Electric Guitar

Electric guitars are most often made with solid bodies since they depend upon electromagnetic pickups and amplifiers to produce the sound and are not dependent upon the resonance of the hollow body like the acoustic guitar.

One example of electric guitar is the Fender Stratocaster. It has three pickups with about 7600 turns (Guitar Handbook p62). Treble pickup near bridge and bass pickups at center and near neck.

A popular type of pickup is the humbucking pickup due to Seth Lover of Gibson, two coils wound in series in such a way that that stray magnetic fields from power cords, lights, etc. will induce opposing voltages in them, minimizing "hum".

There are several varieties of electric basses.

Electric Guitar Effects
Guitar Pickups
Index

String
Instruments
  HyperPhysics***** Sound Go Back




The Fender Stratocaster

A solid-bodied electric guitar, the Fender Stratocaster has steel strings and three magnetic pickups, the back, middle and front pickups. The back pickup, situated closest to the bridge, has an offset angle of about ten degrees towards the fingerboard underneath the lower strings to give them more fundamental content. Its treble pole angles toward the bridge to give those strings more high harmonic content. This gives a gradual brightening of tone across the strings from bass to treble. The Stratocaster has a switch that operates these pickups as individuals or in combination. This guitar is noted for its high pitched screams produced by the shape of the body and the single coil pickups.

Index

String
Instruments
  HyperPhysics***** Sound Go Back




Guitar Pickups and Harmonic Content

Index

String
Instruments
  HyperPhysics***** Sound Go Back




Guitar Pickups and Harmonic Content

The three sets of pickups shown for an electric guitar such as the Fender Stratocaster allow the player to adjust the quality of the sound by choosing the amounts of signal used from each pickup. The knobs shown are volume controls for the three sets.

Of the string modes shown, the fundamental will actually be much larger than the others, and the others diminish progressively. Using the pickup set to the right gives much more fundamental and a mellower sound.

Index

String
Instruments
  HyperPhysics***** Sound Go Back




The Electric Bass

Tuning of four string electric bass is E-A-D-G, tuned in fourths with the lowest note being E1 at 41.2 Hz. This is the same tuning as the acoustic bass. The highest note produced is about G4 at 392 Hz. Tuning of the five string bass is B-E-A-D-G with lowest note B0=30.87 Hz. Six string tuning is B-E-A-D-G-C. The fretboard is longer than that of the ordinary electric guitar (about 90 cm compared to about 65 cm).

Index

String
Instruments
  HyperPhysics***** Sound Go Back