Tuning machines are the knobs that wind the strings. When you are looking for a guitar, make sure that these turn smoothly and evenly. If they don’t, they probably are not of very good quality. Grover tuners are a respected brand you can’t go wrong with, but a bit pricey. All in all, if you buy a decent guitar, the tuners that come with it will be good.
Guitar strings wrap around these.
Truss rod access:
Unless you know a bit about adjusting the neck of your guitar, it’s best to let a professional do the adjusting. This can be tricky.
This is the piece on which the string pass over to attach to the tuning pegs.
The neck of the guitar
The neck is usually made of a hardwood. It can be glued or bolted into the body. Or it can extend from the body as one piece.It also contains a “truss-rod” which can be accessed through the sound hole and adjusted if you find it’s out of line.
Fretboard or Fingerboard:
Consists of usually from 20 to 24 frets. The fretboard is made of hardwood usually and it is a separate piece laid on the neck. It also usually contains pearl “inlays” that reference the 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th, 12th, 15th, 17th, etc. frets. We’ll get into “why” later.
The metal strips that lay across the fingerboard are your frets. These are what determine your tones. When you press the string to the fingerboard down between these frets and pluck or strum it, you get a tone. Where you press on the fingerboard determines your note. Nickel are most common but stainless steel is gaining ground. Steel frets won’t wear out as quickly as nickel frets.
These are usually made of mother of pearl and mark (normally) the 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th and 12th frets.
The body of the acoustic guitar
The upper bout is the area above and including the sound hole. Your neck connects to the body of the guitar here. Generally, the upper bout has little effect on the tone or sound of the guitar. This guitar has a cutaway for easier access to upper frets. Sometimes the upper bout holds electronics if you have a pickup or transducer installed. It’s primary purpose is for resting the guitar on your leg.
Sound Hole: All of your sound comes out here. On acoustic / electric guitars, pickups may be placed inside here to pick up the vibrations of the strings and electrify the guitar.
The Lower Bout:
The lower bout is the area of the guitar that generates the sound and the depth of sound of your guitar. They come in different sizes, from smaller classical or performance styles to larger, boomier, jumbo sizes. This particular guitar is made of koa. The type of wood your guitar is made of is a determining factor of the tone that it has. I will teach you more about that later . But for now remember that smaller is punchier, larger is boomier.
This is where the pins hold the strings in place on the body of the guitar.
These pin the strings into bridge to keep tension on them.
The electric bridge and nut
On some electric guitars are “locking.” This means you can use a whammy bar or your fingers to bend and pull the strings without it going out of tune because there are bolts at the nut that lock the strings in place.
Are common on both guitars so you can stand and play. It’s a good idea to get locks so.
There are many different types of strings out there. But you have to buy electric guitar string for electric guitars and acoustic guitar strings for acoustic guitars. If you have a classical, or nylon string guitar, you have to buy nylon strings, otherwise go with steel strings or nickel wound strings.
A good way to extend the life of your strings is to wipe them down with a clean rag after each use.
- Elixir: probably the longest lasting strings, they have a coating that extends the life.
- Kenny Loggins
- Erik Mongrain
- Dan Tyminski
- Lucas Reynolds
- Keller Williams
- Keith Moseley
- Nickel Creek
- Andy Timmons
- Joe Satriano
- Larry Carlton
- Pete Yorn
- John Frusciante
- Earl Klugh
- Alex Skolnick
- GHS Boomers
- Carlos Santana
- Dave Mustaine
- FLEA (Red Hot Chillpeppers)
- Eric Johnson
- Foo Fighters
- Neal Schon (Journey)
- David Gilmour (Pink Floyd)
- Dean Markley
- Chris Daughtry
- Dwight Yoakam
- Al Petteway
- Bruce Springsteen
- Russ Freeman
- Vince Gill
- Ernie Ball
- Eric Clapton
- Jimmy Page
- Angus Young
- John Mayer
- Steve Morse
- lots of other fantastic guitarists!