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Construction and Classification of Guitar

Author: Tanssion Date: 2023-08-28 Hits: 0

Ⅰ. Guitar Overview
Ⅱ. The construction of the guitar
Ⅲ. Introduction of Guitar Accessories
Ⅳ. The classification of guitar
Ⅴ. The maintenance of the guitar

Ⅰ. Guitar Overview

A guitar is a plucked instrument with six strings, similar to a violin. The guitar is used in many musical styles, and it is often regarded as the main instrument in pop music, rock music, blues, folk songs, flamenco. In classical music, the guitar is also used for many solo pieces. It usually has six strings, but four, eight, ten and twelve strings are also available.

There are two main types of guitars, one is the acoustic guitar with a long history and is amplified with a wooden resonance box; the other is the electric guitar invented in the 20th century and amplified with an electric amplifier. Acoustic guitars are commonly used in classical, folk and pop music. Electric guitars are commonly used in rock music, blues and pop music. The invention of the electric guitar had an important influence on western popular culture and music. Classical guitar, violin and piano are listed as the world's three most famous musical instruments.

Ⅱ. The construction of the guitar

1. Head

The main function of the head is to support string tension at the front of the guitar. In terms of appearance design, the guitar brand logo is mostly printed on the front of the head. Some custom guitars will have a decorative pattern on the head; others will have a guard on the outer edge of the head. The junction of the head and the neck is a very fragile part, which is easy to break due to collision.

2. Tuning Heads

It has two kinds of gear type and hydraulic type, mainly used to adjust the tension of the strings. The tuner is fixed on the head, and it is a part used to adjust the tightness of the guitar strings, and the tightness of the strings can be changed by rotating a certain angle. Tightening the strings will raise the pitch, loosening the strings will lower the pitch. In addition, the precision of the tuners has a direct effect on the tuning. The higher the accuracy, the easier and more precise the tuning.

3. Nut

It is placed at the junction of the head and the neck, and is mainly used to maintain the distance between the front strings and the fingerboard of the guitar. It is the component that fixes the effective scale length and sound transmission, and is usually made of plastic steel. Nuts of different materials and qualities have a certain influence on the conductivity of the sound.

4. Saddle

Its common materials are plastic, animal bone or plastic steel and metal. The saddle is responsible for most of the guitar's tone. Its main function is to transmit the vibration of the strings to the bridge and to determine the distance between the strings and the fingerboard.

5. Fingerboard

It is glued to the neck, a long, thin, usually dark wood plank that is an important part of the guitar. It is usually made of rosewood, and some high-end pianos often use ebony as the fingerboard material.

6. Side Panels

The side panels are usually made of the same material as the back panel and function similarly.

7. Top

It is the most important part of the acoustic guitar. The sounding principle of the folk guitar is mainly generated through the conduction and vibration of the panel and then to the resonance of the box. Different top materials or bracing constructions can have a huge impact on the volume of a guitar's tone.

8. Back

The back and side panels are usually made of the same material. It forms the case with the guitar top. Also as an important part of the acoustic guitar, the backboard plays an important role in sound transmission, reflection and resonance.

9. Guitar Fret Wire

It is also called a fret or a fret and is generally made of metal. The quality of the frets has a certain influence on the feel of guitar playing.

10. Bridge Pin

Most bridge pins are made of plastic (the worst sound quality ever). There is also one made of ebony or other materials. Its function is to fix the strings on the bridge, and then transmit the vibration of the strings to the body to produce sound. The material of the strings will affect the tone of the guitar.

11. Neck

The material of the neck and fingerboard is closely related to the tone. It is usually made of wood such as maple, nato, okoume, mahogany, etc. The maple neck produces a bright sound and greatly enhances the high-frequency performance of large-bodied guitars. The mahogany (mahogany) will make the overall tone warmer and more woody.

12. Bridge

Like the fingerboard, the bridge is mostly made of hard and high-density wood, which is mainly used to support the tension of the strings at the back of the guitar, and transmit the vibration of the strings to the panel through the saddle. There will be a slim groove on the bridge for the saddle and pickups. In addition, it will also have several round holes arranged in one or two rows for installing strings and string nails. The number of round holes is determined by the number of strings. Just like the relationship between the fingerboard and the timbre, the material used for the bridge does not have much effect on the overall timbre, but it does have an impact on the timbre of other parts of the piano body. The position of the bridge on the top is what determines the intonation of the guitar.

13. Body

The piano body can also be called a resonance box. This is the key to the sound of the acoustic guitar. The whole is composed of panels, side panels and back. Compared with the head and fingerboard, the piano body has a wider area, so it is also a key part that manufacturers often use to display the decorative art of guitars. Both the top and the back are flat, but some acoustic guitars have a slightly curved back due to the appearance design, sound effect or wood material. The choice of wood for the top, sides and back is the decisive factor affecting the tone and loudness of the guitar.

