Playing the guitar can get you a lot of attention at a party or in a group of friends. People always turn to the guy with the guitar and ask him to play part of a recognizable song. This can make you feel ignored if you have nothing to offer to the situation.
But if you are musically inept, there are ways you can compete with the guitar guy. If you learn some things about the guitar, such as terms and mechanics of the instrument, you can impress your friends and possibly even the guy holding the guitar at your next dinner party.
The three B's are what you should learn first. The binding is the trim that runs along the top and sides of the guitar. The binding can give the guitar a more polished look, and it protects the edge of the guitar from small scratches and bumps.
The second B is the body of the guitar. The body can be one piece of wood (electric guitars) or it can consist of the top, back, and sides. The third B is the bridge. The bridge is the piece that separates the strings from the anchor part of the instrument. The bridge can also anchor the strings depending on the type of the guitar.
The neck is probably the most important part of a guitar. The neck is what attaches the strings from the base of the guitar to the tuning pegs. The fingerboard is attached to the neck and is usually made of a specialty wood, such as rosewood or walnut.
On the fingerboard are frets - the raised pieces of metal or wood that helps keep the string from vibrating too much so a better sound comes out of it. Many guitars also have dots on the fingerboard for a quick and easy reference for playing notes and chords.
The P's are humorous sounding, but their meanings do not come close to their auditory assumptions. For instance, pickups do not relate to getting a partner with your music, but they are actually a characteristic of the electric guitar. They serve the same purpose that frets do on an acoustic instrument, but the pickups will determine the vibrations before sending them to an amplifier.
The pickguard is the piece of plastic that is located right under the hole of an acoustic, or it can be a piece of metal that is attached to the body of the guitar. Basically, the pickguard is there just to make sure that you don't scratch up your instrument, or break your nails. Lastly, there is the plug, which is used as a means to plug in your amplifier.
There are a few other phrases that you can brush up on in order to get a better feel for guitar jargon. However, some of them are basic and self-explanatory.
For instance, if you don't know what strings are, you don't need to talk about guitars (or live outside of the large rock that you have been hiding under). Tone control, volume control, tailpiece, and the top should all be terms that you can figure out without breaking too much of a sweat.
The mechanics of a guitar doesn't really make for a fascinating conversation at a party. It hardly compares to being able to actually play a cool tune on the guitar.
If you want to learn about guitars, do it for your own benefit and knowledge instead of to try to impress people at a party. If the guy playing the guitar at the party bothers you, the best thing to do is to get over it and just enjoy the atmosphere.
About the Author
Mike Selvon owns a number of niche portal. Please visit our guitar portal for more great tips on starting to learn guitar vocabulary.