To quote The Other Wiki
, "The guitar is a string instrument of the chordophone family constructed from wood and strung with either nylon or steel strings. The modern guitar was preceded by the lute, vihuela, four-course renaissance guitar and five-course baroque guitar, all of which contributed to the development of the modern six-string instrument."
The history of the guitar goes way back. To wit, the first representation of a chordophone was an at least 3,300-year old stone carving. Guitars are very much related to older Indian strum-thingies
. There were a couple other instruments called a "guitar" by about 1200.
There are two main categories, the boring (or not) acoustic, and the awesome electric (created in the year 1931
). There are many kinds of acoustics, like the Baroque, Classical, and Flamenco.[[note]]In fiction, these seem to be exclusively associated with Toros y Flamenco
and, as such, are a required attribute of any Latin Lover
worth his salt.[[/note]] Electric guitars are of course played on an amplifier. These have some tricks that cannot be done on an acoustic (like the pinch harmonic, and long hammer-on/pull-off sequences) due to a different design.
- The headstock is that doodad with the tuning heads.
- The nut are those strips at the end, which is used for lateral alignment of the strings. It can also be used to bend at open strings and harmonics (when you play only a part of a certain fret and it creates a high pitch).
- The neck contains the fretboard, which has the frets.
Types of tunings:
- Standard: The most common, or standard, tuning type, though technically only EADGBE is standard. When playing the notes, the fifth fret is equivalent to the next open string, except for the second and third strings, where it's instead the fourth fret. The open chord formed for E Standard is Em7/add11.
- Regular: These have regular intervals between open strings. These are mainly used in Jazz.
- Open: These are called this because when all the open strings are strummed they form a conventional chord, usually a major chord. They are named after the chord formed instead of the bass string.
- Drop(ped): These tunings have the bass string dropped. These are the most commonly used open tuning, probably because you only need to detune the bass string.