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Guitar components

The guitar is a beautiful and versatile instrument used in almost all forms of music. It is fun to hold, play and listen to. You may be wondering what materials go into making the different components of what is arguably the most popular musical instrument. Let’s discuss the different parts of the guitar.

The Parts of a Guitar

Guitar components

Bar: A metal rod attached to the bridge that varies the string tension by tilting the bridge back and forth. Also called the tremolo bar, whammy bar, vibrato bar, and wang bar.

Body: The box that provides an anchor for the neck and bridge and creates the playing surface for the right hand. On an electric, it consists of the housing for the bridge assembly and electronics (pickups as well as tone and volume controls). The vast majority of guitar bodies are made from wood. Wood has a resonance unmatched by other materials. It is the vibration of the wood when the strings are played that sets the tone of the guitar. Most acoustic bodies have a bottom of a heavier wood, such as mahogany, and a lighter wood, such as spruce, for the top. Most electric guitar bodies are made from a single type of wood, also a heavier type for strong resonance.

Bridge: The metal plate that anchors the strings to the body. The bridge holds the strings in place on the body and transfers the vibration of the strings to the soundboard on an acoustic. Bridges are generally wood with a saddle made of bone or ivory which physically supports the strings.

End pin: A metal post where the rear end of the strap connects.

Fingerboard: A flat, plank-like piece of wood that sits atop the neck, where you place your left-hand fingers to produce notes and chords. The fingerboard is also known as the fretboard because the frets are embedded in it.

Frets: Thin metal wires or bars running perpendicular to the strings that shorten the effective vibrating length of a string, enabling it to produce different pitches.

Headstock: The section that holds the tuning machines (hardware assembly) and provides a place for the manufacturer to display its logo. Most, though not all, guitars have a headstock at the top. It is where the string tuners are. It’s also generally where the manufacturer places its brand. Tuners can be made from metal (most electrics) ivory (many acoustics), or other materials. The headstock is usually made of wood. Some electric models do not have a headstock. These models have the tuners at the bottom of the guitar.

Neck: The long, club-like wooden piece that connects the headstock to the body. The Neck Guitar necks are generally also made of wood. Often, but not always, the neck is the same type of wood as the body. The fretboard, generally made of smooth, easy to play wood such as rosewood or maple, is glued onto the neck. The frets themselves are made of soft durable metal such as stainless steel or nickel.

Nut: A grooved sliver of stiff nylon or other synthetic substance that stops the strings from vibrating beyond the neck. The strings pass through grooves on their way to the tuners in the headstock. The nut is one of the two points at which the vibrating area of the string ends. (The other is the bridge.) The Nut is a grooved piece of bone, steel or other medium-hard material placed where the headstock meets the fretboard. It has grooves which hold the strings in place.

Output jack: The insertion point for the cord that connects the guitar to an amplifier or other electronic device.

Pickup selector: A switch that determines which pickups are currently active. Pickups are used in both electric and acoustic/electric guitars. They carry the sound generated by the strings electronically through a jack and cable to an amplifier. Pickups are made up of magnets and electronic copper wire coils. There are many different types of pickups. The type of pickup (or combination of pickups) used will greatly affect the sound produced.

Pickups: Bar-like magnets that create the electrical current, which the amplifier converts into musical sound.

Strap pin: Metal post where the front, or top, end of the strap connects.

Strings: Although not strictly part of the actual guitar (you attach and remove them at will on top of the guitar), strings are an integral part of the whole system, and a guitar’s entire design and structure revolves around making the strings ring out with a joyful noise.

Top: The face of the guitar. On an electric, the top is merely a cosmetic or decorative cap that overlays the rest of the body material.

Tuning machines: Geared mechanisms that raise and lower the tension of the strings, drawing them to different pitches. The strings wrap tightly around posts that sticks out through the top, or face, of the headstock. The posts pass through to the back of the headstock, where gears connect them to tuning keys (also known as tuners, tuning pegs, and tuning gears).

Volume and tone controls: Knobs that vary the loudness of the guitar’s sound and its bass and treble frequencies.

Source: Virtual musical instruments

Date: 2017-12-15 | Views: 174