A Guide to the Parts of a Guitar

The guitar is one invention that dates back more than 5000 years ago. Through the years, it has evolved into what people know today as a 6 string musical instrument for right handed players. One of the things a person needs to know before learning how to play this instrument is the parts that make up the guitar.

The top of the guitar is called the headstock. If the person wants to adjust the pitch, it can be adjusted by twisting it and there will be a change of pitch when played. The part of the guitar that holds the strings near the headstock is called the nut. This can be made of different materials such as bone, plastic, brass, graphite or ivory which may make one guitar sound different than another. The fret serves as a guide that allows the user to make the sounds of various notes. This happens because each of the six strings is made of a different width.

The truss rod holds the strings at the top of the guitar. If the instrument sounds different, a slight adjustment can make it sound good again. Many musicians do this especially if they are just borrowing it for a gig.

The strings of the guitar are held by the truss rod and the bridge. The purpose or the bridge is to transfer the vibration of the strings to the soundboard so the sound can be amplified. The regular guitar comes with 6 strings. The weight of each of these strings is in thousands of a diameter which produces the different sounds. The inlay is a visual element on the guitar.

It comes in many forms and the most common are parallelograms, diamond shapes and dots. This is located in between the frets that guide the person when playing and is quite similar to the different keys in the piano. The neck of the guitar makes up the headstock, nut, frets, truss rod and the inlays. The body of the guitar will determine the kind of sound that resounds when the instrument is being played and his depends on the type of wood used in making it.

Some people think that a certain item in the guitar is just there for aesthetic purposes. There is a purpose for each part and by understanding it, the individual will be able to distinguish a good guitar from a poor one and have a good time playing it.

For More Information on Guitar Parts by Ian Williamson please visit http://guitar.you-can-learn.info

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MTNA: Music Teachers National Association
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The Music Lesson, by Katharine Weber, New York, Crown Publishers, 1998; 178 pages, $21 hardcover