14. Sound Hole

This is the main part of the guitar sound. When the strings vibrate, the sound frequency generated by the vibration will be transmitted to the bridge through the saddle, then transmitted from the bridge to the panel, and then spread to the side panel and back panel, and finally resonate gradually inside the piano body. And reflect the sound out of the sound hole through the back panel.

15. String-fixing cone

It's the part that holds the strings to the saddle. We can take it out when changing the strings. String-fixing cones are generally made of ABS material or plastic steel. String-fixing cones made of different materials have a certain influence on the conductivity of the sound.

Ⅲ. Introduction of Guitar Accessories

1. Guitar Strings

Guitar strings are one of the most frequently replaced parts of a guitar. There are many types of guitar strings, and if it comes from different manufacturers, the sound can vary greatly.

2. Capo

The original purpose of the capo was to adjust the tone of the guitar. It is a commonly used auxiliary tool in folk guitar playing and singing. It can press the product during the transfer to raise the tune to the corresponding interval, so that it is in harmony with the singer's voice, and it uses the original fingering method to play, which greatly reduces the difficulty of transfer. Now it is widely used in the performance of flamenco guitar, classical guitar and folk guitar.

3. Pick

It is also known as a gram. It is mainly used to play the Ruan Liuqin. Guitars are generally made of nylon or celluloid. When playing, the sound of the paddles is very clear and crisp. Pick has many different materials and thicknesses. Picks made of different materials not only affect the sound of playing, but also the wear and tear of the guitar. The thickness of the paddle is selected according to the different situations of the user.

4. Metronome

Using a metronome during practice can cultivate our accurate sense of rhythm. The metronome is roughly divided into a pendulum metronome and an electronic metronome. The pendulum metronome can only adjust speed, while the electronic metronome has various functions.

5. Tuner

It is an electronic product that uses the vibration frequency recognition program of musical sounds to display the pitch of musical instruments, and has been widely used in the tuning of various musical instruments. According to different applicable musical instruments, tuners are divided into guitar tuners, guzheng tuners, violin tuners and so on. Compared with traditional tuning tools, it has the advantages of high accuracy, not easily affected by weather conditions, and easy operation and learning, etc. It helps beginners of various musical instruments quickly master the tuning technology of the musical instrument and improve the pitch of hearing and identification Ability.

6. Coiler

When we change the strings, we need to use a string winding device to loosen our strings, thereby achieving faster string changing speed.

7. Electric guitar effects

An electric guitar effector is a device that changes the original tone of a guitar or superimposes sound effects. According to the size of the function, electric guitar effects can be divided into single block and combination effects.

8. Pickup

The pickup system is an important part of the sound of an electric guitar. It is responsible for converting the vibration signal of the strings into an electrical signal to pick up the sound of the guitar. Pickups are divided into single-coil and double-coil pickups according to the number of coils. At the same time, the number of turns of the winding wire, the diameter of the wire, and the magnetism of the magnet will all affect the tone of the pickup. Different pickups are combined to form a guitar pickup system. At present, our more common pickup combinations are as follows.

(1) Double Humbucker pickups

The earliest dual pickups appeared on Gibson Les Paul series guitars. These pickups have a very solid sound.

(2) Double single and double pickups

This is a more modern pickup combination. By switching gears, it can complete a variety of timbre changes. Ibanez, ESP, etc. are representative brands of this type of pickup. Pickups also have rules to follow. A humbucker will have a thicker, more punchy tone than a single coil. Pickups closer to the neck have a warmer sound; pickups closer to the bridge have a more compressed sound with prominent mids.

(3) Single and double pickups

To make up for the thin bridge fret sound of the triple-single pickups, people replaced the bridge pickups with humbuckers. In this way, while increasing the thickness, it does not lose the clarity of the single coil.

(4) Pickup alone

This kind of pickup first appeared on the Fender Stratocaster, and the sound is clean, transparent and clear. It has been widely used in Funk, Blues, R&B and other styles, and now it has become one of the most classic pickup combinations.

9. Gig Bags and Gig Cases

In addition to keeping the guitar in the piano bag, it can also be packed in the guitar case. Performers like to use a good-quality guitar bag. In addition to being crash-proof and drop-resistant, it can also hold many guitar accessories.

Ⅳ. The classification of guitar

1. Pick guitar

Pick guitars are played with picks. It has the following characteristics:

(1) Zhang steel string.

(2) There is no round sound hole, but the "f" sound hole, which looks like the sound hole of a violin.

