Parts of a Guitar

Parts of a Guitar Diagram

  • The headstock holds the tuning pegs. The guitar is tuned at the head.
  • The neck is where you hold the guitar with your fretting hand.
  • The body is where you strum or pick the strings with your picking hand.

Parts of an Acoustic Guitar

The first rule of guitar mastery is know your instrument! When you become a student of the guitar, it will become much easier for you to follow along with an instructor after you become knowledgeable about how the guitar is constructed.

Each guitar part is important to its overall sound. The quality of these components separate the great instruments from the mediocre ones. Knowing how these parts interact will also help you select the best guitar for your musical journey.

Guitar Headstock

The headstock of the acoustic guitar is attached at the end of the neck. The headstock holds the tuning pegs, which are used to tighten or loosen the guitar strings.

On a standard guitar, six tuning pegs are attached to the headstock – one for each guitar string.

Guitars come in many shapes and styles, but there are three (3) widely-used standard configurations for guitar headstocks:

  • 3 Tuners Per Side
  • In-line Tuners
  • Classical Tuners

Nut

The nut is a seating mechanism that holds the guitar strings in place. On cheaper guitars, the nut is made of inexpensive plastic. On more expensive or custom guitars, luthiers typically use bone material to make the nut.

Nuts can be made of bone, plastic, graphite, corian and brass.

Neck

The most popular wood type for the neck is maple, but guitar makers use many different wood for their tone and aesthetics. Don’t confuse the neck with fretboard. The neck is where the guitarists hold the guitar and the fretboard is attached to the other side of the neck.

When the guitar is held properly, your thumb will be positioned around the back of the neck and your other fingers will play on the fretboard.

Fretboard / Fingerboard

The fretboard is where the notes are played on the guitar with your fretting hand. The guitar strings are pressed down on the frets to create a specific note when the string is plucked.

The frets (or fret wires) are raised metal notches spread across the fretboard. Each fret represents a musical note on each guitar string.

The most common fretboard materials are rosewood and maple.

Sound Hole 

The sound hole is the place where the sound exits the guitar when it is played. If you are using a microphone to amplify or record the guitar, place the mic near the sound hole for better sound quality.

Acoustic Guitar Bridge

The bridge on acoustic guitars transfers string vibrations to the guitar body. These parts are not complicated. The bridge is typically made a single piece of wood attached to the guitar body. It includes a raised nut to hold the strings in place. The strings pass through the raised nut and attach at fixed holed in the bridge secured by bridge pins.

Guitar Strap Buttons

This is where the guitar strap attaches through the holes in the strap. Guitar strap buttons do not affect to sound of the guitar.

Guitar Strings

Guitar strings come in different gauges (thickness) and materials. Check out the Ernie Ball 2146 Earthwood Medium Light Acoustic Phosphor Bronze String Set (12 – 54) or the Elixir Strings Phosphor Bronze Acoustic Guitar Strings w NANOWEB Coating, Light (.012-.053) for excellent tone and feel!

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