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MusicRadar Basics: parts of an electric guitar

Everything you need to know to get started

MusicRadar Basics: electric guitar part 1 – parts of an electric guitar

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If you've just bought your first guitar it's a good idea to get to know your new instrument, so we're going to take you through what's what.

First up are the strings. There are six of them, and, of course, you simply strum or pick them to make a sound.

The strings are attached to the body at the bridge, which is also where you can adjust the fine-tuning of the guitar – although this is best left alone for now, until you're more experienced with your guitar.

The sound of the strings is captured via the pickups, and most guitars have at least one knob to alter the volume and the tone of the sound that the pickups produce.

Volume pots control volume (funnily enough) and the tone knobs control the higher frequencies on each pickup. So, if it's turned up to 10 your guitar will sound trebly; if it's all the way down it'll sound bassier.

Most guitars also have a switch that allows you to select the different pickups on your guitar – each pickup has a different sound, as they are positioned on different parts of the body.

The strings run along the length of the neck. These metal wires are called frets. Simply press down on a string just behind a fret to produce a new note. Pick the string, and there you go...

The strings are connected to the guitar at the other end of the neck via the machineheads. The machineheads are used to tune your guitar. We'll show you how to tune up in the next video…

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