Mechanism Description of an Electric Guitar

Topics: Guitar, Electric guitar, String instrument Pages: 3 (949 words) Published: May 13, 2013
Mechanism Description of an electric guitar

An electric guitar is a stringed musical instrument played with fingers or a plectrum (pick). It consists of a body, a neck and a headstock to which usually six steel strings are attached. The magnetic pickups transform the vibrations of the steel strings into audio signals that are driven through an amplifier. Thus, the amplifier is also an essential part of the electric guitar. It was the need of amplified sound in musical instruments that started guitar manufacturers to innovate the electric guitar at the beginning of the twentieth century. The first electric guitar appeared in 1931 by George Beauchamp. Since then, the instrument has become very important in popular music and a major factor in the growth of rock and roll.

The Headstock
The headstock is the top part of the guitar. Its main purpose is holding the strings. The six metal strings (1.3) go through a thin metallic strip called the nut (1.2) and are fixed to the machine heads (1.1). The machine heads are simple worm gears that players rotate in order to tune the strings thus getting the desired tone. The size of the headstock depends on the layout of the tuners (machine heads): •For a 3x3 layout (three tuners aside), the average length would be 6 in. •For a 6 in-line layout, the average length would be 7 in to 9 in. Usually, the neck and the headstock of a guitar are made from a single piece of wood but some headstock may be constructed separately and glued to the neck.

The Neck
The neck is the longest part of the instrument, around 25 inches in length, right under the headstock. It is the base of the fretboard (or fingerboard) where the player places his fingers in order to stop the strings at the desired note. The fingerboard is separated by 19 to 24 thin metal strips called frets (2.1), marked with decorative inlays (2.2) and marker dots, helping the player find the notes. Although it is...
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