Guitar Electronics

  • Richard Mark French

The electric guitar was not a practical instrument until effective ways were developed to sense the motion of some part of the instrument and convert that motion into a proportional voltage. One of Les Paul’s earliest experiments was to fix a phonograph needle to the top of an acoustic guitar [118]. Since the needle was designed to amplify vibrations caused by changes in the lateral position of the grooves in a record as it spins, it also amplified vibrations of the soundboard.

The first practical type of pickup, and the one that is still universally used on solid body electric guitars, is the electromagnetic inductive pickup. This simple device detects changes in a magnetic field caused by moving steel strings. Inductive pickups are not the only type available, though; different types of instruments require different characteristics from pickups [119].

For example, magnetic pickups are necessarily heavy and are thus difficult to install on acoustic guitars; adding weight to the...


Output Impedance Electromagnetic Noise Voltage Potential Wire Coil Series Circuit 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard Mark French
    • 1
  1. 1.Purdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA

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