Amplified acoustic guitar employing optional electromagnetic pickups set under the strings to detect vibration, bypassing the soundbox. The solid-bodied instrument developed in the 1950s by Leo Fender and Les Paul has a cutaway body to extend fingering positions, and multiple pickups for harder and softer timbres that can be varied in balance while playing.
The technique of “humbucking” uses feedback circuits to recycle guitar body reverberation to create indefinite sustain. This allowed the development in the 1970s of a distinctive singing tone by hard rock lead guitarists.
Other forms include the double-neck guitar and the electric bass, a guitar version of the string bass.
Composers for electric guitar include Frank Martin, Pierre Boulez, and Luciano Berio.