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For other uses, see Guitar (disambiguation). Guitar_sentence_0


String instrumentGuitar_header_cell_0_0_0
ClassificationGuitar_header_cell_0_1_0 String instrumentGuitar_cell_0_1_1
Hornbostel–Sachs classificationGuitar_header_cell_0_2_0 321.322

(Composite chordophone)Guitar_cell_0_2_1

Playing rangeGuitar_header_cell_0_3_0
Related instrumentsGuitar_header_cell_0_4_0

The guitar is a fretted musical instrument that usually has six strings. Guitar_sentence_1

It is typically played with both hands by strumming or plucking the strings with either a guitar pick or the fingers/fingernails of one hand, while simultaneously fretting (pressing the strings against the frets) with the fingers of the other hand. Guitar_sentence_2

The sound of the vibrating strings is projected either acoustically, by means of the hollow chamber of the guitar (for an acoustic guitar), or through an electrical amplifier and a speaker. Guitar_sentence_3

The guitar is a type of chordophone - wherein the sound is produced by way of a string, stretched between two fixed points, vibrating when plucked - traditionally constructed from wood and strung with either gut, nylon or steel strings and distinguished from other chordophones by its construction and tuning. Guitar_sentence_4

The modern guitar was preceded by the gittern, the vihuela, the four-course Renaissance guitar, and the five-course baroque guitar, all of which contributed to the development of the modern six-string instrument. Guitar_sentence_5

There are three main types of modern acoustic guitar: the classical guitar (Spanish guitar/nylon-string guitar), the steel-string acoustic guitar and the archtop guitar, which is sometimes called a "jazz guitar". Guitar_sentence_6

The tone of an acoustic guitar is produced by the strings' vibration, amplified by the hollow body of the guitar, which acts as a resonating chamber. Guitar_sentence_7

The classical guitar is often played as a solo instrument using a comprehensive finger-picking technique where each string is plucked individually by the player's fingers, as opposed to being strummed. Guitar_sentence_8

The term "finger-picking" can also refer to a specific tradition of folk, blues, bluegrass, and country guitar playing in the United States. Guitar_sentence_9

The acoustic bass guitar is pitched one octave below a regular guitar. Guitar_sentence_10

Electric guitars, introduced in the 1930s, use an amplifier and a loudspeaker that both makes the sound of the instrument loud enough for the performers and audience to hear, and, given that it produces an electric signal when played, that can electronically manipulate and shape the tone using an equalizer (e.g., bass and treble tone controls) and a wide variety of electronic effects units, the most commonly used ones being distortion (or "overdrive") and reverb. Guitar_sentence_11

Early amplified guitars employed a hollow body, but solid wood guitars began to dominate during the 1960s and 1970s, as they are less prone to unwanted acoustic feedback "howls". Guitar_sentence_12

As with acoustic guitars, there are a number of types of electric guitars, including hollowbody guitars, archtop guitars (used in jazz guitar, blues and rockabilly) and solid-body guitars, which are widely used in rock music. Guitar_sentence_13

The loud, amplified sound and sonic power of the electric guitar played through a guitar amp has played a key role in the development of blues and rock music, both as an accompaniment instrument (playing riffs and chords) and performing guitar solos, and in many rock subgenres, notably heavy metal music and punk rock. Guitar_sentence_14

The electric guitar has had a major influence on popular culture. Guitar_sentence_15

The guitar is used in a wide variety of musical genres worldwide. Guitar_sentence_16

It is recognized as a primary instrument in genres such as blues, bluegrass, country, flamenco, folk, jazz, jota, mariachi, metal, punk, reggae, rock, soul, and pop. Guitar_sentence_17

History Guitar_section_0

See also: Lute § History and evolution of the lute, Gittern, Citole § Origins, and Classical guitar § History Guitar_sentence_18

Before the development of the electric guitar and the use of synthetic materials, a guitar was defined as being an instrument having "a long, fretted neck, flat wooden soundboard, ribs, and a flat back, most often with incurved sides." Guitar_sentence_19

The term is used to refer to a number of chordophones that were developed and used across Europe, beginning in the 12th century and, later, in the Americas. Guitar_sentence_20

A 3,300-year-old stone carving of a Hittite bard playing a stringed instrument is the oldest iconographic representation of a chordophone and clay plaques from Babylonia show people playing an instrument that has a strong resemblance to the guitar, indicating a possible Babylonian origin for the guitar. Guitar_sentence_21

The modern word guitar, and its antecedents, has been applied to a wide variety of chordophones since classical times and as such causes confusion. Guitar_sentence_22

The English word guitar, the German Gitarre, and the French guitare were all adopted from the Spanish guitarra, which comes from the Andalusian Arabic قيثارة (qīthārah) and the Latin cithara, which in turn came from the Ancient Greek κιθάρα. Guitar_sentence_23

Kithara appears in the Bible four times (1 Cor. Guitar_sentence_24

14:7, Rev. Guitar_sentence_25

5:8, 14:2 and 15:2), and is usually translated into English as harp. Guitar_sentence_26

Many influences are cited as antecedents to the modern guitar. Guitar_sentence_27

Although the development of the earliest "guitars" is lost in the history of medieval Spain, two instruments are commonly cited as their most influential predecessors, the European lute and its cousin, the four-string oud; the latter was brought to Iberia by the Moors in the 8th century. Guitar_sentence_28

