R is for… Rautalanka
Rautalanka was a style of instrumental guitar music that was popular in Finland in the early '60s. Incidentally, ‘rautalanka’ is Finnish for ‘iron wire,’ as in electric guitar strings.
The music was heavily influenced by bands like The Shadows and The Ventures. Like those bands, rautalanka guitarists preferred the sound of single coil pickup so Fender Strats were popular.
The first rautalanka record was Emma by The Sounds (watch it here) which was released in 1963. Of course, The Beatles put paid to the instrumental rautalanka bands when they arrived on the scene, just like they had everywhere else in the world in 1964.
R is also for… Reverb
When he was busy pioneering the surf guitar sound Dick Dale claims he didn’t use reverb, he actually used the tremolo circuit on his Fender amplifier. Reverb has become the defining sound of surf guitar however. It makes the guitar signal sound wet… just like the sea, natch.
You can get all sorts of digital reverb units these days but we still crave the old school ‘63 Fender Tube Reverb - check it out at Fender's site here.