Let's start from the basics.
What is a guitar?
What are the parts of a guitar?
What kind of guitars are there?
What is the history of the guitar?
A guitar is a stringed musical instrument played with the fingers, or a guitar pick. The sound is produced by vibrating strings, which in turn resonate the body and neck.
The headstock is located at the end of the guitar neck. The headstock usually consists of machine heads (used for tuning), a "nut" (marking the end of the playable section of the strings) and a logo identifying the maker or model of the guitar. Some guitars lack headstocks, for decreased size, decreased weight, or aesthetic reasons.
Guitars have frets on the fingerboard to fix the positions of notes and scales, which gives them equal temperament. Consequently, the ratio of the widths of two consecutive frets is , whose numeric value is about 1.059463. The twelfth fret divides the string in two exact halves and the 24th fret (if present) divides the string in half yet again. Every twelve frets represents one octave.
Guitars usually have six strings, although there are variations on this, the most common being a twelve-string guitar, the seven string guitar, the ukulele, which has four strings, and the bass guitar, which usually has four strings but also exists in five, six, eight, and twelve-string versions. There are also more exotic models involving multiple necks and pickups. The vihuela, a guitar variation which emerged in 16th century Spain, has six double strings made of gut.
A string winder can be used to turn the machine heads and help to string a guitar more quicklyThe weight of a string is determined by its diameter and is normally measured in thousandths of an inch. The larger the diameter the heavier the string is (with thinner strings being lighter). Heavier strings require more tension for the same pitch and are consequently harder to hold on to the fretboard. Heavier strings will also produce a louder note and for this reason steel-strung acoustic guitars will normally be strung heavier than electric guitars.
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.
They can be re-shaped to a certain extent and can be replaced as needed.
A guitar's frets, fretboard, tuners, headstock, and truss rod, attached to a long wooden extension, collectively comprise its neck. The wood used to make the fretboard will usually differ from the wood in the rest of the neck. The bending stress on the neck is considerable, particularly when heavier gauge strings are used, and the ability of the neck to resist bending is important to the guitar's ability to hold a constant pitch during tuning or when strings are fretted. The rigidity of the neck with respect to the body of the guitar is one determinant of a good instrument versus a poor one. Conversely, the ability to change the pitch of the note slightly by deliberately bending the neck forcibly with the fretting arm is a technique sometimes used, particularly in the blues genre and those derived from it, such as rock and roll. The shape of the neck can also vary, from a gentle "C" curve to a more pronounced "V" curve
A grooved sliver of stiff nylon or other synthetic substance that stops the strings from vibrating beyond the neck. The strings pass through the 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 fingerboard, also known as a fretboard, is a part of most stringed instruments. It is a thin, long strip of wood that is laminated to the front of the neck of an instrument and above which the strings run. In the playing of such an instrument, a musician presses the strings down to it in order to change their vibrating lengths, causing changes in pitch. A fingerboard may be fretted, having raised strips of hard material perpendicular to the strings against which the strings are pressed when pressed down; frets generally allow for more precise changes in pitch and for less dampening of the vibrations. Frets may be fixed, as on a guitar or mandolin, or movable, as on a lute. Fingerboards may also be unfretted, as they usually are on bow-played instruments, where dampening is generally not a problem due to the prolonged stimulation of the strings. Fingerboards may also be, though uncommon, a hybrid of these two. Such a construction is seen on the sitar, where arched frets attach at the edges of the fingerboard; unfretted strings run below the frets, while fretted ones run above. The frets are sufficiently high that pressing strings against the fingerboard is unnecessary for the frets to stop their vibrations so that the lower strings' vibrations are uninterrupted.
Help the player to find his way on fretboard.
Metal post where the front, or top, end of the strap connects. (Not all acoustics have a strap pin. If the guitar is missing one, tie the top of the strap around the headstock.)
Protects the finish of the top of the guitar.
The face of the guitar. On an acoustic, this piece is also the sounding board, which produces almost all the guitar’s acoustic qualities. On an electric, the top is merely a cosmetic or decorative cap that overlays the rest of the body material.
The box that provides an anchor for the neck and bridge and creates the playing surface for the right hand. On an acoustic, the body includes the amplifying sound chamber that produces the guitar’s tone. On an electric, it consists of the housing for the bridge assembly and electronics (pickups as well as tone and volume controls).
The main purpose of the bridge on an acoustic guitar is transfer the vibration from the strings to the soundboard, which vibrates the air inside of the guitar, thereby amplifying the sound produced by the strings. On both electric and acoustic guitars, the bridge holds the strings in place. From there, the variations are astounding. There may be some mechanism for raising or lowering the bridge to adjust the distance between the strings and the fretboard (action), and/or fine-tuning the intonation of the instrument. Some are springloaded with a "whammy bar", a removable arm which allows the player to modulate the pitch by pulling the strings completely slack, then releasing the bar to restore the original tension. The whammy bar is sometimes incorrectly referred to as a "tremolo bar"--unlike the change in pitch that the whammy bar produces, a tremolo is a quick oscillation of the volume. Some bridges allow for alternate tunings at the touch of a button.
The truss rod is an adjustable metal rod that runs along the inside of the neck, adjusted by an allen-key bolt usually located either at the headstock (under a cover) or just inside the body of the guitar, underneath the fretboard (accessible through the sound hole).
Barlike magnets that create the electrical current, which the amplifier converts into musical sound. Pickups are usually placed right underneath the guitar strings. The most common type of pickups contain magnets that are tightly wrapped in copper wire. This allows the pickups to measure the movement of the steel guitar string within the magnetic field above the pickup. Some acoustic guitars also have microphones or pickups built into them for stage work. Pickups work on a similar principle to a generator in that the vibration of the strings causes a small current to be created in the coils surrounding the magnets. This signal is later amplified by an amplifier.
Pickup Selector Switch
A switch that determines which pickups are currently active.
The insertion point for the cord that connects the guitar to an amplifier or other electronic device.