In the 40 years that I have been teaching all styles of guitar to every type of student, there have been a few questions that come up over and over which seem to be the cause of great concern and anxiety.
The Best Acoustic Guitar In San Diego
High on the list is “Am I too old to learn guitar in San Diego ?I have been anxiously asked this question by a 28 year old student, a 38 year old, a 46 year old, and let’s see…off the top of my head, I can remember students at age 52, 65, 77, and finally, good old Frank who was 84! I have had plenty of experience with this question, and more importantly, with the answer
.I am going to tell you the answer right up front to set your mind at ease, just in case you are one of those guitar students desperately attempting to remain hopeful about your chances of success. Yes, anyone can learn to play the guitar at any age, period and any place in San Diego
Jump to navigation Jump to search An electric guitar is a guitar that uses one or more pickups to convert the vibration of its strings into electrical signals. The vibration occurs when a guitar player strums, plucks, fingerpicks, or taps the strings. The pickup used to sense the vibration generally uses electromagnetic induction to do so, though other technologies exist. In any case, the signal generated by an electric guitar is too weak to drive a loudspeaker, so it is fed to a guitar amplifier before being sent to the speaker(s), which converts it into audible sound. Since the output of an electric guitar is an electric signal, it can be electronically altered to change the timbre of the sound. Often, the signal is modified using effects such as reverb, and distortion and "overdrive"; the latter effect is considered to be a key element of electric blues guitar music and rock guitar playing. Invented in 1931, the amplified electric guitar was adopted by jazz guitar players, who wanted to play single-note guitar solos in large big band ensembles. Early proponents of the electric guitar on record include Les Paul, Lonnie Johnson, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, T-Bone Walker, and Charlie Christian. During the 1950s and 1960s, the electric guitar became the most important instrument in popular music. It has evolved into an instrument that is capable of a multitude of sounds and styles in genres ranging from pop and rock to country music, blues and jazz. It served as a major component in the development of electric blues, rock and roll, rock music, heavy metal music and many other genres of music. Electric guitar design and construction vary greatly in the shape of the body and the configuration of the neck, bridge, and pickups. Guitars may have a fixed bridge or a spring-loaded hinged bridge, which lets players "bend" the pitch of notes or chords up or down, or perform vibrato effects. The sound of an electric guitar can be modified by new playing techniques such as string bending, tapping, and hammering-on, using audio feedback, or slide guitar playing. There are several types of electric guitar, including: the solid-body guitar; various types of hollow-body guitars; the six-string guitar (the most common type), which is usually tuned E, A, D, G, B, E, from lowest to highest strings; the seven-string guitar, which typically adds a low B string below the low E; and the twelve-string guitar, which has six pairs of strings. In pop and rock music, the electric guitar is often used in two roles: as a rhythm guitar, which plays the chord sequences or progressions, and riffs, and sets the beat (as part of a rhythm section); and as a lead guitar, which provides instrumental melody lines, melodic instrumental fill passages, and solos. In a small group, such as a power trio, one guitarist switches between both roles. In larger rock and metal bands, there is often a rhythm guitarist and a lead guitarist. Many experiments at electrically amplifying the vibrations of a string instrument were made dating back to the early part of the 20th century. Patents from the 1910s show telephone transmitters were adapted and placed inside violins and banjos to amplify the sound. Hobbyists in the 1920s used carbon button microphones attached to the bridge; however, these detected vibration from the bridge on top of the instrument, resulting in a weak signal. With numerous people experimenting with electrical instruments in the 1920s and early 1930s, there are many claimants to have been the first to invent an electric guitar. The "Frying Pan", 1932 Electric guitars were originally designed by acoustic guitar makers and instrument manufacturers. Some of the earliest electric guitars adapted hollow-bodied acoustic instruments and used tungsten pickups. The first electrically amplified guitar was designed in 1931 by George Beauchamp, the general manager of the National Guitar Corporation, with Paul Barth, who was vice president. The maple body prototype for the one-piece cast aluminium "frying pan" was built by Harry Watson, factory superintendent of the National Guitar Corporation. Commercial production began in late summer of 1932 by the Ro-Pat-In Corporation (Electro-Patent-Instrument Company), in Los Angeles, a partnership of Beauchamp, Adolph Rickenbacker (originally Rickenbacher), and Paul Barth. In 1934, the company was renamed the Rickenbacker Electro Stringed Instrument Company. In that year Beauchamp applied for a United States patent for an Electrical Stringed Musical Instrument and the patent was later issued in 1937. Electro-Spanish Ken Roberts, 1935 By early-mid 1935, Electro String Instrument Corporation had achieved mainstream success with the A-22 "Frying Pan" steel guitar, and set out to capture a new audience through its release of the Electro-Spanish Model B and the Electro-Spanish Ken Roberts which was the first full 25" scale electric guitar ever produced.  The Electro-Spanish Ken Roberts was revolutionary for its time, providing players a full 25" scale, with 17 frets free of the fretboard.  Unlike other lap-steel electrified instruments produced during the time, the Electro-Spanish Ken Roberts was designed to play standing vertical, upright with a strap.  The Electro-Spanish Ken Roberts was additionally, the first instrument to feature a hand operated vibrato, as a standard appointment found on every model.  The vibrato device was called the "Vibrola" and was invented by Doc Kauffman.   It is estimated that fewer than 50 Electro-Spanish Ken Roberts were constructed between 1933 and 1937; fewer than 10 are known to survive today. The demand for amplified guitars began during the big band era; as orchestras increased in size, guitar players soon realized the necessity in guitar amplification & electrification.  The first electric guitars used in jazz were hollow archtop acoustic guitar bodies with electromagnetic transducers. Early electric guitar manufacturers include Rickenbacker in 1932; Dobro in 1933; National, AudioVox and Volu-tone in 1934; Vega, Epiphone (Electrophone and Electar), and Gibson in 1935 and many others by 1936. Fender Stratocaster has one of the most often emulated electric guitar shapes The solid-body electric guitar is made of solid wood, without functionally resonating air spaces. The first solid-body Spanish standard guitar was offered by Vivi-Tone no later than 1934. This model featured a guitar-shaped body of a single sheet of plywood affixed to a wood frame. Another early, substantially solid Spanish electric guitar, called the Electro Spanish, was marketed by the Rickenbacker guitar company in 1935 and made of Bakelite. By 1936, the Slingerland company introduced a wooden solid-body electric model, the Slingerland Songster 401 (and a lap steel counterpart, the Songster 400). Gibson's first production electric guitar, marketed in 1936, was the ES-150 model ("ES" for "Electric Spanish", and "150" reflecting the $150 price of the instrument, along with matching amplifier). The ES-150 guitar featured a single-coil, hexagonally shaped "bar" pickup, which was designed by Walt Fuller. It became known as the "Charlie Christian" pickup (named for the great jazz guitarist who was among the first to perform with the ES-150 guitar). The ES-150 achieved some popularity but suffered from unequal loudness across the six strings. Early proponents of the electric guitar on record include Alvino Rey (Phil Spitalney Orchestra), Les Paul (Fred Waring Orchestra), Danny Stewart (Andy Iona Orchestra), George Barnes (under many aliases), Eddie Durham, Lonnie Johnson, Floyd Smith, Big Bill Broonzy, T-Bone Walker, George Van Eps, Charlie Christian (Benny Goodman Orchestra), Tampa Red, Memphis Minnie, and Arthur Crudup. According to jazz historian James Lincoln Collier, Floyd Smith can be credited as the first person to rig up an amplified guitar. According to Collier, "Floyd's Guitar Blues" may be the first important use of the electric guitar on record.  A functionally solid-body electric guitar was designed and built in 1940 by Les Paul from an Epiphone acoustic archtop. His "log guitar" (so called because it consisted of a simple 4x4 wood post with a neck attached to it and homemade pickups and hardware, with two detachable Epiphone hollow-body halves attached to the sides for appearance only) shares nothing in design or hardware with the solid-body Gibson Les Paul introduced in 1952. However, the feedback associated with hollow-bodied electric guitars was understood long before Paul's "log" was created in 1940; Gage Brewer's Ro-Pat-In of 1932 had a top so heavily reinforced that it essentially functioned as a solid-body instrument. In 1945, Richard D. Bourgerie made an electric guitar pickup and amplifier for professional guitar player George Barnes. Bourgerie worked through World War II at Howard Radio Company, making electronic equipment for the American military. Barnes showed the result to Les Paul, who then arranged for Bourgerie to have one made for him. 1. Headstock 1.1 machine heads 1.2 truss rod cover 1.3 string guide 1.4 nut 2. Neck 2.1 fretboard 2.2 inlay fret markers 2.3 frets 2.4 neck joint 3. Body 3.1 "neck" pickup 3.2 "bridge" pickup 3.3 saddles 3.4 bridge 3.5 fine tuners and tailpiece assembly 3.6 whammy bar (vibrato arm) 3.7 pickup selector switch 3.8 volume and tone control knobs 3.9 output connector (output jack)(TS) 3.10 strap buttons 4. Strings 4.1 bass strings 4.2 treble strings Electric guitar design and construction vary greatly in the shape of the body and the configuration of the neck, bridge, and pickups. However, some features are present on most guitars. The photo below shows the different parts of an electric guitar. The headstock (1) contains the metal machine heads (1.1), which use a worm gear for tuning. The nut (1.4)—a thin fret-like strip of metal, plastic, graphite or bone—supports the strings at the headstock end of the instrument. The frets (2.3) are thin metal strips that stop the string at the correct pitch when the player pushes a string against the fingerboard. The truss rod (1.2) is a metal rod (usually adjustable) that counters the tension of the strings to keep the neck straight. Position markers (2.2) provide the player with a reference to the playing position on the fingerboard. The neck and fretboard (2.1) extend from the body. At the neck joint (2.4), the neck is either glued or bolted to the body. The body (3) is typically made of wood with a hard, polymerized finish. Strings vibrating in the magnetic field of the pickups (3.1, 3.2) produce an electric current in the pickup winding that passes through the tone and volume controls (3.8) to the output jack. Some guitars have piezo pickups, in addition to or instead of magnetic pickups. Some guitars have a fixed bridge (3.4). Others have a spring-loaded hinged bridge called a vibrato bar, tremolo bar, or whammy bar, which lets players bend notes or chords up or down in pitch or perform a vibrato embellishment. A plastic pickguard on some guitars protects the body from scratches or covers the control cavity, which holds most of the wiring. The degree to which the choice of woods and other materials in the solid-guitar body (3) affects the sonic character of the amplified signal is disputed. Many believe it is highly significant, while others think the difference between woods is subtle. In acoustic and archtop guitars, wood choices more clearly affect tone. Woods typically used in solid-body electric guitars include alder (brighter, but well rounded), swamp ash (similar to alder, but with more pronounced highs and lows), mahogany (dark, bassy, warm), poplar (similar to alder), and basswood (very neutral). Maple, a very bright tonewood, is also a popular body wood, but is very heavy. For this reason it is often placed as a "cap" on a guitar made primarily of another wood. Cheaper guitars are often made of cheaper woods, such as plywood, pine or agathis—not true hardwoods—which can affect durability and tone. Though most guitars are made of wood, any material may be used. Materials such as plastic, metal, and even cardboard have been used in some instruments. The guitar output jack typically provides a monaural signal. Many guitars with active electronics use a jack with an extra contact normally used for stereo. These guitars use the extra contact to break the ground connection to the on-board battery to preserve battery life when the guitar is unplugged. These guitars require a mono plug to close the internal switch and connect the battery to ground. Standard guitar cables use a high-impedance 1⁄4 inch (6.35 mm) mono plug. These have a tip and sleeve configuration referred to as a TS phone connector. The voltage is usually around 1 to 9 millivolts. A few guitars feature stereo output, such as Rickenbacker guitars equipped with Rick-O-Sound. There are a variety of ways the "stereo" effect may be implemented. Commonly, but not exclusively, stereo guitars route the neck and bridge pickups to separate output buses on the guitar. A stereo cable then routes each pickup to its own signal chain or amplifier. For these applications, the most popular connector is a high-impedance 1⁄4 inch (6.35 mm) plug with a tip, ring and sleeve configuration, also known as a TRS phone connector. Some studio instruments, notably certain Gibson Les Paul models, incorporate a low-impedance three-pin XLR connector for balanced audio. Many exotic arrangements and connectors exist that support features such as midi and hexaphonic pickups. The bridge and tailpiece, while serving separate purposes, work closely together to affect playing style and tone. There are four basic types of bridge and tailpiece systems on electric guitars. Within these four types are many variants. A hard-tail guitar bridge anchors the strings at or directly behind the bridge and is fastened securely to the top of the instrument. These are common on carved-top guitars, such as the Gibson Les Paul and the Paul Reed Smith models, and on slab-body guitars, such as the Music Man Albert Lee and Fender guitars that are not equipped with a vibrato arm. A floating or trapeze tailpiece (similar to a violin's) fastens to the body at the base of the guitar. These appear on Rickenbackers, Gretsches, Epiphones, a wide variety of archtop guitars, particularly Jazz guitars, and the 1952 Gibson Les Paul. Pictured is a tremolo arm or vibrato tailpiece style bridge and tailpiece system, often called a whammy bar or trem. It uses a lever ("vibrato arm") attached to the bridge that can temporarily slacken or tighten the strings to alter the pitch. A player can use this to create a vibrato or a portamento effect. Early vibrato systems were often unreliable and made the guitar go out of tune easily. They also had a limited pitch range. Later Fender designs were better, but Fender held the patent on these, so other companies used older designs for many years. Detail of a Squier-made Fender Stratocaster. Note the vibrato arm, the 3 single-coil pickups, the volume and tone knobs. With expiration of the Fender patent on the Stratocaster-style vibrato, various improvements on this type of internal, multi-spring vibrato system are now available. Floyd Rose introduced one of the first improvements on the vibrato system in many years when, in the late 1970s, he experimented with "locking" nuts and bridges that prevent the guitar from losing tuning, even under heavy vibrato bar use. Tune-o-matic with "strings through the body" construction (without stopbar) The fourth type of system employs string-through body anchoring. The strings pass over the bridge saddles, then through holes through the top of the guitar body to the back. The strings are typically anchored in place at the back of the guitar by metal ferrules. Many believe this design improves a guitar's sustain and timbre. A few examples of string-through body guitars are the Fender Telecaster Thinline, the Fender Telecaster Deluxe, the B.C. Rich IT Warlock and Mockingbird, and the Schecter Omen 6 and 7 series. Main article: Pickup (music technology) Compared to an acoustic guitar, which has a hollow body, electric guitars make much less audible sound when their strings are plucked, so electric guitars are normally plugged into a guitar amplifier and speaker. When an electric guitar is played, string movement produces a signal by generating (i.e., inducing) a small electric current in the magnetic pickups, which are magnets wound with coils of very fine wire. The signal passes through the tone and volume circuits to the output jack, and through a cable to an amplifier. The current induced is proportional to such factors as string density and the amount of movement over the pickups. Pickups on a Fender Squier "Fat Strat" guitar—a "humbucker" pickup on the left and two single-coil pickups on the right. Because in most cases it is desirable to isolate coil-wound pickups from the unintended sound of internal vibration of loose coil windings, a guitar's magnetic pickups are normally embedded or "potted" in wax, lacquer, or epoxy to prevent the pickup from producing a microphonic effect. Because of their natural inductive qualities, all magnetic pickups tend to pick up ambient, usually unwanted electromagnetic interference or EMI. The resulting hum is particularly strong with single-coil pickups, and it is aggravated by the fact that many vintage guitars are insufficiently shielded against electromagnetic interference. The most common source is 50- or 60-Hz hum from power transmission systems (house wiring, etc.). Since nearly all amplifiers and audio equipment associated with electric guitars must be plugged in, it is a continuing technical challenge to reduce or eliminate unwanted hum. Double-coil or "humbucker" pickups were invented as a way to reduce or counter the unwanted ambient hum sounds (known as 60-cycle hum). Humbuckers have two coils of opposite magnetic and electric polarity to produce a differential signal. Electromagnetic noise that hits both coils equally tries to drive the pickup signal toward positive on one coil and toward negative on the other, which cancels out the noise. The two coils are wired in phase, so their signal adds together. This high combined inductance of the two coils leads to the richer, "fatter" tone associated with humbucking pickups. Piezoelectric pickups use a "sandwich" of quartz crystal or other piezoelectric material, typically placed beneath the string saddles or nut. These devices respond to pressure changes from all vibration at these specific points. Optical pickups are a type of pickup that sense string and body vibrations using infrared LED light. These pickups are not sensitive to EMI. Some "hybrid" electric guitars are equipped with additional microphone, piezoelectric, optical, or other types of transducers to approximate an acoustic instrument tone and broaden the sonic palette of the instrument. Electric guitar necks vary in composition and shape. The primary metric of guitar necks is the scale length, which is the vibrating length of the strings from nut to bridge. A typical Fender guitar uses a 25.5-inch (65 cm) scale length, while Gibson uses a 24.75-inch (62.9 cm) scale length in their Les Paul. While the scale length of the Les Paul is often described as 24.75 inches, it has varied through the years by as much as a half inch. Frets are positioned proportionally to scale length—the shorter the scale length, the closer the fret spacing. Opinions vary regarding the effect of scale length on tone and feel. Popular opinion holds that longer scale length contributes to greater amplitude. Reports of playing feel are greatly complicated by the many factors involved in this perception. String gauge and design, neck construction and relief, guitar setup, playing style and other factors contribute to the subjective impression of playability or feel. A bolt-on neck Necks are described as bolt-on, set-in, or neck-through, depending on how they attach to the body. Set-in necks are glued to the body in the factory. They are said to have a warmer tone and greater sustain. This is the traditional type of joint. Leo Fender pioneered bolt-on necks on electric guitars to facilitate easy adjustment and replacement. Neck-through instruments extend the neck the length of the instrument, so that it forms the center of the body, and are known for long sustain and for being particularly sturdy. While a set-in neck can be carefully unglued by a skilled luthier, and a bolt-on neck can simply be unscrewed, a neck-through design is difficult or even impossible to repair, depending on the damage. Historically, the bolt-on style has been more popular for ease of installation and adjustment. Since bolt-on necks can be easily removed, there is an after-market in replacement bolt-on necks from companies such as Warmoth and Mighty Mite. Some instruments—notably most Gibson models—continue to use set-in glued necks. Neck-through bodies are somewhat more common in bass guitars. Materials for necks are selected for dimensional stability and rigidity, and some allege that they influence tone. Hardwoods are preferred, with maple, mahogany, and ash topping the list. The neck and fingerboard can be made from different materials; for example, a guitar may have a maple neck with a rosewood or ebony fingerboard. In the 1970s, designers began to use exotic man-made materials such as aircraft-grade aluminum, carbon fiber, and ebonol. Makers known for these unusual materials include John Veleno, Travis Bean, Geoff Gould, and Alembic. Aside from possible engineering advantages, some feel that in relation to the rising cost of rare tonewoods, man-made materials may be economically preferable and more ecologically sensitive. However, wood remains popular in production instruments, though sometimes in conjunction with new materials. Vigier guitars, for example, use a wooden neck reinforced by embedding a light, carbon fiber rod in place of the usual heavier steel bar or adjustable steel truss rod. After-market necks made entirely from carbon fiber fit existing bolt-on instruments. Few, if any, extensive formal investigations have been widely published that confirm or refute claims over the effects of different woods or materials on electric guitar sound. A neck-through bass guitar Several neck shapes appear on guitars, including shapes known as C necks, U necks, and V necks. These refer to the cross-sectional shape of the neck (especially near the nut). Several