An Electric Guitar is similar in appearance and construction to a bass guitar but with a shorter neck and usually has 6 strings. Like the bass guitar, the electric guitar has pickups and is plugged into an amplifier and speaker to produce the sound.

In this article you shall be introduced to the components that make up an electric guitar with a brief description of what they do.Know Your Guitar Diagram Electric 1100x500Components of the Electric Guitar

Headstock -

The main function of the headstock is to house the Tuning Keys.

Tuning Keys -

Also known as machine heads hold the strings at the "head" of the instrument. They are used to tune the instrument by adjusting the tension of the strings and consequentially the pitch of the sound they produce.

Frets -

Frets divide the neck into fixed segments at intervals related to a musical framework. On a guitar, each fret represents one semitone.

Scratch Plate -

The scratch plate also known as the pickguard is a piece of plastic that is placed on the body of the guitar. The main purpose of the scratch plate is to protect the guitars finish from being scratched by the guitar pick.

Pickup Selector Switch -

Different tones are produced at different points in the string. The selector switch allows the player to choose the pickup or combination of pickups that are receiving the signal from the string vibrations.

Volume Control -

This allows the player to adjust the volume that is sent from the guitar to the amplifier.

Tone Control -

This allows the player to adjust the tone that is sent from the guitar to the amplifier.

Tremolo Arm -

Some electric guitars have a lever called a tremolo arm or whammy bar. This allows the player to lower or raise the pitch of the notes that are being played.

Strap Button -

This is where a guitar strap can be attached to the instrument.

Bridge -

The bridge on an electric guitar is where the strings are attached to the body. Some bridges are fixed to the body and some are floating with a tremolo arm.

Pickups -

Unlike an acoustic guitar, electric guitars are usually plugged into an amplifier. The pickups are magnets wound with coils of very fine wire and when the string is played a small small electric current is created that passes through the tone and volume circuits into an amplifier and speaker to produce the sound.

Body -

The electric guitar has a solid body. Unlike acoustic guitars, the electric guitar has no vibrating soundboard to amplify string vibration. Instead, solid-body guitars have electric pickups and are plugged into an amplifier and speaker to produce the sound.

Neck -

The neck of the guitar consists of the neck, fretboard, frets, nut and within it is the truss rod. The bending stress on the neck is considerable and tyhe ability of the neck to resist bending is helped by the truss rod (an adjustable metal rod) so the guitar holds a constant pitch.

Fretboard -

Also known as the fingerboard, this is the top covering to the neck that the frets are cut into and strings run over. To play the guitar, the musician presses the strings down onto a fret and fretboard changing the vibrating length of the string.

Nut -

The nut supports the strings at the headstock end of the fretboard. It is usually made from hard plastic or bone and has groves cut in it that set the string spacing and height.

Published 17th Feb 2017