Les Paul - The Guitar and His Musical Instrument

Almost all modern musicians today, especially those who have been in the rock and folk genre, have heard the name Les Paul. Born in Waukesha, Wisconsin on June 19, 1915, Lester William Polsfuss (his birth name) exhibited a profound interest in music, even at an early age. At age eight, he learned how to play the harmonica, as he was inspired by hearing from an unnamed Waukesha ditch-digger playing the instrument. The next would be the banjo, which led to his interest in the guitar. During this time of his life, he was consistently inventing and innovating musical instruments, and he made a harmonica that could be worn on the neck and can easily be played while using the guitar. At age thirteen, Les Paul began a semi-professional career and started playing at drive-ins. Les quit his secondary education and joined a band called Wolverton's Radio Band in Missouri.

Les Paul the Guitar and His Musical Instrument

It was in the late 1930's when he adopted the stage name "Les Paul," at a time when he already migrated to Chicago and performed on radio. Les Paul formed a band in 1937 with two of his acquaintances and moved to New York. It was in Queens, New York where he started to create his own guitar due to his dissatisfaction with contemporary instruments. By attaching a bride, a guitar neck and a pickup to the usual guitar body, he came up with "The Log," which later became the basis for the famous signature guitar, the Gibson Les Paul.

In 1950, due to the soaring fame of guitar-maker Leo Fender's Telecaster models in the music market, Gibson president Ted McCarty sought out a way to come up with a quality guitar to sell to guitar lovers and enthusiasts. He sought out a great musician in order to help make the guitar which he had in mind. Although initially rejected when he approached Gibson with "The Log" in 1945-1946, Les Paul was finally chosen due to his status as a respected innovator of musical instruments, and became a consultant for the Gibson Guitar Company. Named the Gibson Les Paul, it gained notable reputation with musicians. This new guitar had a notably different feature from the Telecaster, as it possesses a more curved guitar body and a glued-in neck. The Gibson Les Paul underwent several changes throughout the years, and hence had become one of the most famous guitar lines known today.

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by Agatha Marrama; Tuesday, December 6, 2011 @ 06:26 AM [1944]

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History of the Electric Guitar - Music Technology

History of the Electric Guitar - Music Technology

The fame of the electric guitar started in the big band era when guitarists wanted to amplify their guitars to compete with the large brass sections in jazz orchestras. Earlier, electric guitars were mainly made up of empty acoustic bodies with electromagnetic pick ups attached, to convert the sound into electrical energy for amplifiers.

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