Guitar Tips

Electric Guitar Terminology:

The largest part of the guitar is the "body", everything else is attached to it. The body is traditionally made of wood, usually Alder or Ash for Fender type guitars and Mahogany for Gibson type guitars. The body has the "pickups" mounted under the "strings", there are 2 main types of pickups, the "single coil" like on a Stratocaster, and the "humbucker" like on a
Les Paul.

The strings at the body end attach to the "bridge". There are 2 main types of bridges, the "fixed bridge" that is mounted firmly to the body. Then there is the "tremolo bridge" that is mounted to the body but also has a pivoting lever so you can bend the strings for special effect. The "pickup selector switch", for selecting which pickup you want to use or a combination of 2 pickups.

The "volume pot", short for potentiometer". The "volume pot" adjusts your loudness from nothing to as loud as it will play. The "tone pot" adjusts the tone to your taste or style. The "cord jack" is where you plug the cord in that goes to the amp. "Strap buttons", usually 2 for attaching a "strap" to the body of the guitar.

The "neck" of the guitar is where the strings run along and is attached to the body at the "heel". The majority of the wood in the neck is either Maple or Mahogany. The "fretboard", is where you play all your notes, the "frets" are imbedded in the wood of the neck if made of Maple, and in the fretboard if other than Maple neck.

The "head stock", here is the end of neck that has the "tuning keys" or "machine heads", used for tuning each string. There is also a "locking tuner key", a type of key that clamps down on the string where you put the string though the hole in the "key post". The "nut" holds the strings up off the frets the proper height and spaces them from each other at the head stock end of the fretboard.

There are inlayed "fret markers" or "dots" in the fretboard. They are to help you locate the right fret by sight. They are located at the 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th, 12th, 15th, 17th, 19th, and 21st frets. Some guitars have small dot markers on the topside edge of the neck also. Some guitars have no markers at all.

Keep your guitar clean!

Keeping your guitar clean is important. The strings will definitely last longer and sound better. The metal hardware will rust from hand sweat, even the pickups can fail from crud. So, wipe the strings and all metal hardware down with a soft cloth after each jam. Your guitar will sound and look its best. Your guitar will also hold its value when well cared for.

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