Guitars are stringed musical instruments used in different genres and cultures, and their use has spread throughout the world. Various modalities developed from the original guitar, such as the classical guitar, the electric guitar, and the acoustic guitar. However, this time we will talk about classical and flamenco Spanish guitars.
The different types of guitars have similar constructions to classical or Spanish guitars, but the guitar parts are the same for any type. They only have one or two different pieces.
For those who want to learn about the different parts of the Spanish guitar, this is the right article.
The guitar includes a set of pieces strategically placed to produce a sound. These parts require careful work for their proper functioning. Following these lines are the parts of the guitar, their characteristics, and what they are for:
Table of contents
The head or headstock has a set of six pegs used to adjust the tension of the strings and modify the intonation of the notes they emit. The standard placement of this part of the guitar is generally symmetrical, with three strings on one side and three on the other.
Some guitars do not have a headstock, and others may have a straight headstock that goes along a horizontal line, such as the fretboard or neck; also, some heads have an angle between 3º and 25º in relation to the fingerboard.
A pegbox is a group of pegs located on the head of the guitar.
It is the area located at the end of the fretboard where the strings are tied. They are used for tension, hold the strings, and adjust the instrument’s tuning.
For the pegbox to fulfill its function, it has a mechanism made up of a screw that allows the shaft to rotate to wind the strings. There are different types of pegs, which will depend on the type of guitar.
These parts of the guitar can be made of plastic, ebony, or metal, and the mechanism that connects the pegs to the head has to be solid to withstand the stress.
The pegbox of the Spanish guitar can also have pieces called rollers, which have holes through which the strings go and then wrap them.
The Tuning Pegs.
The Tuning Pegs are a group of pieces located on the head of the guitar as part of the headstock. Their position is three on one side of the head and three on the other side. These are small pieces with a knob that allows the tuning of the strings.
The Nut is a small piece, usually white, that supports the strings, separates them from each other, and allows for the correct height with the guitar’s neck.
This part of the guitar has grooves through which the strings pass. Depending on the type of string, the groove will be deeper and broader. It can be made of different materials such as plastic, ebony, brass, or bone. When it wears out, it must be replaced or adjusted.
The Neck is the longest part of the guitar and goes from the headstock to the body; It comes out from the guitar body, made with walnut, cedar, or pine wood. The neck parts are the frets, the headstock, the fretboard, the pegbox, and, if the guitar is electric or acoustic, it has another part called the truss rod.
The Fretboard is the front of the neck. It is usually made of ebony or rosewood and is contains bars and frets. In acoustic or electric guitars, it usually has position markers that indicate the guitar’s notes, being in the 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th, and two points in the 12th position that marks the octave of the strings in the air without pressing.
This placement is done to more clearly visualize the notes while playing. The Spanish guitar does not have these points, and the 12th position coincides with the beginning of the guitar’s body.
The fretboard has bars located perpendicularly to the fretboard, and they function as a separation between each musical note on the guitar. Therefore, these bars are called frets.
These bars on acoustic, Spanish, and electric guitars are metallic.
Like other parts of the guitar, the bars can also wear out, causing the guitar to fret, and if this part is not in good condition, it can cause the guitar to sound out of tune.
The Frets are small, thin metal crossbars inserted into the fretboard perpendicular to the guitar strings. There are different thicknesses and heights that each builder usually chooses based on their characteristics and tastes.
The spaces between the bars are also called, in colloquial language, frets, although they are also called spaces or actions. These serve to define the musical notes and the distance from one fret to another, which can be in a descending or ascending direction.
These gaps (frets) identify the zones or areas on which the guitarist’s hand will press the strings to obtain the note in question.
The Truss Rod.
The truss rod is a steel rod that runs along the neck into the body of the guitar. It is a cylindrical bar whose function is to withstand the pressure of the strings when they are tensioned because if the neck did not have it, it would bend.
The Spanish guitar does not have this part because the pressure made by the nylon strings on the instrument is not as great as in acoustic or electric guitars, which are made of metal. However, high-quality Spanish guitars also usually have an ebony wood trim embedded in the neck that can help to strengthen it, but it is primarily a decorative marquetry element.
The Heel The heel is the other end of the guitar;
It is also called the neck, and it is the base where the guitar’s body connects with the neck. This part of the guitar is usually screwed or glued, depending on the manufacturer or type of guitar.
