Parts of the Acoustic Guitar – Beginner Guitar Lesson

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.


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.


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.


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