the first design that made solid body electric guitars famous. It was the first mass produced, solid body, Spanish style electric guitar, which put Fender at the forefront of guitar manufacturers. It can produce a bright, rich, cutting tone or a mellow, warm, bluesy tone depending on the pickup. The Telecaster has been played by the likes of Keith Richards and Bruce Springsteen.
The Fender Stratocaster
The Fender Stratocaster has been known to be the most popular guitar in the world. It was designed by Leo Fender, George Fullerton and Freddie Tavares in 1954. The Stratocaster, along with the Gibson Les Paul, are the most widely copied guitar shapes in the world. It has a sleek, contoured body shape, unlike the flat, slab-like design of its predecessor, the Telecaster. The Stratocaster’s double cutaways allow players easier access to higher neck positions. It has been played by musicians such as John Lennon and Eric Clapton. There’s even a signature model Stratocaster by Eric Clapton.
When it comes to guitars, the above mentioned names hold an honored position. These instruments were tools, used in making music history by many famous artists.