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Guitar Construction

Picking the right wood is the first and most important step during the construction of an acoustic guitar. Normally, acoustic guitar’s body and neck parts are made from woods like mahogany, ash, maple, basswood, poplar, walnut etc. But most of the leading manufacturers prefer East Indian or Brazilian rosewood for constructing the back and side portions of the guitar’s body since other woods may reduce the sound quality.

Like all other musical instruments, guitar also have several important parts. The top portion of an acoustic guitar consist of its head and tuning keys, which helps us to adjust the pitch of the guitar. Then comes the headstock, nut and neck part, fingerboards, frets, strings and position markers, the body, sound hole and pickguard, saddle and bridge etc. Some important components of guitar are explained below:

Headstock: It is situated at the end of guitar neck and is connected with the pitch controlling machine heads.

Nut: It is the area where fretboard and headstock meet each other. Usually, nut is made of bone, stainless steel, brass, graphite, corian or some other hard materials.

Fretboard: They are the top portion of the neck which is generally made of wood with metal frets arranged on it. They are also called fingerboard and helps to adjust the treble tone in acoustic guitars.

Frets: They are usually a thin piece of metal made of nickel alloy or stainless steel and is enclosed with the fretboard. Various patterns of frets are available and the players can choose it according to their convenience. There are frets with much thicker gauge and are called ‘jumbo frets’.

Neck: Neck is the portion where the guitar’s various parts like frets, fretboard, tuners, headstock, and truss rod are generally attached. This part is always made from mahogany, since it needs to withstand the change in climatic conditions and pressure from the strings.

Strings: Nowadays, guitar strings are made from metals, alloys of nickel and steel, polymer materials like nylon and fluorocarbon and sometimes from animal or plant products. Normally, a standard guitar has six strings. There are also 4, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 18, 20 string guitars available in the market.

Bridge: The duty of bridge is to carry the vibration from the strings to the soundboard. Bridge is designed in various styles and some bridges helps to change the tunings with the press of a button.

Saddle: The main function of saddle is to provide break points to the vibration of the strings. It is a portion of the bridge that supports the strings. Generally for acoustic guitars, saddle may be a single piece.

Pickguard: Sometimes the use of fingernails can damage the top portion of the guitar. A pickguard is a small piece of laminated plastic that is used to save the top part from further damage. It is also called as scratch plate.

Apart from all these, there are certain separate guitar accessories like strap locks, straps, guitar cables, picks, guitar stands and rests, knobs, and other parts and hardware. Most of the guitarists use guitar straps to hold the guitar over their shoulders during lengthy performances. All the other accessories are used at various occasions and according to the player’s convenience.

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