All the parts of an electric guitar that you need to know…
It is important to get to know the parts of the guitar you are about to play on and create music with, so spend a little time and get to know the parts that make up your instrument.
If you are a beginner guitarist making your first steps into this exciting world of music than you will come across some terms and expressions that are usually used by tutors and musicians alike. You will need to know this terminology as it will be referred to quite a lot when learning to play the guitar.
Knowing the parts of an electric guitar will also come in handy when you go out looking for a guitar, so, you should be able to recognize and identify where these parts are situated on your electric guitar and what their main functions are so you can be aware of the specs you are getting.
Parts of an Electric Guitar
In the diagram you see below you can see all the parts that make up an electric guitar.
The head (also known as the headstock) hold the tuning keys and it is where you actually tune the guitar.
The headstock is where you tune the guitar, this is where the end of the string is attached to the guitar. So, if you have a 6-string electric you will have six tuning keys, one per string. By turning the keys/pegs you either tighten the string and tune up the sound or loosen it and tune it down accordingly to the right desired note and sound output.
You will normally find three main head configurations for electric guitars:
The key is where the string is attached to through a tiny hole and this is where the string wraps around as it is turned, the peg holds it all in place and makes it easier to turn and tune.
In the headstock you can also find what is known as the Truss Rod, this is not something many guitarists come across as it is more for the advanced musician and it used to reduce fret buzz usually when the instrument is stored in surroundings with regular changes in temperature.
This is the part where you hold the guitar and it is probably one of the key parts in the anatomy of the electric guitar as the neck is also where you create the notes and chords as you press your fingers on what is known as the fretboard.
The neck of the electric guitar is usually made of top quality materials, usually mahogany or maple. Take note that the material that you see, (where your fingers are pressed against when playing) on the fretboard are different.
The fretboard is actually a material which is glued onto the neck.
The Neck Joint
The neck joint is the place where the neck and the body are attached to each other, these are two separate pieces of the guitar and they must, therefore, be firmly connected as we don’t want the guitar to fall apart.
There are ways in which the neck and body are connected and they are either through bolts (which is commonly in use today) and what is also known as a “neck through” construction which usually improves the uphold. The third connection is called the “Set In Connection”.
The fretboard, which is also commonly known as the fingerboard, is made of a much lighter type of wood such as rosewood although some manufacturers also use Maple to help produce a better tighter sound.
The fretboard is where the actual notes are made by pressing the string down on to them. This is also where you will find the frets, these are raised metal wires which are placed along the fretboard and are also a fundamental component which helps create the chords.
Down the length of the fretboard, you will also usually find inlay markers which are located at regular distances between frets. On an electric guitar with 24 frets you will find these markers on the following frets: 3, 5, 7, 9, 12, 15, 17, 19, 21, 24.
The body is one of the largest parts of the guitar and where almost everything happens. This is where you pluck or pick the strings to produce the sound and, together with the finger movement on the fretboard is how we make music.
An electric guitar also has types of scoops, you will find those between the neck and the body. These are prematurely placed and are a part of the design, their main purpose is to allow the guitarist to reach the higher frets without difficulty without the body getting in the way.
The nut is mainly in place to hold the strings as they pass down from the head to the neck and down the fingerboard. The nut has slits in it where the strings get placed into them before moving all the way down to the bridge.
There are many materials that the nut is made of such as:
The pick guard is basically in place to protect the body of the guitar against any scratches that could be made as a result of the guitarists pick, the guard it is also known as the scratch plate.
The pick guard is also usually designed with a pattern and in a different color from the body of the guitar, this adds another design element and has become an integral part of the guitars overall design.