At least two instruments called "guitars" were in use in Spain by 1200: the guitarra latina (Latin guitar) and the so-called guitarra morisca (Moorish guitar). Guitar_sentence_29

The guitarra morisca had a rounded back, wide fingerboard, and several sound holes. Guitar_sentence_30

The guitarra Latina had a single sound hole and a narrower neck. Guitar_sentence_31

By the 14th century the qualifiers "moresca" or "morisca" and "latina" had been dropped, and these two chordophones were simply referred to as guitars. Guitar_sentence_32

The Spanish vihuela, called in Italian the "viola da mano", a guitar-like instrument of the 15th and 16th centuries, is widely considered to have been the single most important influence in the development of the baroque guitar. Guitar_sentence_33

It had six courses (usually), lute-like tuning in fourths and a guitar-like body, although early representations reveal an instrument with a sharply cut waist. Guitar_sentence_34

It was also larger than the contemporary four-course guitars. Guitar_sentence_35

By the 16th century, the vihuela's construction had more in common with the modern guitar, with its curved one-piece ribs, than with the viols, and more like a larger version of the contemporary four-course guitars. Guitar_sentence_36

The vihuela enjoyed only a relatively short period of popularity in Spain and Italy during an era dominated elsewhere in Europe by the lute; the last surviving published music for the instrument appeared in 1576. Guitar_sentence_37

Meanwhile, the five-course baroque guitar, which was documented in Spain from the middle of the 16th century, enjoyed popularity, especially in Spain, Italy and France from the late 16th century to the mid-18th century. Guitar_sentence_38

In Portugal, the word viola referred to the guitar, as guitarra meant the "Portuguese guitar", a variety of cittern. Guitar_sentence_39

There were many different plucked instruments that were being invented and used in Europe, during the Middle Ages. Guitar_sentence_40

By the 16th century, most of the forms of guitar had fallen off, to never be seen again. Guitar_sentence_41

However, midway through the 16th century, the five-course guitar was established. Guitar_sentence_42

It was not a straightforward process. Guitar_sentence_43

There were two types of five-course guitars, they differed in the location of the major third and in the interval pattern. Guitar_sentence_44

The fifth course can be placed on the instrument, because it was known to play seventeen notes or more. Guitar_sentence_45

Because the guitar had a fifth string, it was capable of playing that amount of notes. Guitar_sentence_46

The guitar's strings were tuned in unison, so, in other words, it was tuned by placing a finger on the second fret of the thinnest string and tuning the guitar bottom to top. Guitar_sentence_47

The strings were a whole octave apart from one another, which is the reason for the different method of tuning. Guitar_sentence_48

Because it was so different, there was major controversy as to who created the five course guitar. Guitar_sentence_49

A literary source, Lope de Vega's Dorotea, gives the credit to the poet and musician Vicente Espinel. Guitar_sentence_50

This claim was also repeated by Nicolas Doizi de Velasco in 1640, however this claim has been refuted by others who state that Espinel's birth year (1550) make it impossible for him to be responsible for the tradition. Guitar_sentence_51

He believed that the tuning was the reason the instrument became known as the Spanish guitar in Italy. Guitar_sentence_52

Even later, in the same century, Gaspar Sanz wrote that other nations such as Italy or France added to the Spanish guitar. Guitar_sentence_53

All of these nations even imitated the five-course guitar by "recreating" their own. Guitar_sentence_54

Finally, circa 1850, the form and structure of the modern guitar is followed by different Spanish makers such as Manuel de Soto y Solares and perhaps the most important of all guitar makers Antonio Torres Jurado, who increased the size of the guitar body, altered its proportions, and invented the breakthrough fan-braced pattern. Guitar_sentence_55

Bracing, which refers to the internal pattern of wood reinforcements used to secure the guitar's top and back and prevent the instrument from collapsing under tension, is an important factor in how the guitar sounds. Guitar_sentence_56

Torres' design greatly improved the volume, tone, and projection of the instrument, and it has remained essentially unchanged since. Guitar_sentence_57

Types Guitar_section_1

Guitars can be divided into two broad categories, acoustic and electric guitars. Guitar_sentence_58

Within each of these categories, there are also further sub-categories. Guitar_sentence_59

For example, an electric guitar can be purchased in a six-string model (the most common model) or in seven- or twelve-string models. Guitar_sentence_60

Acoustic Guitar_section_2

Main article: Acoustic guitar Guitar_sentence_61

See also: Extended-range classical guitar, Flamenco guitar, Guitar battente, Guitarrón mexicano, Harp guitar, Russian guitar, Selmer guitar, and Tenor guitar Guitar_sentence_62

Acoustic guitars form several notable subcategories within the acoustic guitar group: classical and flamenco guitars; steel-string guitars, which include the flat-topped, or "folk", guitar; twelve-string guitars; and the arched-top guitar. Guitar_sentence_63

The acoustic guitar group also includes unamplified guitars designed to play in different registers, such as the acoustic bass guitar, which has a similar tuning to that of the electric bass guitar. Guitar_sentence_64

Renaissance and Baroque Guitar_section_3

Main article: Baroque guitar Guitar_sentence_65

Renaissance and Baroque guitars are the ancestors of the modern classical and flamenco guitar. Guitar_sentence_66

They are substantially smaller, more delicate in construction, and generate less volume. Guitar_sentence_67

The strings are paired in courses as in a modern 12-string guitar, but they only have four or five courses of strings rather than six single strings normally used now. Guitar_sentence_68

