Since when guitars were used in Rock 'n' Roll music? Not necessarily as lead instrument. The wiki page says

In the earliest rock and roll styles of the late 1940s and early 1950s, either the piano or saxophone was often the lead instrument, but these were generally replaced or supplemented by guitar in the middle to late 1950s.

I would like to know if guitars were used in Rock 'n' Roll music before 1950s.

2 Answers 2


I explored on this topic a bit, It turns out that guitars were used in Rock 'n' Roll before mid 1950s, prior to them being used as lead instruments. The earliest I could find was late 1920s from this article, which says,

"Crazy About My Baby" by Blind Roosevelt Graves and brother Uaroy, recorded in 1929, was a rhythmic country blues with small group accompaniment. Researcher Gayle Dean Wardlow has stated that this "could be considered the first rock 'n' roll recording". The brothers also recorded rhythmic gospel music. The Graves brothers, with an additional piano player, were later recorded as the Mississippi Jook Band, whose 1936 recordings including "Skippy Whippy", "Barbecue Bust" and "Hittin' The Bottle Stomp" were highly rhythmic instrumental recordings which, according to writer Robert Palmer, "..featured fully formed rock and roll guitar riffs and a stomping rock and roll beat".

If Guitars were used in Rock n Roll before 1950s?

Absolutely, yes!

Since when guitars were used in Rock 'n' Roll music?

Apparently from the beginning of Rock 'n' Roll itself. However, right now, I cant cite a specific song where guitar was used or an exact year when it was used first.


Guitars saw a boom when steel strings became available for them. This would have been around 1900. The piano boom was already well developed and perhaps on the decline partly due to the advances in luthier work. But a lot of pianos everywhere meant that a lot of recordings were done with piano in the first half of the 19th century. The ubiquity of marching bands in the same period as the piano boom meant that there also a lot of saxophones laying around so the saxophone and the piano played in a lot of bands.

But by the 1920s, guitars with steel strings were everywhere and they were cheap. They would be found in your juke joints as well as the town fair backing the fiddler. So as Vinod points out, you will see guitar riffs that resemble rock and roll from this period. Piano riffs might pre-date it, but you would be talking about riffs being used in Texas and the sort (boogie-woogie.)

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