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Without question, we're in business to sell electric guitars and many other kinds of guitars. The guitar business has been good to us, but we want you to know why: repeat business and referrals. We realized that if we stubbornly insist on competitive prices, best-quality gear and superb customer service on every single sale we make, those customers will come back for more (and often bring their friends along). So whether you're here for a guitar amplifier for your acoustic electric guitar, a youth guitar or a girl guitar, expect that special stubbornness from us. An acoustic guitar here, a clasical guitar there, an effects pedal for your rig or a new guitar amp, it's all the same to us. We figure, "what goes around comes around." How true, and we love it. Everyone wins!
An electric guitar is a type of guitar that uses pickups to convert the vibration of its steel-cored strings into electrical current, which is then amplified. The signal that comes from the guitar is sometimes electronically altered to achieve various tonal effects prior to being fed into an amplifier, which produces the final sound. The electric guitar was first used in jazz and has also long been used in many other popular styles of music, including almost all genres of rock and roll, country music, blues, ambient (or "new-age"), and even contemporary classical music.
Compared with an acoustic guitar, which has a hollow body, electric guitars make comparatively little audible sound simply by having their strings plucked. Rather, the movement of the string generates (i.e., "induces") a very small electrical current in the magnetic pickups, which are magnets wrapped with coils of very fine wire. That current is then sent via a wire to an amplifier. The current induced is proportional to such factors as the density of the string or the amount of movement over these pickups. That vibration is, in turn, affected by several factors, such as the composition and shape of the body.
Some hybrid electric-acoustic guitars are equipped with additional microphones or piezoelectric pickups (transducers) that sense mechanical vibration from the body. Because in some cases it is desirable to isolate the pickups from the vibrations of the strings, a guitar's magnetic pickups will sometimes be embedded or "potted" in epoxy or wax to prevent the pickup from having a microphonic effect.
Because of their natural inductive qualities, all magnetic pickups tend to pick up ambient and usually unwanted electromagnetic noises. The resulting noise, the so-called "hum", is particularly strong with single-coil pickups, and aggravated by the fact that very few guitars are correctly shielded against electromagnetic interference. The most frequent cause is the strong 50 or 60 Hz component that is inherent in the frequency generation of current within the local power transmission system. As nearly all amplifiers and audio equipment associated with electrical guitars relies on this power, there is in theory little chance of completely eliminating the introduction of unwanted hum.
Double-coil or "humbucker" pickups were invented as a way to reduce or counter the unwanted ambient hum sounds. Humbuckers have two coils of opposite magnetic and electric polarity. This means that electromagnetic noise hitting both coils should cancel itself out. The two coils are wired in phase, so the signal picked up by each coil is added together. This creates the richer, "fatter" tone associated with humbucking pickups.
The optical pickup senses string and body vibrations using LED light.
Some electric guitars have a tremolo arm (sometimes called a whammy bar or a vibrato bar and occasionally abbreviated as trem), a lever attached to the bridge which can slacken or tighten the strings temporarily, changing the pitch, thereby creating a vibrato effect.
Early tremolo systems, such as the Bigsby vibrato tailpiece, tended to be unreliable and cause the guitar to go out of tune quite easily, and also had a limited range. Later Fender designs were better, but Fender held the patent on these, so other companies used Bigsby-style tremolo for many years. With the expiration of the Fender patent on the Stratocaster-style tremolo, various improvements on this type of internal, multi-spring tremolo system are now available.
Floyd Rose introduced one of the first improvements on the vibrato system in many years when in the late 1970s he began to experiment with "locking" nuts and bridges which work to prevent the guitar from tuning even under the most heavy whammy bar acrobatics. Shred guitar performers such as Eddie Van Halen use the tremolo to create dramatic effects, as can be heard in the Van Halen guitar solo "Eruption."
Electric guitars can have necks that vary according to composition as well as shape. The primary metric used to describe a guitar neck is the scale, which is the overall length of the strings from the nut to the bridge. A typical Fender guitar uses a 25.5 inch scale, while Gibson uses a 24.75 inch scale in their Les Paul. The frets are placed proportionally according to the scale length, so the smaller the scale, the tighter the spacing of the frets.
Necks are described as bolt-on, set, or neck-through depending on how they are attached to the body. Set necks are glued to the body in the factory, and are said to have greater sustain. Bolt-on necks were pioneered by Leo Fender to facilitate easy adjustment and replacement of the guitar neck. Neck through instruments extend the neck itself to form the center of the guitar body and are also known for long sustain. While a set neck can be carefully unglued by a skilled Luthier, and a bolt-on neck can simply be unscrewed, a neck-through design is difficult or even impossible to repair, depending on the damage. Historically, the bolt-on style has been more popular for ease of installation and adjustment. Some instruments, such as semi-hollow Jazz/Rockabilly instruments and the Gibson Les Paul series have continued to use set/glued necks. Since bolt-on necks can be easily removed, there is an after-market in replacement bolt-on necks from companies such as Warmoth and Mighty Mite.
The materials used in the manufacture of the neck have great influence over the tone of the instrument. Hardwoods are very much preferred, with maple, ash, and mahogany topping the list. The neck and fingerboard can be made from different materials, such as a maple neck with a rosewood fingerboard. In the 1980s, exotic man-made materials such as graphite began to be used, but are pricey and never really replaced wood in production instruments. Such necks can be retrofitted to existing bolt-on instruments.
There are several different neck shapes used on guitars, including what are known as C necks, and V necks. These refer to the cross-sectional shape of the neck (especially near the nut). There are also several sizes of fret wire available, with traditional players often preferring thin frets, and metal shredders liking thick frets. Thin frets are considered better for playing chords, while thick frets allow lead guitarists to bend notes with less effort.
An electric guitar with a neck which folds back called the Foldaxe was designed and built for Chet Atkins by Roger Field (featured in Atkins' book "Me and My Guitars."). Steinberger guitars developed a line of exotic instruments lacking headstocks, with tuning done on the bridge instead.
Sound and effects
An acoustic guitar's sound is largely dependent on the vibration of the guitar's body and the air within it; the sound of an electric guitar is largely dependent on a magnetically induced electrical signal, generated by the vibration of metal strings near sensitive pickups. The signal is then "shaped" on its path to the amplifier by using a range of effect devices or circuits that modify the tone and characteristics of the signal.
In the 1960s, some guitarists began distorting the sound of the instrument by increasing the gain, or volume, of the preamplifier. This produces a "fuzzy" sound, and when viewed with an oscilloscope the wave forms appear to have had their peaks "clipped" off. This was not actually a new development in the instrument, but rather a shift of aesthetics. This sound was not generally recognized previously as desirable. In the 1960s, the tonal palette of the electric guitar was further modified by introducing an effects box in its signal path. Traditionally built in a small metal chassis with an on/off foot switch, such "stomp boxes" have become as much a part of the instrument for many electric guitarists as the electric guitar itself.
