Learning to play an instrument like a guitar provides a lot of benefits. Not only does it bring enjoyment, but it also helps develop the brain. Music is also healing – an excellent stress reliever.
When you become adept at playing the guitar, you can even make it into a career. You can play with a band (and, who knows, join a tour), record your music, sell albums, and offer your services on special occasions like weddings or tutor someone.
Before you receive all these advantages, though, you need to learn how to play it well. Although you can already teach yourself using apps or YouTube videos, getting formal guitar lessons is still ideal.
A teacher can provide you with a more structured way to learn the instrument and prevent unnecessary mistakes that will only delay your progress.
Usually, the lesson will begin with acquainting yourself with your instrument, such as the acoustic guitar.
What Is an Acoustic Guitar?
An acoustic guitar is a stringed instrument that uses the tension from steel strings to create sound. As opposed to the electric guitar, which has magnetic pickups to amplify sound, acoustic guitars rely on the resonance created by their hollow body.
The hollow body is where the sound of the vibrating strings resonates. This resonance creates sound waves picked up by the microphone on an acoustic guitar, which then sends it to either an amplifier or mixing board.
The different parts of an acoustic guitar include:
The body of an acoustic guitar is the hollow cavity that the strings are over-plucked against, creating sound waves collected by a microphone within the body of the instrument.
The neck of an acoustic guitar houses the frets, which enable you to press down on multiple places along the steel string to change the pitch of your sound. Other components on the neck include:
- Machine Head – the machine head is the metal hardware that holds the strings in place. It is used to tighten or loosen them with a tuning key.
- Fretboard and Frets – the fretboard is the piece of wood that you press on to create different pitches with your guitar strings. Meanwhile, the frets are the metal strips that run along the fretboard, which enable you to press down on more than one string at a time.
- Headstock – the headstock is the piece of wood on top of your neck where the machine head is attached. The orientation of the strings and how they are wound around will determine their placement and order when played.
- Truss Rod – this helps keep the neck in place and adjusts the curvature.
- Saddle and Nuts- each string has a saddle, which is part of the bridge, and a nut found at the headstock end of the neck. The saddle is the piece that rests underneath the string and determines its distance from each fret, while the nut ensures that your guitar doesn’t buzz when you play it by making sure all your strings are resting firmly on their proper frets.
- Sound Hole
The sound hole on an acoustic guitar is created for its resonance, which amplifies the sound of your strings. The majority of modern-day guitars incorporate a single round- or oval-shaped sound hole. However, some older models contain multiple holes.
The bridge of your guitar is the piece that connects the strings to the body of the instrument. It also enables you to change the pitch of each string from one fret to another. Moreover, it helps keep the strings in place.
The pickguard is composed of layers of thin plastic sheets such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC) attached by an adhesive. Located below the sound hole, it protects your body from the metal items on your guitar. Most of the time, it will come in contact with your fingers when you are playing chords or notes on your fretboard.
The soundboard of an acoustic guitar is made from either spruce or cedarwood, which vibrates once the steel strings are plucked. The vibrations from these strings then resonate within the body of the acoustic guitar, which creates sound waves to be picked up by the microphone and transferred to either an amplifier or mixing board.
- Bridge Pins and End Pin
On the body of your acoustic guitar rests a small protrusion called the bridge pin. It is inserted into an opening on the bottom part of your soundboard to keep each string in place. However, the end pin is found near the heel of the neck and does not affect how your strings sound.
The strings of your guitar connect to the machine heads to create sound when plucked or strummed. They come in different materials. For acoustic guitars, the strings are usually nylon. The specific strings and their order vary depending on the type of guitar you have.
Although the design of an acoustic guitar may look simple, each part serves its specialized function. You can make the most of your instrument when you know how these parts work together.