They were more often used as rhythm instruments in ensembles than as solo instruments, and can often be seen in that role in early music performances. Guitar_sentence_69

(Gaspar Sanz's Instrucción de Música sobre la Guitarra Española of 1674 contains his whole output for the solo guitar.) Guitar_sentence_70

Renaissance and Baroque guitars are easily distinguished, because the Renaissance guitar is very plain and the Baroque guitar is very ornate, with ivory or wood inlays all over the neck and body, and a paper-cutout inverted "wedding cake" inside the hole. Guitar_sentence_71

Classical Guitar_section_4

Main article: Classical guitar Guitar_sentence_72

Classical guitars, also known as "Spanish" guitars, are typically strung with nylon strings, plucked with the fingers, played in a seated position and are used to play a diversity of musical styles including classical music. Guitar_sentence_73

The classical guitar's wide, flat neck allows the musician to play scales, arpeggios, and certain chord forms more easily and with less adjacent string interference than on other styles of guitar. Guitar_sentence_74

Flamenco guitars are very similar in construction, but they are associated with a more percussive tone. Guitar_sentence_75

In Portugal, the same instrument is often used with steel strings particularly in its role within fado music. Guitar_sentence_76

The guitar is called viola, or violão in Brazil, where it is often used with an extra seventh string by choro musicians to provide extra bass support. Guitar_sentence_77

In Mexico, the popular mariachi band includes a range of guitars, from the small requinto to the guitarrón, a guitar larger than a cello, which is tuned in the bass register. Guitar_sentence_78

In Colombia, the traditional quartet includes a range of instruments too, from the small bandola (sometimes known as the Deleuze-Guattari, for use when traveling or in confined rooms or spaces), to the slightly larger tiple, to the full-sized classical guitar. Guitar_sentence_79

The requinto also appears in other Latin-American countries as a complementary member of the guitar family, with its smaller size and scale, permitting more projection for the playing of single-lined melodies. Guitar_sentence_80

Modern dimensions of the classical instrument were established by the Spaniard Antonio de Torres Jurado (1817–1892). Guitar_sentence_81

Flat-top Guitar_section_5

Main article: Steel-string acoustic guitar Guitar_sentence_82

Flat-top or steel-string guitars are similar to the classical guitar, however, within the varied sizes of the steel-stringed guitar the body size is usually significantly larger than a classical guitar, and has a narrower, reinforced neck and stronger structural design. Guitar_sentence_83

The robust X-bracing typical of the steel-string was developed in the 1840s by German-American luthiers, of whom Christian Friedrich "C. F." Martin is the best known. Guitar_sentence_84

Originally used on gut-strung instruments, the strength of the system allowed the guitar to withstand the additional tension of steel strings when this fortunate combination arose in the early 20th century. Guitar_sentence_85

The steel strings produce a brighter tone, and according to many players, a louder sound. Guitar_sentence_86

The acoustic guitar is used in many kinds of music including folk, country, bluegrass, pop, jazz, and blues. Guitar_sentence_87

Many variations are possible from the roughly classical-sized OO and Parlour to the large Dreadnought (the most commonly available type) and Jumbo. Guitar_sentence_88

Ovation makes a modern variation, with a rounded back/side assembly molded from artificial materials. Guitar_sentence_89

Archtop Guitar_section_6

Main article: Archtop guitar Guitar_sentence_90

Archtop guitars are steel-string instruments in which the top (and often the back) of the instrument are carved, from a solid billet, into a curved, rather than a flat, shape. Guitar_sentence_91

This violin-like construction is usually credited to the American Orville Gibson. Guitar_sentence_92

Lloyd Loar of the Gibson Mandolin-Guitar Mfg. Guitar_sentence_93 Co introduced the violin-inspired "F"-shaped hole design now usually associated with archtop guitars, after designing a style of mandolin of the same type. Guitar_sentence_94

The typical archtop guitar has a large, deep, hollow body whose form is much like that of a mandolin or a violin-family instrument. Guitar_sentence_95

Nowadays, most archtops are equipped with magnetic pickups, and they are therefore both acoustic and electric. Guitar_sentence_96

F-hole archtop guitars were immediately adopted, upon their release, by both jazz and country musicians, and have remained particularly popular in jazz music, usually with flatwound strings. Guitar_sentence_97

Resonator, resophonic or Dobros Guitar_section_7

Main articles: Resonator guitar and Dobro Guitar_sentence_98

All three principal types of resonator guitars were invented by the Slovak-American John Dopyera (1893–1988) for the National and Dobro (Dopyera Brothers) companies. Guitar_sentence_99

Similar to the flat top guitar in appearance, but with a body that may be made of brass, nickel-silver, or steel as well as wood, the sound of the resonator guitar is produced by one or more aluminum resonator cones mounted in the middle of the top. Guitar_sentence_100

The physical principle of the guitar is therefore similar to the loudspeaker. Guitar_sentence_101

The original purpose of the resonator was to produce a very loud sound; this purpose has been largely superseded by electrical amplification, but the resonator guitar is still played because of its distinctive tone. Guitar_sentence_102

Resonator guitars may have either one or three resonator cones. Guitar_sentence_103

The method of transmitting sound resonance to the cone is either a "biscuit" bridge, made of a small piece of hardwood at the vertex of the cone (Nationals), or a "spider" bridge, made of metal and mounted around the rim of the (inverted) cone (Dobros). Guitar_sentence_104

