Electric Guitar Parts Definitions/Explainations
The peghead, also known as the headstock, is the part of a guitar or other stringed instrument to which the tuning pegs are attached.
It is located at the end of the neck and typically has the instrument’s manufacturer’s logo or name on it.
The tuning pegs are used to adjust the tension of the strings and change the pitch of the notes played on the instrument.
The bridge on a guitar is a component that holds the strings in place and transfers the vibrations of the strings to the guitar’s body.
The bridge is typically located on the lower bout of the guitar body, opposite the guitar’s peghead.
The most common type of bridge found on acoustics and electrics guitars is the “fixed bridge” where the strings are held by the bridge through pressure and string holes.
There are also different types of bridges such as “Tremolo bridge” which allows the player to make the pitch of the notes fluctuate, the “tailpiece bridge” which the strings are anchored by a tailpiece and the “floating bridge” which can be adjusted to change the pitch of the notes.
A cutaway on a guitar is a design feature that removes a portion of the upper bout of the guitar body, typically on the treble side, to allow easier access to the higher frets.
This is particularly useful for guitarists who play in higher registers and need to reach higher notes.
Cutaways come in various shapes, the most common ones are: the Venetian, the Florentine, and the double-cutaway.
The type of cutaway can affect the tone and volume of the guitar, due to the removal of some of the wood of the body.
The truss rod nut is a small, adjustable component located on the peghead or neck of a guitar, typically under the truss rod cover.
It is used to adjust the tension of the truss rod, which is a metal rod running inside the neck of the guitar that helps to counter the tension of the strings and maintain the proper curvature of the neck.
Adjusting the truss rod nut can help to straighten a bowed neck or add relief to a neck that is too straight, allowing the guitar to play in tune and with proper action.
A pickguard on a guitar is a piece of material, typically plastic or tortoise shell, that is mounted on the body of the guitar, typically under the strings, to protect the guitar’s finish from scratches and wear caused by the player’s strumming or picking hand.
It also serves as a decorative element, as it can be made in various designs, materials and colors.
Some pickguards also have additional features such as a built-in preamp for electric guitars or a cut-away for easier access to the higher frets.
The pickguard is usually attached to the guitar’s body using screws or adhesive and can be removed for cleaning or replacement.
Solid Wood Body
An electric guitar with a solid-wood body is a type of electric guitar that has a body made entirely out of solid wood, rather than laminated wood or other materials.
Solid-wood electric guitars are prized for their rich, warm tone and natural resonance.
The most common type of wood used for electric guitar bodies is Alder, Ash and Mahogany, but other woods such as Maple, Walnut, Koa, and others are also used.
The tonal characteristics of each wood can vary greatly and can influence the overall sound of the guitar.
Solid-wood electric guitars are typically more expensive than their laminated wood counterparts, due to the cost and labor involved in sourcing and shaping solid wood.
Guitar tuning machines, also known as tuning pegs or tuning gears, are the mechanical devices located on the headstock of the guitar that are used to adjust the tension of the strings and change their pitch.
They are typically located on the peghead or headstock of the guitar and are used to tune the guitar by turning the knob or button on the tuning machine, which in turn tightens or loosens the string.
There are different types of tuning machines, including traditional machine heads and more modern types like the locking machine heads and the planetary machine heads.
The type of tuning machines used can affect the ease of tuning and the stability of the tuning over time.
The nut on a guitar is a small, thin piece of material, typically made of plastic, bone, or other hard materials, that is located at the top of the guitar’s neck, where the neck and headstock meet.
The nut serves as a guide for the strings as they pass over it and into the tuning machines, and also helps to keep the strings properly spaced and at the correct height above the fretboard.
It plays a crucial role in the guitar’s intonation, which is the accuracy of the pitch of the notes played on the instrument.
The nut also helps to keep the strings in place, preventing them from slipping or shifting while playing.
It can be adjusted or replaced if it becomes worn or damaged, or if the guitar’s action needs to be adjusted.
The neck of a guitar is the long, thin piece of wood that extends from the body of the guitar and supports the fretboard, tuning machines, and nut.
It is typically made of a hardwood such as maple, mahogany, or rosewood, and is shaped to provide a comfortable grip for the player’s hand.
The neck also contains a metal rod called the truss rod, which runs inside the neck and helps to counter the tension of the strings and maintain the proper curvature of the neck.
The shape and thickness of the neck can affect the feel and playability of the guitar. Common neck shapes are “C”, “V”, “U” and “D” shape.
The height of the strings above the fretboard is also an important factor in the guitar’s playability and is adjusted by the truss rod.