Typical effects include stereo chorus, fuzz, wah-wah and flanging, compression/sustain, delay, reverb, and phase shift.
In 1967, with the release of Little Games, Jimmy Page of The Yardbirds introduced a way of playing the guitar with a violin bow, in the song "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Sailor". He would produce the sound by running the bow downwards on the strings, while fingering chords. In addition, he would also smack the strings with the bow, making an unusual, brief noise.
In the 1970s, as effects pedals proliferated, their sounds were combined with power-tube distortion at lower, more controlled volumes by using power attenuators such as Tom Scholz' Power Soak as well as re-amplified dummy loads such as Eddie Van Halen's use of a variac, power resistor, post-power-tube effects, and a final solid-state amp driving the guitar speakers. A variac is one approach to power-supply based power attenuation, to make the sound of power-tube distortion more practically available.
By the 1980s and 1990s, digital and software effects became capable of replicating the analog effects used in the past. These new digital effects attempted to model the sound produced by analog effects and tube amps, to varying degrees of quality. There are many free guitar effects computer programs for PCs that can be downloaded from the Internet. By the 2000s, PCs with specially-designed sound cards could be used as digital guitar effects processors. Although digital and software effects offer many advantages, many guitarists still use analog effects.
Some innovations have been made recently in the design of the electric guitar. In 2002, Gibson announced the first digital guitar, which performs analog-to-digital conversion internally. The resulting digital signal is delivered over a standard Ethernet cable, eliminating cable-induced line noise. The guitar also provides independent signal processing for each individual string.
Also, in 2003 amp maker Line 6 released the Variax guitar. It differs in some fundamental ways from conventional solid-body electrics. For example it uses piezoelectric pickups instead of the conventional electromagnetic ones, and has an onboard computer capable of modifying the sound of the guitar to model the sound of many instruments.
The need for an amplified guitar became apparent during the big band era, as jazz orchestras of the 1930s and 1940s increased in size, with larger brass sections. Initially, electric guitars used in jazz consisted primarily of hollow archtop acoustic guitar bodies to which electromagnetic transducers had been attached.
Early years Electric guitars were originally designed by an assortment of luthiers - guitar makers, electronics enthusiasts, and instrument manufacturers, in varying combinations.
Guitar innovator Les Paul experimented with microphones attached to guitars. Some of the earliest electric guitars, then essentially adapted hollow bodied acoustic instruments, used tungsten pickups and were manufactured beginning in 1931 by Electro String Instrument Corporation in Los Santos under the direction of Adolph Rickenbacker and George Beauchamp. Their first design of a hollow body guitar instrument that used tungsten pickups was built by Harry Watson, a craftsman who worked for the Electro String Company. This new guitar which the company called "Rickenbackers" would be the first of its kind.
The earliest documented use of the electric guitar in performance was during October 1932 in Wichita, Kansas by guitarist and bandleader Gage Brewer who had obtained two instruments directly from George Beauchamp of Los Angeles, California. Brewer publicized them in an article appearing in the Wichita Beacon, October 2, 1932 and through a Halloween performance later that month.
The first recording of an electric guitar was by jazz guitarist George Barnes who recorded two songs in Chicago on March 1st, 1938: Sweetheart Land and It's a Low-Down Dirty Shame. Many historians incorrectly attribute the first recording to Eddie Durham, but his recording with the Kansas City Five was not until 15 days later. Durham introduced the instrument to a young Charlie Christian, who made the instrument famous in his brief life and is generally known as the first electric guitarist and a major influence on jazz guitarists for decades thereafter.
The version of the instrument that is best known today is the solid body electric guitar, a guitar made of solid wood, without resonating airspaces within it. Rickenbacher, later spelled Rickenbacker, did, however, offer a cast aluminum electric steel guitar, nicknamed The Frying Pan or The Pancake Guitar, beginning in 1931. This guitar is reported to have sounded quite modern and aggressive when tested by vintage guitar researcher John Teagle. The company Audiovox built and may have offered an electric solid-body as early as the mid-1930s.
Another early solid body electric guitar was designed and built by musician and inventor Les Paul in the early 1940s, working after hours in the Epiphone Guitar factory. His log guitar (so called because it consisted of a simple 4x4 wood post with a neck attached to it and homemade pickups and hardware, with two detachable Swedish hollow body halves attached to the sides for appearance only) was patented and is often considered to be the first of its kind, although it shares nothing in design or hardware with the solid body "Les Paul" model sold by Gibson.
In about 1945, Richard D. Bourgerie, who worked through World War II at Howard Radio Company making electronic equipment for the American military, made an electric guitar pickup and amplifier for professional guitar player George Barnes. Mr. Barnes showed the result to Les Paul, who then arranged for Mr. Bourgerie to have one made for him.
How Electric Guitars Work
From a popular culture standpoint, the electric guitar is one of the most important inventions of the 20th century. More than any other instrument, it defines the tone and character of rock and roll music. But when the electric guitar first hit the scene in the 1930s, few people saw its potential. It took quite a while for the instrument to find its place in American music.
Despite the slow start, the electric guitar did find its place. It has inspired and defined entirely new types of music. The electric guitar remains the most prominent instrument in rock music, and the most famous instrument ever to come out of the United States.
In this article, you will learn exactly how the guitar itself works, and we will also discuss the system that the guitar and the amp create together. Working in combination, the guitar and the amp can produce an amazing variety of sounds.
If you have ever compared an electric guitar to an acoustic guitar, you know that they have several important things in common. Both acoustic and electric guitars have six strings, they both tune those strings with tuning pegs and they both have frets on a long neck. Down at the body end is where the major differences are found.
Some electric guitars have a hollow or semi-hollow body with the resonating cavity found in an acoustic guitar, but the most popular electric guitars have solid bodies. The sound is produced by magnetic pickups and controlled by several knobs. If you pluck a string on an electric guitar that is not plugged in, the sound is barely audible. Without a soundboard and a hollow body, there is nothing to amplify the string's vibrations. See How Acoustic Guitars Work for details.
Electric Guitar Pickups
To produce sound, an electric guitar senses the vibrations of the strings electronically and routes an electronic signal to an amplifier and speaker. The sensing occurs in a magnetic pickup mounted under the strings on the guitar's body.
This pickup consists of a bar magnet wrapped with as many as 7,000 turns of fine wire. If you have read How Electromagnets Work, then you know that coils and magnets can turn electrical energy into motion. In the same way, they can turn motion into electrical energy. In the case of an electric guitar, the vibrating steel strings produce a corresponding vibration in the magnet's magnetic field and therefore a vibrating current in the coil.
There are many different types of pickups. For example, some pickups extend a single magnet bar under all six strings. Others have a separate polepiece for each string. Some pickups use screws for polepieces so that the height of each polepiece can be adjusted. The closer the polepiece is to the string, the stronger the signal. The pickup's coil sends its signals through a very simple circuit on most guitars.
