Welcome to Rattle & Drum Music

Electric Guitars

Electric Guitar Shop

Find your perfect electric guitar here at Rattle & Drum Music. From top brands like Fender, Gretsch, Ibanez and more

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About Electric Guitars:

Though it gained immense popularity during the rock ‘n’ roll days of the 1950s and 1960s, the electric guitar was invented in 1931. The need for the amplified guitar became apparent during the Big Band Era as orchestras increased in size, particularly when guitars had to compete with large brass sections. The first electric guitars used in jazz were hollow archtop acoustic guitar bodies with electromagnetic transducers. By 1932, an electrically amplified guitar was commercially available. Early electric guitar manufacturers include Rickenbacker in 1932, Dobro in 1933, National, Epiphone and Gibson in 1935 and many others by 1936.

Although they just released the Gibson 2016 line, Gibson's first production electric guitar, marketed in 1936, was the ES-150 model (“ES” for “Electric Spanish” and “150” reflecting the $150 price of the instrument). The ES-150 guitar featured a single-coil, hexagonally shaped pickup, which was designed by Walt Fuller. It became known as the “Charlie Christian” pickup, named for the great jazz guitarist who was among the first to perform with the ES-150 guitar. The ES-150 achieved some popularity, but suffered from unequal loudness across the six strings.

The electric guitar has since evolved into a stringed musical instrument that is capable of a multitude of sounds and styles, and served as a major component in the development of rock ‘n’ roll and many other genres of music.

Solidbody

One of the first solid-body guitars was invented by Les Paul, though Gibson did not present their Les Paul guitar prototypes to the public as they did not believe it would catch on. The first mass-produced solid-body guitar was Fender's Broadcaster (later renamed the Telecaster) first made in 1948, five years after Les Paul made his prototype. The Gibson Les Paul appeared soon after to compete with the Broadcaster. Another notable solid-body design is the Fender Stratocaster, which was introduced in 1954 and became extremely popular among musicians in the 1960s and 1970s for its wide tonal capabilities and comfortable ergonomics.

Chambered Body

Some solid-bodied guitars, such as the Gibson Les Paul Supreme, the PRS Singlecut or the Fender Telecaster Thinline, among others, are built with hollows in the body. These hollows are designed specifically not to interfere with the critical bridge and string anchor point on the solid body. The motivation for this can be to reduce weight, to achieve a semi-hollow tone, or both.

Semi-hollowbody

These guitars work in a similar way to solid-body electric guitars except that, because the hollow body also vibrates, the pickups convert a combination of string and body vibration into an electrical signal. Semi-hollowbodies are noted for being able to provide a sweet, plaintive or funky tone. They are used in many genres, including blues, funk, ’60s pop and indie rock. They generally have cello-style F-shaped sound holes, though these can be blocked off to prevent feedback, as in B.B. King's famous Lucille.

Full Hollowbody

Full hollow-body guitars have large, deep, fully hollow bodies and are often capable of being played at the same volume as an acoustic guitar, and therefore of being used unplugged at intimate gigs. The instrument originated during the jazz age of the 1920s and 1930s, and is still considered the classic jazz guitar, nicknamed the “jazzbox.” Like semi-hollow guitars, they often have f-shaped sound holes. Having humbucker pickups (sometimes just a neck pickup) and usually strung heavily, jazzboxes are noted for their warm, rich tone. A variation (popular in country and rockabilly) with single-coil pickups and sometimes a Bigsby tremolo has a distinctly more twangy, biting, tone than the classic jazzbox.


Electric Guitars are the most iconic instruments of our time, and if you're looking for a new one, you've come to the right place! here you'll find hundreds of different models for sale, from all the biggest brands. We are an authorized stockist of Fender, Gibson, Epiphone, Yamaha, and Ibanez to name a few. Our 'in stock' items are ready to ship with FREE Next Day Delivery on orders over £50, or collect in Derby store

Solid-Body or Semi-Acoustic?

Which kind of player are you? One of the reasons the electric guitar became the most iconic and significant musical instrument of the last six decades is its versatility: its sound has graced modern music of all styles from Jazz to heavy metal! Semi-Acoustics such as the Gibson and Epiphone ES models are usually popular amongst jazz & blues players, while solid-bodies are more common with rock'n'roll bands... but as Bob Dylan once said, "there are no rules", and pretty much any electric guitar can be used for any style.

Your guitar idols may also inspire you to choose a particular type of electric guitar: Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton are associated with the sounds of a Fender Stratocaster, whereas Jimmy Page and Slash will forever be remembered as Gibson Les Paul players. Fans of indie and alternative rock, on the other hand, usually love the tones of a Telecaster, Jaguar or Jazzmaster guitar. But you should choose the electric guitar that really stands out to you!

There are a range of factors to consider when buying an electric guitar: do you like bright & clean sounds, or fat and heavy? If it's the first case, go for an electric guitar equipped with single coil pickups, like players such as Clapton, Gilmour, Mark Knopfler or Jeff Beck did. Or, if you prefer a powerful sound with lots of sustain, ideal for heavy rock, go for electric guitars equipped with humbuckers!

Left-Handed Guitars

Buying the Left Handed Electric Guitar of your dreams need not be a headache. Fans of Jimi Hendrix will know about his re-stringing struggle and workaround solution to get his legendary Strat in a left handed version!

Many Left Handed guitars from Gibson, Fender, Ibanez, Squier and Epiphone and other key brands we stock are usually identically priced to the Right-handed versions, or available to special order.

Catering for all skill levels from the beginner looking for a cheap guitar, to the professional musician who wants a more high-end Custom Shop or Limited-Edition guitar. Our in-store and on-line selection is the largest in the UK, so you'll have plenty to choose from, including a great number of left-handed models!

So if you wish to produce the legendary sounds of Jimi Hendrix's strat or the modern experimental tones of Muse's Matt Bellamy, step inside our Derby guitar shop to discover your idea of heaven, or discover one of teh largest selections of electric guitars online, here!