Familiarising yourself with the various guitar parts and understanding their basic function is recommended for everyone. In this lesson we will break down the fundamental parts of an acoustic guitar and a solid body electric guitar.
THE ACOUSTIC GUITAR
The neck of the guitar holds the same parts as both acoustic and eletric guitars. They serve the same purpose and consequently have the same names.
The Headstock is the top part of the instrument and is where the tuning pegs also called machine heads are located.
Tuning pegs are an essential peice of hardware that keep your guitar in tune. They are rotated both clockwise and anti-clockwise to adjust the pitch of the strings.
The Nut maintains the correct string spacing and alignment so that the strings feed into their respective tuning pegs.They are usually made of bone or plastic.
The Frets are skinny raised strips of steel that divide the neck into fixed segments. They are numbered from 1-21 depending on the length of the neck. “Fretting” often refers to the placement of the left hand fingers as they press down the string behind a fret.
Fretboard Markers are a handy way for navigating your way around the guitar. If your fretboard was a map they’d be the street signs, indicators of ‘where you are’ on the neck.
Electric guitars house electronic components which serve the purpose of amplifying the sound. They have pickups which are are essentially magnets wrapped in copper wire which create a magnetic field. When the strings vibrate over the magnetic field they create a signal which is passed onto your guitar amplifier via the output jack. The tone and volume controls are used to adjust the levels of volume, bass and treble. The pickups are housed on the scratchplate located in different positions to add some tonal variations. The pickup selector is a switch which selects each or a combination of the 3 pickups.