It is believed that the acoustic guitar has been in existence as early as the 14th century, though the one we know today has been heavily modified since then to produce an even more melodious sound. It is a 6-stringed instrument, made up of superior quality wood. The following are the parts of the guitar that have a key role in its working, and are responsible in making it sound as melodious as possible.
The Body of the Guitar
The body of the guitar, also often known as the box, is essentially hollow and has a round hole in its front. This hole, combined with a good shape of the body ensures good sound. A dented, broken, or a cracked body hampers or distorts the sound. Usually, the body has a specific shape, though, with the help of modern technology various shapes are possible. The conventional shape resembles an English '8' and is known to produce the best sound. The sound box and sound hole transfer the sound to the air, and amplify it so that the human ear is able to hear it.
The Neck of the Guitar
The neck of the guitar contains the frets, that are used to hold down the strings to produce notations. The end of the fret board contains the head of the guitar and the tuning keys. The tuning keys are used to put tension on the strings in such a manner, that the six strings of the guitar when played (in the open form, without pressing the strings) give the notations; E, A ,D ,G, B and E. The fret board is a part of the guitar's neck and has frets attached on to it. It is used to produce different notations. The standard notations that are produced with the help of the fretboard are A, A#, B, C, C#, D, D#, E, F,F#, G, G#.
A soundboard is an alignment of the head of the guitar, the fretboard, and the sound hole. One end of the strings are attached to the tuning keys or pegs. The second end is attached to the bridge of the guitar. A saddle gives the strings the required elevation and keeps them from touching the body.
The Production of Sound
Sound is produced when the strings are plucked, either with the fingers or with a plectrum. The plucking of the strings causes them to vibrate. These vibrations are transferred to the soundboard and the along the whole length of the strings. The vibrations travel to the end that is fixed on the bridge. On the way, the saddle absorbs the vibrations and they are transferred to the bridge, and then to the interior of the body or the sound box. The air inside the sound box absorbs the vibrations and ultimately, the amplified notation floats out of the sound hole. This process takes place with every notation. Guitar players hold down the strings in various different combinations on the fret board to produce multiple notations and different sounds.
The development of electronics have promoted the use of electric guitars. However, the basic principle of working remains the same. The only difference is that in case of acoustic guitars, sound is produced when the vibrations are passed to the sound box, while in the case of electric guitars, sound is produced via a magnetic field.