Beginners Lesson 1

For my friends who are new on the way of learning guitar....
Firstly we will start off with the parts of guitar.

  1. Headstock
  2. Nut
  3. Machine heads (or pegheads,
    tuning keys, tuning machines,
  4. Frets
  5. Truss rod
  6. Inlays
  7. Neck
  8. Heel (acoustic)
    Neckjoint (electric)
  9. Body
  10. Pickups
  11. Electronics
  12. Bridge
  13. Pickguard
  14. Back
  15. Soundboard
  16. Body sides
  17. Sound hole,
    with Rosette inlay
  18. Strings
  19. Saddle
  20. Fretboard (or Fingerboard)


The headstock is located at the end of the guitar neck
furthest from the body. It is fitted with machine heads
that adjust the tension of the strings, which in turn
affects the pitch. Traditional tuner layout is "3+3" in
which each side of the headstock has three tuners (such
as on Gibson Les Pauls). Many other guitars feature six-in-line
(featured on
Fender Stratocasters) tuners


The nut is a small strip of bone, plastic, brass, corian,
graphite, stainless steel, or other medium-hard material,
at the joint where the headstock meets the fretboard. Its
grooves guide the strings onto the fretboard, giving
consistent lateral string placement. It is one of the
endpoints of the strings' vibrating length. It must be
accurately cut, or it can contribute to tuning problems
due to string slippage, and/or string buzz. Some
instruments use a zero fret just in front of the nut. In
this case the nut is used only for lateral alignment of
the strings, the string height and length being dictated
by the zero fret.

Machine heads

machine head (also referred to as a tuner, gear head,
or tuning machine) is part of a string instrument.It's a geared apparatus for
applying tension and thereby tuning a string, usually
located at the headstock. A headstock has several machine
heads, one per string..


Frets are metal strips (usually nickel alloy or
stainless steel) embedded along the fretboard and located
at exact points that divide the scale length in accordance
with a specific mathematical formula. Pressing a string
against a fret determines the strings' vibrating length
and therefore its resultant pitch. The pitch of each
consecutive fret is defined at a half-step interval on
the chromatic scale. Standard classical guitars have 19
frets and electric guitars between 21 to 24 frets
(though Caparison Guitars issue guitars with as many as
27 frets).

Truss rod

The truss rod is a metal rod that runs along the
inside of the neck. It is used to correct changes to
the neck's curvature caused by the neck timbers aging,
changes in humidity or to compensate for changes in the
tension of strings.
Classical guitars do not require truss rods as their
nylon strings exert a lower tensile force with lesser
potential to cause structural problems. However their
necks are often reinforced with a strip of harder wood,
such as an ebony strip running down the back of a cedar
neck. There is no tension adjustment on this form of


Inlays are visual elements set into the exterior surface
of a guitar. The typical locations for inlay are on the
fretboard, headstock, and on acoustic guitars around the
soundhole, known as the rosette. Inlays range from simple
plastic dots on the fretboard to intricate works of art
covering the entire exterior surface of a guitar (front
and back). Some guitar players have used LEDs in the
fretboard to produce a unique lighting effects onstage.

In addition to fretboard inlay, the headstock and
soundhole surround are also frequently inlaid. The
manufacturer's logo or a small design is often inlaid
into the headstock.


A guitar's frets, fretboard, tuners, headstock, and truss
rod, all attached to a long wooden extension,
collectively constitute its neck. The wood used to make
the fretboard usually differs 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.


This is the point at which the neck is either bolted or
glued to the body of the guitar.

Body (acoustic guitar)

In acoustic guitars, string vibration is transmitted
through the bridge and saddle to the body via sound
board. The sound board is typically made of tone woods
such as spruce or cedar. Timbers for tone woods are
chosen for both strength and ability to transfer
mechanical energy from the strings to the air within the
guitar body. Sound is further shaped by the
characteristics of the guitar body's resonant cavity.
In electric guitars, transducers known as pickups
convert string vibration to an electric signal,
which in turn is amplified and fed to speakers,
which vibrate the air to produce the sounds we hear.
Nevertheless, the body of the electric guitar still
performs a role in shaping the resultant tonal signature.

The body of an acoustic guitar has a sound hole through
which sound projects. The sound hole is usually a round
hole in the top of the guitar under the strings. Air
inside the body vibrates as the guitar top and body is
vibrated by the strings, and the response of the air
cavity at different frequencies is characterised, like
the rest of the guitar body, by a number of resonance
modes at which it responds more strongly.

Body (electric guitar)

Most electric guitar bodies are made of wood, and
include a plastic pick guard. Boards wide enough to
use as a solid body are very expensive due to the
worldwide depletion of hardwood stock since the 70's,
so the wood is rarely one solid piece. Most bodies are
made of two pieces of wood with some of them including
a seam running down the centre line of the body. The most
common woods used for electric guitar body construction
include maple, basswood, ash, poplar, alder,
and mahogany


Pickups are transducers attached to a guitar that detect
(or "pick up") string vibrations and convert the
mechanical energy of the string into electrical energy.
The resultant electrical signal can then be
electronically amplified.
Traditional electromagnetic pickups are either
single-coil or double-coil. Single-coil pickups
are susceptible to noise induced from electric fields,
usually mains-frequency (60 or 50 hertz) hum.
The introduction of the double-coil humbucker
in the mid-1950s did away with this problem through
the use of two coils, one of which is wired in a reverse
polarity orientation.


On guitars that have them, these components and the
wires that connect them allow the player to control
some aspects of the sound like volume or tone. These
at their simplest consist of passive components such as
potentiometers and capacitors, but may also include
specialized integrated circuits or other active components
requiring batteries for power, for preamplification and
signal processing, or even for assistance in tuning. In
many cases the electronics have some sort of shielding to
prevent pickup of external interference and noise.


The main purpose of the bridge on an acoustic guitar is
to 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 all electric, acoustic and original guitars, the
bridge holds the strings in place on the body.


Also known as a scratchplate. This is usually a piece of laminated plastic or other material that protects the
finish of the top of the guitar from damage due to the use of a plectrum or fingernails. Electric guitars sometimes
mount pickups and electronics on the pickguard.


The standard guitar has six strings but four-, seven-, eight-, nine-, ten-, eleven-, twelve-, thirteen- and
eighteen-string guitars are also available.

Modern guitar strings are constructed of metal, polymers, or animal or plant product materials. Instruments utilising
"steel" strings may have strings made of alloys incorporating steel, nickel or phosphor bronze. Bass strings for both
instruments are wound rather than monofilament


Also called the fingerboard, the fretboard is a piece of wood embedded with metal frets that comprises the top of the
neck. It is flat on classical guitars and slightly curved crosswise on acoustic and electric guitars.

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