Parts of a Guitar – Guitar Diagram

Author: Ed Cupler

The electric guitar is a versatile and iconic instrument that has played an important role in shaping the sound of music. From the Neo-Classical rapid alternate picking and sweeping arpeggios of Yngwie’s Stratocaster to the unique tone and finger tapping of Eddie Van Halen’s Frankenstrat. Let’s delve into the various components that make up this musical marvel.

This guitar diagram of a BC Rich Warlock shows and labels the parts of a guitar. These guitar parts exist on almost every electric guitar made and most acoustic guitars as well. This  example shows each parts name with a brief explanation. For a printable version please click here.

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Parts of an Guitar – Guitar Diagram

Parts of a guitar - Guitar Diagram - BC Rich Warlock

Parts of the Guitar – definitions

  • Guitar Body – At the heart of every electric guitar is its body. The body not only serves as a housing for the instrument’s internal components but also plays a crucial role in shaping its tone. Common body shapes include the single-cutaway design of the Les Paul, the double-cutaway Stratocaster, and the semi-hollow body of guitars like the Gibson ES-335.
  • Guitar Neck – Connected to the body sometimes bolted on and sometimes crafted as neck though so the guitar body and neck are essentially one piece. The neck is the long, slender component of the guitar that holds the fretboard and frets. Electric guitar necks are typically made from hardwoods such as maple or mahogany, contributing to the instrument’s overall resonance and sustain. The neck also houses the truss rod, an adjustable metal rod that helps maintain the guitar’s optimal neck curvature.
  • Fretboard – The fretboard, often made of materials like rosewood or ebony, is mounted on the front of the neck. It is marked with metal frets, thin strips embedded into the wood, which help produce different pitches when the guitarist presses the strings down on them.
  • Headstock – At the top of the guitar neck is the headstock, which houses the tuning pegs or machine heads and also usually serves as an access point for the truss rod.  The headstock also bears the brand logo or name of the guitar, adding to its aesthetic appeal.
  • Machine Heads / Tuning Pegs – Used for tuning individual guitar strings up or down in pitch.
  • Nut – Used to anchor the strings over the frets.
  • Strings – From left to right, or lowest to highest pitch. Low E-A-D-G-B-High E
  • Frets – Used to create notes by pressing the strings down on them.
  • Pickups – Situated on the body, guitar pickups are essentially magnets wrapped with coils of wire that convert the vibrations of the strings into electrical signals. Different types of pickups, such as single-coil and humbucker, produce distinct tonal characteristics. Also the placement of your pickups can significantly influence the guitar’s overall sound.
  • Bridge – Like the nut, the bridge anchors the strings over the frets. Note: The bridge on this guitar is a tremolo bridge, making tuning a little more difficult to achieve and maintain.
  • Pickups Selector – Allows you to choose between the neck, bridge, or both pickups.
  • Volume and Tone Controls – Allows you to adjust your guitars volume and tone as you would on your stereo.
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