Most people when they think of stringed instruments first think of guitars. The guitar, however, was not the first stringed instrument, and there is a huge variety of stringed instruments to choose from.
This article will tell you a full comprehensive list of the most popular stringed instruments that might interest you.
The guitar is one of the most popular instruments in the world and has been for over a century now. The guitar was an evolution of the traditional lute. There are different types of guitar, too, and those are:
Acoustic – the acoustic guitar is usually steel-stringed. It is the most popular in the world. Acoustic guitars come in a number of different shapes, sizes, and price ranges. They are most people’s entrance into the world of guitar.
Classical – Classical guitars are most often nylon-stringed, and instead of using a pick, they are plucked by hand and are most often played while sitting down. This type of guitar has a flat neck, that allows musicians to play arpeggios, scales, and different chord forms. They are probably best known as the guitars used by mariachi bands.
Electric – electric guitars, most popular among rock ‘n’ roll and metal bands have varied from being solid-bodied to hollow, and semi-hollow. These guitars have various electromagnetic pick-ups that feed vibration through to the amplifier, producing sound.
Bass – the bass guitar is another electric guitar, similar to the traditional electric guitar, though they have longer necks and scales. Electric guitars are usually six-stringed, while the bass is most often four-stringed.
The violin is the smallest stringed instrument. It is also the highest-pitched of the string family. Violins are typically two feet in length, with longbows. A violin is rested between one’s chin and left shoulder and is traditionally played in an orchestra. The violin is a good instrument to learn if you prefer classical music and intend on playing in a group, though it can be played solo.
The Cello looks similar to the violin but is longer by about two feet). The Cello has thicker strings and has often been compared to the human voice when played. The Cello can be a difficult instrument to master, but its wide variety of tones makes it one of the most popular instruments among orchestras. The Cello can be difficult to learn, but it is a very rewarding and sought-after instrument.
The Viola is similar to both the violin and cello. It is smaller than a Cello but larger than a violin, and like the Cello, has thick strings. It is an orchestral instrument.
The harp, or the concert harp, has a very long history musically. It is not a ‘loud’ instrument, though its sound is very penetrating, which is why in an orchestra there is usually only one or two. It is a very hard instrument to learn but learning to play the harp can be incredibly rewarding, and very satisfying. The harp is an instrument few choose to learn these days, which means if you did learn it, in theory, you should have no problem finding positions in musical ensembles.
The banjo is a traditional instrument. It is an instrument most often associated with the folk, bluegrass, and country genres, and is popular in both Irish and American traditional music. It was one of the key instruments in early African-American music. The banjo was ‘rediscovered’ by bluegrass musician Earl Scruggs. Most people view the banjo comically, but it is a very fun instrument, and it can create some very unique sounds.
The oud is an instrument that is shaped like a pear, and similar to the lute. In recent years, it has increased in popularity, and a number of skilled YouTube musicians have taken to recreating the ‘sounds of the ancient world’ with it. It is an instrument regarded to be an ancestor of the guitar and is typically used in Turkish, Jewish, Armenian, North African, Somali, Arabic, and Greek folk music.
The lute, similarly to the oud, is an ancestor of the guitar. It has a long neck and has a round body with a flat front. It was most popular during the Medieval period and during the Baroque era. It was one of the most important instruments of the Renaissance period and has been immortalized in countless oil paintings. In recent years, it has attracted a cult-like following and can, like the oud, be seen on YouTube by skilled performers being played.
If you are looking to get into stringed instruments, then this comprehensive list should be a great asset in your quest to find the instrument that’s right for you. Selecting an instrument requires great care, so do your research and think about your choice carefully.
Tags: Acoustic, apassant, Banjo, beginner harps, Cello, classical, Electric, Guitar, Harp, Lute, Oud, Popular Stringed Instruments, Stringed Instruments, Viola, Violin
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