What is a guitar

So what is a Guitar?  We're guessing that you already know it's somesort of musical instrument, but if you're not familiar with the specifics then let us make it clear for you! A guitar, or electric guitar typically has 6 strings and takes form in the shape of the guitars pictured although they do come in various shapes, with more or even less strings but for the purpose of this page we'll be explaining about a 'typical' guitar which in it's own right is the most popular of all. In it's simplist explanation, the guitar is played by strumming or picking the strings, which sends vibrations picked up by the 'pick-ups' that send sound through the instrument cable to the amplifier ready for cranking up to 11!

See the below diagram for a detailed look at the components that make up a guitar.

What is a guitar


2. Nut

3. Machine heads

4. Frets

5. Truss rod

6. Inlays

7. Neck and fretboard

8. Neck joint

9. Body

10. Pickups


12. Bridge & Stop Tailpiece

13. Pickguard

14. Toggle-Switch

what is a guitar

What is a guitar?

These guitars pictured are electric guitar and if you are not familiar with these instruments then you may confuse them with the bass guitar - pictured below.

bass guitar

The bass guitar is different in the fact it typically has 4 strings, these strings are thicker and so produce a much lower pitch than the electric guitar. All the components are usually the same, it's just the thickness of the strings. Like plucking the electric guitar, one of the popular playing techniques is 'finger' style. Simply watch some Youtube clips to see if you're not sure what this is.

More photos of guitars

What is a guitar?

The guitar has history that dates back to the 12th century so might not be as much of a 'modern' instrument than what first appears.


Copyright photos J. Morris & Hugh Manson

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What is a guitar