In 1943 Adolfo Nascimento and Osmar Alvares Macêdo , two guys from the Northeastern city of Salvador, capital of the state of Bahia, invented something they named “pau elétrico” (electric wood). It was basically a solid electric Portuguese instrument, widely used on samba music, with four strings made of steel. During the Carnival of 1950 Adolfo and Osmar impressed with the energy and success of their new music style. With their pau elétrico, a generator, amplifiers, speakers and other instruments usually on a moving van or truck known as Trio Elétrico they started to play wild electric sounds on the street.
It was something like a hybrid of Jimmy Hendrix and Brazilian Carnaval.
As the time passed the pau elétrico changed its forms and became what is known today as the “Guitarra baiana” (Bahian guitar).Even today, the instrument is intimately connected to Brazilian Carnival, where it is used extensively, especially in the Carnaval da Bahia of Salvador, Bahia State.