How do electric guitars work, anyway? Why do they all look and sound so different? What do those switches and knobs even do?
Ava Mendoza demonstrates the all-important whammy bar.
If you've ever wondered about these and other mysteries regarding the electric guitar, a new video from the Exploratorium has you covered. This latest installment of the newly relocated museum's Science in the City series gets local axe-wielders Ava Mendoza, Henry Kaiser, and legendary guitar shop owner Fat Dog to investigate -- and demonstrate -- the many different factors that go into electric guitars sounding like they do. And what a fun investigation it is. Even if you understand how the instruments work (hint: it's pretty simple), there are enough killer licks in this clip to make it well worth watching. Check it out: