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Anatomy of the modern electric guitar

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Anatomy of the modern electric guitar (PDF 75KB)

The modern electric guitar has three main parts joined together:

  1. the body
  2. the head stock
  3. The neck

Play the strings to hear the sound they make. We have added a few brief descriptions to help you understand your instrument’s construction.

The anatomy of the modern electric guitar

For comparison, below is an EZ-AG guitar. It is MIDI enabled to allow you to record your performances into Xtractor.

The anatomy of the EZ-AG

Machine heads

The machine heads can be tightened and loosened to tune the guitar strings. Tightening them sharpens the sound and loosening flattens the sound.

Frets

Each fret creates a different note. The nearer the fret to the body, the higher the sound.

Pick-ups

The pick-ups ‘pick up’ the sound of the strings and act like a microphone sending the sound signals via the jack input, down the lead, into an amplifier.

Bridge

The strings are connected from the bridge of the guitar to the machine heads. You can adjust the height of the bridge to make the strings lower or higher on the guitar neck, according to how you want the guitar to sound and feel to play.

Pick-up selector switch

Selects which pick-up is active. Each pick-up creates a different sound. The nearer the neck, the warmer the sound. The nearer the bridge brighter the sound.

Tremolo arm

The tremolo arm is not found on all guitars. It raises and lowers the bridge to create a tremolo or vibrato effect.

Nut

Separates and gives height to the strings at the top of the fretboard.

Volume and tone controls

You control the volume of your guitar on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being loudest. The tone is controlled in the same way with 10 being the brightest.

Jack input

One end of the guitar lead is plugged in here. The sound signal comes through the jack into the lead from the pick ups. The other end of the lead connects to the amplifier.

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Next: Lesson 1 | Lesson Index