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Electric Guitars: Design And Invention by Tony Bacon

Your coffee table will thank you!

 

by Chris Loeffler

 

 

There are many books that follow the evolution of the guitar through a single manufacturer or artist, butTony Bacon takes a wider view with Electric Guitars: Design and Innovation, a 176 page mediation on where electric guitar design came from and a glimpse into where it is going, from Backstreet Books. Electric Guitars comes well-bound with a heavy-stock paperback cover and fully-color glossy interior papers in an over-sized, coffee table friendly format.

 

What You Need to Know

 

Tony Bacon’s newest book, Electric Guitars: Design and Innovation, is almost guaranteed to going to pique the interest of guitar players who are either curious about the evolution of their instrument of choice or engineers who love to geek out on the things that made (or didn’t make the cut) the electric guitar unique. Through a brief history of guitar design (with a focus on the electrification of the instrument) and interviews with guitar makers who have helped shaped the industry, Bacon takes the reader on a journey through the development of the modern guitar. 

 

Bacon explores distinct body shapes, from the prolific Strat and Les Paul style bodies to the more esoteric ones, like the Flying V or Razorback from Dean. In a narrative that is accessible enough for the lay-person but specific enough to educate luthiers, he also explores electronics, manufacturing methods, and nearly every piece of hardware that comprises an electric guitar. Fans of classic guitar designs can dig into the refinements that have been made over the years, and fans of the not-so-standard approach to guitars may find a few rarities they weren’t even aware of.

 

Limitations

 

I hoped to never be “that” person, but I felt the book could have benefitted from even more photographs and illustrations, especially when describing more obscure content.

 

Conclusion

 

While hardly a treatise on guitar design as a whole, Bacon’s focus on the quirks and hidden agendas behind electric guitar design is interesting, entertaining, and educational. The book is well written, reads way faster than it should, and is a quiet celebration of the most celebrated instrument in modern music.  - HC -

 

Resources

 

Electric Guitars: Designs and Innovations Product Page at Backbeat Books

 

Buy Electric Guitars: Designs and Innovations ($29.99 MSRP)- Amazon , TargetElderly Music

 

                                      

____________________________________________ 

 

Chris Loeffler is a multi-instrumentalist and the Content Strategist of Harmony Central. In addition to his ten years experience as an online guitar merchandiser, marketing strategist, and community director he has worked as an international exporter, website consultant and brand manager. When he’s not working he can be found playing music, geeking out on guitar pedals and amps, and brewing tasty beer. 

 

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