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Electric Guitars

Freddie Mercury sang "We will rock you," and there's nothing better to rock people with than an electric guitar. The electric axe is the signature weapon of such great musicians as Jimi Hendrix and Eddie Van Halen, and for many it's the one instrument that truly defines Rock and Roll.Amplify it to the Max

It's the amplifier that makes an electric guitar shine. With a solid body, most electric guitars don't produce enough sound to be audible on their own. When you play, the steel strings set up magnetic currents in the pickups. On their own, those currents are too weak to drive a speaker, so the signal is sent to an amplifier and from there to the speakers. The good thing is that you can unplug it and you're set for a quiet practice session that won't disturb the neighbors.

Don't Say Bah Humbucker

One of the most important developments in electric guitar technology was the dual coil pickup or "Humbucker." The first electric guitars used single coil pickups that often picked up signals from the building's wiring. By using two opposed coils, the new dual-coil pickups buck the hum, hence the name "Humbucker."

Get Your First Real Six-String

The first thing most people think of when it comes to electric guitars is the six-string design. Made popular by makers such as Gibson or Fender, it's the six-string electric that does the heavy lifting for most of your favorite rockers. If six strings aren't enough, you can turn it all the way up to twelve. The twelve-string guitar has its strings in six pairs, or courses, which are played together and give a fuller sound. Some guitarists like Alex Lifeson of Rush use double necked guitars with six strings on one neck and twelve on the other for versatility.

Do Yourself a Solid

Most electric guitars are solid-body. Made famous by designers like Les Paul, the solid body guitar is the standard by which most electric guitars are measured. The advantage of going solid body is that it makes sure the only source of vibration are the strings. The disadvantage is that you can't hear them without an amplifier. You can get a hollow-body electric guitar, too. Unplug it, and you've got an acoustic guitar for an intimate setting; plug it in, and you are ready to rock an entire arena.

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