The upper variable resistor adjusts the tone. The resistor (typically 500 kilo-ohms max) and capacitor (0.02 microfarads) form a simple low-pass filter. The filter cuts out higher frequencies. By adjusting the resistor you control the frequencies that get cut out. The second resistor (typically 500 kilo-ohms max) controls the amplitude (volume) of the signal that reaches the jack. From the jack, the signal runs to an amplifier, which drives a speaker.
Many electric guitars have two or three different pickups located at different points on the body. Each pickup will have a distinctive sound, and multiple pickups can be paired, either in-phase or out, to produce additional variations.
An acoustic guitar is a guitar that uses only acoustic methods to project the sound produced by its strings. It is a retronym, coined after the advent of electric guitars, which depend on electronic amplification to make their sound audible.
In all types of guitars the sound is produced by the vibration of the strings. However, because the strings can only displace a small amount of air, the volume of the sound needs to be increased in order to be heard. In an acoustic guitar, this is accomplished by using a soundboard and a resonant cavity, the sound box. The body of the guitar is hollow. The vibrating strings drive the soundboard through the bridge, making it vibrate. The soundboard has a larger surface area and thus displaces a larger volume of air, producing a much louder sound than the strings alone.
As the soundboard vibrates, sound waves are produced from both the front and back faces. The sound box provides both a support for the sound board and a resonant cavity and reflector for the sound waves produced on the back face of the soundboard. The air in this cavity resonates with the vibrational modes of the string (see Helmholtz resonance), increasing the volume of the sound again. The back of the guitar will also vibrate to a lesser extent, driven by the air in the cavity. Some sound is ultimately projected through the sound hole (some variants of the acoustic guitar omit this hole, or have f holes, like a violin family instrument). This sound mixes with the sound produced by the front face of the soundboard. The resultant sound is a complex mixture of harmonics that give the guitar its distinctive sound.
No amplification actually occurs in this process, in the sense that no energy is externally added to increase the loudness of the sound (as would be the case with an electronic amplifier). All the energy is provided by the plucking of the string. The function of the entire acoustic system is to maximize intensity of sound, but since total energy remains constant, this comes at the expense of decay time. An unamplified guitar (one with no soundboard at all) would have a low volume, but the strings would vibrate much longer, like a tuning fork. This is because a damped harmonic oscillator decays exponentially, with a mean life inversely proportional to the damping. When the strings are driving the larger soundboard and sound box, the damping is much higher.
An acoustic guitar can be amplified by using various types of pickups or microphones. The most common type of pickups used for acoustic guitar amplification are piezo and magnetic pickups. Piezo pickups are generally mounted under the bridge saddle of the acoustic guitar and can be plugged into a mixer or amplifier. Magnetic pickups are generally mounted in the sound hole of the acoustic guitar and are very similar to those found in electric guitars.
Various shapes determine the way the soundboard vibrates. The thinner and lighter the soundboard (less mass), the louder the sound. However, there are practical limitations to how thin the soundboard can be made without breaking. Braces are used inside the guitar to provide strength and resilience. The mass and position of these braces have consequences for the range of frequencies reproduced. During the wave cycle, different regions of the soundboard may be moving in different directions, depending on the sound frequency. Different configurations of bracing and different shapes of soundboard produce different vibration patterns, giving subtle variations in the range of sounds produced.
The materials and shape of the guitar produce a complex series of damping, resonating, and phase cancelling or reinforcing effects. The range of factors determine the overall acoustic qualities or timbre of the instrument. Artisan luthiers tap potential pieces of wood to determine their acoustic resonance, but this is usually not done for mass-produced instruments. Different timber species have different tones and careful selection of timber is required when designing and making an instrument. Guitars have been made with steel soundboards and resonators, and some experiments have been conducted with novel materials including aluminium and plastics. Even the hardness or viscoelasticity of the glues and varnishes can have a dramatic effect on the sound, damping or resonating some or all frequencies. Quality instruments are made with hard glues and lacquers which have less damping on the transmission of vibrations around the structure of the instrument. Most people prefer the sound of wooden instruments, although the steel resonator guitar has found favor in some genres, like blues. Sitka spruce is traditionally the favored material for the soundboard because of its high strength-to-weight ratio and stiffness. In recent years King William pine has been found to produce very good results.
How Acoustic Guitars Work
The acoustic guitar is one of the most successful instruments of all time, and also one of the simplest to learn and play. And its ingenious, straight-forward design allows for a huge variety of sounds. Learn more about acoustic guitars.
The guitar is one of the most popular musical instruments in use today, and it spans a huge range of musical styles -- rock music, country music and flamenco music all use the same instrument to create wildly different sounds. The guitar is an instrument that has been around since the 1500s, but it has undergone several big transformations during its history. The development of the electric guitar is the most obvious recent mutation, and it had a huge effect on the popularity of the guitar.
Whether you're a musician or you simply enjoy listening to music, have you ever stopped to think about how a guitar works? What are frets for? What does the big hole in the front do? How does an electric guitar's pick-up work? In this article, we'll explore exactly how guitars make music! You will also learn a good bit about notes and scales in the process.
A guitar is a musical instrument with a distinctive shape and a distinctive sound. The best way to learn how a guitar produces its sound is to start by understanding all of the different parts that make up the instrument. We'll start here with the acoustic guitar and then look at the electric guitar later in the article.
A guitar can be divided into three main parts:
The hollow body
The neck, which holds the frets
The head, which contains the tuning pegs
The most important piece of the body is the soundboard. This is the wooden piece mounted on the front of the guitar's body, and its job is to make the guitar's sound loud enough for us to hear. In the soundboard is a large hole called the sound hole. The hole is normally round and centered, but F-shaped pairs of holes, as in a violin, are sometimes seen. Attached to the soundboard is a piece called the bridge, which acts as the anchor for one end of the six strings. The bridge has a thin, hard piece embedded in it called the saddle, which is the part that the strings rest against.
When the strings vibrate, the vibrations travel through the saddle to the bridge to the soundboard. The entire soundboard is now vibrating. The body of the guitar forms a hollow soundbox that amplifies the vibrations of the soundboard. If you touch a tuning fork to the bridge of a guitar you can prove that the vibrations of the soundboard are what produce the sound in an acoustic guitar.
The body of most acoustic guitars has a "waist," or a narrowing. This narrowing happens to make it easy to rest the guitar on your knee. The two widenings are called bouts. The upper bout is where the neck connects, and the lower bout is where the bridge attaches.
The size and shape of the body and the bouts has a lot to do with the tone that a given guitar produces. Two guitars that have different body shapes and sizes will sound a bit different. The two bouts also affect the sound: If you drop a pick into the body of a guitar and rattle it back and forth in the lower bout and then the upper bout, you will be able to hear a difference. The lower bout accentuates lower tones and the upper bout accentuates higher tones.
The face of the neck, containing the frets, is called the fingerboard. The frets are metal pieces cut into the fingerboard at specific intervals. By pressing a string down onto a fret, you change the length of the string and therefore the tone it produces when it vibrates. We'll talk a lot more about frets and specific fret spacings later on.
