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Aug 24, 2019
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How The Guitar Works

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How the Guitar Works

Guitar Parts and Descriptions

how an acoustic guitar works

  • Body: Main bulk of guitar.
  • Jack socket: Connection where a 1/4″ (usually) jack plugs into the guitar. A patch cable will bring the signal to an amplifier for final tone production.
  • Pickguard: Protects guitar finish from errant picking strokes.
  • Guitar Bridge: The guitar bridge is the physical connection between the strings and the body of the guitar. It is at this point that the vibration of the strings transferred to the body and vice versa.
  • Pots: Guitar pots allow control of elements of the volume or tone of the guitar.
  • Pick-ups: Pick-ups translate the physical vibration of metal strings into electrical current. This current can then amplified to produce a tone. Pick-ups act in a similar fusion to microphones.
  • Selector switch: On guitars with more than one pick-up, a selector switch allows the player to choose an individual or a combination of pick-ups.
  • Neck: Provides playing surface (freeboard).
  • Frets: Thin metal bars upon which strings are pressed.
  • Markers: Dots inlayed on the fretboard of the guitar, which help players, orient themselves. Usually found on the 3rd, 5th, 7th 9th, and 12th frets.
  • Nut: Spaces guitar strings and acts as a transition point between headstock and neck.
  • Headstock: Final destination for strings. Contains tuning pegs.
  • Tuning pegs: Allows tightening and loosening of string tension to adjust the pitch of guitar strings.

how an electric guitar works

Acoustic vs. Electric

Many parts of an acoustic guitar are the same as the parts on an electric guitar.the ways in which the guitars produce sounds are different. An acoustic guitar has a hollow body, which allows it to amplify the tone of the vibrating strings without the need for an external device.

Which to buy? 

When deciding which instrument to learn, first consider what style of music you wish to play. If you are into heavier rock, alternative, metal or punk you will most likely want an electric. If you are into folk, mellow or acoustic sounding music then you will most likely want an acoustic guitar. Electric guitars are generally easier to play, as the strings are generally thinner and therefore easier to press against the fret in order to create a tone. Electric guitars also have smaller bodies and necks, which also make them easier to use. Money considerations are also necessary. Acoustic guitars are ready to play as they are, while electric guitars require not only the guitar but also external amplification, patch cords, and optional effects boxes.

  • Body: Main bulk of guitar. Generally hollow on an acoustic.
  • Pickguard: Protects guitar finish from errant picking strokes.
  • Soundhole: Where sound from the hollow body escapes.
  • Guitar Bridge: The guitar bridge is the physical connection between the strings and the body of the guitar. It is at this point that the vibration of the strings transferred to the body and vice versa.
  • Neck: Provides playing surface (freeboard).
  • Frets: Thin metal bars upon which strings are pressed.
  • Markers: Dots inlayed on the fretboard of the guitar help players orient themselves. Usually found on the 3rd, 5th, 7th 9th, and 12th frets.
  • Nut: Spaces guitar strings and acts as a transition point between headstock and neck.
  • Headstock: Final destination for strings. Contains tuning pegs.
  • Tuning pegs: Allows tightening and loosening of string tension to adjust the pitch of guitar strings.

Brief sound introduction for guitar

Basic Sound theory for guitar

Plucking a guitar string induces that string to vibrate. This vibration transferred into the wood of the guitar through the Guitar Bridge and nut. The wood vibrates sympathetically with the strings (ie. at the same frequency). The combined vibration of the wood in the guitar and the strings changed into sound in one of a few ways.

Acoustic guitar: Vibration of wood and strings transferred to air molecules inside the guitars hollow body. This is translated into ‘modulations in air pressure’, which the ear translates as sound.

Electric guitar: Vibration of metal strings transferred into electrical current through pick-ups. Signal sent along a patch cable to an amplifying device, which ultimately sends the signal to a speaker. 

Basic music introduction

Sound can described using 4 basic characteristics.

  • Pitch: Relative highness or lowness of a tone
  • Duration: Length of the sound
  • Intensity: Volume or loudness
  • Timbre: Color or quality of sound

The Pitch of note in standard music is denoted by an upper-case letter from ‘A’ to ‘G’. Between these tones are ‘semi-tones’ each of which makes up a 12 tone chromatic scale. 
Follow like this > A – A# – B – C – C# – D – D# – E – F – F# – G – G# 
Note: Each sharp (#) sharp note can also be expressed as a flat (b) of the tone above. 
eg.) A# = Bb, C# = Db 

It is important to be able to translate a verbal ‘pitch’ into a physical note on your instrument eg.) An ‘A’ note could achieved by playing the 6th string at the 5th fret 

Any serious guitarist will know each note of each string on each fret of the guitar. You should know at least the 5th and 6th strings by heart. 

Knowing the notes on your instrument is the basis for all music theory, from scales to intervals and chord formations. All music based on the relationship and interaction between notes.

Duration of note is the length for which it played. Most music counted in groups of 4. In fact, you can often tap your feet along to music chanting ‘One – Two – Three – Four’ and you should hear the musical resolution. 

Without getting complicated, it is possible to play on or around the beat of the song. The beat is what you would tap your feet along with. Most often, this done simply by feel – by placing the notes where the ‘sound’ likes they should play.

Traditional notation breaks musical durations into whole notes, half notes, quarter notes, and sixteenth notes. Check the reference links if you wish to pursue this further.

Intensity is how loud or soft a note played. In all cases, it partially determined by how hard you pluck the string. also determined by the characteristics of your instrument. In the case of an electric guitar, the intensity can increase and decrease by changing the amplification value.

Timbre the color or ‘feel’ a sound has. Think of the sound a violin makes as opposed to the sound a trumpet makes. may play the same pitch at the same intensity for the same amount of time, however both sound completely different. 

You will often hear guitarists searching for the perfect ‘tone’.many of the most respected guitarists are known for their ability to create a beautiful tone. 

Unfortunately, the tone an indescribable quality of sound. It affected by almost everything you do as a guitarist. Among the many things affecting tone are the guitar you play, the wood the guitar made from, the strings on the guitar, the metal the strings are made from, the thickness of the strings, how tightly wound the strings are, what size, thickness, material your pick. This list could go on forever. 

Quality tone production comes with years of practice and attention to the sounds you make. If you focus only on producing an incredible tone, you will become an excellent guitarist.

Article Categories:
Guitar Lesson
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I am a leader of the music band and playing the instrument of keyboards, I have ear about song notes and chords, usually, i tried help to others like music,

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