Parts of the Acoustic Guitar – Beginner Guitar Lesson

Learn all about the parts of your acoustic guitar

If you are going to learn how to play the acoustic guitar, it is a good idea to learn more about the parts of the acoustic guitar and how everything works. This will come in handy when you go shopping for a guitar, if you ever need to have a part repaired or replaced, or if you need to make adjustments to your guitar and it is just plain interesting to know.  I hope you find the following post helpful.  Below is a labeled photograph of an acoustic guitar along with a description of each part.

Below is a diagram of the acoustic guitar and its parts.

Click the image below for a larger version.

 


The Headstock & Tuning Pegs

The Headstock is the very top portion of your acoustic guitar and holds the “Tuning Pegs ” (also known as machine heads, tuners or tuning keys). The Tuning Pegs can be turned either to your right or left and they adjust the pitch of your strings.

Nut

This small strip is located between the Headstock and Neck of your guitar. It is usually made of plastic or bone, but is sometimes made of other materials like brass or stainless steel. It may be small but it is a very important part. The Nut has small slits in it where the strings rest and guides the strings from the Fretboard to the Tuning Pegs. If you look closely at your guitar, you will notice that the Nut is slightly raised above the Fretboard. This is for the purpose of keeping your strings raised above the Fretboard at a certain height.

Neck , Fretboard & Frets

As you can see from the diagram above, the Neck is the long narrow part of the guitar that connects the Headstock to the Body. It is here where you will find the Fretboard (also known as Fingerboard) and the Frets. The Fretboard is a long piece of wood that has thin metal strips attached to it known as “Frets”. The Frets are used to divide the Fretboard. The Frets are actually the spaces in between the metal bars and not the bars themselves. Each Fret represents a different “pitch” or “note ” when pressed down and played.

Position Marker

Position Markers are small markers on the Fretboard (usually circles) that can be found on specific Frets. They serve as a guide of sorts. They are found on the third, fifth, seventh, ninth, twelfth, fifteenth and seventeenth Frets.

Body

The Body is the large hollow part of the acoustic guitar where the Sound Hole, Bridge, Pick Guard and Soundboard are located. If you play from a seated position, the Body is the part that rests on your leg.

Sound Hole & Pick Guard

The Sound Hole, as the name suggests, is the large hole found in the body of the guitar. The Sound Hole is where the sound waves made by playing the strings exit the Body of the guitar. The Pick Guard is the dark and smooth piece that is located right next to the Sound Hole. As you strum your guitar, your hand will naturally travel downward against the Body and the Pick Guard is there to protect the Body from scratches.

Saddle & Bridge

The Bridge is a wooden plate that is located on the Body of the guitar and it anchors the strings to the Body. The Saddle is a small strip attached to the Bridge, usually made of plastic or bone. The purpose of the Saddle is to raise the strings up above the Body and Fretboard. The Bridge Pins secure the guitar strings into place on the bridge.

Truss Rod

The Truss Rod is usually a steel rod that is located inside the Neck of your guitar. The purpose of the Truss Rod is  to help stabilize and adjust the curvature of the Neck. The Truss Rod has a bolt at the end of it that is used for adjustments. The Truss Rod is a very important part of your guitar. Without it, the Neck of your guitar would likely warp over time. It is highly recommended that you do not try and adjust the Truss Rod on your own and hire a professional. If you are not sure what you are doing, you could do some serious damage.

Soundboard

The Soundboard is the piece of wood on the body of your guitar that is responsible for amplifying the sound.

Comments

  1. Destiny Wright says

    I just wanted to comment and say thanks. I knew the names of the parts, and that they were all there for a reason of course, but not really what they were for. This lesson is very educational, so…. uh, cool. 😀

  2. says

    Hi Abhay,

    You are most welcome. I am happy to hear you found the article helpful.
    Thanks for your comment!

    – Ralph

  3. Noemi says

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge so open and clearly! I played the mandoling in HS and wanted to play guitar ever since then. You’ve started me on the right path

  4. Shelby says

    I’m using this website for a research paper on guitars, and its awesome for that purpose!
    (I cited the website though, so don’t worry)

  5. janey says

    yay…thanks for this…ive always wanted to learn to play…the time is now:)

  6. Diana-Lynn says

    Thank you soooo much this is exactly the kind of course I needed. My fiance’s family always pulls out their acoustic guitars at every family gathering, playing old school country! I love it. I know the words to the songs but I can’t wait till the next gathering…..where I’ll be joining them, singing and PLAYING!!!! Thank You again!

  7. henok says

    just want to say,thank u,this means a lot to me,because i am in love with wanting to play.

  8. says

    Hi Diana-Lynn,

    You are most welcome! I am happy to hear you are enjoying the course. All the best with your guitar playing!

  9. Ms. Novene Thomas says

    Right On!! “”I’m learning the right way to rock.””

    ThankztoU

  10. Hailo says

    Thank you very much for this! I needed to know the parts of my guitar. Oh, and does it matter if you have the Position Markers?

