Flamenco Guitar construction parts

Flamenco guitars are somehow different and more suitable to play flamenco music than classical guitars


Sides & backs (Aros y fondos): The curved sides and the back of the flamenco guitar. Traditional flamenco guitars have sides with a smaller width. This increases its resonance since sound waves bounce with an increased strength against the back of the guitar. Traditionally made of from Spanish cypress to characterize the typical flamenco sound. More modern flamenco guitars have sides and backs made form rosewood (palosanto) like classical guitars, projecting more sustain while keeping the voluminous flamenco sound and attack.Flamenco guitar parts

Body (Caja): The main part of the guitar composed by the top, back and sides as well as by the bridge. Traditionally the soundboard or top of flamenco guitars is made from old aged spruce.

Headstock (cabeza): The part of the neck where the tuning pegs or tuning machines (Clavijero) are located. The design of the guitar head also reveals the luthier his identity. Originally flamenco guitars had wooden tuning pegs like the violins. Many flamenco guitarists still like these traditional flamenco pegs since they are lighter in weight, resulting in the feel of a quicker attack.

Fretboard (Diapasón): The part of the neck where the frets are located. The flamenco guitar string action above the fretboard is lower than that of a classical guitar, usually less than 3 mm on the 12th fret. This supports the flamenco guitarist to play faster during rapid rhythmic picados. It also reduces left hand fatigue and can create string buzzing, traditionally, a common aspect to enhance the flamenco guitar sound.

Tap plates (Golpeador): A very thin plastic shaped plate placed on the outside of the top of the guitar protecting the top when the guitarist performs all kind of different rhythmical golpes on the top of the guitar. Often a small golpeador is placed behind the bridge to protect the top of the flamenco guitar when changing strings.

Bridge (Puente): The part of the body where the strings are fastened.  Traditionally the flamenco guitar string action between the soundboard and strings at the bridge and the saddle height is lower than that of a classical guitar. This supports the flamenco guitarist to play right hand rhythmical rasgueados and finger tapping on the golpeador.

Top (Tapa): The front wooden part or soundboard of the body having the bridge and sound hole. Typically made of spruce with a high vibration index to release sound waves as as clearly as possible.

Nut (Hueso de Diapasón): Small white piece of dense & durable bone or ivory holding the strings off the fingerboard near the guitar head. Nut height is generally set up a fraction higher than the fret height. If strings are touching the frets the nut needs to be replaced. Nut position is often compensated by moving the nut a bit forward towards the bridge avoiding the guitar to play sharper in the lower frets.

Saddle (Hueso de Puente):Thin, usually white piece of durable bone or ivory that resting in the bridge slot. The slot for the saddle is often skewed 1 or 2 mm in the bridge to have a slightly crooked bone position. This is done to compensate for strings sounding to high in the higher fret positions. Another way to compensate the saddle is by moving the bridge rearwards from its nominal position when attaching the bridge to the top of the guitar.

Upper Bout: The curved area as you proceed down from the neck

Lower Bout: The largest projecting part of the body where most of the sound is produced