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Video:Profile of the Neck of a Guitar

with Rick Tedesco

Guitars are very popular instruments and if you want to play a guitar you should know some information about its parts. The neck of a guitar is an extremely important part of the guitar and it’s components all have a purpose and function.See Transcript

Transcript:Profile of the Neck of a Guitar

Hi! I’m Rick Tedesco for About.com and today I’m going to tell you about the different parts of the neck of a guitar and what is each parts does. We’re here at Guitar Hangar in Brookfield, Connecticut. Guitars are among the most played instruments, mostly because they are affordable and they dominate popular music. When playing the guitar, it’s helpful to know some of its parts. All guitars, whether electric or acoustic, share the same basic components. One of these components is the neck, the long, thin piece that extends from the body of the guitar.

The neck of a guitar is sometimes made of one piece of wood. Sometimes it’s split down the middle and the middle section is flipped, so that the grain fights itself, making it more stable. Neck woods are sometimes maple, sometimes their mahogany, generally it’s a hard wood for stability.

The Guitar Neck is Made of the Following Parts:

  • Fretboard
  • Frets
  • Headstock
  • Nut
  • Truss Rod

The Pitch and Chords are Controlled on the Fretboard

The most obvious of these is the fretboard. The fretboard is the flat portion of the neck that faces the audience while the instrument is being played. It is on the fretboard that chords are formed. The fretboard can be constructed from any one of a variety of hard woods, including ebony, rosewood and maple.

Another feature of the fret board is the position markers, or sometimes called inlays, on the front and side of the guitar. They are on the third, fifth, seventh, ninth, twelfth and so on up the fretboard. And they help the player find the positions, visually, along the fretboard.We move on to The Frets. Located at intervals along the fretboard are the frets—the frets are a thin piece of metal that are set into the wood of the fretboard.

The job of the fret is to determine the pitch of the instrument when strummed or plucked. When you push down on a note, on a fret, what you’re actually doing is shortening the string because now you have a metal position here and a metal position here. The shorter the string, the higher the note. Next we have the headstock.

Guitar Tuning is Controlled at the Headstock

At the top of the guitar, farthest from the body, is the headstock. This is where the tuning keys, or machine heads, are located. The tuning keys allow the musician to tune a string to a specific note.

Located in between the fretboard and headstock is the nut, the nut is a thin piece of material with grooves in it for each string. The nut guides and maintains the position of strings along the neck, as well as having an impact on the action of the strings, the distance between the bottom of the strings and the top of the fretboard.

The Truss Rod is Inside the Neck of the Guitar

Finally we’ll move on to the truss rod. Truss rods can be located at the headstock, or in this particular model at the base of the neck. Running inside the entire length of the neck is the truss rod. The purpose of the truss rod is to adjust any curvature that might form in the neck due to excessive humidity, string tension or even the natural aging of the wood.

The neck of the guitar, is an important part of the guitar and you’ll need to have all the facts. To learn more about Guitars and other music topics, please visit about.com Thanks for watching.
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