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The Guitar

The Guitar About five hundred years ago the guitar was invented. Since then, the guitar has played a crucial role in music. It serves as the heart for song, from Jazz, to Blues, to Heavy Metal. The guitar is perhaps the most important instrument in modern music. The two types of guitar most popular today, are the acoustic and electric guitar. The first guitar like instruments looked nothing like the guitars of today. These instruments were called lutes. Lutes later became vihuelas, which then evolved into the guitar in the fifteenth century. The first guitar was named the four-coarse. It was named the four-course guitar because it had four strings. It also had a strange tuning, rather than the usual D-G-B-E tuning of today it was tuned to C-F-A-D which is a eight lower, which gives the guitar a deeper, and richer sound. Later, in the sixteenth century the five-course guitar was invented. It was the same as the four-course except for the extra low E string. This low E note provides a strong foundation in today's music and style of playing. The five-course also introduced Frets. Frets are metal strips placed on the neck of the guitar. When the string is held down along side a fret a note is sounded. The five-course is believed to be invented in Spain. Later, in the eighteenth century the five-course guitar evolved into the most popular guitar model, the six-string guitar. Although it's not certain were exactly the six-string originated from, some think it came from France, Italy, or Germany. The first classical six-strings were considered to be very beautiful. This new design helped introduce new ways that a guitar could be played. The new guitars gave birth to the "Floating arm" technique, which allowed the guitarists right arm to pivot freely at the elbow, while it was floating above the body of the guitar. The strings were plucked using the thumb, index, and middle fingers. The practice of using the ring finger along with others was later introduced in the nineteenth century. The golden age of the guitar is considered to be in the eighteen hundreds when England embraced the guitar after a visit from Fernando Sor. Sor was one of the great early guitarists, along with Matteo Carcassi, and Dionysio Aquado. They were all European guitarists who had a vast effect on the technique used to play guitar today.

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