The fretboard on a guitar is the long, thin strip of wood that runs along the neck of the guitar and contains the frets.
It is typically made of a hardwood such as maple, rosewood, or ebony, and is usually glued to the guitar’s neck.
The frets are thin metal strips that are embedded in the fretboard, perpendicular to the strings.
They divide the fretboard into a series of small segments called frets, which are used to play notes at different pitches by pressing the strings against the frets.
The fingerboard also has markers, usually at the 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th, 12th, 15th, 17th, and 19th frets, to assist the player in finding the right fret quickly.
The fretboard is also where the player performs techniques such as bending, sliding, hammering, and tapping.
“F” holes, also known as soundholes, are cut-outs in the top of an acoustic/hollow-body electric guitar that allow sound to escape from the body of the guitar.
They are typically located in the upper bout of the guitar’s body, near the soundboard.
They are usually shaped like an “F” and are usually found on guitars with a hollow or semi-hollow body such as archtop guitars and some flattop guitars.
The F-holes are not present on solid body electric guitars.
The shape and size of the F-holes can affect the sound of the guitar, as the size and shape of the hole can change the amount of air that is able to move in and out of the guitar’s body, which can affect the volume and tone of the guitar.
The F-holes also add a decorative element to the guitar, and are often seen as a classic feature of traditional archtop guitars.
A tailpiece on a guitar is a component that is located at the end of the guitar body, opposite the peghead, and is used to anchor the strings and transfer the vibrations of the strings to the guitar’s body.
Tailpieces can come in various shapes and designs, and can be made of different materials such as metal, plastic, or wood.
They are mostly found on archtop and semi-hollow body electric guitar and some classical and flamenco acoustic guitar.
The tailpiece can affect the tone and volume of the guitar, as the material and shape of the tailpiece can affect the amount of energy that is transferred from the strings to the body of the guitar.
Some tailpieces, such as the trapeze tailpiece or the harp tailpiece, are anchored to the guitar body with screws, while others, such as the floating tailpiece, are not anchored at all, and are instead held in place by the tension of the strings.
The tailpiece also holds the bridge in place, which is a component that supports the strings and allows them to vibrate freely to produce sound.
Tone & Volume Controls
Tone and volume knobs on a guitar are used to adjust the sound produced by the guitar.
The tone knob, also known as a tone control, is used to adjust the frequency balance of the guitar’s sound.
It typically affects the amount of high and low frequency tones in the sound.
The volume knob, also known as a volume control, is used to adjust the overall loudness of the sound.
On an electric guitar, the tone and volume knobs are usually located on the body of the guitar, near the guitar’s pickups, which are devices that convert the mechanical vibrations of the strings into electrical signals that can be amplified and sent to an amplifier or speaker.
The tone and volume knobs are often separate, but they can also be combined in a single control.
On an acoustic guitar, the volume knob is not typically present but you can find pre-amp with volume knob to amplify the sound of the guitar.
The tone and volume knobs allow guitarists to adjust the sound of the guitar to suit their playing style and the type of music they are playing, and can also be used to create various effects such as distortion or sustain.
The bouts on a guitar are the curved sections of the guitar body, located on either side of the waist of the guitar. There are typically three bouts on a guitar, the upper bout, the waist, and the lower bout.
The upper bout is the section of the guitar body located near the neck and the headstock.
The lower bout is the section of the guitar body located near the tailpiece and the endpin.
The waist of the guitar is the narrowest part of the guitar body, located between the upper and lower bouts.
The shape and size of the bouts can affect the sound of the guitar, as the size and shape of the bouts can change the amount of air that is able to move in and out of the guitar’s body, which can affect the volume and tone of the guitar.
The shape of the bouts can also affect the guitar’s aesthetics and can change the way the guitar feels in the player’s hands.
The bouts are also important in the structural integrity of the guitar, as they add strength to the body and help to distribute the tension of the strings throughout the guitar body.
The waist of a guitar is the narrowest part of the guitar body, typically located between the upper bout and the lower bout.
The shape and size of the waist can affect the sound and playability of the guitar.
Guitars with a smaller waist tend to produce a brighter, more focused tone, while guitars with a larger waist tend to produce a warmer, more resonant tone.
The shape of the waist can also affect the guitar’s ergonomics, making it more comfortable to hold and play.
The waist is also an important structural element of the guitar, as it helps to distribute the tension of the strings throughout the guitar body, and contributes to the overall strength and stability of the guitar.
The waist on an electric guitar is usually smaller than an acoustic guitar, and is less pronounced, this is because the electric guitar body is usually made of solid wood and doesn’t have the sound chamber like an acoustic guitar.