An Introduction to Acoustic Guitar: Anatomy

Hello there!


Every human likes music. And most humans like Guitars.  Whether we see our favorite artist slaying stage with his guitar or Slash playing his legendary solo in Guns n Roses ‘s November Rain or you just want to play your favorite Bollywood songs on Guitar or it’s just about impressing your crush in college, everyone has loved the Guitar at some point in his/her life and have wanted to learn to play it.

So, we will talk about Guitars. Acoustic Guitars in particular, although Electric Guitars are just as amazing, we shall cover about that in some other post.

In this post we will talk about the anatomy of an Acoustic guitar, and we will define the various parts of Acoustic Guitar. You see, Guitar is not a single piece of wood, a lot of different pieces of different materials and sizes are joined to make what we call a Guitar.  The quality of sound and play-ability depends on the quality of the material used and the quality of the manner in which those pieces are joined with each other. That is why it is important that we have basic knowledge of Guitar’s anatomy and the names of different parts of the instrument.

 


ANATOMY:

parts-of-the-acoustic-guitar

As you can see in the image, an acoustic Guitar is shown. We will now discuss about the different parts of it.

  • Body:

    Body of an acoustic guitar is a hollow box which produces sound. It is that big curvy part of the guitar which rests over your lap. We strum the stings over it.  Body can be of many types and shapes depending upon the type of Guitar is being manufactured.

  • Neck: 

    As the name suggests, the neck of a guitar is the long neck kind of bit on which we press the strings and produce sounds of different notes. Inside of the Neck there’s a truss rod which assures the curve of the neck, and it is adjustable to the needs required.

  • Fretboard:

    Fretboard is the part of the Neck which is directly underneath the strings. It is where the frets are fixed upon. It is marked at certain places for the ease of the player. There are many kind of woods used to make it but common are maple and rosewood.  Fretboard is also called Fingerboard.

  • Frets:

    Frets are metal strips that run across the fretboard. You press the strings just behind it so the strings would touch a fret and produce a certain note. Typically there are 20-22 Frets in an acoustic Guitar.  They are fixed apart to be an half note distance to the next one.

  • Head Stock:

    Head Stock of an acoustic guitar is at the end of the neck. It is where the strings’ ends are wired. The Tuners are fixed on the head stock.

  • Tuners:

    Tuners or tuning machines are the instrument on which the strings are wound to. Also it has a rotating mechanism which enables us to adjust the tension of strings and hence tuning the strings.

  •  Nut:

    Nut of a guitar is situated at the point where Neck and Head stock meet. It is a small piece of plastic, wood or ivory and has slots from which the strings pass. Nut guides the strings and keep them in place. It can affect the height of the strings from the fretboard.

  • Soundboard:

    Soundboard can simply be referred as Top too. It is the front part of the body and affects the tone of a Guitar the most. It is made of different kind of woods like Spruce, Mahogany, Koa etc.

  • Sound Hole:

    Sound hole is the round hole that we see on the body. It acts like the speaker of the Guitar,  this is where the sound reverberates and is amplified. We can get the best sound out of the Guitar if we hit the string just above the sound hole.

  • Pick Guard:

    Pick Guard is a protective slab typically made from plastic which is used to protect the Guitar body. This protective layer shields the guitar from the scratches that may occur while we strum the guitar.

  • Bridge:

    Bridge is where one end of the strings is fixed. It holds the saddle and bridge pins too(explained in next points). It is made of wood and mounted on the top of the body.

  • Saddle:

    Saddle is where the playable part of Guitar starts or ends depending upon which way you see it. It is like Nut but it doesn’t have slots for strings. It is also typically made of plastic or bone, although bone made sounds better.

  • Bridge Pins:

    Also called the String Pegs, Bridge pins are small piece of plastic or metal which are used to anchor the string end into a hole on the bridge and keep them there. They are small but important part of a guitar as if they get loose, so would the strings.

  • Strings: 

    Well, we couldn’t forget the most important part of the Guitar, could we? Strings. Strings are needed to play the guitar. We either strum or pluck them and they vibrate and create the sound. Also we press them on the fretboard to  produce sound of different notes and chords. In acoustic guitar, there are two kinds of strings that are used- Nylon strings and Steel strings. Nylon strings are used in classical guitars and have softer sound. Whereas Steel strings are found on acoustic guitars and have more brighter and hard sound. The thickness of the strings play a vital role in the tone too. Strings of different gauge are available and one should use what fits him the best.


    We hope that you’ll find this post informative. Stay tuned for more posts on Acoustic Guitar.

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