Guitar Anatomy by February 19, 2016 0 comments

Knowing the parts of a guitar or the guitar anatomy is a crucial aspect of the learning process of how to play a guitar. The guitar parts too can be classified into two parts- the similar/common parts and the specific parts. The similar parts as the name suggests are present in both the electric and acoustic guitar whereas the specific parts of the guitar as specific to the type or the model. The electric guitar has more parts as it has electric components involved too. So, here we are with the parts of the guitar you should be familiarize yourself with in order to kick start your learning process.


The Common Guitar Parts

The common parts of the guitar have the same name and function in both the electric and acoustic guitar. The common parts of the guitar are as follows-

  1. The Head or headstock

The first part from the top is the head, just like the human body. The head of the guitar will be the point where your strings are rolled to tune pegs for changing the tuning of the guitar. This is where you can attach your tuner to tune your guitar.

  1. The Neck

Part of the guitar along which the strings run, leading to the body of the guitar is known as the neck. The neck and headstock are held together by a nut. A rod runs along the neck, below the wooden structure.

  1. The Strings

The most important part of the guitar which makes up its identity is string. The strings are made of metal and run along the length of the neck over the fretboard. There would be six strings of variable thickness in the guitar (usual).

  1. The Fretboard

Also known as the fingerboard, the fretboard is the part where your fingers are supposed to work the magic. The fretboard has frets, typically 18, 22 and 24. The frets are separated by fret lines. The frets have fret markers or inlays on them in both electrical and acoustic guitars, starting from the third fret and going to 5th, 7th, 9th, 12th, 15th and so on.

  1. The Body

After the neck, comes the body which is very different in both the electric and acoustic guitars. The body would consist of a sound hole (acoustic) or pickups (electric). The body of the acoustic guitar is usually much thicker and lighter as compared to that of the electric counterpart.

  1. The Saddle

The saddle is the other end of the fretboard where the strings end. In acoustic, the saddle is fixed whereas in the electric, it might be fixed or movable as per the specs of the model.

  1. Belt or Strap Pin

At the bottom or on the side, you will find a strap or belt pin to hook in your guitar strap/belt. Every guitar has two strap pins for hooking the belt.


Specific Parts of the Guitars

There are some parts of the guitar which are specific to the type of guitar you have. For example, you will not find any electric component in your acoustic and there wouldn’t be a sound hole or box in the electric guitar. Here is a look at some specific guitar parts-



  1. Volume Knob

The volume knob is used to adjust the volume of the notes being picked from the pickup of the electric guitar. You can rotate the knobs clockwise or anti clockwise as per your requirement.

  1. Tone Knob

The tone knob is used to adjust the tone of the input being picked by the pickups. The tone knob can be used for increasing the treble or the base of the tone which can alter the sound of the guitar as needed. The tone knob is usually adjacent to the volume knob.

  1. Pickup

This is what makes the electric guitar truly electric. The pickup is the most crucial part of an electric guitar without which the guitar is just a silent practice instrument and can’t be used for performances. The pickups are of different types and builds and may vary in different models. The electric guitar usually has 3-4 pickups.

  1. Pickup Selector

The pickup selector is almost like a lever which you push or pull in order to choose the pickup to be used.

  1. Input Jack socket

The input jack socket is where you put your lead jack to connect with the processor or amplifier. The input jack socket is either on the body in the front or on the sides.

  1. Whammy Bar/ Tremolo

That whammy sound of the guitar that you have always enjoyed and listened in awe is credited to the whammy bar, also known as tremolo. Usually made of steel, the whammy bar acts as a lever which is used to lift and put down the bridge to produce the iconic whammy sound.

Caution- Using the whammy is fun and amazing but overdoing can damage your bridge. It is advised you use it with care and do not put or pull with extra force.



  1. Sound Hole

Sound Hole is the hole in the body at the end of the fretboard or neck. This is where your acoustic feel comes from.

  1. Pick guard

The pick guard is present in electric guitars as well but only a few of them sport this. The acoustic guitars have pick guard which protects the body of the guitar from scratches of the plectrum while strumming. You can find your pick guard as a design near the sound hole that extends to the lower body of the guitar.

  1. Rose

Rose is a small decoration/ design around the sound hole. There is no specific use for the rose in a guitar.

So, these were some of the basic parts of the guitar that you needed to know. Each part of the guitar is crucial and is used in some or the other thing which you will get to know as you begin to learn. The best way to maintain your guitar is to know each and every part of it.


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