Diagram  of  an  Acoustic  Guitar
and
Parts  Terminology

In this section are all of the guitar parts terminology you need to follow lessons, or to help you purchase a guitar. The guitar parts terminology is quick to grasp, and important to know, and a parts diagram of an acoustic guitar.

After you know this terminology, you will understand guitar lessons better.

If you are looking to buy a guitar, the salesperson will use these guitar part terms to describe the guitar's features.  It'll be easier to understand them, and help you choose ya guitar you'll love.

I'm proud to say that I built the guitar pictured in the diagram.

Below the diagram of an acoustic guitar, you'll find explanations of the acoustic guitar's parts and their functions.

The guitar's parts labelled in red are must know, and the parts labelled in black you should know.

parts diagram of an acoustic guitar.gif

Diagram  of  an  Acoustic Guitar  Parts  Definitions

Body:  The body of an acoustic guitar is the large section of the guitar below the neck. The body amplifies the vibration of the strings when a note or chord is played. Different woods provide different tonal qualities to an acoustic guitar and affect the "voice" of the guitar. Plywood does not vibrate as freely as solid wood and makes the tone thinner sounding.

Bridge:  The bridge attaches to the body, and the strings get pinned into the bridge. The bridge is critical to the tone, and plastic bridges are horrendous at transmitting sound. Once again, the type of wood used here influences the voice of a guitar.

Bridge pins: Bridge pins hold the strings in the acoustic guitar bridge.

Frets: The frequency of the strings vibration creates the pitch of a note. When the string length is shortened by being pressed against a fret, it vibrates faster, and the tone gets higher.

diagram of the acoustic guitar peg head types

Headstock or Peg-head:   The top of the neck where the machine heads (tuners) are attached.  The pegheads are described by the number of machine heads they have per side.

Machine Heads or Tuners:  Machine heads are also known as tuning knobs or tuning buttons. They tighten or loosen the strings. Cheap machine heads can be difficult to turn or loosen the string tension quickly, or worse yet, cause the strings to break because of sharp edges.

Neck: The neck is the long part of the guitar from the body up. The strings run along the neck.

Nut: The nut is the piece of material between the fretboard and the headstock, upon which the strings rest.

Saddle: The saddle is the part that fits into the bridge, which the strings cross. Cheap saddles may be plastic and do not transmit sound well. Replacing the saddle with a bone or "tusqe" saddle is the least expensive way to improve the sound of a guitar.

Soundboard: The soundboard, (also called a top), is the front of the body. The soundboard produces most of the guitar's tone. A quality, solid wood top is significant to the guitar's voice.

Soundhole:  Contrary to popular belief,  the soundhole does not allow the sound to escape out of a guitar.  Its size affects the balance of treble and bass tones.



More Guitar Diagrams and Information...

Diagram of an Electric Guitar

You will also find a diagram of the interior of an acoustic guitar,  and descriptions of the various interior guitar parts here:  Inside an Acoustic Guitar Diagram ... How Construction Affects Tone and Quality

Not all acoustic guitars are created equally. There are huge differences in prices and sound quality of acoustic guitars. Construction methods and the types of woods used affect the sound and playing ease.

For in-depth information about types of acoustic guitars,  acoustic guitar construction,  and tips to help you find the best guitar for you visit:  Types of Acoustic Guitars and Guitar Buying Tips.



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