sizes of fret wire are available, with traditional players often preferring thin frets, and metal shredders liking thick frets. Thin frets are considered better for playing chords, while thick frets allow lead guitarists to bend notes with less effort. An electric guitar with a folding neck called the "Foldaxe" was designed and built for Chet Atkins by Roger C. Field. Steinberger guitars developed a line of exotic, carbon fiber instruments without headstocks, with tuning done on the bridge instead. Fingerboards vary as much as necks. The fingerboard surface usually has a cross-sectional radius that is optimized to accommodate finger movement for different playing techniques. Fingerboard radius typically ranges from nearly flat (a very large radius) to radically arched (a small radius). The vintage Fender Telecaster, for example, has a typical small radius of approximately 7.25 inches (18.4 cm). Some manufacturers have experimented with fret profile and material, fret layout, number of frets, and modifications of the fingerboard surface for various reasons. Some innovations were intended to improve playability by ergonomic means, such as Warmoth Guitars' compound radius fingerboard. Scalloped fingerboards added enhanced microtonality during fast legato runs. Fanned frets intend to provide each string with an optimal playing tension and enhanced musicality. Some guitars have no frets—and others, like the Gittler guitar, have no neck in the traditional sense. While an acoustic guitar's sound depends largely on the vibration of the guitar's body and the air inside it, the sound of an electric guitar depends largely on the signal from the pickups. The signal can be "shaped" on its path to the amplifier via a range of effect devices or circuits that modify the tone and characteristics of the signal. Amplifiers and speakers also add coloration to the final sound. Main article: Pickup (music technology) Modern electric guitars most commonly have two or three magnetic pickups. Identical pickups produce different tones depending on location between the neck and bridge. Bridge pickups produce a bright or trebly timbre, and neck pickups are warmer[when defined as?] or more bassy. The type of pickup also affects tone. Dual-coil pickups sound warm, thick, perhaps even muddy; single-coil pickups sound clear, bright, perhaps even biting. Guitars don't require a uniform pickup type: a common mixture is the "fat Strat" arrangement of one dual-coil at the bridge position and single coils in the middle and neck positions, known as HSS (humbucker/single/single). Some guitars have a piezoelectric pickup in addition to electromagnetic pickups. Piezo pickups produce a more acoustic sound. The piezo runs through a built-in equalizer (EQ) to improve similitude and control tone. A blend knob controls the mix between electromagnetic and piezoelectric sounds. Where there is more than one pickup, a switch selects between the outputs of individual pickups or some combination; two-pickup guitars have three-way switches, and three-pickup guitars have five-way switches. Further circuitry sometimes combines pickups in different ways. For instance, phase switching places one pickup out of phase with the other(s), leading to a "honky", "nasal", or "funky" sound. Individual pickups can also have their timbre altered by switches, typically coil tap switches that effectively short-circuit some of a dual-coil pickup's windings[vague] to produce a tone similar to a single-coil pickup (usually done with push-pull volume knobs). The final stages of on-board sound-shaping circuitry are the volume control (potentiometer) and tone control (a low-pass filter which "rolls off" the treble frequencies). Where there are individual volume controls for different pickups, and where pickup signals can be combined, they would affect the timbre of the final sound by adjusting the balance between pickups from a straight 50:50. The strings fitted to the guitar also have an influence on tone. Rock musicians often[when?] prefer the lightest gauge of roundwound string, which is easier to bend, while jazz musicians go for heavier, flatwound strings, which have a rich, dark sound. Steel, nickel, and cobalt are common string materials, and each gives a slightly different tone color. A Fender Bassman amp head with a 15" speaker cabinet. Main article: Guitar amplifier The solid-body electric guitar does not produce enough sound for an audience to hear it in a performance setting unless it's electronically amplified—plugged into an amplifier, mixing console, or PA. Guitar amplifier design uses a different approach than sound reinforcement system power amplifiers and home "hi-fi" stereo systems. Audio amplifiers generally are intended to accurately reproduce the source signal without adding unwanted tonal coloration (i.e., they have a flat frequency response) or unwanted distortion. In contrast, most guitar amplifiers provide tonal coloration and overdrive or distortion of various types. A common tonal coloration sought by guitarists is rolling off some of the high frequencies. Guitarists in some musical genres (e.g., blues, rock) intentionally choose amplifiers or effects units that distort or otherwise alter the sound to some degree. This was not actually a new development in the musical instrument or its supporting gear, but rather a shift of aesthetics, such sounds not having been thought desirable previously. Guitar amplifiers generally incorporate at least a few effects, the most basic being tone controls for bass and treble. There may be some form of "overdrive" control, where the preamplifier's output is increased to the point where the amplitude overloads the input of the power amplifier stage, causing clipping. In the 1970s, as effects pedals proliferated, their sounds were combined with tube amp distortion at lower, more controlled volumes by using power attenuators, such as Tom Scholz's Power Soak, as well as re-amplified dummy loads, such as Eddie Van Halen's use of dummy-load power resistor, post-power-tube effects, and a final solid-state amp driving the guitar speakers. Among the first actual on-board effects were a tremolo system (sometimes incorrectly labeled and marketed as vibrato), or a mechanical spring reverb unit. In the 2010s, guitar amps often contain multiple effects, such as distortion, chorus, flanger, phaser, or octave shift. Recent amplifiers may include digital technology similar to effects pedals, up to the ability to model or emulate a variety of classic amplifiers. Some modeling systems also emulate the tonal characteristics of different speaker configurations, cabinets, and microphones. Nearly all amp and speaker cabinet modeling is done digitally, using computer techniques (e.g., Digital Signal Processing or DSP circuitry and software). Main article: Effects unit A Boss distortion pedal in use In the 1960s, the tonal palette of the electric guitar was further modified by introducing effect units in its signal path, before the guitar amp, of which one of the earliest units was the fuzz pedal. Effects units come in several formats, the most common of which are the stompbox "pedal" and the rackmount unit. A stomp box (or pedal) is a small metal or plastic box containing the circuitry, which is placed on the floor in front of the musician and connected in line with the patch cord connected to the instrument. The box is typically controlled by one or more foot-pedal on-off switches and it typically contains only one or two effects. Pedals are smaller than rackmount effects and usually less expensive. "Guitar pedalboards" are used by musicians who use multiple stomp-boxes; these may be a DIY project made with plywood or a commercial stock or custom-made pedalboard. A rackmount effects unit may contain an electronic circuit nearly identical to a stompbox-based effect, but it is mounted in a standard 19" equipment rack, which is usually mounted in a road case that is designed to protect the equipment during transport. More recently, as signal-processing technology continuously becomes more feature-dense, rack-mount effects units frequently contain several types of effects. They are typically controlled by knobs or switches on the front panel, and often by a MIDI digital control interface. Typical effects include: The Zoom 505 multi-effect pedal A multi-effects device (also called a "multi-FX" device) is a single electronics effects pedal or rack-mount device that contains many electronic effects. In the late 1990s and throughout the 2000s, multi-FX manufacturers such as Zoom and Korg produced devices that were increasingly feature-laden. Multi-FX devices combine several effects together, and most devices allow users to use preset combinations of effects, including distortion, chorus, reverb, compression, and so on. This allows musicians to have quick on-stage access to different effects combinations. Some multi-FX pedals contain modelled versions of well-known effects pedals or amplifiers. The Boss GT-8, a higher-end multi-effect processing pedal; note the preset switches and patch bank foot switches and built-in expression pedal. Multi-effects devices have garnered a large share of the effects device market, because they offer the user such a large variety of effects in a single package. A low-priced multi-effects pedal may provide 20 or more effects for the price of a regular single-effect pedal. More expensive multi-effect pedals may include 40 or more effects, amplifier modelling, and the ability to combine effects or modelled amp sounds in different combinations, as if the user was using multiple guitar amps. More expensive multi-effects pedals may also include more input and output jacks (e.g., an auxiliary input or a "dry" output), MIDI inputs and outputs, and an expression pedal, which can control volume or modify effect parameters (e.g., the rate of the simulated rotary speaker effect). By the 1980s and 1990s, software effects became capable of replicating the analog effects used in the past. These new digital effects attempt to model the sound produced by analog effects and tube amps, with varying degrees of quality. There are many free guitar effects computer programs that can be downloaded from the Internet. Now, computers with sound cards can be used as digital guitar effects processors. Although digital and software effects offer many advantages, many guitarists still use analog effects. Main article: Guitar synthesizer A prepared guitar The sound of a guitar can not only be adapted by electronic sound effects but is also heavily affected by various new techniques developed or becoming possible in combination with electric amplification. This is called extended technique. Extended techniques include: The hammer-on technique Palm muting of the strings using the picking hand Slide guitar Other techniques, such as axial finger vibrato, pull-offs, hammer-ons, palm muting, harmonics and altered tunings, are also used on the classical and acoustic guitar. Shred guitar is a genre involving a number of extended techniques. Paul Reed Smith Standard 22 Gittler electric guitar, a bodyless guitar without fingerboard or neck Fender Esquire Unlike acoustic guitars, solid-body electric guitars have no vibrating soundboard to amplify string vibration. Instead, solid-body instruments depend on electric pickups and an amplifier (or amp) and speaker. The solid body ensures that the amplified sound reproduces the string vibration alone, thus avoiding the wolf tones and unwanted feedback associated with amplified acoustic guitars. These guitars are generally made of hardwood covered with a hard polymer finish, often polyester or lacquer. In large production facilities, the