Anatomy of a Guitar

Anatomy of an acoustic and electric guitar, common uses and description of guitar parts, and complete part by part guitar anatomy. This will help you identify which part is which and the different uses of each guitar part. These are basic information and terms an aspiring new guitarist should know.  Try to notice the difference between an acoustic guitar and an electric guitar.

 
This diagram represents what can commonly be found on a standard acoustic or electric guitar, the kind you see most often sold in music stores, although there are hundreds of different types of guitars with unique parts or accessories, but to keep things simple, I will just show you an anatomy diagram of a common or typical acoustic and electric guitar.

 

Guitar Parts and Description:
 
Body  The main part of a guitar (not the neck).
 
Bridge The part of the guitar where the strings transmit their vibrations to the soundboard. Made of either wood or metal. See anatomy.
 
Cutaway A concave area generally in the upper right bout of a normal right-hand guitar that allows the player easier access to the high frets.
 
Fret The vertical metal bars on a guitar fret board. Aso describes the distance between notes on the fretboard.
 
Fret Markers  Used as reference for fret numbers, commonly on the 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th, 12th, 15th, 17th 19th and 21st fret.
 
Fretboard The fretted surface of the neck where you do the playing, sometimes known as the fingerboard.
 
Headstock  The part of a guitar situated on the end of the neck which houses the machine heads ot tuning pegs.
 
Input plug  Where you plug your electric guitar to your amplifier.
 
Neck  The part of a guitar which houses the fret board.
 
Nut The small grooved piece of bone that the strings sit in between the fretboard and the headstock. See anatomy.
 
Pickup Selector The pickup selector allows the user to regulate the degree to which each pickup's recorded vibration is predominant in the final sound produced. Commonly between the bridge, middle and neck pickups.
 
Pickups  An electromagnet housed underneath the strings on an electric guitar which produces a signal to be amplified by a guitar amplifier.
 
Saddle The upright blade which sits in the bridge, often plastice metal or bone, where the strings sit.
 
Sound hole  The hole in the front of an acoustic guitar body from which the sound is projected.  
 
Strap Pin Two Metal Pins placed on different ends of a guitar body used to hold a guitar strap.
 
Tremolo bar A tremolo arm, tremolo bar, or whammy bar is a lever attached to the bridgeor the tailpiece of an electric guitar to enable the player to quickly vary the tension and the length of the strings temporarily, changing the pitch to create a vibrato, portamento or pitch bend effect.
 
Tuning pegs The geared devices on the headstock used to tighten or loosen the strings. See anatomy. 
 
Volume and Tone  Knobs to adjust volume and tone
 

Visit our Guitar Terms Glossary for more guitar parts and musical terms.

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