Parts of Jazz Archtop Guitars Defined

At Fine Archtops, we just love jazz archtop guitars! We realize that sometimes people throw around certain terms when describing various parts of guitars, so we thought we would take some time to list some of the main parts of jazz archtop guitars and what they mean.

Action – This is the height between the fretboard and the strings.

Archtop – A type of guitar that has an arched soundboard. Generally favored by jazz musicians, but they can also be used in a variety of other musical styles too.

Bridge – This is part of the guitar body that the strings are attached to. Also holds the saddle.

Fret – This is a strip of metal on the guitar’s fretboard that indicates the notes’ locations for the guitar strings.

Intonation – This indicates an instrument’s ability to hold and play the correct note.

Luthier – a person who builds guitars.

Neck – This is the long piece that extends out of the body of the guitar. This is where the frets and fret markers are. The fret markers denote where a guitar player should press a string in order to produce a specific note or chord.

Nut – Located at the top of the fretboard, this is a rigid slotted bar that is used to separate and raise the guitar strings. The saddle is located at the other end. They both keep the guitar strings off of the fretboard, which lets them vibrate and create sustained notes.

Pick guard – Often made out of plastic, a pick guard is an overlay that will protect the guitar body’s finish from scratches and other damage that can be caused by a guitar pick or fingernail.

Saddle – Located near the base of the guitar, it is a rigid bar at the other end of the guitar strings from the nut. This is where guitar players can raise or lower the action of the guitar. Modern guitars will have a drop-in saddle that is easily removed after the strings have been taken off. But if you have a guitar with a through-cut saddle, a professional should be the one to raise or lower the action.

Tuning – This is the action of adjusting the tuning keys of the guitar until the guitar string is vibrating at the correct frequency and sounding the proper note or notes.

Are you interested in learning more about jazz archtop guitars and how to get one customized just for you? Call Fine Archtops at 612-366-7120 or Contact Us.