Three-cone resonators always use a specialized metal bridge. Guitar_sentence_105

The type of resonator guitar with a neck with a square cross-section—called "square neck" or "Hawaiian"—is usually played face up, on the lap of the seated player, and often with a metal or glass slide. Guitar_sentence_106

The round neck resonator guitars are normally played in the same fashion as other guitars, although slides are also often used, especially in blues. Guitar_sentence_107

Twelve-string Guitar_section_8

Main article: Twelve-string guitar Guitar_sentence_108

The twelve-string guitar usually has steel strings, and it is widely used in folk music, blues, and rock and roll. Guitar_sentence_109

Rather than having only six strings, the 12-string guitar has six courses made up of two strings each, like a mandolin or lute. Guitar_sentence_110

The highest two courses are tuned in unison, while the others are tuned in octaves. Guitar_sentence_111

The 12-string guitar is also made in electric forms. Guitar_sentence_112

The chime-like sound of the 12-string electric guitar was the basis of jangle pop. Guitar_sentence_113

Acoustic bass Guitar_section_9

Main article: Acoustic bass guitar Guitar_sentence_114

The acoustic bass guitar is a bass instrument with a hollow wooden body similar to, though usually somewhat larger than, that of a 6-string acoustic guitar. Guitar_sentence_115

Like the traditional electric bass guitar and the double bass, the acoustic bass guitar commonly has four strings, which are normally tuned E-A-D-G, an octave below the lowest four strings of the 6-string guitar, which is the same tuning pitch as an electric bass guitar. Guitar_sentence_116

It can, more rarely, be found with 5 or 6 strings, which provides a wider range of notes to be played with less movement up and down the neck. Guitar_sentence_117

Electric Guitar_section_10

Main article: Electric guitar Guitar_sentence_118

Electric guitars can have solid, semi-hollow, or hollow bodies; solid bodies produce little sound without amplification. Guitar_sentence_119

In contrast to a standard acoustic guitar, electric guitars instead rely on electromagnetic pickups, and sometimes piezoelectric pickups, that convert the vibration of the steel strings into signals, which are fed to an amplifier through a patch cable or radio transmitter. Guitar_sentence_120

The sound is frequently modified by other electronic devices (effects units) or the natural distortion of valves (vacuum tubes) or the pre-amp in the amplifier. Guitar_sentence_121

There are two main types of magnetic pickups, single- and double-coil (or humbucker), each of which can be passive or active. Guitar_sentence_122

The electric guitar is used extensively in jazz, blues, R & B, and rock and roll. Guitar_sentence_123

The first successful magnetic pickup for a guitar was invented by George Beauchamp, and incorporated into the 1931 Ro-Pat-In (later Rickenbacker) "Frying Pan" lap steel; other manufacturers, notably Gibson, soon began to install pickups in archtop models. Guitar_sentence_124

After World War II the completely solid-body electric was popularized by Gibson in collaboration with Les Paul, and independently by Leo Fender of Fender Music. Guitar_sentence_125

The lower fretboard action (the height of the strings from the fingerboard), lighter (thinner) strings, and its electrical amplification lend the electric guitar to techniques less frequently used on acoustic guitars. Guitar_sentence_126

These include tapping, extensive use of legato through pull-offs and hammer-ons (also known as slurs), pinch harmonics, volume swells, and use of a tremolo arm or effects pedals. Guitar_sentence_127

Some electric guitar models feature piezoelectric pickups, which function as transducers to provide a sound closer to that of an acoustic guitar with the flip of a switch or knob, rather than switching guitars. Guitar_sentence_128

Those that combine piezoelectric pickups and magnetic pickups are sometimes known as hybrid guitars. Guitar_sentence_129

Hybrids of acoustic and electric guitars are also common. Guitar_sentence_130

There are also more exotic varieties, such as guitars with two, three, or rarely four necks, all manner of alternate string arrangements, fretless fingerboards (used almost exclusively on bass guitars, meant to emulate the sound of a stand-up bass), 5.1 surround guitar, and such. Guitar_sentence_131

Seven-string and eight-string Guitar_section_11

Main articles: Seven-string guitar and eight-string guitar Guitar_sentence_132

Solid body seven-string guitars were popularized in the 1980s and 1990s. Guitar_sentence_133

Other artists go a step further, by using an eight-string guitar with two extra low strings. Guitar_sentence_134

Although the most common seven-string has a low B string, Roger McGuinn (of The Byrds and Rickenbacker) uses an octave G string paired with the regular G string as on a 12-string guitar, allowing him to incorporate chiming 12-string elements in standard six-string playing. Guitar_sentence_135

In 1982 Uli Jon Roth developed the "Sky Guitar", with a vastly extended number of frets, which was the first guitar to venture into the upper registers of the violin. Guitar_sentence_136

Roth's seven-string and "Mighty Wing" guitar features a wider octave range. Guitar_sentence_137

Electric bass Guitar_section_12

Main article: Bass guitar Guitar_sentence_138

The bass guitar (also called an "electric bass", or simply a "bass") is similar in appearance and construction to an electric guitar, but with a longer neck and scale length, and four to six strings. Guitar_sentence_139

The four-string bass, by far the most common, is usually tuned the same as the double bass, which corresponds to pitches one octave lower than the four lowest pitched strings of a guitar (E, A, D, and G). Guitar_sentence_140

