The Guitar

Guitars fall into the string family of musical instruments and usually have 6 strings. It is made up of 3 main parts, the body, the fretboard and the headstock.

Played with two hands, the right hand strums or pluck the string, which is usually made from gut (yes that type of gut), nylon or steel strings (the most common type of string used on a guitar), while the left hand is used to press against the fretboard.

Its not as physically demanding to play as percussion instruments, and those who play certainly do not have to be very fit. Having said that it is not uncommon to see guitar players who are very lean and do not appear to have much muscle fat, such as Brian May. I wonder if they take any fat burning pills like the one reviewed on

Classification of guitars

Guitars fall into 2 broad classifications within which there are different types.

Acoustic guitars

These do not require its sound to be electrically amplified as its hollow body amplifies the sound.

Types of acoustic guitars

There are 3 broad categories

1. Classical guitar

These have either nylon or gut strings and is used for classical music such as flamenco and gypsy music.

2. Steel string

These has steel strings giving it a lighter brighter sound and is also know as a folk, western or country guitar. It’s the modern form of the classical guitar and but has steel rather than nylon strings.

3. Archtop

Popular with jazz musicians, the archtop guitar is also a semi acoustic guitar with 6 steel strings.

Electric guitars

Electric guitars have been around since the 1930s and can manipulate and shape tone electronically through the use of an amplifier.

Its used in a wide variety of music around the world such as, metal, punk, rock and pop.

They can have solid, semi hollow or hollow bodies, with solid bodied ones needing amplifiers to vibrate the sound.

There are many common parts between an acoustic and electric guitar, however the electric guitar some have some parts that are unique to it.

Parts of a guitar

There are 12 common parts to the acoustic and electric guitars with the rest of the parts being specific to they type of guitar.


Parts specific to an acoustic guitar

Soundboard – This is the surface of the guitar that the strings vibrates through via the bridge and saddle
Soundhole – this is the opening on the soundboard that projects the sound.
Ribs – Also known as the body sides, its literally the side of the guitar.
Saddle – this is the part of the bridge on a guitar that provides support for the strings. On an acoustic guitar it’s made of a single piece.

Parts specific to an electric guitar

Truss rod – Used to correct the curve of the neck which is caused by aging.
Pickup switch and pick ups – these are used to convert the sounds made by the strings from being mechanical to electrical
Volume and tone knobs – these are used to set and control the volume and tone of the sound.