wood is stored for three to six months in a wood-drying kiln before being cut to shape. Premium custom-built guitars are frequently made with much older, hand-selected wood. One of the first solid-body guitars was invented by Les Paul. Gibson did not present their Gibson Les Paul guitar prototypes to the public, as they did not believe the solid-body style would catch on. Another early solid-body Spanish style guitar, resembling what would become Gibson's Les Paul guitar a decade later, was developed in 1941 by O.W. Appleton, of Nogales, Arizona. Appleton made contact with both Gibson and Fender but was unable to sell the idea behind his "App" guitar to either company. In 1946, Merle Travis commissioned steel guitar builder Paul Bigsby to build him a solid-body Spanish-style electric. Bigsby delivered the guitar in 1948. The first mass-produced solid-body guitar was Fender Esquire and Fender Broadcaster (later to become the Fender Telecaster), first made in 1948, five years after Les Paul made his prototype. The Gibson Les Paul appeared soon after to compete with the Broadcaster. Another notable solid-body design is the Fender Stratocaster, which was introduced in 1954 and became extremely popular among musicians in the 1960s and 1970s for its wide tonal capabilities and more comfortable ergonomics than other models. The history of Electric Guitars is summarized by Guitar World magazine, and the earliest electric guitar on their top 10 list is the Ro-Pat-In Electro A-25 “Frying Pan” (1932) described as 'The first-fully functioning solid-body electric guitar to be manufactured and sold'. The most recent electric guitar on this list is the Ibanez Jem (1987) which featured '24 frets', 'an impossibly thin neck' and was 'designed to be the ultimate shredder machine'. Numerous other important electric guitars are on the list including Gibson ES-150 (1936), Fender Telecaster (1951), Gibson Les Paul (1952), Gretsch 6128 Duo Jet (1953), Fender Stratocaster (1954), Rickenbacker 360/12 (1964), Van Halen Frankenstein (1975), Paul Reed Smith Custom (1985) many of these guitars were 'successors' to earlier designs . Electric Guitar designs eventually became culturally important and visually iconic, with various model companies selling miniature model versions   of particularly famous electric guitars, for example the Gibson SG used by Angus Young from the group AC/DC. Some solid-bodied guitars, such as the Gibson Les Paul Supreme, the PRS Singlecut, and the Fender Telecaster Thinline, among others, are built with hollows in the body. These hollows are designed specifically not to interfere with the critical bridge and string anchor point on the solid body. In the case of Gibson and PRS, these are called chambered bodies. The motivation for this may be to reduce weight, to achieve a semi-acoustic tone (see below) or both. Main article: Semi-acoustic guitar Epiphone semi-acoustic hollow-body guitar Semi-acoustic guitars have a hollow body (similar in depth to a solid-body guitar) and electronic pickups mounted on the body. They work in a similar way to solid-body electric guitars except that, because the hollow body also vibrates, the pickups convert a combination of string and body vibration into an electrical signal. Whereas chambered guitars are made, like solid-body guitars, from a single block of wood, semi-acoustic and full-hollowbody guitars bodies are made from thin sheets of wood. They do not provide enough acoustic volume for live performance, but they can be used unplugged for quiet practice. Semi-acoustics are noted for being able to provide a sweet, plaintive, or funky tone. They are used in many genres, including blues, funk, sixties pop, and indie rock. They generally have cello-style F-shaped sound holes. These can be blocked off to prevent feedback, as in B. B. King's famous Lucille. Feedback can also be reduced by making them with a solid block in the middle of the soundbox. Main article: Archtop guitar Full hollow-body guitars have large, deep bodies made of glued-together sheets, or "plates", of wood. They can often be played at the same volume as an acoustic guitar and therefore can be used unplugged at intimate gigs. They qualify as electric guitars inasmuch as they have fitted pickups. Historically, archtop guitars with retrofitted pickups were among the very earliest electric guitars. The instrument originated during the Jazz Age, in the 1920s and 1930s, and are still considered the classic jazz guitar (nicknamed "jazzbox"). Like semi-acoustic guitars, they often have f-shaped sound holes. Having humbucker pickups (sometimes just a neck pickup) and usually strung heavlly, jazzboxes are noted for their warm, rich tone. A variation with single-coil pickups, and sometimes with a Bigsby tremolo, has long been popular in country and rockabilly; it has a distinctly more twangy, biting tone than the classic jazzbox. The term archtop refers to a method of construction subtly different from the typical acoustic (or "folk" or "western" or "steel-string" guitar): the top is formed from a moderately thick (1 inch (2.5 cm)) piece of wood, which is then carved into a thin (0.1 inches (0.25 cm)) domed shape, whereas conventional acoustic guitars have a thin, flat top. Main article: Acoustic-electric guitar Some steel-string acoustic guitars are fitted with pickups purely as an alternative to using a separate microphone. They may also be fitted with a piezoelectric pickup under the bridge, attached to the bridge mounting plate, or with a low-mass microphone (usually a condenser mic) inside the body of the guitar that converts the vibrations in the body into electronic signals. Combinations of these types of pickups may be used, with an integral mixer/preamp/graphic equalizer. Such instruments are called electric acoustic guitars. They are regarded as acoustic guitars rather than electric guitars, because the pickups do not produce a signal directly from the vibration of the strings, but rather from the vibration of the guitar top or body. Electric acoustic guitars should not be confused with semi-acoustic guitars, which have pickups of the type found on solid-body electric guitars, or solid-body hybrid guitars with piezoelectric pickups. The one-string guitar is also known as the Unitar. Although rare, the one-string guitar is sometimes heard, particularly in Delta blues, where improvised folk instruments were popular in the 1930s and 1940s. Eddie "One String" Jones had some regional success. Mississippi blues musician Lonnie Pitchford played a similar, homemade instrument. In a more contemporary style, Little Willie Joe, the inventor of the Unitar, had a rhythm and blues instrumental hit in the 1950s with "Twitchy", recorded with the Rene Hall Orchestra. The four-string guitar is better known as the tenor guitar. One of its best-known players was Tiny Grimes, who played on 52nd Street with the beboppers and played a major role in the Prestige Blues Swingers. Multi-instrumentalist Warren Ellis (musician) of Dirty Three and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds is a contemporary player who includes a tenor guitar in his repertoire. The four-string guitar is normally tuned CGDA, but some players, such as Tiny Grimes, tune to DGBE to preserve familiar 6-string guitar chord fingerings. The tenor guitar can also be tuned like a soprano, concert, or tenor ukulele, using versions of GCEA tuning. Main article: Seven-string guitar Stephen Carpenter playing a 7-string electric guitar in 2009 Most seven-string guitars add a low B string below the low E. Both electric and classical guitars exist designed for this tuning. A high A string above the high E instead of the low B string is sometimes used. Another less common seven-string arrangement is a second G string situated beside the standard G string and tuned an octave higher, in the same manner as a twelve-stringed guitar (see below). Jazz guitarists using a seven-string include George Van Eps, Lenny Breau, Bucky Pizzarelli and his son John Pizzarelli. Seven-string electric guitars were popularized among rock players in the 1980s by Steve Vai. Along with the Japanese guitar company Ibanez, Vai created the Universe series seven-string guitars in the 1980s, with a double locking tremolo system for a seven-string guitar. These models were based on Vai's six-string signature series, the Ibanez Jem. Seven-string guitars experienced a resurgence in popularity in the 2000s, championed by Deftones, Limp Bizkit, Slayer, KoRn, Fear Factory, Strapping Young Lad, Nevermore, Muse and other hard rock and metal bands. Metal musicians often prefer the seven-string guitar for its extended lower range. The seven-string guitar has also played an essential role in progressive metal rock and is commonly used in bands such as Dream Theater and Pain of Salvation and by experimental guitarists such as Ben Levin. Main article: Eight-string guitar Eight-string electric guitars are rare but not unused. One is played by Charlie Hunter, which was manufactured by Novax Guitars. The largest manufacturer of eight- to 14-string instruments is Warr Guitars. Their models are used by Trey Gunn (ex King Crimson), who has his own signature line from the company. Similarly, Mårten Hagström and Fredrik Thordendal of Meshuggah used 8-string guitars made by Nevborn Guitars and now guitars by Ibanez. Munky of the nu metal band KoRn is also known to use seven-string Ibanez guitars, and it is rumored that he is planning to release a K8 eight-string guitar similar to his K7 seven-string guitar. Another Ibanez player is Tosin Abasi, lead guitarist of the progressive metal band Animals as Leaders, who uses an Ibanez RG2228 to mix bright chords with very heavy low riffs on the seventh and eighth strings. Stephen Carpenter of Deftones also switched from a seven-string to an eight-string in 2008 and released his signature STEF B-8 with ESP Guitars. In 2008, Ibanez released the Ibanez RG2228-GK, which is the first mass-produced eight-string guitar. Jethro Tull's first album uses a nine-string guitar. Bill Kelliher, guitarist for the heavy metal group Mastodon, worked with First Act on a custom mass-produced nine-string guitar. Main article: Ten-string guitar B.C. Rich manufactured a ten-string six-course electric guitar, the Bich, whose radical shape positioned the machine heads for the four secondary strings onto the body, avoiding the head-heaviness of many electric twelve-string guitars. However, many players bought it for the body shape or electrics and simply removed the extra strings. The company recognized this and released six-string models of the Bich, a shape now generally incorporated into their standard Warlock. Main article: Twelve-string guitar Twelve-string electric guitars feature six pairs of strings, usually with each pair tuned to the same note. The extra E, A, D, and G strings add a note one octave above, and the extra B and E strings are in unison. The pairs of strings are played together as one, so the technique and tuning are the same as a conventional guitar, but they create a much fuller tone, with the additional strings adding a natural chorus effect. They are used almost solely to play harmony and rhythm parts, rather than for guitar solos. They are relatively common in folk rock music. Lead Belly is the folk artist most identified with the twelve-string guitar, usually acoustic with a pickup. George Harrison of the Beatles and Roger McGuinn of the Byrds brought the electric twelve-string to notability in rock and roll. During the Beatles' first trip to the United States, in February 1964, Harrison received a new 360/12 model guitar from the Rickenbacker company, a twelve-string electric made to look onstage like a six-string. He began using the 360 in the studio on Lennon's "You Can't Do That" and other songs. McGuinn began using electric twelve-string guitars to create the jangly, ringing sound of the Byrds. Both Jimmy Page, the guitarist with Led Zeppelin, and Leo Kottke, a solo artist, are well known as twelve-string guitar players. Main article: 3rd bridge The third-bridge guitar is an electric prepared guitar with an additional, third bridge. This can be a normal guitar with, for instance, a screwdriver placed under the strings, or it can be a custom-made instrument. Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth plays with a third bridge. Main article: Double neck guitar A Gibson EDS-1275 Double-neck (or, less commonly, "twin-neck") guitars enable guitarists to play both guitar and bass guitar or, more commonly, both a six-string and a twelve-string. In the mid-1960s, one of the first players to use this type of guitar was Paul Revere & the Raiders' guitarist Drake Levin. Another early user was John McLaughlin. The double-neck guitar was popularized by Jimmy Page, who used a custom-made, cherry-finished Gibson EDS-1275 to perform "Stairway to Heaven", "The Song Remains the Same" and "The Rain Song", although for the recording of "Stairway to Heaven" he used a Fender Telecaster and a Fender XII electric twelve-string. Mike Rutherford of Genesis and Mike + the Mechanics is also famous for his use of a double-neck guitar during live shows. Don Felder of the Eagles used the Gibson EDS-1275 during the Hotel California tour. Muse guitarist and vocalist Matthew Bellamy uses a silver Manson double-neck on his band's Resistance Tour. Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson is also known for using double-neck guitars in the live performance of several songs. In performances of the song "Xanadu" during the band's 2015 R40 anniversary tour, Lifeson played a white Gibson EDS-1275 double-neck guitar with six-string and twelve-string necks, while bassist Geddy Lee performed with a double-neck Rickenbacker guitar with four-string bass and twelve-string guitar necks. Popular music typically uses the electric guitar in two roles: as a rhythm guitar to provide the basic chord progression and rhythm, and a lead guitar that plays melody lines, melodic instrumental fill passages, and solos. In some bands with two guitarists, both may play in tandem, and trade off rhythm and lead roles. In bands with a single guitarist, the guitarist may switch between these roles, playing chords to accompany the singer's lyrics, and a solo. Gibson Les Paul has been used in many genres, including rock, country, pop, soul, rhythm and blues, blues, jazz, reggae, punk, and heavy metal In the most commercially available and consumed pop and rock genres, electric guitars tend to dominate their acoustic cousins in both the recording studio and live venues, especially in the "harder" genres such as heavy metal and hard rock. However the acoustic guitar remains a popular choice in country, western and especially bluegrass music, and it is widely used in folk music. Even metal and hard rock guitarists play acoustic guitars for some ballads and for MTV unplugged acoustic performances. Jazz guitar playing styles include rhythm guitar-style "comping" (accompanying) with jazz chord voicings (and in some cases, walking basslines) and "blowing" (improvising solos) over jazz chord progressions with jazz-style phrasing and ornaments. The accompanying style for electric guitar in most jazz styles differs from the way chordal instruments accompany in many popular styles of music. In rock and pop, the rhythm guitarist typically performs chords in dense and regular fashion to define a tune's rhythm. Simpler music tends to use chord voicings focused on the first, third, and fifth notes of the chord. In contrast, more complex music styles of pop might intermingle periodic chords and delicate voicings into pauses in the melody or solo. Complex guitar chord voicings are often have no root, especially in chords that have more than six notes. Such chords typically emphasize the third and seventh notes of the chord. These chords also often include the 9th, 11th and 13th notes of the chord, which are called extensions, or color notes. When guitarists who play jazz and other more complex styles improvise, they use scales, modes, and arpeggios associated with the chord progression. The must learn how to use scales (whole tone scale, chromatic scale, etc.) to solo over chord progressions. Soloists try to imbue melodic phrasing with the sense of natural breathing and legato phrasing used by players of other instruments. Jazz guitarists are influenced by trumpet, saxophone, and other horn players. Celtic fingerstyle players are influenced pipes and fiddles. Jazz guitarists typically play hollow-body instruments, but also use solid-body guitars. Hollow-body instruments were the first guitars used in jazz in the 1930s and 1940s. During the 1970s jazz fusion era, many jazz guitarists switched to the solid body guitars that dominated the rock world, using powerful guitar amps for volume. Until the 1950s, the acoustic, nylon-stringed classical guitar was the only type of guitar favored by classical, or art music composers. In the 1950s a few contemporary classical composers began to use the electric guitar in their compositions. Examples of such works include Luciano Berio's Nones (1954) Karlheinz Stockhausen's Gruppen (1955–57); Donald Erb's String Trio (1966), Morton Feldman's The Possibility of a New Work for Electric Guitar (1966); George Crumb's Songs, Drones, and Refrains of Death (1968); Hans Werner Henze's Versuch über Schweine (1968); Francis Thorne's Sonar Plexus (1968) and Liebesrock (1968–69), Michael Tippett's The Knot Garden (1965–70); Leonard Bernstein's MASS (1971) and Slava! (1977); Louis Andriessen's De Staat (1972–76); Helmut Lachenmann's Fassade, für grosses Orchester (1973, rev. 1987), Valery Gavrilin Anyuta (1982), Steve Reich's Electric Counterpoint (1987), Arvo Pärt's Miserere (1989/92), György Kurtág's Grabstein für Stephan (1989), and countless works composed for the quintet of Ástor Piazzolla. Alfred Schnittke also used electric guitar in several works, like the "Requiem", "Concerto Grosso N°2" and "Symphony N°1". In the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, a growing number of composers (many of them composer-performers who had grown up playing the instrument in rock bands) began writing contemporary classical music for the electric guitar. These include Frank Zappa, Shawn Lane, Steven Mackey, Nick Didkovsky, Scott Johnson, Lois V Vierk, Tim Brady, Tristan Murail, Brian May and Randall Woolf. Yngwie Malmsteen released his Concerto Suite for Electric Guitar and Orchestra in 1998, and Steve Vai released a double-live CD entitled Sound Theories, of his work with the Netherlands Metropole Orchestra in June 2007. The American composers Rhys Chatham and Glenn Branca have written "symphonic" works for large ensembles of electric guitars, in some cases numbering up to 100 players, and the instrument is a core member of the Bang on a Can All-Stars (played by Mark Stewart). Still, like many electric and electronic instruments, the electric guitar remains primarily associated with rock and jazz music, rather than with classical compositions and performances. R. Prasanna plays a style of Indian classical music (Carnatic music) on the electric guitar. In the 21st century, European avant garde composers like Richard Barrett, Fausto Romitelli, Peter Ablinger, Bernhard Lang, Claude Ledoux and Karlheinz Essl have used the electric guitar (together with extended playing techniques) in solo pieces or ensemble works. Probably the most ambitious and perhaps significant work to date is Ingwe (2003–2009) by Georges Lentz (written for Australian guitarist Zane Banks), a 60-minute work for solo electric guitar, exploring that composer's existential struggles and taking the instrument into realms previously unknown in a concert music setting. In Vietnam, electric guitars are often used as an instrument in cải lương music (traditional southern Vietnamese folk opera), sometimes as a substitute for certain traditional stringed instruments like the Đàn nguyệt (two-stringed lute) when they are not available. Electric guitars used in cải lương are played in finger vibrato (string bending), with no amplifiers or sound effects. An electric guitar store
Jump to navigation Jump to search The music of Hawaii includes an array of traditional and popular styles, ranging from native Hawaiian folk music to modern rock and hip hop. Hawaii's musical contributions to the music of the United States are out of proportion to the state's small size. Styles like slack-key guitar are well-known worldwide, while Hawaiian-tinged music is a frequent part of Hollywood soundtracks. Hawaii also made a contribution to country music with the introduction of the steel guitar. In addition, the music which began to be played by Puerto Ricans in Hawaii in the early 1900s is called cachi cachi music, on the islands of Hawaii. Music of Hawaiian people is largely religious in nature, and includes chanting and dance music. Hawaiian music has had a notable impact on the music of other Polynesian islands; Peter Manuel called the influence of Hawaiian music a "unifying factor in the development of modern Pacific musics". Major music festivals in Hawaii include the Merrie Monarch Hula Festival, which brings together hula groups from across the world, as well as a number of slack-key and steel guitar festivals: Big Island Slack Key Guitar Festival, Steel Guitar Association Festival and the Gabby Pahinui/Atta Isaacs Slack Key Festival. April's Aloha Week is a popular tourist attraction, as is the Moloka'i Music Festival held around Labor Day. There was also a Hawaii International Jazz Festival, which ran from 1993 until 2007. The annual Pacific Rim Jazz Festival occurs in mid-autumn at the Hawaii Convention Center. The annual Manoa Jazz & Heritage Festival takes place in early autumn at the Andrews Amphitheatre on the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa campus. Hawaii is home to numerous hotels, many of which feature music in the afternoon or evening; some of the more prominent ones include the Kahala Hilton, the Sheraton Moana Hotel, the Sheraton Waikiki, the Halekulani, Casanova's and the King Kamehameha Hotel. Large music venues in Hawaii include the University of Hawaii at Hilo Performing Arts Center, which has 600 seats and is the largest venue on the Big Island. A 560-seat venue and cultural exhibition center on Kauai is the Kauai Community College Performing Arts Center. In Honolulu, the Neal S. Blaisdell Center Arena, Concert Hall, and Exhibition Hall are three of the largest venues in the state. Other venues for Hawaiian music on Oahu include the Waikiki Shell an establishment used primarily for concerts and entertainment purposes. Over the years many local, as well as international artists have graced the stage there. It is unique outdoor theater located in Kapiolani Park. This venue seats 2,400 persons, with the capacity to hold up to 6,000 more on the lawn area. Concerts, graduation ceremonies and hula shows are very popular at this site. As well as Kennedy Theatre and Andrews Amphitheatre on the campus of the University of Hawaii at Manoa, the Blaisdell Center Concert Hall, the Hawaii Theatre in downtown Honolulu, the Red Elephant (a performance space and recording studio in downtown Honolulu), Paliku Theatre on the campus of Windward Community College and the Leeward Community College Theatre. The historic Lanai Theatre is a cultural landmark