Guitar Glossary


A simple guitar glossary for newcomers to the guitar and for myself because well my memory is non-existant.

  • Action – This is the string height from the frets adjusted at the bridge.
  • Bass – The low end.
  • Body – The main body of the Guitar normally made from wood but can also be made from metal, plastic and composites among other materials. The most common for the Stratocaster is Alder or Basswood.
  • Bridge – The bit on the body of the guitar where the strings attach.
  • Claw – The bit at the back of a Startocaster that the springs attach to, also can adjust the tension on the springs.
  • Fret – Where your fingers go to play chords, the shiny bits on the fretboard.
  • Fretboard – Where the frets are fitted.
  • Gauge – Used to define the thickness of the strings, t’s measured in 1/1000th of an inch. For example, a 10-gauge string is 0.010 inches.
  • Headstock – The part of the Kneck that the tuners attach to.
  • Heel – The part of the Kneck that connects to the Guitar body.
  • Intonation – Basically how in tune your guitar is along the full length of the Kneck so pretty important to get right.
  • Kneck – The bit with the fretboard and frets.
  • Nut – The small plastic or bone part at the head of the Kneck just before the headstock that is slotted for the strings to pass through.
  • Pick Guard – Protective plastic guard on the body to prevent scratches and damage.
  • Pickups – The coils with the magnets, the magnetic fields get disturbed when you play the strings.
  • Saddles – Used to adjust the guitar intonation, normally part of the bridge.
  • Spring – If you have a tremolo (vibrato) these are at the back of the guitarand used to adjust the tension on the tremelo, normally 3 springs are used on Stratocasters but can be upto 5.
  • String – The bit you pluck or strum and comes in different gauges from High E (Treble) to Low E (Bass).
  • Treble – The high end.
  • Tremolo – Or Vibrato probably more correctly is the bit with the handle that allows you to adjust the frequency of the notes by increasing or reducing tension on the strings.
  • Truss Rod – Runs through the center of the Kneck and is used to adjust the straightness of the Kneck.
  • Tuner – Standard or locking, situated on the headstock and used to apply tension to the strings to allow tuning.
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