Electric guitars have always carried an almost human-like personality. Perhaps it’s their association with music or the connection that famous musicians create with them that give them distinct characteristics. For musicians and non-musicians alike, electric guitars create a very lively and entertaining atmosphere. Here are five interesting facts about electric guitars.
1. The Most Expensive Guitar Ever Sold
In 2004, a devastating earthquake and tsunami caused widespread destruction around the Indian Ocean. In an effort to raise money for the natural disaster, famous musician Bryan Adams created the Reach Out to Asia project. Adams worked with Fender guitar company to create a one-of-a-kind guitar that would be signed by famous guitarists. Fender spent an estimated $15,000-25,000 building a unique Stratocaster design. The guitar was then signed by nearly 20 iconic guitarists including Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page. The guitar eventually sold for $2.7 million at auction making it the most expensive guitar every sold.
2. The First Electric Guitar Ever Created
When considering the history of electric guitars, most people only think back to the early 1950’s. However, the history of the electric guitar stretches a little further into the past. The first “electric guitar” was created in 1931 by George Beauchamp. Beauchamp worked as the general manager for the National Guitar Corporation. The guitar was nicknamed the frying pan because the circular body and long neck resembled a kitchen appliance. This earliest electric guitar was made from cast aluminum and featured an early attempt at a metal pickup. The frying pan was later manufactured and sold by Rickenbacker Electro guitar company.
3. Where the Gibson Les Paul Name is Derived
Gibson is one of the most familiar names in the electric guitar industry. Even those who are not acquainted with electric guitars are bound to have heard of this brand. Gibson is known for creating and manufacturing some of the most iconic electric guitars in history. Perhaps the most iconic of these guitars is the Les Paul style. Some famous guitarists who have used the Les Paul include Slash of Guns N’ Roses and Ace Frehley of Kiss. Despite being a very well-known guitar, many people are unaware of the origin of the Les Paul name. In fact, Gibson derived the monicker from an early guitar inventor and player. Lester Williams Polsfuss, also known as Les Paul, was a pioneering developer of the solid body electric guitar. Gibson chose to use his name to brand their best electric guitars to pay homage to Les Paul’s pioneering developments.
4. How Many Electric Guitars are Sold Annually
Electric guitars have comprised a large chunk of the music industry as nearly every style of popular music uses these instruments in some way. However, few people are aware of the vast amounts of electric guitars that are sold annually. According to an industry census conducted by The Music Trade website, an estimated 1.6 to 2.5 million guitars were sold annually in the United States alone between 2005 and 2013. This means that in a span of 9 years, over 10 million guitars were sold in the United States.