The bass guitar is a transposing instrument, as it is notated in bass clef an octave higher than it sounds (as is the double bass) to avoid excessive ledger lines being required below the staff. Guitar_sentence_141

Like the electric guitar, the bass guitar has pickups and it is plugged into an amplifier and speaker for live performances. Guitar_sentence_142

Construction Guitar_section_13

Handedness Guitar_section_14

See also: List of musicians who play left-handed Guitar_sentence_143

Modern guitars can be constructed to suit both left- and right-handed players. Guitar_sentence_144

Normally, the dominant hand (in most people, the right hand) is used to pluck or strum the strings. Guitar_sentence_145

This is similar to the convention of the violin family of instruments where the right hand controls the bow. Guitar_sentence_146

Left-handed players sometimes choose an opposite-handed (mirror) instrument, although some play in a standard-handed manner, others play a standard-handed guitar reversed, and still others (for example Jimi Hendrix) played a standard-handed guitar strung in reverse. Guitar_sentence_147

This last configuration differs from a true opposite handed guitar in that the saddle is normally angled in such a way that the bass strings are slightly longer than the treble strings to improve intonation. Guitar_sentence_148

Reversing the strings, therefore, reverses the relative orientation of the saddle, adversely affecting intonation, although in Hendrix's case, this is believed to have been an important element in his unique sound. Guitar_sentence_149

Components Guitar_section_15

Head Guitar_section_16

Main article: Headstock Guitar_sentence_150

See also: Nut (string instrument) Guitar_sentence_151

The headstock is located at the end of the guitar neck farthest from the body. Guitar_sentence_152

It is fitted with machine heads that adjust the tension of the strings, which in turn affects the pitch. Guitar_sentence_153

The traditional tuner layout is "3+3", in which each side of the headstock has three tuners (such as on Gibson Les Pauls). Guitar_sentence_154

In this layout, the headstocks are commonly symmetrical. Guitar_sentence_155

Many guitars feature other layouts, including six-in-line tuners (featured on Fender Stratocasters) or even "4+2" (e.g. Ernie Ball Music Man). Guitar_sentence_156

Some guitars (such as Steinbergers) do not have headstocks at all, in which case the tuning machines are located elsewhere, either on the body or the bridge. Guitar_sentence_157

The nut is a small strip of bone, plastic, brass, corian, graphite, stainless steel, or other medium-hard material, at the joint where the headstock meets the fretboard. Guitar_sentence_158

Its grooves guide the strings onto the fretboard, giving consistent lateral string placement. Guitar_sentence_159

It is one of the endpoints of the strings' vibrating length. Guitar_sentence_160

It must be accurately cut, or it can contribute to tuning problems due to string slippage or string buzz. Guitar_sentence_161

To reduce string friction in the nut, which can adversely affect tuning stability, some guitarists fit a roller nut. Guitar_sentence_162

Some instruments use a zero fret just in front of the nut. Guitar_sentence_163

In this case the nut is used only for lateral alignment of the strings, the string height and length being dictated by the zero fret. Guitar_sentence_164

Neck Guitar_section_17

Main article: Neck (music) Guitar_sentence_165

See also: Fingerboard, Fret, Truss rod, Inlay (guitar), Set-in neck, Bolt-on neck, and Neck-through Guitar_sentence_166

A guitar's frets, fretboard, tuners, headstock, and truss rod, all attached to a long wooden extension, collectively constitute its neck. Guitar_sentence_167

The wood used to make the fretboard usually differs from the wood in the rest of the neck. Guitar_sentence_168

The bending stress on the neck is considerable, particularly when heavier gauge strings are used (see Tuning), and the ability of the neck to resist bending (see Truss rod) is important to the guitar's ability to hold a constant pitch during tuning or when strings are fretted. Guitar_sentence_169

The rigidity of the neck with respect to the body of the guitar is one determinant of a good instrument versus a poor-quality one. Guitar_sentence_170

The shape of the neck (from a cross-sectional perspective) can also vary, from a gentle "C" curve to a more pronounced "V" curve. Guitar_sentence_171

There are many different types of neck profiles available, giving the guitarist many options. Guitar_sentence_172

Some aspects to consider in a guitar neck may be the overall width of the fretboard, scale (distance between the frets), the neck wood, the type of neck construction (for example, the neck may be glued in or bolted on), and the shape (profile) of the back of the neck. Guitar_sentence_173

Other types of material used to make guitar necks are graphite (Steinberger guitars), aluminum (Kramer Guitars, Travis Bean and Veleno guitars), or carbon fiber (Modulus Guitars and ThreeGuitars). Guitar_sentence_174

Double neck electric guitars have two necks, allowing the musician to quickly switch between guitar sounds. Guitar_sentence_175

The neck joint or heel is the point at which the neck is either bolted or glued to the body of the guitar. Guitar_sentence_176

Almost all acoustic steel-string guitars, with the primary exception of Taylors, have glued (otherwise known as set) necks, while electric guitars are constructed using both types. Guitar_sentence_177

Most classical guitars have a neck and headblock carved from one piece of wood, known as a "Spanish heel." Guitar_sentence_178

Commonly used set neck joints include mortise and tenon joints (such as those used by C. F. Martin & Co.), dovetail joints (also used by C. F. Martin on the D-28 and similar models) and Spanish heel neck joints, which are named after the shoe they resemble and commonly found in classical guitars. Guitar_sentence_179

