The Origins of the Guitar

The Origins of the Guitar

Most guitar players can tell you all about chords and making music with their guitar but very few will know the origins of the guitar.  The guitar has been around for thousands of years and it is one of the oldest instruments on earth.  While the exact origins are largely unknown but we do know that there have been similar instruments for over 5,000 years.

Earliest Guitars

Way back in 1400 BC the Hittites were playing a guitar like instrument that had four strings.  The instrument had curved sides making it look very similar to what guitars are today.  During the same era the Greeks and Romans had similar instruments, the Romans referred to their instrument as the cithara.

Fast forward to 1200 AD and we have two different types of guitars, one is the Moorish guitar.  The guitar had a rounded back, wide fingerboard, and there were several sound holes in the body.  The other type of guitar is the Latin guitar and that was even closer to the current style of guitar, with just one sound hole and a narrow neck.

The Middle Ages

The Moorish and the Latin guitar both evolved into the vihuela.  The vihuela had double the number of strings of the other two guitars, but it had a much longer neck and almost a dozen frets.  The instrument was popular in both Spain and Portugal and this would continue for the next 200 years or so.  The vihuela would eventually evolve into the modern guitar.

The 1600’s

During this time the vihuela and the lute were both extremely popular, but the lute was difficult to play with too many strings.  They would eventually be replaced by the guitar but the guitar in those days had 7 strings rather than 6.  One was a high string along with three other pairs of strings.  It is said that the addition of the extra string is what made the guitar so popular.  Here is a closer look at the lute and vuhueala of that era.

1800’s to Now

It was Antonio Torres Jurado that refined the structure of the guitar by allowing for as many as 7 struts to be spread out under the soundboard.  He also increase the body width and neck width of the guitar.  Now the guitar had a more volume and bass, this allowed for the guitar to be used on stage as well as for a solo performer.  This is pretty much the style of guitar that we have today.

Where to Buy Vintage Guitars

Where to Buy Vintage Guitars

Whether you’re about to start your first guitar lessons, or if you’re an experienced player, I still need to think about where to buy the first guitar (or next). This article discusses some of your options.

Buy from a vintage guitar store

The main advantage of this technique is that you will generally be able to experience a large range of different guitars, from many different companies. A reputable dealer must carry a wide range of tools, and if you visit the right part of the city, you should find two streets or blocks where all the music stores gather together. This means that you should be able to find an example of anything you want to buy, within walking distance.

If you buy a second hand, you should be able to find a good package. Guitar shops are always looking for top-rated vintage guitars. This also means that you may be able to trade in your guitar, which removes the hassle of selling it in particular.

In addition, some stores sell “commission sales”, where they sell the guitar on behalf of a private individual, for a small percentage of sales.

The obvious downside to buying from a guitar store is that the person who runs the store needs to make a profit, so prices are likely to be higher than what you pay for your seller.

Buy from a private individual

That’s right, there are deals that can be purchased if purchased privately, from small ads in newspapers, or from menu sites such as Craigslist. But beware, there is a full load of labor involved, literally speaking. You must contact the phone number, leave a message with someone because the seller goes out, miss his call when he dials, and finally set the appointment, find the site, hope that the seller remembers it at home.

Even when you actually try guitar, you can sometimes end up with someone who does not want to sell his guitar at all, when the time comes. On the other hand, if you want it, and want to sell it, you can sometimes negotiate a good deal, especially if you catch someone who needs money. You should be harsh though!

Buy from the auction site

Websites like eBay are great these days, no wonder about it. See the problems you can get through a special sale? With an online auction, you do not need to leave home. You do not need to make any appointments, or go to the city through the rain; when the auction ends, either you win or lose, there are no uncomfortable questions; if you win, it will be yours – the seller cannot change his mind. Also, there is an undeniable excitement about winning the auction, and then there is excitement waiting for your guitar to come!