If you are looking for a new exciting hobby, one that you can do whenever you want, with friends or by yourself, then learn to play the guitar. Because playing guitar is like riding a bike; once you learn it, you'll never forget. It will be something you can take with you for the rest of your life.
Playing the guitar is one of the most popular hobbies worldwide. Millions play the guitar as a leisure activity, as it is one of the easiest musical instruments to learn. Anybody can pick up the guitar and play some of their favorite songs in no time, if they just stick with it for a little while, learn a few guitar chords and practice for only a short period of time each day.
Visit our guitar chords database for quick access to more than 2500 guitar chords divided into groups based on the root note, a section for slash chords and power chords, with many variants for every chord on different frets. You can play every note from a chord separately by selecting the MIDI play button below each string. There is a button for listening the chord note by note and one for fast strumming.
Similar instruments to what we know today as the guitar have been popular for at least 5,000 years. Clay plaques excavated from Babylonia dated around 1850 b.c. show drawings of musical instruments similar to a guitar with a distinctly differentiated body and neck. Evidence from ancient Egypt indicates an instrument with marked frets on the neck. A similar stringed instrument from ancient Rome was found with a wood soundboard and five groups of small sound holes.
The word guitar could be derived from a combination of two Sanskrit words: guit- (from 'sangeet' meaning "music") and -tar a widely attested root meaning "chord" or "string". Many string instruments exist in Central Asia to this day which have been used in almost unchanged form for several thousand years. Many have names that end in "-tar", with a prefix indicating the number of strings. For example Dotar (a 2-string instrument), Setar (a 3-string instrument) or Chartar (an instrument with 4 strings from Persia).
The Spanish guitarra could be derived from the ancient Greek word 'kithara' - a square-framed lap harp, or "lyre" with 4 strings.
The 1600's guitar (the vihuela) had lute style tuning and a guitar like body. Its construction had as much in common with the modern guitar as with its contemporary four-course renaissance guitar. The earliest extant six string guitar was built in 1779 by Gaetano Vinaccia in Naples, Italy. Modern dimensions of the classic guitar were established by Antonio Torres Jurado, in Seville in the 1850's. He perfected a guitar with three gut and three metal-spun silk strings. Nylon or other plastic was later used in place of the gut.
The creation of the electric guitar began somewhere in the early 1920s when the Big Band music become popular. Acoustic gut or nylon string guitars of the time were just not loud enough to compete with the other instruments in the band. The first step toward a louder guitar was the introduction of steel strings. A metal rod was placed inside the neck which counteracted the bigger tension by pulling it in the opposite direction. This innovation allowed steel strings to become the new standard.
The first 'electric' guitar on the market was produced by Lloyd Loar in 1923. The sound was converted by a pickup mounted on the bridge that sensed the vibrations of the soundboard, producing enormous amounts of feedback.
In 1930 George Beauchamp created a pickup based on horseshoe magnets. His guitar, the 'Frying Pan' was an immediate success, and countless numbers of lap steel players used it. A prominent Jazz guitarist, Les Paul experimented with ways to solve the problems electric guitars faced, creating the first solid body guitar, called 'The Log', mounted with simple magnetic pickups.
Leo Fender, a radio repairman created the Fender Esquire, which later evolved into the Broadcaster and the Telecaster. The guitar had all of the advantages of Les Paul's design and was incredibly popular among Blues Country players.
Gibson released their own solid body electric guitar the 'Les Paul' with P-90 pickups with bar magnet cores and a mellow voice.
In 1954, Fender launched the Stratocaster, the most successful electric guitar in history. It had 3 pickups and a tremolo bridge which allowed the player to bend and warp notes.