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The History of The Acoustic Guitar | Duluth Pack

Previously, we outlined the history of the beloved harmonica, which has been used in many of our favorite folk songs. The acoustic guitar is another one of our favorite instruments here at Duluth Pack because it is incredibly versatile. Whenever someone pulls out an acoustic guitar to play around a campfire, we are reminded of the beauty of music, and it warms up those chilly fall nights with its classic sound. This trusty instrument is used in multiple genres of music, with some of our favorites being folk, indie, and country. The acoustic guitar reminds us of hanging out with family and friends on summer nights. Today's post is dedicated to this beautiful instrument because, without it, music wouldn't be the same.

The acoustic guitar got its start in ancient times, but it is not entirely known when the guitar first and original guitar came to be. Previous iterations of the guitar have been used for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. The guitar’s closest ancestor comes in the form of the vihuela, which is a string instrument commonly seen in the 16th century. The vihuela is common in Mexico and Spain and has been played in Spanish music since medieval times. It’s close cousin, the Mexican vihuela is most known today for its influence in Mariachi bands.

With inspiration from the vihuela, Spanish guitar maker, Antonio Torres Jurado created the first modern-day guitar in 1850. Because of his innovations, this special instrument has remained loyal to its original structure, even 170 years later. The only main difference that has influenced the making of the acoustic guitar would be the switch from catgut strings to steel strings in the 19th century. Catgut strings are made from the intestines of sheep, but steel strings were adopted in the United States so banjo players could switch over to the guitar with ease. The banjo was particularly popular in the United States at the time, specifically in country music styles, so the steel-stringed acoustic guitar quickly became more favorable for many musicians.

The integrity of the guitar’s structure has remained intact since it was first invented over 100 years ago. This reminds us of our bags here at Duluth Pack, with the long and storied history of our company. We appreciate the idea of sticking to your roots and tradition, something that is seen in both our original packs and the beloved acoustic guitar.

Check out Duluth Pack’s Spotify for plenty of songs featuring the acoustic guitar, and more. We hope you’ve learned something new about the history of the acoustic guitar today, and why it’s something we appreciate here at Duluth Pack.

-From your friends at Duluth Pack