on Lanai, dating back to the 1930s. Hawaii is home to a number of renowned music institutions in several fields. The Honolulu Symphony Orchestra is an important part of the state's musical history, and is the oldest orchestra in the United States west of the Rocky Mountains, founded in 1900. The Orchestra has collaborated with other local institutions, like the Hawaii Opera Theatre and the Oʻahu Choral Society, which sponsors the Honolulu Symphony Chorus and the Honolulu Chamber Choir. Numerous businesses have been created supporting the special musical styles and instruments suited to the Hawaiian musical tradition. The Guitar and Lute Workshop was an early manufacturer and proponent of specialty slack-key guitars in the early 1970s, and the Kamaka Ukulele company was established as key manufacturer of ukuleles for Hawaiian musical acts. Dancer with ʻuliʻuli, hula kahiko competition, Merrie Monarch Festival 2003 Hawaiian folk music includes several varieties of chanting (mele) and music meant for highly ritualized dance (hula). Traditional Hawaiian music and dance was functional, used to express praise, communicate genealogy and mythology, and accompany games, festivals and other secular events. The Hawaiian language has no word that translates precisely as music, but a diverse vocabulary exists to describe rhythms, instruments, styles and elements of voice production. Hawaiian folk music is simple in melody and rhythm, but is "complex and rich" in the "poetry, accompanying mimetic dance (hula), and subtleties of vocal styles... even in the attenuated forms in which they survive today". Hula performance at a ceremony turning over U.S. Navy control over the island of Kahoolawe to the state performed by Uncle Frank Kawaikapuokalani Hewett The chant (mele) is typically accompanied by an ipu heke (a double gourd) and/or pahu (sharkskin covered drum). Some dances require dancers to utilize hula implements such as an ipu (single gourd), ʻiliʻili (waterworn lava stone castanets),ʻuliʻuli (feathered gourd rattles), pu`ʻli (split bamboo sticks) or kalaʻau (rhythm sticks). The older, formal kind of hula is called kahiko, while the modern version is ʻauana. There are also religious chants called ʻoli; when accompanied by dancing and drums, it is called mele hula pahu. In the pre-contact Hawaiian language, the word mele referred to any kind of poetic expression, though it now translates as song. The two kinds of Hawaiian chanting were mele oli and mele hula. The first were a cappella individual songs, while the latter were accompanied dance music performed by a group. The chanters were known as haku mele and were highly trained composers and performers. Some kinds of chants express emotions like angst and affection, or request a favor from another person. Other chants are for specific purposes like naming, (mele inoa), prayer (mele pule), surfing (mele he'e nalu) and genealogical recitations (mele koihonua). Mele chants were governed by strict rules, and were performed in a number of styles include the rapid kepakepa and the enunciate koihonua. Historical documentation of Hawaiian music does not extend prior to the late 18th century, when non-Hawaiians (haoles) arrived on the island. From 1778 onward, Hawaii began a period of acculturation with the introduction of numerous styles of European music, including the hymns (himeni) introduced by Protestant missionary choirs. Spanish-speaking Mexican cowboys (paniolos), were particularly influential immigrants in the field of music, introducing string instruments such as the guitar and possibly also the technique of falsetto singing, while Portuguese immigrants brought the ukulele-like braguinha. also immigrants from all over the world had brought their own instruments along with them to the islands. Elizabeth Tatar divided Hawaiian music history into seven periods, beginning with the initial arrival of Europeans and their musical cultures, spanning approximately from 1820 to 1872. The subsequent period lasted to the beginning of the 20th century, and was marked by the creation of an acculturated yet characteristically Hawaiian modern style, while European instruments spread across the islands. Tatar's third period, from 1900 to about 1915, saw the integration of Hawaiian music into the broader field of American popular music, with the invention of hapa haole songs, which use the English language and only superficial elements of Hawaiian music; the beginning of the Hawaiian recording industry was in 1906, when the Victor Talking Machine Company made the first 53 recordings in the state. By 1912, recorded Hawaiian music had found an audience on the American mainland. Puerto Rican immigration to Hawaii began when Puerto Rico's sugar industry was devastated by two hurricanes in 1899. The devastation caused a worldwide shortage in sugar and a huge demand for the product from Hawaii. Hawaiian sugarcane plantation owners began to recruit the jobless, but experienced, laborers in Puerto Rico. They took with them their music and in the early 1900s introduced what is known as Cachi Cachi music, on the islands of Hawaii. From 1915 to 1930, mainstream audiences outside of Hawaii became increasingly enamored of Hawaiian music, though by this time the songs marketed as Hawaiian had only peripheral aspects of actual Hawaiian music. Tahitian and Samoan music had an influence on Hawaiian music during this period, especially in their swifter and more intricate rhythms. The following era, from about 1930 to 1960, has been called the "Golden Age of Hawaiian music", when popular styles were adapted for orchestras and big bands, and Hawaiian performers like Lani McIntire, John Kameaaloha Almeida and Sol Hoʻopiʻi became mainstream stars. In the 1960s, Hawaiian-style music declined in popularity amid an influx of rock, soul and pop acts from the American mainland. This trend reversed itself in the final period of Hawaiian music history, the modern period beginning with the Hawaiian Renaissance in the 1970s and continuing with the foundation of a variety of modern music scenes in fields like indie rock, Hawaiian hip hop and Jawaiian. Lili'uokalani Queen Liliʻuokalani was the last Queen of Hawaii before the Hawaiian monarchy was overthrown. She was also a musician and prolific composer who wrote many musical works. She was best known for Aloha 'Oe. A compilation of her works, titled "The Queen's Songbook", was published in 1999 by The Queen Lili'uokalani Trust. Aloha'oe performed by Madam Alapai in 1911. Lili'uokalani was one of many members of the Hawaiian royal family with musical inclinations. They studied under a Prussian military bandleader, Henri Berger, who was sent by the Kaiser at the request of Kamehameha V. Berger became fascinated by Hawaiian folk music, and wrote much documentation on it. However, he also brought his own musical background in German music, and heavily guided the Hawaiian musicians and composers he worked with. King Kamehameha V also, in 1847, sent to Germany for a "band Leader" for "The Kings Own Band", now the Royal Hawaiian Band, William Mersberg, from Weimar, Germany. He is Henry Kaleialoha Allen's great grandfather. Henry Kaleialoha Allen is "one of Hawaii's Living Treasures of Hawaiian Music" and a master music educator and has been honored many times on the Senate Floor and by the Legislature for such. Guitars could have come to Hawaii from several sources: sailors, missionaries, or travelers to and from California. The most frequently told story is that it accompanied the Mexican cowboys (vaqueros) brought by King Kamehameha III in 1832 in order to teach the natives how to control an overpopulation of cattle. The Hawaiian cowboys (paniolo) used guitars in their traditional folk music. The Portuguese introduced an instrument called the braguinha, a small, four-stringed Madeira variant of the cavaquinho; this instrument was a precursor to the `ukulele. Steel-string guitars also arrived with the Portuguese in the 1860s and slack-key had spread across the chain by the late 1880s. A ship called the Ravenscrag arrived in Honolulu on August 23, 1879, bringing Portuguese field workers from Madeira. Legend has it that one of the men, João Fernandes, later a popular musician, tried to impress the Hawaiians by playing folk music with a friend's braguinha; it is also said that the Hawaiians called the instrument `ukulele (jumping flea) in reference to the man's swift fingers. Others have claimed the word means gift that came here or a corruption of ukeke lele (dancing ukeke, a three-string bow). The popularity throughout the 1920s of Hawaiian music, with its unique slide-style of guitar playing, prompted the invention of the electric guitar in 1931, as a lap steel guitar, the "frying pan", by George Beauchamp. Electric amplification allowed the Hawaiian-style guitar to be heard in performances of larger popular bands. 1913 sheet music cover In the 1880s and 90s, King David Kalakaua promoted Hawaiian culture and also encouraged the addition of new instruments, such as the ukulele and possibly steel guitar; Kalakaua died in 1891, and so it is highly unlikely he would have heard it [See: Kanahele, George S., Hawaiian Music and Musicians, pp 367–368]. Kalakaua's successor, his sister Lili'uokalani, was also a prolific composer and wrote several songs, like "Aloha 'Oe", which remain popular. During this period, Hawaiian music evolved into a "new distinctive" style, using the derivatives of European instruments; aside from the widespread string instruments, brass bands like the Royal Hawaiian Band performed Hawaiian songs as well as popular marches and ragtimes. In about 1889, Joseph Kekuku began sliding a piece of steel across the strings of a guitar, thus inventing steel guitar (kika kila); at about the same time, traditional Hawaiian music with English lyrics became popular. Vocals predominated in Hawaiian music until the 20th century, when instrumentation took a lead role. Much of modern slack-key guitar has become entirely instrumental. From about 1895 to 1915, Hawaiian music dance bands became in demand more and more. These were typically string quintets. Ragtime music influenced the music, and English words were commonly used in the lyrics. This type of Hawaiian music, influenced by popular music and with lyrics being a combination of English and Hawaiian (or wholly English), is called hapa haole (literally: half white) music. In 1903, Albert "Sonny" Cunha composed My Waikiki Mermaid, arguably the first popular hapa haole song (The earliest known hapa haole song, "Eating of the Poi", was published in Ka Buke o na Leo Mele Hawaii...o na Home Hawaii in Honolulu in 1888 [See Kanahele, George S., Hawaiian Music and Musicians pp 71–72]). In 1927, Rose Moe (1908–1999), a Hawaiian singer, with her husband Tau Moe (1908–2004), a Samoan guitarist, began touring with Madame Riviere's Hawaiians. In 1929 they recorded eight songs in Tokyo. Rose and Tau continued touring for over fifty years, living in countries such as Germany, Lebanon and India. They even performed in Germany as late as 1938 when the Nazi racism was on the rise and people of a darker color were regarded as inferior people; it is said that they even performed for Adolf Hitler himself. With their children, the Tau Moe family did much to spread the sound of Hawaiian folk music and hapa haole music throughout the world. In 1988, the Tau Moe family re-recorded the 1929 sessions with the help of musician and ethnomusicologist Bob Brozman. The 1920s also saw the development of a uniquely Hawaiian style of jazz, innovated by performers at the Moana and Royal Hawaiian Hotels. Main article: Slack-key guitar Slack-key guitar (kī ho`alu in