Timeline of Guitars

  • 1500 BC – First record of a guitar-like instrument comes from ancient Persia (modern day Iran). Object called Tanbur featured 4 strings that could be played.
  • 1400 BC – Hittite civilization used guitars for entertainment. Archeologist even managed to find visual representation of bard playing a simple stringed guitar in the ruins of that civilization.
  • 1300 BC – Greeks used stringed instrument which traveled all across Mediterranean trade routes.
  • 1400 BC – Romans adopted this Greek guitar and named it Chitara.
  • 100 BC – Greek instrument Tanbur or Tranobur become popular in Greece and parts of Middle East that were close it.
  • 40 AD – Roman carried their Chitara to Portual and Spain.
  • 400 – Romans adopted Greek tambur and incorporated it into their culture.
  • 700 – Moors managed to alter Roman Chitara into 4 stringed instrument called Oud.
  • 1100 – Roman Chitara is widely used only as one of its 2 variants – Latin guitar and Moorish guitar.
  • 1300 – Small Guittern was introduced to Europe via Moors. It became popular in Spain, Italy and Germany.
  • 1500 – Lute is used across Europe, Vienna in India.
  • 1500 – The most popular guitar design for the next 200 years was born – Vihuela. Its most popular form had six double-strings.
  • 1600 – Difficulties in tuning 12 string guitar led to the adoption of much simple baroque guitar models with 4 or 5 strings.
  • 1800 – Guitars finally abandoned extravagant shapes and started taking form of modern guitars.
  • 1890 – Spanish guitarist Antonio Torres Jurado managed to craft an acoustic guitar that is today regarded as “modern classical guitar”. Majority of acoustic guitars of today are following his designs.
  • 1900s – Guitars become very popular instrument all across the world.
  • 1931 – Discovery of first electrically amplified guitar.
  • 1936 – First electric Gibson guitar - ES-150.
  • 1940 – Physics professor Sidney Wilson manages to create first fully electric guitar.
  • 1949 – BB King revolutionized the way electric guitar was used with his inventive playing style.
  • 1951 – First electric bass guitar. Fender made first electric guitar that did not use acoustic guitar shape.
  • 1954 – First Stratocaster electric guitar.
  • 1950-1980 – Expansion of electric guitar in music industry with the exploits of musicians such as Chuck Berry, Jimmy Page, The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, expansion of FM radio stations and music festivals (Woodstock in 1969).
Guitar Drawing
Strings of a Guitar
Acoustic Guitar with Strings
Close View at Guitar