All the Parts of the Guitar

The headstock

This is the top part of the guitar. It holds the tuning machines (tuners), and connects to the guitar neck. At the top of the headstock, it usually has the name of the guitar’s manufacturer.

Tuning Machines

These are little metal machines that are attached to the strings. When you tighten a tuner, you’re increasing the tightness of the string (making it sound higher in pitch), and loosening it makes the string looser (making it sound lower in pitch). If a guitar is strung properly, you can tighten by turning the tuner to the right, and loosen by turning to the left.

The nut

Right between the headstock and the neck is a little piece that holds the strings in their place, lifting them up and dividing them each into a separate groove. The nut is usually made of either plastic or bone.

The neck/fretboard

This is the section of the guitar between the body and the headstock. A lot of the magic happens in this section of the guitar! Driven into the neck are thin, smooth pieces of metal called frets, which divide the guitar neck into little sections. When you press your finger down on a string between two of the frets, it changes the pitch of that string. The further toward the body of the guitar you press down, the higher the pitch.

The guitar body

This is the largest section of the guitar. It’s usually made of wood, and the front and back are connected with wood binding. Besides just holding the strings, the purpose of the guitar body is to help the sound of the strings vibrate throughout the wood, making a loud and resonant tone.

The soundhole

This is a circular cutout in the front of the guitar body that allows the sound of the vibrating strings to resonate throughout the inside of the guitar.

Pick guard

A crescent-shaped piece of plastic that is designed to protect the wood from getting scratched, particularly from using a guitar pick (which often has a pointed end that can mess up the finish on the wood).

The bridge/saddle

This is the part of the guitar body where the strings are held in place. On the bridge, there are 6 little “bridge pins” that keep the strings from popping out. Guitar strings usually have a “ball end” that holds the string underneath the pins.

There’s also a slot in the bridge for the saddle. It’s a thin piece of bone or plastic that serves a similar purpose to the nut: keeping the strings evenly spaced and held in place. It also affects how high the strings are lifted up from the guitar neck.