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Beginner Guitar - Absolute Basics: Parts of the Guitar & Tuning

Welcome to your first guitar lesson! This lesson is a small part of our Beginner Guitar Private Lessons here at The Music Gallery. Click Here to sign up and continue with our course.


Anatomy of the Guitar

First and foremost, lets take a quick look at the basic anatomy of the guitar. The guitar is made of 3 distinct pieces. They are the body, neck, and headstock:


Anatomy of Guitar


Each of these basic pieces houses certain features and hardware to give the guitar its full function. Let's take a closer look at the features and hardware that is standard on most electric guitars:

Guitar Body Hardware


  • Strap Button - Used to attach the strap to the body

  • Pickup - Like a microphone. These "pick up" the sound of the strings

  • Bridge - Secures the strings to the body

  • Output Jack - This is where you plug in a cable to connect to an amplifier

  • Pickup Selector - Turns individual pickups on or off

  • Volume Knob - Adjusts the output volume to the amplifier

  • Tone Knob - adjusts treble and bass in the guitar's tone

    Parts of the Guitar Neck
    • Frets - Divides the neck into notes. Each fret corresponds to a different note.

    • Fret Maker Inlays - makes navigating the fretboard easier.

      Parts of the Guitar Headstock
      • Nut - sets the string to the correct height and spacing

      • Tuning Keys - adjusts the tension and pitch of each string

      • String Trees - keeps strings from coming unseated from the nut slot

      Strings of the guitar

      Strings of the guitar

      Each guitar string is tuned to a standard pitch. The pitch is dialed in by tightening or loosening the string with the tuning keys and to a specific note. From thickest to thinnest, the notes in standard tuning are E-A-D-G-B-E 

      Its easy to remember with this mnemonic device: Eddie Ate Dynamite. Good Bye, Eddie

      Tuning the Guitar

      There are several good methods to tune a guitar, but I recommend either using an electronic tuner or a reference tone.

      D'addario Eclipse Tuner
      This electronic tuner clips onto the headstock of the guitar and reads the instruments vibration through the headstock. That vibration tells it the name of the note that is vibrating. Some amps, such as the  Fender Mustang even have an electronic tuner built in.

      WARNING! Over-tightening the string can cause it to break! Broken strings happen to every guitar player at every level. It's not like its the end of the world, but its a definite bummer.
      Don't worry if you don't have an electronic tuner or a piano nearby. We've supplied you with some reference tones below.

      Low E String

      A String

      D String

      G String

      B String

      High E String

      Now you're all tuned up and ready to rock. Make sure you check out some of our other tutorials and lessons. 

      Click Here to take the next step and learn how to read music for guitar


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