The Body is the most significant part of the guitar; It has an upper cover called the soundboard, a back cover called a bottom deck, and side closures called ribs. The soundboard and back have a flat shape on many guitars but with a convex or wide domed curve shape on high-quality guitars. The back can be made of many types of wood, including Indian or Madagascar palo santo, mahogany, maple, walnut, or cypress for flamenco guitars. The top can include German spruce, cedar, Sitka spruce, or Engelmann spruce.
The guitar’s body facilitates the anchoring of the bridge and the neck and serves as a surface for the right hand where it will play.
The soundboard has a perforation in the middle called the Sound Hole surrounded by an embellishment called the “rosette.”
The soundboard, reinforced with a series of skinny wooden bars called “harmonic bars” glued to the inside of the lid.
These braces are placed in many ways according to the tastes of each builder. The luthiers give particular importance to this element’s placement. Here we show 18 double crochet shapes from different builders throughout history, starting with those of the father of the Spanish guitar, Antonio de Torres.
We can find the rings on the backplate of the guitar; these are two narrow and long pieces made of the same wood as the bottom. A luthier uses heat to bend them. They are attached at the lower and upper ends of the box. The joint is secured on the inside with some wooden dowels.
They are located at the base of the handle and the other on the opposite side. The rings are reinforced throughout its internal part with two additional wooden strips.
This part acts as a resonance box for the acoustic guitar, forming the sound chamber, which causes the sound to amplify and output through the rosette.
This part of the guitar intervenes in the sound volume and is where the acoustic effect occurs.
The soundboard is the most significant part of the guitar and contains the rib, central bridge, and soundhole.
Also called the rib, its shape is curved, and it is the side part of the guitar supported by the guitarist’s legs.
The Rim Set.
The rim set is pieces of wood are used to assemble and hold the sides of the soundboard and the backsides.
The Soundhole can only be found in Spanish and acoustic guitars since electric guitars do not have a resonance box because their sound is produced artificially through an amplifier.
This part of the guitar is in the middle of the soundboard.
It allows the sounds and the waves that vibrate inside the guitar to come out of the instrument.
The Rosette borders the guitar’s soundhole, giving it extra beauty, and it comes in different types and colors.
The Bridge is on top of the lid, a few inches from the soundhole. Its function is to transmit the vibrations produced by the strings to the resonance box, making the sound come out amplified. In this part, the strings are attached to the soundboard.
Different bridge designs depend on the type of guitar.
The Saddle has the function of separating the strings from one another; it is made of white bone or plastic, and for electric guitar, it can generally be metal.
The Pickguard is a piece that flamenco, acoustic and electric guitars generally have.
A plastic sheet that protects the top of the guitar from possible scratches that can occur when playing.
The guitar is an instrument that is almost entirely made of wood, being mahogany, spruce, pine, Canadian cedar, ebony, and cypress the most common. When all of the guitar parts are complete, then it is varnished.
The varnishing process has two steps. The first is to apply the varnish by hand with shellac, and the second is to apply the varnish with a polyurethane-based spray gun that dries faster. After this application, a layer forms on the soundboard, which takes away sound.
Then, the fingerboard is flattened, and the brass or nickel silver frets are placed. It is essential that the fretting is perfect because the guitar’s tuning depends on it, and finally, the strings and tuning pegs are positioned.
Many guitar models are available in the market, made with the best materials from the best brands; These can be for beginners or professionals, and there will always be one that suits the guitarist’s needs.
The Strings are the essential part of the guitar; They are made of different materials, types, and brands.
There are six strings named according to the sound they produce. They are played and numbered according to the way the guitar is held, that is, from the bottom up, and the numbering they receive is as follows:
- Chord I raw: E, the sound is Mi Sharp.
- String II or second: B corresponds to the note Si.
- String III or third: G corresponds to the note Sol.
- Chord IV fourth: D is the note Re.
- Chord V or fifth: A belongs to the note La.
- String VI or sixth: E corresponds to the note Mi low.
The thickness of the first string is slender, and these gradually increase until reaching the sixth, which is the thickest.
There are several types of strings; these are the following:
- Smooth: For electric and acoustic guitars, and are made of a homogeneous nylon material.
- Wound: A nylon or silk core with a metallic material wound around it. These types of strings in acoustic guitars include bronze, steel, nickel, or phosphor; they are made of steel or nickel in electrical ones.
To learn everything about the best string to use on a guitar, please read this article:
Parts of the guitar. Tutorial.
In this section, and if it has not been clear to you, we explain the guitar parts in an explanatory video. We hope you enjoy it.