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Steel strings?

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  • fultoncreek
    Here s a history of the guitar question: I m wondering when steel strings became common on guitars. I found one internet source that said they first appeared
    Message 1 of 5 , Apr 3, 2006
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      Here's a history of the guitar question: I'm wondering when steel
      strings became common on guitars. I found one internet source that
      said they first appeared on guitars around 1900, but what I'm
      wondering is when steel string models really became the guitar of
      choice. I hope this question is not to far afield for this list--I
      know there are some Martin experts on the list, so I couldn't resist
      tapping into some of that expertise. Thanks, Bill
    • steven smith
      Bill I am not for sure but I think it was the twenty s to help make the guitar louder fultoncreek wrote: Here s a history of the
      Message 2 of 5 , Apr 3, 2006
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        Bill
        I am not for sure but I think it was the twenty's to help make the guitar louder

        fultoncreek <wjolliff@...> wrote:
        Here's a history of the guitar question: I'm wondering when steel
        strings became common on guitars. I found one internet source that
        said they first appeared on guitars around 1900, but what I'm
        wondering is when steel string models really became the guitar of
        choice. I hope this question is not to far afield for this list--I
        know there are some Martin experts on the list, so I couldn't resist
        tapping into some of that expertise. Thanks, Bill





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      • Dale Wagner
        When did steel string become as we now know them? There was a mandolin at the neighbors that had cut and not swaged strings on it. Slide your finger and cut
        Message 3 of 5 , Apr 3, 2006
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          When did steel string become as we now know them? There was a mandolin at
          the neighbors that had cut and not swaged strings on it. Slide your finger
          and cut it like it was a knife. Don't have a clue about the age of this
          mando but the owner was born in the 1880's and didn't play it like maybe she
          inheirited it.
          Dale
          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "fultoncreek" <wjolliff@...>
          To: <nwbluegrass@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Monday, April 03, 2006 1:38 PM
          Subject: [nwbluegrass] Steel strings?


          > Here's a history of the guitar question: I'm wondering when steel
          > strings became common on guitars. I found one internet source that
          > said they first appeared on guitars around 1900, but what I'm
          > wondering is when steel string models really became the guitar of
          > choice.
        • Arthur Noel
          Steel strings were originally used to replace dual non-stell strings in pianos. Here is a quote from Wikipedia about steel strings in Pianos: By the 1820s,
          Message 4 of 5 , Apr 10, 2006
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            Steel strings were originally used to replace dual non-stell strings in pianos.

            Here is a quote from Wikipedia about steel strings in Pianos:
            By the 1820s, the centre of innovation had shifted to Paris, where the Érard firm manufactured pianos used by Chopin and Liszt. In 1821, Sébastien Érard invented the double escapement action, which permitted a note to be repeated even if the key had not yet risen to its maximum vertical position, a great benefit for rapid playing. As revised by Henri Herz about 1840, the double escapement action ultimately became the standard action for grand pianos, used by all manufacturers.
            Some other important technical innovations of this era include the following:
            use of three strings rather than two for all but the lower notes.

            In the mid 1800's (1850's) steel strings began to be used on banjos and some guitars.
            Because banjo necks could be reinforced much more easly than guitars, the older guitars often work crack at the the heel.

            Steel strings in banjos and guitars were often just wires. Sometimes the wires from screens and other were used (when the musicians were low on funds).

            Guitars in the 1800's were normally small bodied versions. The dreadnaught style that we like to use in bluegrass was an inovation that took hold in the twentieth century.
            The steel strings and the dreadnaughts were popular with the musicians in jukes and rowdy bars that usually had a lot of noise. The bigger body and the steel strings added to the volume and in the late 1800's steel strings became a more usual configuration on many guitars. However, playing steel stringed guitars was considered really low class.
            Guitars had a lot of trouble competing with heavy handed piano players (the piano was the bassman back then). So the next volume enhancing technique was the use of the pick.
            Picks came along because finger pickers could not get the volume needed.

            After that it was steel bodied guitars.
            And, in the late 1930's, electric lap guitars came along.
            We all know what happend to guitars after that.
            Rock on. (OOOOPS. Did I say that?)

            Paul



            Dale Wagner <dwagner@...> wrote:
            When did steel string become as we now know them? There was a mandolin at
            the neighbors that had cut and not swaged strings on it. Slide your finger
            and cut it like it was a knife. Don't have a clue about the age of this
            mando but the owner was born in the 1880's and didn't play it like maybe she
            inheirited it.
            Dale
            ----- Original Message -----
            From: "fultoncreek" <wjolliff@...>
            To: <nwbluegrass@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Monday, April 03, 2006 1:38 PM
            Subject: [nwbluegrass] Steel strings?


            > Here's a history of the guitar question: I'm wondering when steel
            > strings became common on guitars. I found one internet source that
            > said they first appeared on guitars around 1900, but what I'm
            > wondering is when steel string models really became the guitar of
            > choice.



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            To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
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          • Matthew Snook
            And somewhere right in that period was the advent of the resonator guitar, just before the electric I guess. Originally introduced to improve on the guitar s
            Message 5 of 5 , Apr 10, 2006
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              And somewhere right in that period was the advent of the resonator guitar,
              just before the electric I guess. Originally introduced to improve on the
              guitar's volume, after electric guitars took over the reso remained simply
              because of its inimitable twang. Just think, all of these cool
              inventions--picks, dobros, steel strings, D-18s and Mesa-Boogie amps--all to
              get more volume. :)

              Matt

              -----Original Message-----
              From: Arthur Noel
              Subject: Re: [nwbluegrass] Steel strings?

              ...So the next volume enhancing technique was the use of the pick.
              Picks came along because finger pickers could not get the volume needed.
              After that it was steel bodied guitars.
              And, in the late 1930's, electric lap guitars came along.
              We all know what happend to guitars after that.
              Rock on. (OOOOPS. Did I say that?)

              Paul
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