“GUITAR: The Instrument That Rocked The World,” is now open and takes you on a fascinating exploration of the science, sound, history and pop culture behind the world’s most popular instrument.

You will experience and celebrate the many facets of this iconic instrument, from its origin and continued evolution, to the music it creates and the cultural impact it has had. Explore STEAM concepts like sound waves, frequency, mathematical scales, engineering and more through a wide range of hands-on experiences. And get to know some local guitarists through short biographies and imagery featured throughout the exhibition.

The exhibition features more than 70 instruments and explores the cultural and physical history of the guitar—from lutes and ouds to modern, high-tech and experimental instruments. You will learn about the science behind the guitar and discover how it became the cultural icon it is today.

“The guitar crosses many boundaries—from cultures to sounds to physical materials,” Gabriela Chavarria, Ph.D., Museum vice president of science and exhibition curator says. “Whether you consider yourself a music aficionado, a history buff, a tropical wood connoisseur or simply a curious human, there is something for you in this exhibition, and we’re excited to share it with our communities.”

Image for The World’s Largest Playable Guitar

The World’s Largest Playable Guitar

Don’t miss your chance to strum the world’s largest playable guitar, measuring in at 43.5 feet long and certified by Guinness World Records! “GUITAR: The Instrument That Rocked The World” is a traveling exhibition of The National GUITAR Museum and is included with your membership.

Featured Artists

Todd Park Mohr

Big Head Todd and the Monsters began taking shape in 1982 when band members met at Columbine High School. They have since become an American institution, performing with music legends like Neil Young and B.B. King.

Also on display: Mohr’s “most important guitar.”

Janet Feder

Rulers, rocks, metal rings, and rubber balls. Janet Feder uses them all as extended techniques to change the sound of her guitar. Unbound by genre, she has worked locally and globally with a diverse landscape of renowned musicians.

El Javi

Music is a language beyond words for El Javi, whose instrumental songs blend genres from flamenco and world music to rock and bluegrass. El Javi has been a supporting act for Ziggy Marley and prominent flamenco artist Diego el Cigala.

Otis Taylor

Otis Taylor introduced the “trance blues” genre defined by looping psychedelic beats and emotional lyrics. His award-winning work exploring African-American history and legacies of social injustice has been featured in many films and television shows.

Also on display: A Santa Cruz Otis Taylor signature guitar from Taylor’s own collection.

Bill Frisell

Grammy winner Bill Frisell started guitar lessons at the Denver Folklore Center in 1964. Today, he’s an acclaimed guitar master and innovator who has worked with hundreds of artists and composed several film scores.

Miguel and Brenda Aviña

Siblings Miguel and Brenda Aviña strive to create music that represents their Mexican heritage, yet is undeniably American. Their band iZCALLi features Miguel on vocals and guitar, Brenda on bass, and Luiggy Ramirez on drums.

Mark Your Calendar

Adult Members Only Evening in “GUITAR: The Exhibition That Rocked The World”

Don’t wait to reserve your tickets for the adult members only evening in “GUITAR: The Exhibition That Rocked The World” on March 23, from 6-9 p.m. Guitarist El Javi will perform!

Reserve Your Spot

This exhibition is FREE to Museum members! No extra timed ticket is necessary to enter. Reserve your tickets to the Museum and plan your visit to GUITAR today. 

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