    Oh, and I am very happy for these free lessons. My parents have spent a lot of money on guitar teachers for me, but none of them helped. They just confused me even more! I’m just a beginner, and all I know is the parts of my guitar, and SOME of the strings… And, all other online classes are extremely confusing using terms such as, Barre Notes, and such. I’m sitting here thinking, “A Barre Note? What the heck…” lol. The online sites will use these terms, but not even tell you what they are! It’s confusing. 😉

    Thanks,
    Hailo.

  11. Mike says

    Hey man hope your ok? I have had a acoustic guitar sitting in my room for ages, i know what all the different parts are, although the first lesson was very informative, but only have limited knowledge on how to play, hardly any actually. I hope the next few lessons will be as good as the first.
    thanks very much
    Mike

  12. Elijah says

    Thanks guys this was very educational and gave me a better understanding of my guitar.

  13. brenda says

    hey i loved this lesson it was great and i learned a lot plus now i am looking foward to the next lessons cuz my dream is tol be a singer an so i need an instrument for the beat haha thanks a lot

  14. says

    Hi Brenda,

    Glad you enjoyed the lesson! I hope you enjoy the rest. Thanks for your visit and for your positive feedback!

    – Ralph

  15. Ashwani says

    I just started playing guitar two weeks ago.Earlier i thought it would be tougher for me to learn it but cause of these tutorials lessons and of course these valuable information i m growing much more confidence in me and i m able to understand facts, play many tunes and hope will learn enormous things in future because of some gentlemen like you.So, thanks from deep down of my heart for sharing this and other lessons to music lovers and beginners.THANK U SIR.

  16. Rajesh says

    I Love learning guitar, these are my begining days on guitar strings, thanks to this site in helping to understand them better.
    Hopefully i learn them at the faster rate and start playing songs which keeps my time and mind fresh :)

  17. Mike says

    Hey man just wanted to say thanks, I always wanted to play the guitar but my parents refused to buy me one… well all grown up now so I bought my own…

    Thanks again for helping bring an old dream back

  18. says

    i’m not a perfect singer but i wanted to sing and play guitar at once this website helps alot i learn some keys
    on my school performance i play the giutar while my cousin sing and it really went well.i was proud thanks to this website.:)

  19. robert says

    Ok well ive allways liked accustic guitars ever since this Arron ke concert i went to at church. So one day my friend alan came over and he let me borrow his fender for a night and before he left he show me g chord d chord and c chord and i made up my own song over night out of just the three anny ways im trying to learn new song but i can but partailly read sheet music and cant really understand tabs so was just wondering if you knew any sites that where really good for begginers

  20. Danielle says

    Thank you for this!:) I’ve had a guitar for almost a year now, and I have finally decided to pick it up and learn how to play it:) I cant wait to get started!

  21. Belinda says

    Thanks much!! I’m very new to this instrument so I need to learn it from scratch…I can finally say this is the first site I’ve found that has actually stood by the word beginners…. You are the best!!

  22. Emma says

    I have only started learning to play a guitar today but i am finding it so hard :( my fingers are constantly hitting the other strings which makes them rattle. I have tried to tune my guitar several times but it never seems to have a nice sound… I have tried going through the lessons on this website and many others but its always going wrong i havnt even been able to create one nice sound :( I know its early days but i am really tempted to give up… Are there any tips yyou can give me? if i can at least get something nice out of my guitar then i will be happy :)

  23. JEANET says

    M also a beginner and would love to knw how to play a guitar..it just relaxes my mind…Besides that I love songs played with guitars…God m in Love!

  24. audrey says

    My guitar teacher wanted me to learn some of it and I forgot most of it but then i saw your site and checked it out and you helped me a whole lot thanks!!!!! :)

  25. Carrington says

    Hey Mr. Serpe,
    Just wanted to comment and say thanks alot for this whole rundown of guitar for us beginners. I really appreciate this very much.!.
    #GodBless 8)

  26. says

    Hi Carrington. Thank you for your comment and visit. You are most welcome. I am happy you are enjoying the Website. All the best with your Guitar Playing!

  27. vaibhav says

    thanks for d 1st lesson.. now i have learned d parts of a guitar..
    thnx.. also i wanted 2 know dat after how much time i’ll b able to learn playing guitar..

  28. Trevor K says

    I am a new begginer to guitar and loved the first lesson and can’t wait to learn more :) !!
    Keep up the excellent lessons!!!

  29. salah says

    Thank you so much for your easy and clear lesson about the parts of guitar and their functional importance. it was very helpful for me.

  30. Tina-Marie says

    Just wanted 2 say Thanks 4 the free lessons :). I am a new beginner & as there is a lot 2 learn about the guitar..this was very helpful info. Thanks again…Cheers

  31. Nicci says

    This is great! I’m a self-taught player and this is helping me to understand the how’s and why’s of guitar. Thank you :-)

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