Between the neck and the head is a piece called the nut, which is grooved to accept the strings. From a musical standpoint, the saddle and the nut act as the two ends of the string. The distance between these two points is called the scale length of the guitar.
The strings pass over the nut and attach to tuning heads, which allow the player to increase or decrease the tension on the strings to tune them
In almost all tuning heads, a tuning knob turns a worm gear that turns a string post.
Strings and Frets
Now the question becomes: How does a guitar generate the frequencies shown above? A guitar uses vibrating strings to generate tones. Any string under tension will vibrate at a specific frequency that is controlled by:
The length of the string
The amount of tension on the string
The weight of the string
The "springiness" of the string's material (a rubber band is a lot "springier" than kite string)
On a guitar, you can see that the different strings have different weights. The first string is like a thread, and the sixth string is wound so that it is much thicker and heavier. The tension on the strings is controlled by the tuning pegs. The length of the open strings, also known as the scale length, is the distance from the nut to the saddle. On most guitars, the scale length ranges from 24 inches to 26 inches. When you press down on a string at a fret you change the length of the string, and therefore its frequency when vibrating.
The frets are spaced out so that the proper frequencies are produced when the string is held down at each fret. The magic number to use in positioning frets is 17.817. Let's say that the scale length for a guitar is 26 inches. The first fret should be located (26 / 17.817) 1.46 inches down from the nut, or 24.54 inches from the saddle. The second fret should be (24.54 / 17.817) 1.38 inches down from the first fret, or 23.16 inches from the saddle. The 12th fret should be exactly halfway between the nut and the saddle. The following table shows all of the fret positions and the frequency of each note on the first string (assuming a scale length of 26 inches).
The Guitar's Sound
Have you ever noticed that a piano, a harp, a mandolin, a banjo and a guitar all play the same notes (frequencies) using strings, but they all sound so different? If you hear the different instruments you can easily recognize each one by its sound. For example, anyone can hear the difference between a piano and a banjo!
An acoustic guitar generates its sound in the following way:
When the strings on a guitar vibrate, they transmit their vibrations to the saddle.
The saddle transmits its vibrations to the soundboard.
The soundboard and body amplify the sound.
The sound comes out through the sound hole.
The particular shape and material of the sound board, along with the shape of the body and the fact that a guitar uses strings, give a guitar its distinctive "sound."
The electric bass guitar (also called electric bass, or simply bass) is a stringed instrument played primarily with the fingers (either by plucking, slapping, popping, or tapping) or using a pick. The bass is similar in appearance and construction to an electric guitar, but with a larger body, a longer neck and scale length, and usually four strings tuned to the same pitches as those of the double bass, or one octave lower in pitch than the four lower strings of a guitar (E, A, D, and G). Since the 1950s, the electric bass guitar has largely replaced the double bass in popular music. The bass guitar provides the low-pitched basslines and bass runs in many different styles of music ranging from rock and metal to blues and jazz. It is also used as a soloing instrument in jazz, fusion, Latin, funk, and rock styles.
A wide variety of different options are available for the body, neck, pickups, and other features of the bass. Instruments handmade by highly skilled luthiers are becoming increasingly available. Bass bodies are typically made of wood although other materials such as graphite (for example, some of the Steinberger designs) have also been used. While a wide variety of woods are suitable for use in the body, neck, and fretboard of the bass guitar – the most common type of wood used for the body is alder, for the neck is maple, and for the fretboard is rosewood. Other commonly used woods include mahogany, maple, ash, and poplar for bodies, mahogany for necks, and ebony for fretboards.
The choice of body material and shape can have a significant impact on the timbre of the completed instrument as well as on aesthetic considerations. Other design options include finishes, such as lacquer, wax and oil; flat and carved designs; Luthier-produced custom-designed instruments; headless basses, which have tuning machines in the bridge of the instrument (e.g.Steinberger and Hohner designs) and several artificial materials such as luthite. The use of artificial materials allows for unique production techniques such as die-casting, to produce complex body shapes.
While most basses have solid bodies, they can also include hollow chambers to increase the resonance or reduce the weight of the instrument. Some basses are built with entirely hollow bodies, which changes the tone and resonance of the instrument. Acoustic bass guitars are typically equipped with piezoelectric or magnetic pickups and amplified.
Bass guitar necks, which are longer than regular electric guitar necks, are generally made of maple. More exotic woods include bubinga, wenge, ovangkol, ebony and goncalo alves. Graphite or carbon fiber are used to make lightweight necks and, in some cases, entire basses.
Exotic woods are used on more expensive instruments: for example, the company 'Alembic' is associated with the use of cocobolo as a body material or top layer because of its attractive grain. Warwick bass guitars are also well-known for exotic hardwoods: most of the necks are made of ovangkol, and the fingerboards wenge or ebony. Solid bubinga bodies are also used for tonic and aesthetic qualities.
The "long scale" necks used on Leo Fender's basses, giving a scale length (distance between nut and bridge) of 34", remain the standard for electric basses. However, 30" or "short scale" instruments, such as the Höfner Violin Bass, played by Paul McCartney, and the Fender Mustang Bass are popular, especially for players with smaller hands. While 35", 35.5" and 36" scale lengths were once only available in "boutique" instruments, in the 2000s, many manufacturers have begun offering these lengths, also called an "extra long scale." This extra long scale provides a higher string tension, which yields a more defined tone on the low "B" string of 5- and 6-stringed instruments (or detuned 4-string basses).
Strings and tuning
The standard design for the electric bass guitar has four strings, tuned E, A, D and G, in fourths such that the open highest string, G, is an eleventh (an octave and a fourth) below middle C, making the tuning of all four strings the same as that of the double bass. This tuning is also the same as the standard tuning on the lower four strings on a 6-string guitar, only an octave lower. String types include all-metal strings (roundwound, flatwound, groundwound, or halfwound), metal strings with different coverings, such as tapewound and plastic-coatings. The variety of materials used in the strings gives bass players a range of tonal options.
In the 1950s, bassists often used flatwound strings with a smooth surface, which had a smooth, damped sound reminiscent of a double bass. In the 1960s and 1970s, roundwound bass strings similar to guitar strings became popular. Roundwounds have a brighter timbre with greater sustain than flatwounds. Flatwounds are still used by some bassists who want a more 'vintage' or Motown-style sound.
A number of other tuning options and bass types have been used to extend the range of the instrument. The most common are:
Four strings with alternate tunings to obtain an extended lower range.
Five strings usually tuned B-E-A-D-G, which provides the extended lower range of "drop tuning" or other down-tunings. Another common tuning used on early 5 string double basses is E-A-D-G-C, known as "tenor tuning". This is still a popular tuning for jazz and solo bass. Other tunings such as C-E-A-D-G are used though rare. The 5th string provides a greater lower or upper range than the 4-string bass, and gives access to more notes for any given hand position.
