The instrument is relatively simple: 6 strings, a fretboard, and some magnetic pickups set into a wooden body. But coupled with an amplifier, the electric guitar has provided musicians with an endless variety of sounds, from the crackling riffs of Chuck Berry to the echoey reverberations of Dick Dale to the fuzzy crunch of Kurt Cobain.
But it’s more than the sound of the electric guitar that has made it the seminal rock instrument: it’s the look as well. The shape of the electric guitar has become the unofficial symbol of Rock and Roll, and various guitar models have become synonymous with rock guitarists, from the lightning bolt shape of James Hetfield’s Gibson Explorer, to Sister Rosetta Tharpe’s iconic Gibson SG, to Albert King’s futuristic Flying V. Today, the shape of electric guitars have become almost as diverse as the sounds they produce.
In this lesson, students learn how to identify shapes, and examine how different shapes combine to form well-known models of electric guitars. Students then design their own electric guitars, making sure to include all the components essential to the instrument.