All three types offer stability. Guitar_sentence_180

Bolt-on necks, though they are historically associated with cheaper instruments, do offer greater flexibility in the guitar's set-up, and allow easier access for neck joint maintenance and repairs. Guitar_sentence_181

Another type of neck, only available for solid body electric guitars, is the neck-through-body construction. Guitar_sentence_182

These are designed so that everything from the machine heads down to the bridge are located on the same piece of wood. Guitar_sentence_183

The sides (also known as wings) of the guitar are then glued to this central piece. Guitar_sentence_184

Some luthiers prefer this method of construction as they claim it allows better sustain of each note. Guitar_sentence_185

Some instruments may not have a neck joint at all, having the neck and sides built as one piece and the body built around it. Guitar_sentence_186

The fingerboard, also called the fretboard, is a piece of wood embedded with metal frets that comprises the top of the neck. Guitar_sentence_187

It is flat on classical guitars and slightly curved crosswise on acoustic and electric guitars. Guitar_sentence_188

The curvature of the fretboard is measured by the fretboard radius, which is the radius of a hypothetical circle of which the fretboard's surface constitutes a segment. Guitar_sentence_189

The smaller the fretboard radius, the more noticeably curved the fretboard is. Guitar_sentence_190

Most modern guitars feature a 12" neck radius, while older guitars from the 1960s and 1970s usually feature a 6-8" neck radius. Guitar_sentence_191

Pinching a string against a fret on the fretboard effectively shortens the vibrating length of the string, producing a higher pitch. Guitar_sentence_192

Fretboards are most commonly made of rosewood, ebony, maple, and sometimes manufactured using composite materials such as HPL or resin. Guitar_sentence_193

See the section "Neck" below for the importance of the length of the fretboard in connection to other dimensions of the guitar. Guitar_sentence_194

The fingerboard plays an essential role in the treble tone for acoustic guitars. Guitar_sentence_195

The quality of vibration of the fingerboard is the principal characteristic for generating the best treble tone. Guitar_sentence_196

For that reason, ebony wood is better, but because of high use, ebony has become rare and extremely expensive. Guitar_sentence_197

Most guitar manufacturers have adopted rosewood instead of ebony. Guitar_sentence_198

Frets Guitar_section_18

Almost all guitars have frets, which are metal strips (usually nickel alloy or stainless steel) embedded along the fretboard and located at exact points that divide the scale length in accordance with a specific mathematical formula. Guitar_sentence_199

The exceptions include fretless bass guitars and very rare fretless guitars. Guitar_sentence_200

Pressing a string against a fret determines the strings' vibrating length and therefore its resultant pitch. Guitar_sentence_201

The pitch of each consecutive fret is defined at a half-step interval on the chromatic scale. Guitar_sentence_202

Standard classical guitars have 19 frets and electric guitars between 21 and 24 frets, although guitars have been made with as many as 27 frets. Guitar_sentence_203

Frets are laid out to accomplish an equal tempered division of the octave. Guitar_sentence_204

Each set of twelve frets represents an octave. Guitar_sentence_205

The twelfth fret divides the scale length exactly into two halves, and the 24th fret position divides one of those halves in half again. Guitar_sentence_206

Truss rod Guitar_section_19

The truss rod is a thin, strong metal rod that runs along the inside of the neck. Guitar_sentence_207

It is used to correct changes to the neck's curvature caused by aging of the neck timbers, changes in humidity, or to compensate for changes in the tension of strings. Guitar_sentence_208

The tension of the rod and neck assembly is adjusted by a hex nut or an allen-key bolt on the rod, usually located either at the headstock, sometimes under a cover, or just inside the body of the guitar underneath the fretboard and accessible through the sound hole. Guitar_sentence_209

Some truss rods can only be accessed by removing the neck. Guitar_sentence_210

The truss rod counteracts the immense amount of tension the strings place on the neck, bringing the neck back to a straighter position. Guitar_sentence_211

Turning the truss rod clockwise tightens it, counteracting the tension of the strings and straightening the neck or creating a backward bow. Guitar_sentence_212

Turning the truss rod counter-clockwise loosens it, allowing string tension to act on the neck and creating a forward bow. Guitar_sentence_213

Adjusting the truss rod affects the intonation of a guitar as well as the height of the strings from the fingerboard, called the action. Guitar_sentence_214

Some truss rod systems, called double action truss systems, tighten both ways, pushing the neck both forward and backward (standard truss rods can only release to a point beyond which the neck is no longer compressed and pulled backward). Guitar_sentence_215

The artist and luthier Irving Sloane pointed out, in his book Steel-String Guitar Construction, that truss rods are intended primarily to remedy concave bowing of the neck, but cannot correct a neck with "back bow" or one that has become twisted. Guitar_sentence_216

Classical guitars do not require truss rods, as their nylon strings exert a lower tensile force with lesser potential to cause structural problems. Guitar_sentence_217

However, their necks are often reinforced with a strip of harder wood, such as an ebony strip that runs down the back of a cedar neck. Guitar_sentence_218

There is no tension adjustment on this form of reinforcement. Guitar_sentence_219

Inlays Guitar_section_20

Inlays are visual elements set into the exterior surface of a guitar, both for decoration and artistic purposes and, in the case of the markings on the 3rd, 5th, 7th and 12th fret (and in higher octaves), to provide guidance to the performer about the location of frets on the instrument. Guitar_sentence_220

The typical locations for inlay are on the fretboard, headstock, and on acoustic guitars around the soundhole, known as the rosette. Guitar_sentence_221