Hawaiian) is a fingerpicked playing style, named for the fact that the strings are most often "slacked" or loosened to create an open (unfingered) chord, either a major chord (the most common is G, which is called "taro patch" tuning) or a major 7th (called a "wahine" tuning). A tuning might be invented to play a particular song or facilitate a particular effect, and as late as the 1960s they were often treated as family secrets and passed from generation to generation. By the time of the Hawaiian Renaissance, though, the example of players such as Auntie Alice Namakelua, Leonard Kwan, Raymond Kane, and Keola Beamer had encouraged the sharing of the tunings and techniques and probably saved the style from extinction. Playing techniques include "hammering-on", "pulling-off", "chimes" (harmonics), and "slides," and these effects frequently mimic the falsettos and vocal breaks common in Hawaiian singing. The guitar entered Hawaiian culture from a number of directions—sailors, settlers, contract workers. One important source of the style was Mexican cowboys hired to work on the Big Island of Hawaiʻi in the first half of the 19th century. These paniolo brought their guitars and their music, and when they left, the Hawaiians developed their own style of playing the instrument. Slack key guitar evolved to accompany the rhythms of Hawaiian dancing and the melodies of Hawaiian chant. Hawaiian music in general, which was promoted under the reign of King David Kalakaua as a matter of national pride and cultural revival, drew rhythms from traditional Hawaiian beats and European military marches, and drew its melodies from Christian hymns and the cosmopolitan peoples of the islands (although principally American). An advertisement for the Broadway show "The Bird of Paradise" In the early 20th century Hawaiians began touring the United States, often in small bands. A Broadway show called Bird of Paradise introduced Hawaiian music to many Americans in 1912 and the Panama–Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco followed in 1915; one year later, Hawaiian music sold more recordings than any other style in the country. The increasing popularization of Hawaiian music influenced blues and country musicians; this connection can still be heard in modern country. In reverse, musicians like Bennie Nawahi began incorporating jazz into his steel guitar, ukulele and mandolin music, while the Kalama Quartet introduced a style of group falsetto singing. The musician Sol Hoʻopiʻi arose during this time, playing both Hawaiian music and jazz, Western swing and country, and developing the pedal steel guitar; his recordings helped establish the Nashville sound of popular country music. Lani McIntyre was another musician who infused a Hawaiian guitar sound into mainstream American popular music through his recordings with Jimmie Rodgers and Bing Crosby. A 1916 advertisement for Hawaiian music records from Victor Records. In the 1920s and 30s, Hawaiian music became an integral part of local tourism, with most hotels and attractions incorporating music in one form or another. Among the earliest and most popular musical attractions was the Kodak Hula Show, sponsored by Kodak, in which a tourist purchased Kodak film and took photographs of dancers and musicians. The show ran from 1937 through 2002. Several vinyl LPs featuring music from the Kodak Hula Show were released by Waikiki Records, with full color photographs of the show's performers. In the first half of the 20th century, the mostly young men who hung around the Honolulu beaches, swimming and surfing, came to be known as the Waikiki Beachboys and their parties became famous across Hawaii and abroad; most of them played the ukulele all day long, sitting on the beach and eventually began working for hotels to entertain tourists. Popular Hawaiian music with English verse (hapa haole) can be described in a narrow sense. Generally, songs are sung to the ukulele or steel guitar. A steel string guitar sometimes accompanies. Melodies often feature an intervallic leap, such as a perfect fourth or octave. Falsetto vocals are suited for such leaps and are common in Hawaiian singing, as is the use of microtones. Rhythm is mostly in duple meter. A musical scale that is unique to Hawaiian music imbues it with its distinct feel, and so is aptly named the Hawaiian scale. The Panama-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco in 1915 introduced Hawaiian steel guitar to mainland country music artists, and by the 1930s country stars Hoot Gibson and Jimmy Davis were making records with Hawaiian musicians. The influx of thousands of American servicemen into Hawaii during World War 2 created a demand for both popular swing rhythm and country sounds. The western swing style, popular on the mainland since the 1930s, employed the steel guitar as a key element and was therefore a natural evolution. Beginning in 1945, the Bell Record Company of Honolulu responded to the demand with a series of releases by the western swing band Fiddling Sam and his Hawaiian Buckaroos (led by fiddler Homer H. Spivey, and including Lloyd C. Moore, Tiny Barton, Al Hittle, Calvert Duke, Tolbert E. Stinnett and Raymond "Blackie" Barnes). Between 1945–1950 Bell released some 40 sides by the Hawaiian Buckaroos, including a set of square dance numbers. In recent decades, traditional Hawaiian music has undergone a renaissance, with renewed interest from both ethnic Hawaiians and others. The islands have also produced a number of well-regarded rock, pop, hip hop, Dubstep, soul and reggae performers, and many local musicians in the clubs of Waikiki and Honolulu play outside the various "Hawaiian" genres. Hawaii has its own regional music industry, with several distinctive styles of recorded popular music. Hawaiian popular music is largely based on American popular music, but does have distinctive retentions from traditional Hawaiian music. Main article: Hawaiian Renaissance The Hawaiian Renaissance was a resurgence in interest in Hawaiian music, especially slack-key, among ethnic Hawaiians. Long-standing performers like Gabby Pahinui found their careers revitalized; Pahinui, who had begun recording in 1947, finally reached mainstream audiences across the United States when sessions on which Ry Cooder played with him and his family were released as The Gabby Pahinui Hawaiian Band, Vol. 1 on a major mainland label. Pahinui inspired a legion of followers who played a mix of slack-key, reggae, country, rock and other styles. The more traditional players included Leland "Atta" Isaacs, Sr., Sonny Chillingworth, Ray Kane, Leonard Kwan, Ledward Ka`apana, Dennis Pavao, while Keola Beamer and Peter Moon have been more eclectic in their approach. The Emerson brothers rekindled the classic sound of Sol Ho'opi'i with the National steel guitar on their vintage 1920s stylings. George Kanahele's Hawaiian Music Foundation did much to spread slack-key and other forms of Hawaiian music, especially after a major 1972 concert. Don Ho (1930–2007), originally from the small Honolulu neighborhood of Kaka'ako, was the most widely known Hawaiian entertainer of the last decades of the 20th century. Although he did not play "traditional" Hawaiian music, Ho became an unofficial ambassador of Hawaiian culture throughout the world as well as on the American mainland. Ho's style often combined traditional Hawaiian elements and older 1950s and 1960s-style crooner music with an easy listening touch. Loyal Garner also embraced Hawaiian elements in her Vegas-style lounge act and in the songs she recorded. A third notable performer, Myra English, became known as the "Champagne Lady" after recording the song "Drinking Champagne" by Bill Mack in 1963 became her signature song in Hawaii, and she achieved considerable commercial success both locally and abroad. Jawaiian is a Hawaiian style of reggae music. Reggae music is a genre that evolved in the late 1960s and earlier in Jamaica. It has become popular across the world, especially among ethnic groups and races that have been historically oppressed, such as Native Americans, Pacific Islanders, and Australian Aborigines. In Hawaii, ethnic Hawaiians and others in the state began playing a mixture of reggae and local music in the early 1980s, although it was not until the late 1980s that it became recognized as a new genre in local music. The band Simplisity has been credited by Quiet Storm Records as originators of the Jawaiian style. By the end of the 1980s, Jawaiian came to dominate the local music scene, as well as spawning a backlash that the Honolulu Star-Bulletin compared to the "disco sucks" movement of the late 1970s. Reggae culture as a whole began to dominate Hawaii, as many locals can be seen sporting Bob Marley memorabilia, and lots of local merchandise and souvenirs have been emblazoned with the red, yellow, and green colors of the Hawaiian sovereignty as well as the Ethiopian flag, a known symbol of the Rastafari movement. The Rasta colors have also become a symbol of local pride. Rock and Roll music has long been popular in Hawaii - numerous rock and roll artists spent their developmental years in Hawaii (i.e. members of The Association, The Electric Prunes, 7th Order, Vicious Rumors, as well as guitarists Marty Friedman and Charlie "Icarus" Johnson), and its local popularity dates back to the earliest days of rock music. Elvis Presley's career included several Hawaii-related performances and records: a March 1961 live performance to raise money for the construction of the USS Arizona Memorial at the Pearl Harbor Bloch Arena in March 1961, his Aloha from Hawaii Via Satellite "comeback" record and concert in 1973, and three of his movies were based in Hawaii (Blue Hawaii, Girls! Girls! Girls!, and Paradise, Hawaiian Style). Through the 60's and 70's, rock concerts were frequently held at venues like the Honolulu International Center and The Waikiki Shell by artists like Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, The Doors, Eric Clapton, Deep Purple, Jeff Beck and many other top rock artists. The 3 day long Crater Festivals (held over the New Years and July 4th holidays) at Diamond Head in the 60's and 70's were well attended through the era, and frequently featured popular bands like Fleetwood Mac, Journey and Santana (Carlos Santana and Buddy Miles actually released their 1972 Crater Festival performance on the LP Carlos Santana & Buddy Miles! Live!). Some notable current and retired jazz musicians in Hawaii include Gabe Baltazar (saxophone), Martin Denny (piano), Arthur Lyman (vibraphone and marimba), Henry Allen (guitar), vonBaron (drums), David Choy (saxophone), Rich Crandall (piano), Dan Del Negro (keyboards), Pierre Grill (piano/keyboards/trombone), Bruce Hamada (bass), DeShannon Higa (trumpet), Jim Howard (piano), Steve Jones (bass), John Kolivas (bass), Noel Okimoto (drums/percussion/vibes), Michael Paulo (reeds), Rene Paulo (acoustic grand piano)was a forerunner of recording Hawaiian music in the jazz venue in the early 1960s and is one of Hawaii's legendary music greats, Robert Shinoda (guitar), Arex Ikehara (bass), Phil Bennett (drums), Aron Nelson (piano), Tennyson Stephens (piano), Dean Taba (bass), Betty Loo Taylor (piano), Tim Tsukiyama (saxophone), Reggie Padilla (saxophone) and Abe Lagrimas Jr. (drums/ukulele/vibes). Notable jazz vocalists in Hawaii, both current and retired include Jimmy Borges, Rachel Gonzales, Azure McCall, Dana Land, Joy Woode and I. Mihana Souza. Although Hawaiian vocalist Melveen Leed is known primarily for singing Hawaiian and "Hawaiian country" music, she has also earned good reviews as a jazz singer. There are frequent performances by the University