April is International Guitar Month, and I’m always stoked that my birthday month celebrates my favorite musical instrument.
According to the site nationaltoday.com, the guitar goes back to ancient Egypt, with the first contemporary acoustic guitar design originating in Spain in the 19th century. The first electric guitar design came from the United States in the 20th century developed by George Beauchamp with Adolph Rickenbacker.
Not only is this one of the coolest, most versatile instruments in classical, jazz, rock, pop, R&B, country, and pretty much everything else, the guitar’s design in itself is a work of art often as unique as the artist who wields it.*
In celebration of guitars, guitarists, and even all you bass players everywhere, let’s test how well you know the musicians behind these famous guitars:
1. This guitarist’s “Hot for Teacher” Kramer guitar just sold at a Sothby’s Auction this week for nearly $4 million.
2. German designer Jerry Auerswald is behind the design of this artist’s famous custom-made guitars, including his very purple “Love Symbol” logo.
3. This rock guitarist is known for being a little over-the-top with his guitar designs, including guitars shaped like boxes or covered with custom art, one with five necks, and even one shaped like himself.
4. This pop-rocker who debuted as an actor and musician in the 1980s is also known by guitar lovers today for his huge guitar collection that includes everything from vintage classics to custom models like this Steampunk Coppercaster model designed by Tony Cochran.
5. This beautiful blue Fender Stratocaster belongs to the first female guitarist and multiple-Grammy-winner to have her own signature guitar line.
6. This Hofner violin bass guitar belongs to a pretty well-known left-handed guitarist and bassist who first realized he could string his guitars to play as a leftie after seeing a photo of Slim Whitman.
7. When this guitarist’s trio rose to fame in the ’80s, he proudly played a big hollow-bodied Gretsch. Today, he has his own signature Gretsch series, including his Nashville model with dice-shaped knobs that you can pick up for just under $3,500.
8. This left-handed Lake Placid Blue Fender Mustang can be seen being played by this late guitarist in probably the most famous video of the 1990s grunge era. It sold last year in an auction for $4.5 million, although it was estimated to go for no more than $800,000.
9. This psychobilly guitarist also plays a favorite Gretsch guitar, and her band’s music is getting attention again thanks to Wednesday Addams and her viral dance steps to “Goo Goo Muck.”
10. This plain-looking Olympic White Stratocaster may seem boring, but it helped launch into legendary status one of the greatest guitar players of all time and even accompanied him to Woodstock in 1969.
How well did you do? Check out the answer key here.
Does your guitar knowledge shred, wail, or just gently weep?
No matter what, sit back and enjoy the music not just on International Guitar Month but throughout the year.
* I realize this comment can be said for many instruments, but I’m celebrating guitars today. Don’t “pick” on me.
Feature Image: Lisa Tate