History of the Yamaha Guitar

Written by jen drake
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History of the Yamaha Guitar
After producing organs and pianos Yamaha branched out into the guitar market. (playing the guitar image by egirldesign from Fotolia.com)

The Japanese company Yamaha makes a wide variety of products, including motorcycles, personal watercraft and instruments. The company's musical instruments are well regarded among musicians. In particular, Yamaha pianos and guitars have good reputations. The company introduced its first line of guitars in the 1930s and has developed many new styles and types of guitars ever since. Most recently, Yamaha released technological guitars in the early 2000s.

Introduction of Yamaha Instruments

Yamaha delved into the musical instrument market in the late 19th century when the founder was asked to repair an old organ. He became intrigued with the idea of making and selling organs. The Yamaha company introduced its first organ in 1887 and soon began producing pianos as well. The instruments sold very well, and in the 1930s, Yamaha decided to produce guitars and accordions to appeal to the Western market.

Influence of World War II

When World War II erupted, the Japanese government asked Yamaha to use its plants to make war materials rather than musical instruments and other products. The company agreed, and by 1945, it had stopped producing guitars other instruments altogether. After the war, Yamaha began to regain its financial footing and resumed guitar production.

Expansion Into U.S.

The company brought its line of guitars to the U.S. in 1969 and has now been selling guitars in the U.S. for more than 40 years. Yamaha guitars gained substantial recognition during Woodstock because many of the performers used the guitars. In particular, Yamaha's FG model acoustic guitar has become the best-selling guitar in both the United States and worldwide.

Evolution of Acoustic Guitars

The FG acoustic guitar rose to fame in the 1960s. Soon after, Yamaha decided to make handcrafted versions of the FG and other popular acoustic guitar models. Gradually, the FGs were phased out as the company perfected its L series models to produce a more balanced tone. The L series acoustic guitars are still handcrafted and sold today.

Creation of Technological Guitars

Though acoustic, bass, and electric guitars are still the most popular and prominent types sold by Yamaha, the company has branched out to create technological guitars. In the 2000s, Yamaha introduced a silent guitar. The silent guitar---which was inspired by Yamaha's innovative silent piano---allows the user to play the instrument while using headphones so that others cannot hear the music. Yamaha also released the EZ-EG EZ Guitar, which is a self-teaching guitar. This model features lighted frets, which show novice players where to put their fingers in order to play chords.

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