The Parts Of The Guitar

It is important for you as a beginner guitar player to learn the proper names for the parts of the guitar. When you talk to other musicians, or people that work at music stores, it is important for you to be able to communicate with them about the guitar in an accurate manner. Here is a quick rundown of the more important parts of the guitar.

Headstock – If you are right handed and holding your guitar, the headstock is the part of the guitar to the far left that holds the tuning pegs.

Tuning Pegs – The tuning pegs are the devices that the strings are wrapped around. They not only hold the strings, but they are also used to tune the strings. Usually you will have 3 tuning pegs on each side of the headstock. Some guitars have all six tuning pegs on one side of the headstock

Nut – The nut of the guitar is the part of the guitar that guides and holds the strings in place right before they get to the headstock. Usually the nut is made of plastic, bone, graphite or metal

Neck – The neck of the guitar is the entire part of the guitar from the headstock up to the body of the guitar. The neck is where your fretboard is located.

Fretboard – The fretboard is the part of your guitar that holds the frets in place. Most of the time, the fretboard is another piece of wood that is glued on to the neck. The fretboard is usually made of rosewood, maple, or ebony.

Frets – The frets of the guitar are the metal strips that run vertically on your fretboard. Frets are usually made of nickel or stainless steel.

Body – If you are right handed and holding your guitar, the main part to the right is called the body of the guitar. Guitar bodies come in all different shapes and sizes.

Bridge – The bridge of the guitar is the part that holds the strings on to the body of the guitar. On an acoustic guitar the bridge is usually made of rosewood or ebony.

The electric guitar has many of the same parts that an acoustic does, but there are some major differences. Most of those differences come with the electronics. When we get to the electronics, there are quite a few differences that you need to know about. There are two main areas of electronics that you should be familiar with are the pickups and the controls.

Pickups are basically the microphones of your guitar. They pick up the vibrations from the strings and send them to your amplifier. Pickups come in two basic varieties, humbuckers and single coils. Humbuckers are called humbuckers because they get rid of the hum that’s normally associated with single coil pickups. Single coil pickups are generally a little bit brighter, and they have a hum that’s associated with them that the humbuckers can kind of get rid of. Neither humbuckers or single coils are better or worse. It’s all about personal preference and the kind of sound that you want for your guitar.

Control knobs come in two basic varieties, volume knobs and tone knobs. Your guitar may have one, two, three or even four knobs. Volume knobs basically control the output or how much volume is coming from your pickups. If you back off on a volume knob, your guitar is going to get a little bit quieter. If you max it out, it’s going to get as loud as it possibly can. If you back off on a tone knob, it will take some of the treble out of your guitar. If you max out that tone knob, your guitar is going to be as trebly as possible.

Pickup selector switches simply allow you to select which pickup is activated. When it’s all the way down, the bridge pickup is active. The bridge pickup is going to be more trebly just because it’s closer to the termination of the strings. When it’s all the way up, the neck pickup is active. The neck pickup is generally going to give you a bit more mellow of a tone. Pickup selector switches come in a couple of different varieties, but the two main ones are toggle switches blade switches.

In the next lesson we will learn the names of the guitar strings. This is critical for learning to tune the guitar. If you have any questions please leave them in the commenting system below.

This Lesson Has 12 Comments

  • Elizabeth says:

    What is the knob for tuning a guitar called?

  • Anna says:

    Hey, Nate! I have a quick question: my guitar was given to me by my grandpa before he passed away. It doesn’t have any strap buttons, but I would like to add a strap. How would I go about adding a strap and buttons (if possible)? (Is there someone I need to talk to to add buttons?)

  • Tom says:

    Sometimes the “fret markers” are on the top of your guitar, like so

  • Cecil says:

    Pls add an option to go to the next tutorial, each time i have to go back to the page and so on….

    • Steven G says:

      Hey Cecil,
      I was thinking the same thing, then I noticed that Nate actually includes a link to the next lesson at the end of the notes. Not as obvious as a huge button labeled “Next Video” but works the same :)

      I found that this actually works better for me because now I skim the notes briefly and sometimes get clarity/refresher on some of the things I missed in the video

      Happy learning!

  • chirag darji says:

    hiii… nate, diz z chirag here.. i m new to diz instrument……. so wer do i start… guitar….guide me…. how do i learn (guitar)

    chirag darji

  • Wesley Radecki says:

    Hi Nate, I was on your lesson on the a7 and c chord and I was really wondering why my d string was buzzing no matter what I did, I then figured out that my guitars nut had a chip. What should I do?!?

    • Nate Savage says:

      Hey Wesley, I would go to your local music store and see if they can put a new nut on there for you. If they can, great! If they can’t I’m sure they will have a number for a guitar repair shop.

  • Michael says:

    Hi i really need to know can i learn how to use the Classic guitar through this Video or not?


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