Six strings are usually tuned B-E-A-D-G-C. The 6-string bass is a 4-string bass with an additional low "B" string and a high "C" string. While much less common than 4- or 5-string basses, they are still used in Latin, jazz, and several other genres, as well as in studio work where a single instrument must be highly versatile. Alternate tunings for 6-string bass include B-E-A-D-G-B, matching the first five strings of an acoustic or electric guitar, and EADGBE, completely matching the tuning of a 6-string guitar but one octave lower allowing the use of guitar chord fingerings. Rarer but not unheard of are EADGCF and F#BEADG, providing a lower or higher range in a given position while maintaining consistent string intervals.
Detuners, such as the Hipshot, are mechanical devices operated by the right or left-hand thumb that allow one or more strings to be quickly detuned to a pre-set lower pitch. Hipshots are typically used to drop the "E"-string down to "D" on a four string bass.
Most electric bass guitars use magnetic pickups. The vibrations of the instrument's metal strings within the magnetic field of the permanent magnets in magnetic pickups produce small variations in the magnetic flux threading the coils of the pickups. This in turn produces small electrical voltages in the coils. These low-level signals are then amplified and played through a speaker. Less commonly, non-magnetic pickups are used, such as piezoelectric pickups which sense the mechanical vibrations of the strings. Since the 1990s, basses are often available with battery-powered "active" electronics that boost the signal and/or provide equalization controls to boost or cut bass and treble frequencies.
"P-" pickups (the "P" refers to the original Fender Precision Bass) are actually two distinct single-coil halves, wired in opposite direction to reduce hum, each offset a small amount along the length of the body so that each half is underneath two strings. Less common is the single-coil "P" pickup, used on the 1951 Fender Precision bass
"J-" pickups (referring to the original Fender Jazz Bass) are wider eight-pole pickups which lie underneath all four strings. J pickups are typically single-coil designs, but because one is wired opposite to the other, when used at the same volume they have hum canceling properties.
Humbucker (dual coil) pickups, are found in Gibson, Music Man and other basses. They have two signal producing coils which are reverse wound around opposed polarity magnets. This significantly reduces noise from interference compared to single coil pickups. Humbuckers also often produce a higher output level than single coil pickups.
"Soapbar" Pickups get their name due to their resemblance to a bar of soap and originally referred to the Gibson P-90 guitar pickup. The term is now also used to describe any pickup with a rectangular shape and no visible pole pieces. They are commonly found in ERB basses. EMG now makes a Soapbar pickup that has both a single coil and a humbucker in the same pickup. The player switches between the two by pulling or pushing on the volume knob.
Many basses have just one pickup, typically a "P" or soapbar pickup. Multiple pickups are also quite common, two of the most common configurations being a "P" near the neck and a "J" near the bridge (e.g. Fender Precision Bass Special, Fender Precision Bass Plus), or two "J" pickups (e.g. Fender Jazz). The placement of the pickup greatly affects the sound, with a pickup near the neck joint thought to sound "fatter" or "warmer" (the bass frequencies being dominant) while a pickup near the bridge is thought to sound "tighter" or "sharper" (providing a larger amount of treble). Usually basses with multiple pickups allow blending of the output from the pickups, providing for a range of timbres. Sound demos for six variations of P-J pickup settings on the Fender Aerodyne Jazz Bass illustrate this concept.
Piezoelectric pickups are non-magnetic pickups that produce a different tone, often similar to that of an acoustic bass, and allow bassists to use non-ferrous strings such as nylon, brass or even silicone rubber. Piezoelectric pickups use a transducer crystal to convert the vibrations of the string into an electrical signal.
Optical pickups are another type of non-magnetic pickup. They use an LED to optically track the movement of the string, which allows them to reproduce low-frequency tones at high volumes without the "hum" or excessive resonance associated with conventional magnetic pickups. Since optical pickups lack high frequencies, they are commonly paired with piezoelectric pickups to fill in the missing frequencies. The Lightwave company builds basses with optical pickups.
Amplification and effects
Like the electric guitar, the electric bass guitar is always connected to an amplifier for live performances. Electric bassists use either a "combo" amplifier, which combines an amplifier and a speaker in a single cabinet, or an amplifier and a separate speaker cabinet (or cabinets). In some cases when the bass is being used with large-scale PA amplification, it is plugged into a "DI" or "direct box", which routes their signal directly into a mixing console, and thence to the main and monitor speakers. For some recordings, the electric bass is recorded without the use of an amplifier and speakers by connecting the bass with the mixing board using a "DI", while the musician listens to the sound of the instrument through headphones.
Various electronic bass effects such as preamplifiers, "stomp box"-style pedals and signal processors and the configuration of the amplifier and speaker can be used to alter the basic sound of the instrument. In the 1990s and early 2000s, signal processors such as equalizers, distortion devices, and compressors or limiters became increasingly popular additions to many electric bass players' gear.
Sitting or standing
Most bass players stand while playing, although sitting is also accepted, particularly in large ensemble settings, such as jazz big bands, or in acoustic genres such as folk music. It is a matter of the player's preference as to which position gives the greatest ease of playing, and what a bandleader expects. When sitting, right-handed players can balance the instrument on the right thigh, or like classical guitar players, the left. Balancing the bass on the left thigh positions it in such a way that it mimics the standing position, allowing for less difference between the standing and sitting positions.
The electric bass guitar, in contrast to the upright bass (or double bass), is played in a similar position to the guitar; that is, it is held horizontally across the body. Notes are usually produced by pizzicato, in which the strings are plucked by the index and middle fingers (and sometimes with the thumb and ring fingers as well) or with a pick (or plectrum). Although the use of a pick is primarily associated with rock, picks are also used in other styles. Jazz bassist Steve Swallow uses a pick for upbeat or funky songs. Picks can be used with alternating downstrokes and upstrokes, or with all downstrokes for a more consistent attack. A bassist usually holds a pick in a fist like grip with the index and thumb. Also, usually the wrist is used, but sometimes for tremolo picking, and artist uses the whole arm (variations are endless). Some bassists use their fingernails to play flamenco-style, such as John Entwistle, Geddy Lee and Les Claypool. Lemmy from Motörhead is known for playing with a pick, and would go as far as to have the pick taped to his thumb prior to performances.
There are many varieties of picks available to a bassist, and usually one chooses one for comfort, or for tone. The norm, is to choose heavy picks that range from 1.14 mm – 3.00 mm (3.00 is unusual). Picks are made with all types of material for tone preference; a fine example would be felt picks, which are used to emulate the tone one gets from fingers.
Bassists trying to emulate the sound of a double bass sometimes pluck the strings with their thumb or fingers rather than a plectrum, and use palm-muting to create a short, "thumpy" tone. Sting performs using his thumb. James Jamerson, an influential bassist from the Motown era, played intricate bass lines using a single finger – his index finger, which he called "The Hook." Depending on where the string is plucked, different timbres are produced.
