Who Invented the First Acoustic Guitar?

Antonio Torres Jurado built the first acoustic guitar that most people recognize today. He expanded on a design created by Jose Pages and Josef Benedid.

The modern acoustic guitar came about at the end of the 18th century. No one really knows if the first guitar was unveiled in Italy or France, but what is known is that Jurado turned those guitars into the ones musicians use today. Jurado increased the guitar’s body size, improved on the fan shape of the struts and increased the distance between the bridge and the nut. His guitar design was loud enough to be played with an orchestra and wouldn’t be drowned out by the other instruments. Despite the new design and increased versatility, the acoustic guitar failed to become a popular instrument.

In 1965, John Williams began to see the appeal and potential of the classical guitar, so he offered lessons in the United Kingdom. As its popularity increased, new designs to the guitar were made. “Cat gut” strings were replaced with nylon and metal strings, and certain models of the acoustic guitar were modified to be louder than ever before. By the end of the 1930s, amplifiers were invented, which gave acoustic guitars a brand-new life.