Guitar Anatomy Including Parts, String Labels, Fret Numbering etc

Have you been trying to learn how to play guitar but have been struggling with reading the diagrams and charts? This post will do the heavy lifting for you! We’ll take a look at what each part is called, as well as what it does.

The first thing you’ll need to understand about the guitar is the way it’s tuned. There are six strings, two each of three different types. The first (lowest) string is an E (6th), followed by A, D, G, B and E (high octave of E). These are known as the “courses”. If you were to play all six strings together at once, they make an octave interval.

What this means is that you can play the same note an octave higher by playing the string higher up. So someone who can play an E note on one string can play the same E note an octave lower on the next string.

The six-string guitar has two additional strings, named “6th” and “5th”, which are not used to form chords, but merely ornamentation.

Guitar types:

There are different types of guitars, each with it’s own purpose. Classical guitars made by Kremona are famous for their nylon strings, which produce a softer sound than steel. Steel-string acoustic guitars (also known as folk or flat-top) are the most common type you’ll find in everyday use, while electric guitars (also referred to as electrics or solid-body) offer several advantages over acoustic models.

Guitar Anatomy:

Strings:

There are 6 strings on your guitar, but depending on what you’re playing, there may be only 5 or 7 of them being used at any given time. The 6th string (the low E) is not typically used when playing chords, even though it’s still in tune. The 5th string (A) is used in popular songs like Wonderwall by Oasis.

If your guitar only has 5 strings, you can either tune it to drop D (DADGBE) or play certain chords differently. If you have 7 strings, you can tune it to drop C (CGCFAD).

Headstock:

The headstock is the end of the guitar that bears the nut, tuners, and fretboard. It’s purpose is to hold the tuning pegs, which are used to properly tune or otherwise modify the tension of the strings.

Nut:

The nut is placed at the top of the fretboard. It’s located right next to the tuning machines and provides a place for each string to begin vibrating before it reaches its corresponding tuning peg.

Bridge:

The bridge is the part of the guitar body where the strings are anchored after being stretched between the headstock and tailpiece.

Tailpiece:

The tailpiece is the part of the guitar that anchors the strings behind the bridge. The strings are stretched and anchored between it and the bridge. Through this process, they’re made to vibrate freely at certain points by pressing down on them with your fingers.

String Labels:

Your guitar will have six labeled E, A, D, G, B and E strings. The labels correspond to the pitches that are heard when all six strings are played simultaneously.

Fretboard:

The fretboard is used to play notes on the guitar by pressing down on the strings with your fingers. It’s made up of a series of frets that divide it into different sections. Each fret represents a note, which can be played by pressing down on the string at that point with your finger.

Tuning Pegs:

The tuning pegs are used to modify the tension of the strings. You can use them to change keys or intonation (to make the notes sound properly tuned). The pegs are located at the headstock of the guitar. They’re made up of a metal shaft and a plastic base. The shaft has a notch that a string is place in to hold it in place. Then the strings’ tension can be modified by rotating the peg.

Fret Numbering:

The fretboard is used to play notes on the guitar by pressing down on the strings with your fingers. It’s made up of a series of frets that divide it into different sections. Each fret represents a note, which can be played by pressing down on the string at that point with your finger.

Bass Fret Numbers:

The bass frets are unique because they register as double what you would expect them to be (for example, fret 5 is really fret 10). Because of this, the bass notes are also higher on the fretboard than you would expect. Fret 12 on the bass side is actually 8 frets away from where fret 12 would normally be (i.e. standard A string: 4th fret).

Crests:

The bass notes are located between the E and G strings, lower than what you’d expect. The C and D notes are also located near the bottom of the guitar, which is another unique feature of bass notes.

Conclusion:

Now you know what the various parts of the guitar are, and what they do. The next step is to practice reading diagrams and charts, so that when you’re sitting down at your guitar, you’ll be confident in how to read them.