There are also variations in how a bassist chooses to rest the right-hand thumb (or left thumb in the case of left-handed players). A player may rest his thumb on the top edge of one of the pickups. One may also rest one's thumb on the side of the fretboard, which is especially common among bassists who have an upright bass influence. Some bassists anchor their thumbs on the lowest string and move it off to play on the low string. Alternatively, the thumb can be rested loosely on the strings to mute the unused strings.
Early Fender models came with a "thumbrest" attached to the pickguard, below the strings. Contrary to its name, this was not used to rest the thumb, but to rest the fingers while using the thumb to pluck the strings. The thumbrest was moved above the strings in 1970s models and eliminated in the 1980s.
"Slap and pop" and tapping
The slap and pop method, which is a mainstay of funk, uses tones and percussive sounds achieved by thumping (or "slapping") a string with the thumb and snapping (or "popping") a string or strings with the index or middle fingers. Bassists often interpolate left hand-muted "dead notes" between the slaps and pops to achieve a rapid percussive effect. Larry Graham of Sly and the Family Stone and Graham Central Station was an early innovator of the slap style, and Louis Johnson of the The Brothers Johnson is also credited as an early slap bass player.
Slap and pop style is also used by many bassists in other genres, such as rock (e.g., J J Burnel and Les Claypool) and fusion (e.g. Marcus Miller, Victor Wooten and Alain Caron). Slap style playing was popularized throughout the 1980s and early 1990s by pop bass players such as Mark King (from Level 42) and funk-rock bassists such as Flea (from the Red Hot Chili Peppers) and Alex Katunich (from Incubus). Wooten popularized the "double thump," in which the string is slapped twice, on the upstroke and a downstroke (for more information, see Classical Thump).
In the two-handed tapping style, bassists use both hands to play notes by rapidly pressing and holding the string to the fret. This makes it possible to play contrapuntal lines, chords and arpeggios. Some players noted for this technique include Billy Sheehan, Stuart Hamm, John Myung, Victor Wooten, Les Claypool, Michael Manring and the style's originator, John Entwistle. The Chapman Stick and Warr Guitars are string instruments that are designed to be played using two-handed tapping. Another rarely-used playing technique related to slapping is the use of wooden dowel "funk fingers", an approach popularized by Tony Levin.
Daisy Rock Guitars is a guitar manufacturer established in 2000 by Tish Ciravolo. The company markets guitars and bass guitars designed and marketed specifically for girls and women. Daisy Rock is currently co-owned and distributed by Alfred Publishing.
Daisy Rock guitars are designed with light-weight bodies and narrower necks. Some models also incorporate a shorter scale length, which reduces the spacing between frets. These design features are meant to make the guitars easier to play for girls and women with small bodies and hands. The colors, finishes and body shapes are also designed to appeal to girls and women. Most manufacture is done outside the United States (the location of manufacture was not readily indicated in Daisy Rock's marketing materials), with the exception of instruments in the "Rock Candy Pink Label" series, which are made in the United States.
Daisy Rock also markets hard cases and soft gig bags, guitar picks, cables, straps, pins, guitar instruction books and DVDs, and a variety of t-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, and other apparel with Daisy Rock logos in pinks, blues, and other colors similar to the available guitar colors.
The Daisy Rock web site contains a gallery of endorsing artists. Most are women or bands consisting primarily of women, although a few male artists are featured.
The site also features a gallery of signed guitars, which according to company sources are not sold directly but instead are usually auctioned to raise money for various charitable causes.
Most girl guitar models are relatively inexpensive, with suggested retail prices ranging from $279 to $699 (widely available with discounts of 30% or more). The exception is the Rock Candy Pink Label model, with a list price of $2,999, also available discounted by approximately 30%.
Models for 2007
Debutante by Daisy Rock has several models of solid-body electric guitar are available with unusual body shapes. While scale lengths of electric guitars are not standardized across the industry, for comparison purposes note that a popular electric guitar, the Fender Stratocaster, has a scale length of 25.5 inches, while a popular electric bass, the Fender Precision Bass, has a scale length of 34 inches, and many other manufacturers use similar scale lengths (see Scale (string instruments)). All the children's models come with gig bags.
Daisy – beginner electric guitar with a daisy-shaped body and leaf-shaped headstock. Available only as a short-scale six-string guitar with a 22.5-inch scale length and 22 frets, in blue and pink.
Heartbreaker – electric instruments with a heart-shaped body and leaf-shaped headstock, available as a short-scale six-string guitar with a 22.5-inch scale length, an "artist" model six-string guitar with a 24.75-inch scale length, and a four-string bass guitar with a 30-inch scale length. All three designs have 22 frets. Available finishes, depending on model, include pink, purple, and red.
Star – electric instruments with a star-shaped body and leaf-shaped headstock; models are similar to the instruments in the Heartbreaker series.
Butterfly – electric instruments available in the same three designs as the Heartbreaker and Star series, but with a butterfly-shaped body and a multi-colored butterfly finish.
Wildwood Series six-string beginner acoustic guitar are available as an acoustic-only model with a 22.75-inch scale length and 21 frets, or as an "artist" model with a 25.5-inch scale length, 20 frets, and a piezoelectric pickup built-in, allowing the instrument to be plugged into an amplifier. The "artist" model's electronics include a built-in tuner. Finishes include pink, purple, sparkle, and a light wood color. A gig bag is included.
Pixie Series six-string acoustic short-scale guitar are also available in acoustic-only and acoustic-electric models. Both have a 25.25-inch scale length and 20 frets. Finish options include solid pink, purple, blue, and sparkle purple finish for the acoustic-only models, and a dark purple and blue sparkle burst for the acoustic-electric models. A gig bag is included. The acoustic-only models come with reusable decorative decals for customizing the guitar's appearance. Acoustic-only models in pink, purple, and blue are also available in "starter kits" that include the guitar, instructional materials, gig bag, strap, string winder, picks, and decorative decals.
A variety of models are available, broken into the Rock Candy series, the Rebel Rockit series, the Tom Boy series, and the Stardust series. These are generally mid-priced guitars with the exception of the "Rock Candy Pink Label" instruments.
Rock Candy Series – consists of several guitars for girls models of six-string solid-body electric guitars with a single-cutaway body, similar to the body outline of a Gibson Les Paul or Paul Reed Smith "single-cut" guitar. Instruments are constructed with a 24.75-inch scale length and 22 frets, and four-string electric bass models with a 34-inch scale length and 22 frets. These instruments differ from the children's series in that they feature more expensive components, such as Grover tuners and a Tune-o-Matic bridges, and are available at a number of different price points, with a variety of pink, purple, "champagne," and sparkle finishes.
Rock Candy Pink Label consists of a single higher-end (and corresondingly more expensive) American-made model, built by luthier John Carruthers, in a hot pink finish. This is a greatbeginner girl guitar.
