Acoustic Guitar 101
Not all guitars are created equal. For starters, there is a big difference between the sound and look of an acoustic guitar and an electric guitar. And when you are just getting familiar with your acoustic guitar, it helps to know what those differences are. Learn about the parts of your acoustic guitar.
Sometimes known as a “hollow body guitar” or “classical guitar,” an acoustic guitar has several main parts and several smaller parts that comprise the instrument and help it sound the way it does.
The wooden construction of the guitar itself is called the body. Its features include:
- The top of your guitar (or front).
- The soundhole of your guitar, which sits in the top middle portion of the top of your guitar.
- The rosette, which is a decorative border around the soundhole of your guitar.
- The bridge, the area of your guitar that sits approximately six inches beneath the soundhole and where your strings are attached.
- The waist or S-curve of your guitar that forms the sides of your guitar. The S-curve not only plays a role in forming the acoustics of the sound produced from your guitar but also makes it comfortable to rest the guitar on your knee when playing in a seated position.
- The pickguard, which is typically made from plastic or acrylic. This component is situated near the lest side of your guitar’s rosette and soundhole, near where your hand would be when you strum the guitar. Its purpose is to help prevent you from scratching the finish of your guitar.
The neck is the long, thin strip of wood that extends from the body. On the neck of the guitar, you will find:
- The fretboard, which extends along the length of the neck.
- Frets are pieces of wire underneath the strings. Frets are placed at distinct intervals along the fretboard to mark where to place your fingers to play notes.
- Fret inlays, which are small dots placed in the center of specific frets: the 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th, 12th (which has two inlays on its fret), 15th and 17th. These inlays help make it easier to find and play a specific fret.
- The nut, (also known as “the zero fret”) sits at the very top of the fretboard. It anchors the strings in place and elevates them away from the fretboard so they don’t sound muted when played.
The headstock is the large block of wood that sits at the top of the neck.
- Tuning pegs, which are anchored through the headstock and where the other end of your strings are attached. Most guitars have six strings and a corresponding number of pegs. These pegs are used to tune each of the six strings on your guitar. Guitars that have 12 strings will have 12 tuning pegs, one for each string.
- Strings, last but not least. Most guitars have six strings: a low E, A, D, G, B, and high E string.
Learn how to play an acoustic guitar by taking guitar lessons in Philadelphia with the David Joel Guitar Studio.
Phone: (215) 831-8640