Inlays range from simple plastic dots on the fretboard to intricate works of art covering the entire exterior surface of a guitar (front and back). Guitar_sentence_222

Some guitar players have used LEDs in the fretboard to produce unique lighting effects onstage. Guitar_sentence_223

Fretboard inlays are most commonly shaped like dots, diamond shapes, parallelograms, or large blocks in between the frets. Guitar_sentence_224

Dots are usually inlaid into the upper edge of the fretboard in the same positions, small enough to be visible only to the player. Guitar_sentence_225

These usually appear on the odd numbered frets, but also on the 12th fret (the one octave mark) instead of the 11th and 13th frets. Guitar_sentence_226

Some older or high-end instruments have inlays made of mother of pearl, abalone, ivory, colored wood or other exotic materials and designs. Guitar_sentence_227

Simpler inlays are often made of plastic or painted. Guitar_sentence_228

High-end classical guitars seldom have fretboard inlays as a well-trained player is expected to know his or her way around the instrument. Guitar_sentence_229

In addition to fretboard inlay, the headstock and soundhole surround are also frequently inlaid. Guitar_sentence_230

The manufacturer's logo or a small design is often inlaid into the headstock. Guitar_sentence_231

Rosette designs vary from simple concentric circles to delicate fretwork mimicking the historic rosette of lutes. Guitar_sentence_232

Bindings that edge the finger and sound boards are sometimes inlaid. Guitar_sentence_233

Some instruments have a filler strip running down the length and behind the neck, used for strength or to fill the cavity through which the truss rod was installed in the neck. Guitar_sentence_234

Body Guitar_section_21

Main articles: Sound box, Solid body, Bridge (instrument), and Pickguard Guitar_sentence_235

See also: Vibrato systems for guitar Guitar_sentence_236

In acoustic guitars, string vibration is transmitted through the bridge and saddle to the body via sound board. Guitar_sentence_237

The sound board is typically made of tone woods such as spruce or cedar. Guitar_sentence_238

Timbers for tone woods are chosen for both strength and ability to transfer mechanical energy from the strings to the air within the guitar body. Guitar_sentence_239

Sound is further shaped by the characteristics of the guitar body's resonant cavity. Guitar_sentence_240

In expensive instruments, the entire body is made of wood. Guitar_sentence_241

In inexpensive instruments, the back may be made of plastic. Guitar_sentence_242

In an acoustic instrument, the body of the guitar is a major determinant of the overall sound quality. Guitar_sentence_243

The guitar top, or soundboard, is a finely crafted and engineered element made of tonewoods such as spruce and red cedar. Guitar_sentence_244

This thin piece of wood, often only 2 or 3 mm thick, is strengthened by differing types of internal bracing. Guitar_sentence_245

Many luthiers consider the top the dominant factor in determining the sound quality. Guitar_sentence_246

The majority of the instrument's sound is heard through the vibration of the guitar top as the energy of the vibrating strings is transferred to it. Guitar_sentence_247

The body of an acoustic guitar has a sound hole through which sound projects. Guitar_sentence_248

The sound hole is usually a round hole in the top of the guitar under the strings. Guitar_sentence_249

Air inside the body vibrates as the guitar top and body is vibrated by the strings, and the response of the air cavity at different frequencies is characterized, like the rest of the guitar body, by a number of resonance modes at which it responds more strongly. Guitar_sentence_250

The top, back and ribs of an acoustic guitar body are very thin (1–2 mm), so a flexible piece of wood called lining is glued into the corners where the rib meets the top and back. Guitar_sentence_251

This interior reinforcement provides 5 to 20 mm of solid gluing area for these corner joints. Guitar_sentence_252

Solid linings are often used in classical guitars, while kerfed lining is most often found in steel string acoustics. Guitar_sentence_253

Kerfed lining is also called kerfing because it is scored, or "kerfed"(incompletely sawn through), to allow it to bend with the shape of the rib). Guitar_sentence_254

During final construction, a small section of the outside corners is carved or routed out and filled with binding material on the outside corners and decorative strips of material next to the binding, which are called purfling. Guitar_sentence_255

This binding serves to seal off the end grain of the top and back. Guitar_sentence_256

Purfling can also appear on the back of an acoustic guitar, marking the edge joints of the two or three sections of the back. Guitar_sentence_257

Binding and purfling materials are generally made of either wood or plastic. Guitar_sentence_258

Body size, shape and style has changed over time. Guitar_sentence_259

19th century guitars, now known as salon guitars, were smaller than modern instruments. Guitar_sentence_260

Differing patterns of internal bracing have been used over time by luthiers. Guitar_sentence_261

Torres, Hauser, Ramirez, Fleta, and C. Guitar_sentence_262 F. Martin were among the most influential designers of their time. Guitar_sentence_263

Bracing not only strengthens the top against potential collapse due to the stress exerted by the tensioned strings, but also affects the resonance characteristics of the top. Guitar_sentence_264

The back and sides are made out of a variety of timbers such as mahogany, Indian rosewood and highly regarded Brazilian rosewood (Dalbergia nigra). Guitar_sentence_265

Each one is primarily chosen for their aesthetic effect and can be decorated with inlays and purfling. Guitar_sentence_266

Instruments with larger areas for the guitar top were introduced by Martin in an attempt to create greater volume levels. Guitar_sentence_267

