Structure of the Guitar

  • Richard Mark French

All guitars, no matter the type, have components in common and are subject to the same types of loads. The strings must be brought to the correct tension for the instrument to be in tune, so the neck and body must resist the resulting compressive load. In addition, there are dynamic loads when the instrument is played. Finally, there are forces generated by temperature and humidity changes. While these might not be the most obvious sources of loading, they are a very common source of structural failure. It makes sense, then, to explore the structure of guitars and how they are designed to be strong enough to withstand both playing and environmental loads while still being light enough to radiate sound.

Basic Components

Most guitars have a neck and body as distinct structural components. These two components must resist the tensile forces in the strings as shown in Figure 3.1. Like all practical structures, guitars are a compromise between mutually opposing requirements. Start first...


String Tension Area Moment Light Wood Unidirectional Carbon Fiber Glue Joint 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard Mark French
    • 1
  1. 1.Purdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA

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