The Guitar Parts

Guitar Learning System

There are three main guitar parts- The body, the neck, and the head.

The Body

The Body of a guitar contains the pickups, pickup selector, volume and tone adjustment knobs, the bridge, a 1/4" output jack, two anchor points for your guitar strap, and it may also contain a whammy bar (depending on the type of guitar you have).

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guitar body

Pick Ups

The pick ups are just that- Pick Ups. They pick up the sound vibration from the strings, transfer it to the output of your guitar and send the sound to your amplifier.

Pick Up Selection Switch

Also pretty self explanatory. This 3 or 5 setting selector allows you to decide which pick ups are actively being used on your guitar. Set it all the way toward the bottom of your guitar and you are using the pick up closest to the bridge, giving you a nice crisp sound.

All the way up and you are using the pick up closest to the neck of the guitar, giving you a much softer and more rounded sound, great for playing blues.

Set the switch to the middle and you are using both pick ups which gives you a compromise between the two different sounds.

As you become more experienced, you will develop your own feel for your guitar and how to use the pick up selection switch to achieve the sound you want.

Volume and Tone

The volume and tone knobs control the volume and to some extent the tone being sent out to your amp. Your amp and effects are what will really define your sound, so don't worry too much about the setting of the tone knobs.

The Bridge

The Bridge allows the strings to attach to the guitar body and pass over the pickups and fretboard. If your bridge isn't fixed and has a whammy (tremelo) bar, you can use the whammy bar to increase or decrease tension of the guitar strings, changing notes and giving you a diving or climbing sound. This is one of the guitar parts that isn't essential to playing.

Using a whammy bar can be fun for a little while and it can produce some wild sounds. However it also likes to pull strings out of tune and can be more of a pain in the but than anything. Even so called "lock in tuning" doesn't do a very good job of keeping the strings in tune.

guitar neck

The Neck

The neck is either going to be a seperate piece bolted on to the body, or it will be one solid continuous piece extended from the guitar body. This part is made up of the fretboard and nut.

The Fretboard

The fretboard is where you adjust the tension of the different strings by placing your fingers in certain frets to hit different notes.

The Nut at the very top of the neck leads the strings from the bridge to the tuning adjustment pegs located on....

guitar headstock

The Headstock

The head of the guitar comes in a wide variety of shapes and sizes and is where you use the tuning pegs to adjust the tension of the strings, ultimately setting up the tuning of your guitar.

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