Les Paul died Thursday in White Plains, N.Y. He was 94. Les Paul changed the shape of music with the electric guitar. He was one of the pioneers of the solid-body electric guitar. The electric guitar made the sound of modern music possible. The electric guitar made Rock n’ Roll possible; without Rock n’ Roll, our music today would have been different.
As a musician, Les Paul was also very accomplished; he was ahead of his time when it come to playing. He had a “unique playing style, including licks, trills, chording sequences, fretting techniques and timing which set him apart from his contemporaries and inspired many of the guitarists of the present day.”
Here’s how Les Paul made the first electric guitar from Wikipedia:
Paul was dissatisfied with the acoustic guitars that were sold in the mid 1930s and began experimenting with a few designs for an electric model on his own. Famously, he created “The Log,” which was nothing more than a length of common 4″ x 4″ lumber with bridge, guitar neck, and pickup attached. For the sake of appearance, he attached the body of an Epiphone hollow-body guitar, sawn lengthwise with The Log in the middle. This solved his two main problems: feedback, as the acoustic body no longer resonated with the amplified sound, and sustain, as the energy of the strings was not dissipated in generating sound through the guitar body.
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