Guitar Design Movements

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by AndrewLyle, Apr 4, 2009.

  1. AndrewLyle macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2008
    #1
    Ive been thinking about this idea lately, and i might have the opportunity to present this idea in a design class in the future. Ive been trying to see if i could find a linear progression of design traits in guitar design, and relate them to the parallel movement in art and architecture.

    Does anyone care to drop in and leave their ideas? or maybe a famous guitar and where if fits in design history?
     
  2. FourCandles macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2009
    Location:
    England
    #2
    Are you considering just electric guitar here, or acoustic as well? I'm thinking that there's much more variation in electric guitar design, but acoustic goes back a lot longer.
     
  3. dmz macrumors regular

    dmz

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #3
    Interesting idea... I think you can definitely parallel the development of both the design and materials, and I would say that to give the full breadth, you have to look at the whole history. I think electric guitars represent the latest evolution in the design of the guitar, not a separate branch, and the two types have definitely influenced each other. While Gibson and National and other's early designs were somewhat evolutionary, Fender's early futurist designs were revolutionary, then came Ibanez and others whose designs are hard to categorize - the Iceman? Ovation's Deacon?

    Looking backward, you can easily see the baroque influence in early guitar designs, but that changed with the change in art and architecture styles, and the design of guitars had definite "schools" throughout Europe and America, particularly Spain, but guitar design can be divided here too, gut-strung versus steel-strung, which came with the Industrial revolution. Mass production had a big effect too - see Martin and Gibson's early history for more on that...

    Good luck, I think you're on to something. Hope you post it somewhere we can read it when you're done!

    dmz
     
  4. synth3tik macrumors 68040

    synth3tik

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2006
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    #4
    You would not want to do Acoustic guitar design in a design class. The shape of acoustic instruments is directly related to their sound. Hence the lack of design in comparison to electric instruments.

    I would say a good place to start is with the "Metal guitars" those guys are the guys that really like funky shapes and such. Most others like a classic look. To me metal guitars look super ugly. It might be kind of fun to think up a design that would please both metal kids as well as your more classic guitarist. Maybe take something like a Dean design with all it's sharp points and round it out a little. Instead of "strat-ing" it mesh the dean design with something like the Fender Jaguar.

    Since it is a design class most of the hard stuff is irrelevant (electronics, acoustic build, tonality, etc).
     
  5. dmz macrumors regular

    dmz

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #5
    ????

    Really? I don't think so.

    The science of acoustics did not exist before the 1900's, so the shape of instruments was very much influenced by tradition and available materials, not acoustics. Do you think they would use a gourd as a sounding box because it was "acoustically appropriate"? Do you think they put Moorish designs or Christian imagery on guitars because it made them sound better? Acoustic stringed instruments like the guitar and violin are only now receiving the benefits of acoustic science - Ovation's (Charles Kaman, actually, an aeronautical engineer) re-think of acoustic guitar bodies, National's resonators, synthetic materials, these are all recent innovations based on science, not art, and even electric guitars are the subject of much research and study. I think you would be missing a great deal if you ignored the pre-electric guitar. But, that's just my opinion, which, along with a buck-fifty, will net you a cup of hot, fresh coffee.

    dmz
     

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