of Hawaii jazz bands. Regular venues to hear jazz in Honolulu include: Main article: Ukulele The ukulele was introduced to Hawaii by Madeiran immigrants near the close of the 19th century. The Portuguese brought a small guitar-like instrument, known as the machete. The instrument became a very popular one in Hawaiian culture, and a majority of Hawaiian songs involve the ukulele. In Hawaiian, ukulele literally means "flea (uku) jumping (lele)." It was named as such because when plucked, the high pitch of the strings brings to mind the image of a jumping flea. There are currently four sizes of ukulele; soprano, concert, tenor and baritone. Queen Liliuokalani, the last Hawaiian Queen, believed that the name for the ukulele means "The gift that came here". She believed this because of the Hawaiian words "uku" which means "gift or reward" and "lele" which means "to come." The ukulele can be played with simple or elaborate strums, as well as fingerpicking. The ukulele is mostly recognized as being Hawaiian, even though it is originally based on the Madeiran machete. Koa wood is one of the more higher quality woods which creates a deep and also clear sound for the ukulele. This makes Koa ukuleles very distinguishable by sound. Because of this, koa wood is known as a revered wood to create an ukulele. Not only are koa ukuleles distinguishable by sound, but also by looks. They have a very unique grain pattern and color that allows them to stand out more than the average wood. The Ukeke is a Hawaiian musical bow played with the mouth. It is the only stringed instrument indigenous to Hawaii. The 'ohe hano ihu, (Hawaiian: `ohe = bamboo +hano = breath + ihu = nose) or Traditional Hawaiian Nose Flute in English, is another type of Hawaiian instrument that has cultural and musical importance. It is made from a single bamboo section. According to Arts and Crafts of Hawai`i by Te Rangi Hiroa, old flutes in the Bishop Museum collection have a hole at the node area for the breath, and two or three fingering holes. In the three-finger-hole specimen, one fingering hole is placed near the breath hole. Lengths range from 10–21 inches (250–530 mm). Oral tradition in various families states that numbers of fingering holes ranged from one to four, and location of the holes varied depending on the musical taste of the player. Though primarily a courting instrument played privately and for personal enjoyment, it also could be used in conjunction with chants, song, and hula. Kumu hula (dance masters), were said to be able to either make the flute sound as though it were chanting, or to chant as they played. Kumu hula Leilehua Yuen is one of the few contemporary Hawaiian musicians to perform with the nose flute in this manner. Into the 19th and early 20th centuries, young men still used the 'ohe hano ihu as a way to win the affection and love of a woman. Today, the `ohe hano ihu is enjoying a resurgence of popularity. Two different oral traditions explain the use of the nose for playing the `ohe hano ihu. According to one, the `ohe hano ihu is played with air from the nose rather than from the mouth because a person's hā, breath, is expressive of the person's inner being. As the hā travels from the na`ao, or gut, through the mouth, the hā can be used to lie. When the hā travels through the nose, it cannot lie. Therefore, if a young man loves a woman, that love will be expressed in the music he plays with his `ohe hano ihu. According to the other tradition, the instrument is played with the nose to enable the player to softly sing or chant while playing. Modern folklore says that the Hawaiian flute expresses "aloha" because to hear the flute one must come close to the alo, "face" or "presence" of the player to hear the hā, "divine breath" and so the listener experiences "being in one another's presence sharing the divine breath." While useful as a way to remember the contemplative and personal nature of the traditional Hawaiian flute, there is no actual etymological evidence, nor is there evidence in traditional chants or stories, to support this etymology. In the Hawaiian language, hā, breath, is unrelated to the word ha, a causative prefix. a search of cognate words in related languages also reveals no such etymologies for the word "aloha". According to the book `Ohe, by Leilehua Yuen, the instrument was popularized in the 1970s by members of the Beamer family who played it during performances on tour in North America, as well as in the Hawaiian Islands. Segments of the children's educational TV show, Sesame Street, showing Keola Beamer and Mr. Snuffalupagus, one of the large puppet characters, playing `ohe hano ihu brought the instrument to national attention. Winona Beamer, Keola Beamer's mother, a noted kumu hula, also taught the use of the `ohe hano ihu in hula. Her hānai daughter, Maile Beamer Loo, continues to preserve and teach that legacy, and document such important aspects of Hawaiian musical and performing heritage through the Hula Preservation Society. Notable late 20th Century and early 21st Century musicians of the`ohe hano ihu include Mahi Beamer, Nona Beamer, Keola Beamer, Kapono Beamer, Calvin Hoe, Nelson Kaai, Anthony Natividad, and Manu Josiah. The music that is considered popular or "underground" in Hawaii does not necessarily correspond to similar genres in mainland areas of the U.S.A. This is partly a result of Hawaiian music, which appeals to many generations; in contrast, music like heavy metal or punk rock appeals primarily to a more youthful generation, and is not considered as commercially attractive to tourism. Na mele paleoleo is an emerging form of Hawaiian rap. It is difficult to promote popular acts from the mainland due to its geographical isolation, and the smaller group of people interested in the music. Bruno Mars from Honolulu has 6 #1 Billboard Hot 100 hits, including "Uptown Funk" in 2015. Yvonne Elliman, from Honolulu, had a #1 Hot 100 hit with the disco song "If I Can't Have You" from Saturday Night Fever in 1978. Bette Midler, also from Honolulu, had a #1 Hot 100 hit with "Wind Beneath My Wings" in 1989. Glenn Medeiros had a #1 Hot 100 hit in 1990 with "She Ain't Worth It" ft. Bobby Brown. Tane Cain, who was raised in Hawaii, had a #37 Hot 100 hit with "Holdin' On" in 1982.
In the 40 years that I have been teaching all styles of guitar to every type of student, there have been a few questions that come up over and over which seem to be the cause of great concern and anxiety. High on the list is "Am I too old to learn guitar?I have been anxiously asked this question by a 28 year old student, a 38 year old, a 46 year old, and let's see...off the top of my head, I can remember students at age 52, 65, 77, and finally, good old Frank who was 84! I have had plenty of experience with this question, and more importantly, with the answer.I am going to tell you the answer right up front to set your mind at ease, just in case you are one of those guitar students desperately attempting to remain hopeful about your chances of success. Yes, anyone can learn to play the guitar at any age, period. That is the truth. However, as with everything else in life, the devil is in the details!The Correct Approach Is EssentialYes, anyone can learn at any age if they use the correct method to learn the guitar. The bad news is that virtually every guitar method on the market is severely deficient in the information that will guarantee success for everyone. Only the very talented and the very dedicated can learn from the many flawed guitar methods on the market today. The average guitar student is in for a tough time.This is because the biggest obstacles to learning guitar are physical obstacles, meaning, getting your fingers to actually make movements they have never made before, and getting them to do them smoothly and quickly. What all guitar methods are failing to address is that when you learn guitar you are really attempting to teach your fingers, hands, and arms new abilities. You are not really learning "guitar", you are actually engaged in "body learning", so, you must know and follow the well established laws of how the body (your muscles, nerves, and brain actually learn to do new and unfamiliar movements.For instance, one of the laws of body learning is that all movements must be practiced extremely slowly, with great focus on relaxation throughout the body. If you do not do this, if you allow your shoulders to tense when your fingers are stretching, that tension will stay in the shoulders and be reinforced every time you practice. It will feel "normal" to you and you will not know your shoulders are tense. All you will know is that you cannot control your fingers.This happens to a very large percentage of people of every age who try to learn guitar. It will tend to happen more with adult students and seniors because they have had more years to acquire tension in their bodies even apart from practicing guitar. However, if a student knows how to practice the necessary finger movements in a way that does not allow excess tension into the hands, arms, shoulders, and the rest of the body, they will be successful at learning to play no matter how old they are.Learning According To the Body; Not the GuitarGuitar instruction is a disorganized, unscientific, and (compared to piano or violin) a young and immature profession. Many, perhaps most, "guitar teachers" are not teachers; they are guitar players. There is a vast difference. Guitar players know how to play the guitar; guitar teachers should know how to cause other people to play the guitar. However, most of the people I have met who have failed at guitar have taken lessons for years. They were told they had no talent, when the fact is their teacher had no knowledge of how to teach. Unfortunately, such "teachers" often write the method books that the unsuspecting guitar aspirant buys and places their trust in!Such books are often mere collections of guitar information, pages full of chord diagrams, scales, songs, etc., containing no information about how to actually get your fingers to be able to do these things. Worse, the information and exercises are given according to how the guitar works, not how the human body and the human hand work.For instance, all guitar books begin by teaching you chords or notes in the first position at the first fret. By custom, the area of the guitar fingerboard furthest from the body is called the "first" position. So, everyone assumes that a student should learn that first. The problem is that this requires the arm to extend farthest away from the body, which requires the deltoid muscle in the shoulder to work hard to support that weight. This effort (especially in the beginner or older student) will inevitably cause muscle tension throughout the body, even to the point of the student holding their breath! After that, everything locks up and the student will be unable to control their fingers, or will struggle to control them, which is really no control at all. They will become either a failure at guitar, or a handicapped player.Students will suffer greatly from these flawed guitar learning methods, and being insecure of their own potential to begin with, will blame themselves. It does not have to be this way. There is a method of learning guitar that is scientific and based on the laws of body learning. It works for everyone. It is called "The Principles of Correct Practice for Guitar", and you can find out more about it by following the link at the end of this article.I wish you all success in your sincere desire to learn to play this most beautiful and rewarding of musical instruments.
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