Posted by Art Of Legend India [dot] Com On 6:21 AM
Summary: An interesting piece explaining the material and construction methods used to create a guitar.
The guitar is one of the most common and recognisable instruments in the UK, and one of the easiest instruments to pick up and start playing. Modern guitars developed from traditional instruments such as the lute or mandolin, and the way in which they are made has changed over the years too.
Most acoustic guitars are made from wood, but the type of wood can differ depending on where in the world the guitar is made, and what sort of sound it is being designed to produce. It is also quite common for the front of the guitar to be made from one sort of wood, and the sides, back and neck from another type of wood. Commonly used varieties of wood include maple, spruce and rosewood. To make the finished product look more attractive, the single sheet of wood which is going to be used to make the front is sliced horizontally through the middle like a sandwich so that the two pieces can be put back together in order to make the front of the guitar look symmetrical.
Once the wood has been chosen and cut into shape to make the front, back and sides, the manufacturer then starts putting the bits together to form the guitar shape. As the bits are glued, struts and bars are put inside the guitar’s body, partly to make it more rigid and partly to help the acoustics and the way the sound reverberates around inside the body when the strings are plucked or strummed. Experience gained over many years of making flamenco guitars or other acoustic guitars gives the manufacturer the knowledge about where best to position the struts to get the best sound.
Once the body has been glued together and trimmed to finish it off, the neck is then attached. The wood used to make the neck is usually a hardwood like mahogany, and the fingerboard is then secured on before it is attached onto the body. Most guitars have six strings, although the length and design of the neck will depend on the style of the guitar. The bridge, which is the part of the guitar where the strings are secured to, is then glued at the other side of the hole in the guitar. After the basic structure of body, neck and bridge is all fixed together, any decoration is applied. Flamenco guitars are usually plain with little embellishment, but other sorts of guitars have different types of wood inlaid on the top to make designs and patterns on the wood. All types of guitars are given several layers of varnish or lacquer to improve the appearance and protect the wood.
The final step of the process is adding the strings to the guitar and then tuning it. Guitar strings were previously made from animal gut, but are now mostly plastic or metal, depending on the type of guitar. After the strings are added and secured at both ends, the guitar is tuned using the pegs at the end of the neck to make sure it gives the correct notes.