To begin playing acoustic guitar the first thing you must know is the guitar itself. You may have seen other guitarist hold and play the guitar but do you know its parts and how they function? Guitars produce sound due to a rather complicated and intricate interaction between each component of the instrument. To begin let’s talk about the different parts of the guitar.
The first major section of any acoustic guitar is the body (1). The body of the guitar is traditionally made of wood but is sometimes made from other materials and they come is various shapes and sizes. A dreadnaught body shape is one example of this. Like other acoustic instruments the body is a hollow sound chamber that, simply put, translates the vibrations of the strings into sound. The body consists of several different components, of which, the soundboard (2) is highly important. The soundboard is the top of the guitar and has a sound-hole located under the strings. The type of wood used to create the soundboard and the body shape of your guitar make the largest impact on it’s sound. The bridge (3) is also located on the body of the guitar. It supports the strings and also transfers vibrations from the strings to the body of the guitar and also holds the saddle (4) There are several different types of bridges, though a fixed bridge is commonplace on most acoustic guitars.
The neck (5) of a guitar is the piece of wood that juts out from the body. All guitar necks may look the same but they come in a variety of shapes and are made from different woods types. All of which offer different playability. The frets (6) of a guitar are the metal wires that sit vertically across the neck. At the end of the neck, and beginning of the headstock, is the nut (7). The nut is the point on the guitar neck where the strings touch the neck. Nuts are made from a variety of materials including; plastic, bone, brass and graphite. The headstock (8) is the final extension of the neck after the nut. The major purpose of the headstock is to support the tuners (9), which give the strings their tension. The tuners are attached to the tuning pegs, which allow the pitch of the string to be adjusted.
When playing, the neck and above the sound-hole is where most of the actions happened. By placing your finger behind a fret (on the nut side) and causing the string to hit the fret in front of your finger, the string length is shortened and creates a new note. But beware, pressing the note to hard can cause the string to bend (and go out of pitch) and pushing to lightly can cause the strings to buzz. Take some time before learning anything else to get acquainted with your guitar and practice placing the fingers of your left hand on the frets and strumming or plucking with your right hand.
Holding the Guitar