Tom Boy Series – currently this guitars for kids series consists of only the six-string solid-body electric "Tom Boy Deuce" model, with a 24.75-inch scale length and 22 frets. This guitar is similar in design to several Danelectro guitars designed for playing surf rock and features a coil-tap control.
Stardust Series – the "Retro-H" and "Retro-H Deluxe" youth guitar models are six-string semi-hollow body electric guitars with Bigsby vibrato systems, 24.75-inch scale length, and 22 frets. These instruments use a design similar to Gibson hollow-body guitars designed for playing jazz and blues such as the Gibson_ES-355.
Stardust Elite Series - Although they share the "Stardust" name, these instrument designs are quite different than the "Stardust" series; they are solid-body guitars with a symmetrical double cutaway body shape. There are several other student guitar "Elite" models including a short-scale "Elite Petite Rebel" with a 22.5-inch scale length and 22 frets and an "Elite Venus" model with elaborate floral inlays in the fretboard. A short-scale bass guitar is also available, with a 32-inch scale length and 21 frets. Finishes include pink, black, and purple and blue sparkle "burst" color schemes.
Rebel Rockit Series - six-string solid-body youth electric guitar with tremolo systems and Fender Stratocaster-like dual-cutaway designs, with 25.5-inch scale length and 22 frets, tremolo systems, and pearlescent pickguards. The "Heart" model has a heart-shaped pickguard.
A musician herself, Tish Ciravolo designed the first guitar, but according to company materials "in a sense, Ciravolo’s daughter Nicole is the true visionary behind Daisy Rock. When Nicole was a one-and-a-half years old, she drew a picture of a daisy, and her mom was inspired to draw a neck on it. She developed the design and took it to her husband, Michael Ciravolo, the president of Schecter Guitars." The first model was thus the "Daisy" student electric guitar, and debuted in November 2000 at Seattle’s ROCKRGRL Conference. Daisy Rock was launched as a subsidiary of Schecter Guitars. The company achieved sales of over $400,000 by the end of 2002.
Combining a lifelong passion for making music with a desire to “level the playing field” for dedicated female guitarists and bass players of all ages, Tish Ciravolo, founder and president of Daisy Rock Guitars, is a Renaissance woman of the music industry and a true pioneer of the instrument manufacturing world.
Since being founded in 2000, Daisy Rock has increased in size at an astonishing rate, with unit sales in 2008 reaching nearly 25,000 guitars—that’s 25,000 girls whose lives are forever changed by picking up a Daisy Rock! In addition, Daisy Rock remains dedicated to getting guitars into the hands of girls globally, and Daisy Rock guitars, youth acoustic guitar and basses are now available in more than 20 countries worldwide. 2008 marked the birth of Daisy Rock’s newest line, the Debutante series. Daisy Rock now offers dual guitar lines, designed to better fit the needs of guitarists of all ages, skill levels, and most of all, personalities. The Daisy Rock line for adult and professional players features acoustic guitars, electric guitars, acoustic-electric guitars, and bass guitars in a variety of body shapes and finishes. The highlight of the line is the recently-released Rock Candy Pink Label guitar, an ultra-lightweight, ultra-stylish guitar hand-crafted in the USA by guitar guru to the stars, John Carruthers. The Debutante Series is the company’s beginner line, and offers fun, playful acoustic and electric guitars in shapes that stand out, colors that pop, and best of all, prices that won’t break the budget.
Ciravolo’s dream that “every female guitarists who wants to play guitar is welcomed and inspired to do so” is centered on the love she has for her two daughters, nine-year-old Nicole and seven-year-old Sophia. “When the time comes, I want their experience as musicians to be different from when I was growing up, when every guitar available was designed with men in mind,” Ciravolo says. “I want them to be able to walk into a music store anywhere and be able to find something made with them in mind. Daisy Rock is not about making me rich and famous or being a hero to anyone. It’s simply an opportunity to leave a legacy for my kids and to provide females with great instruments designed with them in mind.”
In a sense, Ciravolo’s daughter Nicole is the true visionary behind Daisy Rock. When Nicole was a year and a half old, she drew a picture of a daisy, and Tish was inspired to draw a neck on it. Tish developed the design and took it to her husband, Michael Ciravolo, the president of Schecter Guitars. (Schecter had grown, under Michael’s leadership, from its original roots as a small instrument parts company in the 1970s and ’80s into a major guitar manufacturer. Early Schecter endorsees included Michael’s old friend Robert De Leo from Stone Temple Pilots, as well as artists like Prince.) “I told Michael that I wanted to create a line of guitars designed just for girls and women,” says Ciravolo, “so that’s what I did.”
Daisy Rock offers a variety of starter guitar that appeals to girls of any age. Younger girls are drawn to the Debutante line of guitars, with their Butterfly, Daisy, Star, and Heart shapes as well as the pallet of purples, pinks, reds and blues. Adult women are drawn to the solid construction and amazing sound quality of Daisy Rock’s light-weight guitars and their trademark “Slim & Narrow” neck designs.
Famous artists from across the musical spectrum also love their student acoustic guitar and Daisy Rock guitars, including Avril Lavigne, Joan Jett (The Runaways), Heart’s Ann and Nancy Wilson, Louise Post (Veruca Salt), Miley Cyrus, Miranda Cosgrove, Hilary Duff, Lindsay Lohan, Kathy Valentine and Jane Wiedlin (Go-Go’s), Share Ross (Bubble and Vixen), Susanna Hoffs (The Bangles), Nina Hagen, Annie Minogue, Lisa Loeb, Wanda Jackson, Dolly Parton, Ella Hooper (Killing Heidi), Precious Finch (L7), Marla Sokoloff, Shonen Knife, The Veronica’s, and Anna Waronker. Girls, however, aren’t the only ones having fun with Daisy Rock guitars—The Cure’s Robert Smith, and The Psychedelic Furs’ Tim Butler, Chris Stein from Blondie, Sylvain Sylvain from The New York Dolls play them, too, as do Adam Levy (Norah Jones) and Paul Leary (Butthole Surfers).
Tish grew up in Merced, California, where her best friend Barbara taught her to play guitar as they attended El Capitan High School. The young Ciravolo—whose first exposure to a girl playing rock bass was Suzi Quatro as Leather Tuscadero on the television show “Happy Days”—was a quick learner and by age 16 was on tour with a band called Plateau. When Plateau ended up playing in Kansas City, she decided to stay there and enrolled in Penn Valley Community College as a journalism and business major. After receiving her degree, she relocated to Los Angeles, where she balanced a series of crazy-making day jobs (waitress at Duke’s Coffee Shop, temp positions, assistant to Jay Leno and his former manager, the late Helen Kushnick, to name a few) with amateur night performances at The Improv and Comedy Store. Intent on being a rock star during those middle 1980s, she gravitated towards what would become her primary instrument, the bass. Like her influences Simon Gallup and Tim Butler, she played with a pick. “They kicked me out of the Dick Grove Music School after five minutes,” she recalls, “because I didn’t want to play with my fingers.”
