Guitar Anatomy and tone

Well an electric guitar sure is a sexy thing!

The guitar anatomy is not as complicated as you might think. The two main parts of an electric guitar are:

  1. the body
  2. the neck

The end of the neck is called the headstock. All the other parts of the guitar are build on the body and neck. The wood which is used for the body and the neck is very important for the sound of your guitar. 

vibrate and resonate

When you plug a string it starts to vibrate. This vibrations will resonate through the entire guitar which will create a specific sound. 

You can say that every part which is attached to your guitar has an influence on the guitars tone. Some more than others of course. Here are the most important ones: 

  • The pickups
  • The bridge
  • The nut
  • The frets
  • Tone- and volume knobs

That doesn't mean that the other parts don't have an influence on the tone. They have! But not as noticeable as the ones above.

guitar anatomy: neck construction 

A neck can be constructed in three different ways:

  1. bolt-on neck
  2. set-neck
  3. neck through (neck-thru)

bolt-on neck

On the picture you can see a Stratocaster. The guitar anatomy is pretty simple. Leo Fender uses a bolt-on neck construction for his guitars. Wood screws are used to fit the neck on the body.

For a good sustain it is very important that the neck fits like a glove! It must be as tight as possible with a maximum contact between the neck and neck-pocket.

When the screws are fastened as tight as possible, there will be a big pressure between the neck and the neck pocket. This big pressure is important. The vibrations of the strings will be better transported! This means better resonation and sustain!

The bold-on neck construction of the stratocaster might look simple, but it is very effective and lots of guitarists love it!


Gibson glued his necks on the body of the guitar, the so called set-neck construction.

To make a strong joint a tenon is used. A tenon is a peace of wood at the end of the neck that fits into the body. There are short tenons, transitional tenons and long tenons.

You can read more about tenons on this page!


Another neck construction is the neck-through (neck-thru) construction. The neck and center part of the body are constructed from one peace of wood.

This will result in a very good resonance and sustain. 


On the headstock we find the machineheads, the part where the strings will be attached.

By turning the tuning pegs the strings can be tuned.

The string tree supports the higher strings so they will go correctly through the nut.

  1. Abouttone
  2.  ›
  3. Anatomy