As I said last week, the guitar is one of the most versatile musical instruments ever for just about beginners. It is portable and easily adaptable to the player’s body size. It is small enough to be transported and be stored in your flight’s overhead compartment. It requires little maintenance or assembly, as you only need to tune it before playing the instrument.
The guitar, as I mentioned last week, is also an expressive instrument. It is quite versatile, since it has a tone and timbre that is suitable for a broad range of musical styles. The guitar has a range of around four octaves, compared to nearly seven on the piano. Given the guitar's size (which, of course, isn't as large as a piano), this range is rather broad. It can produce noises all the way up to the bass spectrum's highest registers. For that reason, the guitar is widely employed in popular music, such as rock, Latin, funk, jazz, and other genres.
Now, before learning and buying a guitar, you would definitely need to learn about the parts of the instrument. There are a few aspects you need to know while purchasing the guitar; whether you're looking for volume, tone, comfort, or any other characteristics. Maybe ask yourself whether you have ever tried playing a guitar before, what you particularly like about them, and maybe more specific inquiries, like length of the scale or width of the nuts.
It’s okay if you have little to no ideas about these, though, because this short guide will help you get started with the components!
The body of the guitar
Check out the image above, and let’s zoom in to the body of the guitar. The body of the guitar is a crucial part in echoing sound, and it has become some sort of soundboard for the instrument. The body of an acoustic guitar is made up by the soundboard - or top, as well as the back and the sides. The soundboard will vibrate to tune up sound, making the tonewoods to be ever so essential in guitar-making, as well as strong sides and back to contribute to tone. The body is split into three halves from top to bottom: the upper bout, the waist, and the lower bout. The bottom bout is somewhat bigger than the upper bout, and the bouts are measured across the breadth of the instrument.
When it comes to size, a bigger body/box will subsequently produce bigger sounds (but to your surprise, some guitars produce quality sound not typical to their body styles.) Meanwhile, the shape of the guitar can be unique as well, including the varied cutaways - or the curved indentations on the guitar upper, treble-side bout.
A guitar’s neck comes from the main body, extending to the handle of the guitar. The neck includes fretboard, frets, headstock and a truss rod. What is a truss rod? It essentially stabilizes the forward curve, or it is a relief of the neck. It keeps the neck from bending unnecessarily due to the tension of the guitar’s strings.
The neck of the guitar comes in different shapes, from more of a V to C shapes, and any curve points in between them. The flexibility is dependable on the quality of the instrument, because bending the guitar’s neck can be desirable in different genres, for instance, to reach higher notes in blues and rock.
The fingerboard - or the fretboard
Check out the image above, can you tell which part is a guitar’s fingerboard? A guitar’s fingerboard, or a fretboard is often pasted to the front of the neck. It is by far the most crucial part of a guitar, and it is also the most important element while selecting a guitar to purchase. Buying a guitar with a fretboard of your desire will affect the comfort, playing style, as well as the tone produced by the instrument.
The fingerboard is typically arranged and constructed of a different sort of wood than the rear of the neck. Ebony, rosewood, and maple are common woods, however synthetics like Richlite can also be utilized. Richlite is also known as paper composite. It is a phenolic resin or cellulose composite material created from partly recycled paper and phenolic resin. Multi layers of papers are soaked in phenolic resin, and then molded and baked into netted shapes.
Check out the image on the side. Can you work out what frets are by now?
Guitar frets are elevated sections on the guitar's fingerboard that run the length of the neck and are often made of metal.
The guitar neck is divided into intervals by frets, with each fret representing one semitone of an octave.
In comparison to a non-fretted fingerboard, pressing the string against the fret shortens the string to the length between the fretted point and the bridge, modifying the pitch and making it simpler to reach accurate notes.
Frets exist in a variety of forms and styles, and they will wear out over time, necessitating fret care. To care for your frets, you can wipe it using a mineral oil purchasable in a supermarket or music store (ask us in Ensiklomusika Music School about this!). Apply some oil to a folded paper towel and rub it on the face of the fingerboard once all the strings have been removed from the tuners and put into the sound hole. It is okay to wipe the remaining oil on the frets, too.
Any questions? You can ask us in Ensiklomusika Music School to seek support on your guitar-purchasing decisions, or about the FREE guitar trial class!
Stay tuned for next week’s article, where I will be continuing the parts of the guitar and detailing each part to give you a clearer picture. See you next week!