2. Electric guitar

The electric guitar is a product of science and technology. It is obviously different from traditional guitars from appearance to sound. The body of an electric guitar is usually made of hardwood, and it is equipped with devices such as volume adjustment, tremolo mechanism (rocker), etc. The electric guitar itself does not have a resonance box to produce sound. The body of the guitar is generally a solid body with coils installed on the body. It produces electromagnetic effects through the vibration of guitar strings and converts them into corresponding timbre effects, so electric guitars usually need to be connected to effectors and speakers for performance.

In terms of function, electric guitars are also divided into two main categories: electric guitars and electric basses. The electric guitar has a wider range, a bright tone, and rich expressiveness. Electric guitars can be used with effector for more brilliant sound performances. Most electric guitars have 6 strings, while electric basses usually have four-string basses and five-string basses, with thicker strings and a deeper tone. It is mainly used for the accompaniment and modification of the bass part of the band performance. Both are an integral part of the modern band.

3. Flamenco guitar

It is a type of guitar with typical Spanish national characteristics, and its style is rough. From the appearance, the flamenco guitar is thinner than the classical guitar, and the materials used in the production are quite different from the classical guitar. The technical height of the strings and the tightness requirements of the panel are also completely different. Because of its late start, real flamenco guitars and players are rarely seen in China.

4. Acoustic Guitar

This is a common way for people to play and sing the guitar. Compared with classical guitars, folk guitars have a slender neck and a narrower and slightly curved fingerboard. In this way, it is convenient to press the index finger horizontally, and it is also convenient to press various chords. Acoustic guitars usually have 14 frets from the nut to the resonance box, and we can play with fingers or picks. In modern guitar performances, both folk guitar and classical guitar can be connected to speakers through pickups for amplified performance. Acoustic guitars can also be equipped with effector for timbre transformation in many scenes.

It has the following characteristics:

(1) Steel string

(2) The head is bigger and the neck is thinner.

(3) The strings are the fourteenth frets at the joint between the steel strings and the piano case.

(4) There may be a half-moon protective plate on the surface plate.

(5) The paint is often more fancy, mainly for accompaniment.

5. Eight-string guitar

The eight-string guitar has two thicker strings than the six-string, allowing it to play lower tones with more variation.

6. Classical Guitar

Its original name is the classical 6-string piano. It and the harp (classical 23-stringed harp, classical 46-stringed harp, etc.), lute, etc. belong to the category of classical qin. It can be solo, ensemble, concerto with symphony orchestra and so on. It is the most artistic, most adaptable, deepest and most affirmed by the art world in the guitar family. It is called "the world's three classic musical instruments". It has both the magnificence of a piano and the elegance of a violin, and is also known as the "Prince of Musical Instruments". The classical guitar has already become an international formal musical instrument. Its playing posture is strict, and its material technique is also the most standardized and profound.

Ⅴ. The maintenance of the guitar

1. Ensure the ambient temperature

The protection of a guitar begins with its environment. Temperature and humidity always affect the vitality of the guitar unconsciously. Too low temperature and humidity can shrink the wood, which can cause dimples on the sides of the guitar's bridge, bulges in the neck, cracking in the wood, and lower string spacing that can lead to beating. Excessive heat and humidity can cause the wood to swell, which can also cause the top of the guitar to bulge, the neck to sag, the wood to dry out, the string spacing to become higher, and more.

2. Play often

Playing your guitar regularly is the best way to maintain it. If the guitar has been left unused for several months, in order to prevent the bridge from stretching, we should relax all six strings so that the bridge is no longer under the tension of the strings.

3. Maintenance of the piano body

We should wipe the stains on the surface with a soft dry cloth to keep the piano body clean. When the piano is not playing, we should put it in the piano bag or case to avoid unnecessary scratches or bumps.


Frequently Asked Questions

1、What are things called on a guitar?
The most important ones for both acoustic and electric guitars are the body, neck, headstock, tuning pegs, machine head, nuts, bridge, sound hole, frets, and strings.
2、What is an electric guitar accessory?
A few of the best accessories for electric guitar include strap locks, cables (both long cables and patch cables for pedals), pedalboards, tuner pedals, slides, fret wraps, and hard cases.
3、Do you really need a capo?
Guitar capos can be useful, but relying on them too much will severely limit your understanding and knowledge of the fretboard. You can play any song on the guitar without a capo, in its original key, and you should know how to play any song in any key without a capo.
4、What are the most important parts of an electric guitar?
The most important ones for both acoustic and electric guitars are the body, neck, headstock, tuning pegs, machine head, nuts, bridge, sound hole, frets, and strings.

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