An electric guitar is a guitar that uses one or more pickups to convert the vibration of its strings into electrical signals. The vibration occurs when a guitarist strums, plucks, fingerpicks, or taps the strings. The pickup used to sense the vibration generally uses electromagnetic induction to do so, though other technologies exist. In any case, the signal generated by an electric guitar is too weak to drive a loudspeaker, so it is sent to a guitar amplifier before being sent to the speaker, which converts it into audible sound. Since the output of an electric guitar is an electric signal, it can be electronically altered by to change the timbre of the sound. Often, the signal is modified using effects such as reverb and distortion and "overdrive", the latter effect is considered a key element of electric blues guitar music and rock guitar playing. Invented in 1931, the amplified electric guitar was adopted by jazz guitarists, who wanted to play single-note guitar solos in large big band ensembles. Early proponents of the electric guitar on record included Les Paul, Lonnie Johnson, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, T-Bone Walker, and Charlie Christian. During the 1950s and 1960s, the electric guitar became the most important instrument in pop music. It has evolved into an instrument that is capable of a multitude of sounds and styles in genres ranging from pop and rock to country music, blues and jazz.
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