Quiz on guitars and guitarists

Joy Bhattacharjya | Updated on January 23, 2021

Thank you for the music: A guitarist performs at a concert in Santiago, Chile   -  REUTERS/ IVAN ALVARADO

It’s the 111th birth anniversary of jazz musician and guitar genius Jean ‘Django’ Reinhardt. This week’s quiz is all about guitars and guitarists.

String theory

1 Which legendary violinist did Reinhardt team up with to set up the Quintette du Hot Club de France in 1934, the first band to play jazz with the guitar as lead?

2 The steel guitar is any guitar played while moving a steel bar against plucked strings. It’s known by a different name in India, thanks to a foreigner named Tau Moe who settled here in the 1940s and popularised that style of play. From where did Tau Moe hail?

3 The 1967 Monterey Pop festival saw an unknown performer, who started with renditions of Hey Joe, Foxy Lady and Purple Haze and finished by breaking and setting fire to his guitar and throwing the remaining pieces to the audience. Which guitar legend announced his entry into the world of music with this performance?

4 What, in guitar history, came in 1954 after the Broadcaster and the Precision Bass?

5 Which Indian classical guitar maestro, known for his Grammy-winning album with Ry Cooder titled A Meeting By the River, created his own version of the slide guitar known as the ‘mohan veena’?

6 ‘Brownie’ went into service in 1967 and was auctioned for charity in 1999; it was followed by ‘Blackie’, which was also later auctioned for a huge sum. With whom do you associate ‘Brownie’ and ‘Blackie’?

7 Which variation of the electric guitar became popular with the Rickenbacker 360 model, used by George Harrison on the album A Hard Day’s Night, and was an integral part of the sound of the folk rock band, The Byrds. Acoustic versions of this guitar remain popular to the day.

8 Regarded as the one who invented blues guitar, this performer recorded just 29 songs in his lifetime, but he was so good that the legend was that he had sold his soul to the devil to achieve musical success. Identify this musician, who died at the age of 27 in 1938, probably of syphilis?

9 Tales of Brave Ulysses by Cream was the first big hit to use this effect on guitar, but it was Jimi Hendrix who made it his own with songs like Voodoo Child. Name this effect that alters the frequency and tone of the instrument to mimic a human voice.

10 In which award-winning film would you see Coma the Doof, a character who keeps playing a double-necked flame-throwing guitar to encourage his warlord’s men to battle while standing on top of a battle wagon?


1 Stéphane Grappelli.

2 Hawaii, which is why the steel guitar is known widely as the Hawaiian guitar in India.

3 Jimi Hendrix.

4 The Fender Stratocaster, one of the most iconic guitar models in history, and the most distinctive shape for electric guitars.

5 Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt.

6 Eric Clapton; they were his two favourite Fender guitars. The song Layla was played on Brownie.

7 Twelve-string guitars, as opposed to the six strings on normal guitars.

8 Robert Leroy Johnson.

9 The wah-wah pedal.

10 Mad Max, Fury Road.


Joy Bhattacharjya is a quizmaster;

Twitter: @joybhattacharj

Published on January 23, 2021

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