The guitar is probably the most famous string instrument in the world, although it is true that the variety of members is very wide. Even being an instrument whose first versions date back centuries, the most essential parts of the guitar have remained intact , while others have undergone some other modification until they have the form in which we know it today.
- In case you are starting: 12 easy guitar songs.
The 12 essential parts of the guitar (electric, Spanish and acoustic)
The guitar that we know today is made up of the following structures, although it did not always have the appearance that we all evoke.
1. Resonance box or body
The core of the guitar, the central element of the entire instrument. We will talk about “sound box” or “body” interchangeably to refer to one of the most important parts of the guitar, since it is the one that amplifies the sound.
When a string or chord is strummed, the vibration propagates along the body of the guitar and out through the sound hole (in the case of Spanish and acoustic guitars) or through the pickups, converted into an electrical signal, in the direction of the guitar. amplifier (on electric guitars).
Hole made in the mid-central part of the body of Spanish and acoustic guitars , which serves to amplify the sound once the strings are played.
It is one of the parts of the guitar that is absent in the electric ones, because being connected by a cable to an amplifier, which is in turn linked to a power supply, they do not need it.
The pickguard is glued to the top of the instrument. This piece is designed to protect the body of the instrument in the area where the strings are usually “attacked” and thus prevent it from being damaged by the collision with the fingernails or the pick of the musician when playing.
Despite its usefulness,The pickguard can be removed for aesthetic reasons or to improve the sound of the melody in those guitars that incorporate it; while some brands sell their instruments directly without.
This is one of the parts of the common guitar in all classes, attached to the body of the instrument and consisting of six holes through which each of the strings will be passed, which will be fixed to the instrument by the lower part. . From there, it can be adjusted in height and tightened or relaxed using a small tool called a ‘saddle’.
Located in a slot that the bridge leaves and that allows it to fit, the capo serves to raise the strings or bring them closer to the body of the guitar. It is through this small piece that the vibration is transmitted from the strings to the soundboard.
A second capo can be placed along the neck, which is removable and only necessary for specific tunings. It is a small piece in the shape of a clamp that will give us a more serious or more acute sound depending on the fret on which we place it, with the corresponding variations in the position of the fingers to achieve each chord.
Also known as “arm”, it is one of the most notable parts of the guitar due to its elongated shape. The neck, made of wood, is attached to the body of the guitar and extends to the headstock.
The guitarist’s fingers are placed along the mast to sing the notes he wants to play., each located on a fret.
The fingerboard is a sheet of wood that covers the neck from the front, usually obtained from ebony, which gives it a darkened appearance. On the fretboard is where all the frets are arranged , so that the musician must press each string to achieve the note he wants on the corresponding fret.
The classical version of the guitar consists of 6 strings, the thickness of which gradually increases. In all sheet music and tablature, the guitar strings are numbered from the bottom to the top of the fretboard., so the notes must be played in the opposite way to how we see it represented (the first string will be the thinnest, while the sixth will be the thickest).
The standard tuning of these six parts of the guitar is as follows, from highest to lowest:
String 1: High E (E)
String 2: B (B)
String 3: G (G)
String 4: D (D)
String 5: The (A)
String 6: Low E (E)
One method of ensuring that the tuning is correct is to check that each string, played open (without pressing on it at any fret), sounds the same as its higher pressing fret 5. To facilitate this task, especially for those who have just entered this world, we recommend using a tuner, although over time the ear will get used to detecting the notes correctly and we will be able to tune without the need for this device.
Regarding the materials with which these parts of the guitar are made, we will find differences according to the type of instrument. In the case of the Spanish, the strings are all nylon, although the last three usually have a metal wrap, due to the pressure they endure when tuning. In contrast, the strings of acoustic and electric guitars are entirely metal .
Each of the metal bars embedded throughout the entire fretboard, although this term also refers to the space between these projections.
Each fret is assigned a different note depending on the string and, in order to achieve a purer tone, it is always recommended that the finger with which the string is pressed be as close as possible to the fret , without pressing it just above the fret. same, because if it doesn’t it doesn’t sound.
Some higher-end guitars and basses are devoid of frets, “fretless”, in English, as well as bowed string instruments (violins, violas, cellos and double basses). In this way it is believed that they gain in sound quality. However, this measure has the disadvantage that it is more difficult to find the correct note at the beginning.
The pickups are parts of the electric guitar that we do not find in the other variants of this instrument, due to their role in the sound of the strings. These are small mechanisms attached to the body, responsible for capturing the sound when the string is strummed. We generally find between 2 and four pickups per instrument,each of which transmits the vibration from the body of the instrument to the cable, converted into an electrical signal .
According to the controls and switches that the electric guitar has incorporated, adjusting which of the pickups we want to sound, it will produce one type of sound or another , as indicated in the video.
End of the mast that is part of the same piece of wood, a kind of “head” of the guitar. This piece is where the metal pegs are distributed , which will serve to adjust the tuning.
It is one of the parts of an acoustic, Spanish or electric guitar, whose shape will differ depending on the brand and design, since each house gives a personal touch.your products with a different finish. It is also the part of the guitar where the brand logo appears.
Each of the six metals that hold the strings is called a “peg”. By turning them, the guitar strings are tuned according to the desired key, so that by tightening them out, higher notes are achieved and vice versa.
For this reason, the pegbox is each one of the pieces located at the end of the mast in which the six pegs are placed .
- Buying guide: The 10 best guitar brands (electric and acoustic).