Learning Acoustic Guitar: The Parts of the Guitar and Proper Posture

By Scott Forrester

Though it may seem to be a daunting task at first, learning to play the acoustic guitar really isn't as hard as some people make it out to be. Every skill has a starting point and the guitar is no exception. The best place to begin, is by learning every single part of the guitar, because once you know how it works you'll be better able to understand it, and therefore be able to play it better. The acoustic guitar is fairly simple and doesn't sport quite as many parts as other guitars might, so we can go over them relatively fast:

1. The biggest part is the body. This is where all the sound comes from, and it emits those sounds through a hole that is carved in the center. This is also where the strings run through from the neck of the guitar.

2. Next there is the bridge. What is the bridge? It is right behind the hole, and the strings are attached to it. This part is usually made out of wood, at least on most guitars.

3. Then there is the neck, which is on the other end of the guitar's body. The neck is on the left, and is long and skinny. The guitar strings go from the bridge all the way to the top of the neck to the tuning keys.

4. The frets are an equally important part of the guitar; there are usually twenty four of them and you can cause the guitar to emit different sounds by placing your fingers behind them and in different positions.

5. The nut is a rather important part, and it is a divider that is placed in between the neck and head. It is grooved and keeps the headstock from moving during play.

6. Next there is the headstock, which is the topmost section on the neck. This is where the tuning keys are situated.

7. What exactly are tuning keys? Those are the metal table located either on the side or the bottom of the head stock, and they are used for tuning the guitar. If the guitar is in tune then it will actually sound right, as opposed to when it is not in tune.

So those are the basic parts of the guitar. After you have learned that you will need to learn to keep good posture while playing, that way your instrument will sound great when you play! Next we will tell you exactly how to accomplish that.

For right handed players: Begin in a sitting position, and raise one of your knees just a little bit. Put the guitar body in such a way that you are holding the neck to the left. Take the neck with your left, and then put the pick in your right. This is a decent posture, and one suitable for playing the guitar. If you need to, you can always use a strap.

If you need to play with your left handed, then just reverse the posture and make sure that you're comfortable. You can sit in any way that you want, so long as you are comfortable and that the guitar sounds right. - 30217

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