An electric guitar is a fretted string instrument that uses a pickup to convert the vibration of its strings—which are typically made of steel, and which occurs when a guitarist strums, plucks or fingerpicks the strings—into electrical signals.
Popular music and rock groups often use the electric guitar in two roles: as a rhythm guitar, which provides the chord sequence or progression and sets the beat (as part of a rhythm section), and as a lead guitar, which is used to perform melody lines, melodic instrumental fill passages, and solos. In a small group, such as a power trio, one guitarist switches between both roles. In larger rock and metal bands, there is often a rhythm guitarist and a lead guitarist.
John McCain teaches electric guitar at 317 Main.