This page will provide you with information about this type of guitar,
explaining the most common parts and how they work.
Parts of the electric guitar:
electric guitar and its parts
Head and tuning
guitars have 6 tuning pegs located on the same side of the headstock (some
however have 3 on each side of the head). Turn the pegs to tune the guitar.
Turning the pegs either tighten or loosen the strings resulting in a higher or
lower pitched tone.
The nut is
designed to lead the strings from the fret board to the tuning pegs
through the slots in the nut. It is usually made of plastic, brass, bone or
prefer a nut made of bone as they claim it produces the best sound. In any case,
if you use the vibrato arm a lot or play your guitar in a rough way, a nut
made out of a low friction material would be preferred as it wouldn't cause your
strings to "snap at the nut" so frequently.
Guitar neck and
The guitar neck
itself is most commonly made out of rosewood or maple or
variations of those types of wood. Necks can also be made out of ebony or
choose their guitar necks carefully as it is a factor in the overall sound of
The neck is either
bolted to the guitar body or made as one part with the guitar
The fret board
on this guitar type consists of fret wires place into the guitar's neck. Between
these wires are the frets where you place your fingers. A standard electric
guitar usually has 21-24 frets. Each fret represents one semitone so a fret
board with 24 frets is spanning 2 octaves (24 semitones).
The Pickups and
the Pickup Selector Switch
You can think of
the pick ups as microphones on your electric guitar. Most electric guitars have
2-3 pickups and their placement is important. Located close to the neck
the pickup will produce a soft rounded sound, while located close to the bridge
it will produce a sharper, more pointy sound.
When speaking of
electric guitars and pickups we are usually talking about magnetic pickups, as
they use magnets to convert the vibration of the string into an electric signal,
and these can be divided into 2 main types: The Humbucker (Double-coil)
and the single coil pickup. Double-coil pickups are basically single coil
pickups mounted side by side and the sound they pick up is "integrated" through
to the output.
pickup placement on the guitar can produce some interesting variations in the
selector switch toggles between the pickups (or combination of pickups) the
guitar uses to pick up the sound.
The picture above
displays single coil pickups.
The bridge and
the vibrato arm
The bridge can be
divided into 2 main types: Tremolo and non-tremolo (hard tail) bridges.
The tremolo bridge has an extension arm (a.k.a. vibrato arm) which the player
can push (and in some cases pull) to decrease or increase the string tension
causing a tremolo or vibrato effect in the sound.
The Body and
The guitar body
is commonly made of maple, mahogany or ash wood and comes in a wide variety
of shapes and sizes. The choice of wood here will also be a contributing factor
to the overall sound of the guitar.
The white part of
the guitar body in the picture above is the pick guard. It is there to
protect the wood finish of the guitar body from being struck or scraped by the
pick when picking the strings.
Volume and tone
The volume control
adjusts the volume (big surprise!! ;-)) on the signal picked up by the pickups.
The tone controls
adjusts the treble on the sound. There are usually 2 or more tone controls each
referring to the pickup selected with the pickup selector switch.
A cable with a
1/4" male jack plug in both ends is used to plug the guitar into an amplifier or
a mixing unit.