The popularity of the larger "dreadnought" body size amongst acoustic performers is related to the greater sound volume produced. Guitar_sentence_268

Most electric guitar bodies are made of wood and include a plastic pick guard. Guitar_sentence_269

Boards wide enough to use as a solid body are very expensive due to the worldwide depletion of hardwood stock since the 1970s, so the wood is rarely one solid piece. Guitar_sentence_270

Most bodies are made from two pieces of wood with some of them including a seam running down the center line of the body. Guitar_sentence_271

The most common woods used for electric guitar body construction include maple, basswood, ash, poplar, alder, and mahogany. Guitar_sentence_272

Many bodies consist of good-sounding, but inexpensive woods, like ash, with a "top", or thin layer of another, more attractive wood (such as maple with a natural "flame" pattern) glued to the top of the basic wood. Guitar_sentence_273

Guitars constructed like this are often called "flame tops". Guitar_sentence_274

The body is usually carved or routed to accept the other elements, such as the bridge, pickup, neck, and other electronic components. Guitar_sentence_275

Most electrics have a polyurethane or nitrocellulose lacquer finish. Guitar_sentence_276

Other alternative materials to wood are used in guitar body construction. Guitar_sentence_277

Some of these include carbon composites, plastic material, such as polycarbonate, and aluminum alloys. Guitar_sentence_278

The main purpose of the bridge on an acoustic guitar is to transfer the vibration from the strings to the soundboard, which vibrates the air inside of the guitar, thereby amplifying the sound produced by the strings. Guitar_sentence_279

On all electric, acoustic and original guitars, the bridge holds the strings in place on the body. Guitar_sentence_280

There are many varied bridge designs. Guitar_sentence_281

There may be some mechanism for raising or lowering the bridge saddles to adjust the distance between the strings and the fretboard (action), or fine-tuning the intonation of the instrument. Guitar_sentence_282

Some are spring-loaded and feature a "whammy bar", a removable arm that lets the player modulate the pitch by changing the tension on the strings. Guitar_sentence_283

The whammy bar is sometimes also called a "tremolo bar". Guitar_sentence_284

(The effect of rapidly changing pitch is properly called "vibrato". Guitar_sentence_285

See Tremolo for further discussion of this term.) Guitar_sentence_286

Some bridges also allow for alternate tunings at the touch of a button. Guitar_sentence_287

On almost all modern electric guitars, the bridge has saddles that are adjustable for each string so that intonation stays correct up and down the neck. Guitar_sentence_288

If the open string is in tune, but sharp or flat when frets are pressed, the bridge saddle position can be adjusted with a screwdriver or hex key to remedy the problem. Guitar_sentence_289

In general, flat notes are corrected by moving the saddle forward and sharp notes by moving it backwards. Guitar_sentence_290

On an instrument correctly adjusted for intonation, the actual length of each string from the nut to the bridge saddle is slightly, but measurably longer than the scale length of the instrument. Guitar_sentence_291

This additional length is called compensation, which flattens all notes a bit to compensate for the sharping of all fretted notes caused by stretching the string during fretting. Guitar_sentence_292

The saddle of a guitar refers to the part of the bridge that physically supports the strings. Guitar_sentence_293

It may be one piece (typically on acoustic guitars) or separate pieces, one for each string (electric guitars and basses). Guitar_sentence_294

The saddle's basic purpose is to provide the end point for the string's vibration at the correct location for proper intonation, and on acoustic guitars to transfer the vibrations through the bridge into the top wood of the guitar. Guitar_sentence_295

Saddles are typically made of plastic or bone for acoustic guitars, though synthetics and some exotic animal tooth variations (e.g. fossilized tooth, ivory, etc. ) have become popular with some players. Guitar_sentence_296

Electric guitar saddles are typically metal, though some synthetic saddles are available. Guitar_sentence_297

The pickguard, also known as the scratchplate, is usually a piece of laminated plastic or other material that protects the finish of the top of the guitar from damage due to the use of a plectrum ("pick") or fingernails. Guitar_sentence_298

Electric guitars sometimes mount pickups and electronics on the pickguard. Guitar_sentence_299

It is a common feature on steel-string acoustic guitars. Guitar_sentence_300

Some performance styles that use the guitar as a percussion instrument (tapping the top or sides between notes, etc.), such as flamenco, require that a scratchplate or pickguard be fitted to nylon-string instruments. Guitar_sentence_301

Strings Guitar_section_22

See also: Classical guitar strings Guitar_sentence_302

The standard guitar has six strings, but four-, seven-, eight-, nine-, ten-, eleven-, twelve-, thirteen- and eighteen-string guitars are also available. Guitar_sentence_303

Classical and flamenco guitars historically used gut strings, but these have been superseded by polymer materials, such as nylon and fluorocarbon. Guitar_sentence_304

Modern guitar strings are constructed from metal, polymers, or animal or plant product materials. Guitar_sentence_305

Instruments utilizing "steel" strings may have strings made from alloys incorporating steel, nickel or phosphor bronze. Guitar_sentence_306

Bass strings for both instruments are wound rather than monofilament. Guitar_sentence_307

Pickups and electronics Guitar_section_23

Books, journals Guitar_section_24

Online Guitar_section_25


  • Sethares, William A. (2001). (PDF). University of Wisconsin. Retrieved 20 May 2016.Guitar_item_0_0
  • Turnbull, Harvey et al. . Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 20 May 2016.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)Guitar_item_0_1

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