Hopping from band to band, inching ever closer but never getting to that elusive record deal, Ciravolo became the quintessential L.A. rock queen. She played in several bands over the years, including Rag Dolls, The Velvets (a female Psychedelic Furs-type outfit), They Eat Their Own (new wave pop), and eventually, her own group, Shiksa and the Sluts. Then she entered her “big hair metal phase,” hanging with the popular band Lypstik from 1988 to 1992. “We had a billboard on the side of the Roxy and everything,” she says. “We did the windmill head shaking routine when we played, which was big at the time. We were also house band at the Whisky for a time, and played in the Battle of the Bitches at FM Station.” Finding other creative outlets, Ciravolo also made two independent films (The Wake, and Birds & The Bees) and wrote sitcom with partner Karen Peterson.
“Through all those years of playing music, of great success and crushing disappointment, I always had so much fun,” Ciravolo says. “It’s physical, it’s artistic, and it’s who I am at heart. These days, I’m in this punk band called sASSafrASS, and we do covers like “Cherry Bomb” by the Runaways plus original material. I’m kind of over the whole ‘getting the record deal thing,’ and it’s more fun than I ever had before. If I got a record deal now, it would probably interfere with everything I’m doing with Daisy Rock.”
Ciravolo’s commitment to young female musicians extends into the realm of book publishing. With print music publishing giant Alfred Music Publishing, she has released three instructional titles:Girl’s Guitar Method, books 1 & 2, and Girl’s Bass Method. Each teaches easy-to-follow course material from a female perspective, with a style and design that addresses the interests of today’s young women.
Barbara’s passing from breast cancer in 2000 inspired Ciravolo to donate liberally to breast cancer organizations such as Susan G. Komen, the National Breast Cancer Foundation, weSpark, and many others. Daisy Rock also promotes breast cancer awareness through a national ad campaign in which Ann and Nancy Wilson are extensively involved.
Ciravolo is committed to numerous female-driven causes in addition to promoting breast cancer awareness. Through a scholarship program called Girls Rock (for which the Donnas are spokesgirls), Daisy Rock sponsors underprivileged girls, hooks them up with guitars, and sends them off for the experience of a lifetime at DayJams Rock & Roll Camp. Daisy Rock sponsorships include Girl Scouts, Children’s Diabetes Foundation, Reach for the Rainbow, the sixth annual VH-1 Divas special in 2003, and the 2005 national LadySixString Lyric Writing Contest. Among the company’s numerous guitar donation recipients are the Make a Wish Foundation, VH-1 Save the Music, and Los Angeles Women in Music. Additionally, the Ciravolo’s hold online auctions atGuitars4Kids.com, an organization they created from which all monies raised benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
2008 was a truly remarkable year for Daisy Rock. Following on the heels of the 2006 induction into the Museum of Making Music, and the 2007 launch of the Debutante line, Daisy Rock has empowered more girls than ever before to play guitar and enjoy music. But the innovation doesn’t stop there. This year’s newest Daisy Rock models offer an array of new features and finishes, including the Rock Candy Special Guitar, the Siren Electric Guitar, and the Butterfly Jumbo Acoustic-Electric.
“There are so many things I love about Daisy Rock Guitars and all of the endeavors we are involved in here,” Ciravolo says. “But there’s no greater feeling than reading letters from young girls who had no idea there were guitars out there for them. The wonder of discovery is so incredible, and it’s as if learning how to play our guitars helps them discover their true selves. I always wonder how different my own life in music would have been had I grown up playing a Daisy Rock guitar. It’s exciting just to know that something I have created has made such a difference.”
Daisy Rock works closely with the following companies/organizations to help more people learn to play guitar and enjoy music.
Alfred Publishing: Since its inception in 1922, Alfred Publishing remains dedicated to helping people experience the joy of making music. With hundreds of expert authors and composers backed by a talented staff in seven offices worldwide, Alfred publishes educational, reference, pop, and performance pieces for teachers, students, hobbyists and performers spanning every musical instrument, style, and difficulty level.
Alfred currently has over 45,000 active print, DVD, software, general MIDI, audio CD and enhanced CD titles in circulation throughout the world. Titles represent a full range of musical tastes and styles, including the works of George and Ira Gershwin, Duke Ellington, Henry Mancini, Led Zeppelin, the Eagles, Madonna, Green Day, and hundreds more. In addition to its own titles, Alfred distributes works from the National Guitar Workshop, the Dover Music catalog, and Faber Music. www.alfred.com
The International Music Products Association (NAMM): is working closely with Daisy Rock to communicate the advantages and importance of helping people play music. NAMM, founded in 1901, is an international association representing more than 9,000 retailers and manufacturers of musical instruments and products from 85 countries worldwide. Their mission is to unify, lead and strengthen the global music products industry and increase active participation in music making. www.namm.com
The Guitar and Accessories Marketing Association (GAMA): has been expanding the guitar industry for over 50 years. GAMA helps schools start guitar programs in their classrooms. To date, an estimated 800,000 students have learned guitar as a result of the program. www.discoverguitar.com
DayJams: is a summer music camp for kids ages 9-15 that was created by the National Guitar Workshop (NGW), the nation's largest summer music program. Since 1984, NGW has been teaching musicians at overnight programs across North America and Europe. Through DayJams, NGW's outstanding program is available for younger students at day camps in their own communities. The professional staff of music teachers, art teachers, and counselors is committed to providing a safe, fun-filled week of music, creativity, and fun. Teachers guide groups through a team-oriented process of writing, rehearsing, recording, promoting and performing their original song. Daisy Rock happily supports the DayJams program through guitar donations and scholarships.www.dayjams.com
Seymour Duncan: is the world's leading manufacturer of guitar and bass pickups. A good portion of Seymour's life has been devoted to studying, and helping to create some of the world's most identifiable guitar tones. Rock Candy Pink Label, Tom Boy Deuce, Stardust Elite Rebel, Rock Candy Custom Special, Rock Candy Special, and Rock Candy Classic guitars, as well as the Rock Candy Custom Bass are all fitted with pickups from Seymour Duncan. www.SeymourDuncan.com
D'Addario: For more than 300 years and over nine generations, D'Addario has offered players the highest-quality tone and consistent reliability, making D'Addario "The Player's Choice." The world's largest manufacturer of guitar strings, D'Addario offers a full line of strings for electric, acoustic, bass, classical, banjo, mandolin, and other fretted instruments. Daisy Rock Guitars proudly ships all guitars and basses standard with D'Addario strings. www.daddario.com
Los Angeles WoMen in Music (LAWIM): established in 1986, is a non-profit organization made up of women and men dedicated to fostering, promoting and providing career opportunities and education to women and men, regardless of race, ethnic origin, religion, sexual preference and socioeconomic status. The goals and activities of the organization are founded on the belief that women and men working together, sharing abilities and expertise, will strengthen the business and the music that is at its heart. www.lawim.com