Affordable Guitar Parts Buying Guide

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Affordable Guitar Parts Buying Guide

The humble guitar has been providing entertainment for people all over the world for centuries, and it is still the backbone of any modern rock and pop act. The guitar is the most popular instrument with amateur musicians because of its relatively low price-tag; however, a guitar needs finely tuning, and even the slightest of mistakes in this area can lead to an inferior sound. In order to keep them in prime condition, they must be maintained on a regular basis
A significant part of learning how to play the guitar involves the tuning and maintenance of the instrument, and finding the correct spare parts is essential in this area. However, finding affordable guitar parts is not always easy, and paying more than is necessary is often more expensive than buying a completely new guitar.
Although the three main varieties of guitar have the same fundamental design, many of the spare parts are not interchangeable. Bass, acoustic and electric guitars work in very much the same way, but they all require parts specifically designed for them.

What to Consider When Buying Affordable Parts for a Guitar

It is best practice to keep a stock of spare parts for a guitar – particularly for professional artists. However, beginners often don't know where to begin, and they can end up paying far more than is necessary. Understanding the different spare parts of a guitar is best done by referring to the structure of the average instrument.


A headstock can be found on the end of the majority of guitars, and it is the platform for the instrument's machines heads. Sometimes referred to as tuning heads, these knobs are used to tighten and loosen strings in order to find the correct note. Most guitars have six machines heads, but bass guitars usually have four. One of the hallmarks of a Fender guitar is a headstock with all of the guitar's machine heads on one side. Some guitars are fitted with locking heads which are ideal for beginners or those who move their instrument around a great deal.


The nut of the guitar is located between the headstock and the neck, and it is there to help keep strings in place. A faulty or substandard nut is often a major contributing factor to an out-of-tune guitar, as it has a tendency to bind against the strings. The majority of acoustic guitars are fitted with a standard nut, but the nut on an electric guitar is usually capable of being locked into place.


Frets have a very small part to play in the quality of sound that a guitar generates; they are there to aid the player in the location of notes. A fretboard can be made from a number of woods, but the differences in sound created are so slight it is hard for the amateur player to tell the difference. Particularly for beginners, a cheap fretboard will perform a job every bit as good as more costly versions.


The bridge is located on the body of the guitar, and its main function is to hold the strings in place. While the bridge has an effect on the sound created, beginners will find that basic, more affordable bridges will perform an adequate job.

Scratch Plate

While the scratch plate was originally fitted to guitars to protect the guitar top from vociferous strumming, they are usually fitted onto guitars for purely cosmetic reasons. The most affordable scratch plates are usually made with durable plastic.

The Electronic Control

Intended for electric and electro-acoustic guitars, electric controls are usually plastic, wooden, or metallic knobs that are used to change tone, volume, and pickup selection.

Selecting the Most Affordable Strings for a Guitar

While beginners and amateurs will often disregard the type of strings they are using, the effect they have on the overall sound a guitar creates should not be underestimated. The most affordable strings are often those made with just one material - such as nylon. However, there are strings that use a combination of two different materials, and the outer surface of the string is covered with a tightly-wound metal of some kind. Strings can be bought in a wide variety of styles and thicknesses, and musicians often need to experiment with all of the different types to find a solution that best meets their individual playing style. A standard acoustic guitar will usually be sold with three metal strings and three made with nylon. While these may be the cheapest options in some cases, many guitarists prefer the more distinctive sound created from woven strings.

Acoustic Guitar Strings

The guitar strings on an acoustic model are usually subject to far more abuse than those on electric guitars, as they need to be struck harder to be heard. Buying cheap nylon strings will be cheaper, but they will deliver a poorer overall sound.

Bronze Wound Guitar Strings

Copper and tin are used to manufacture bronze wound guitar strings, but paying a little more for a zinc-based bronze will result in the strings lasting longer – perhaps a more cost-effective purchase in the long run. Generally, these strings require replacing regularly, but some players actually favour the sound created by slightly eroded bronze strings.

Phospor Bronze Wound Guitar Strings

The phosphor in these strings makes the bronze more resistant to the corrosion they can suffer as a result of direct contact with human hands. They are now widely used in modern guitars, and they deliver what is considered to be a warmer sound.

Electric Guitar Strings

Strings intended for an electric guitar do not need to create loud noises as they are amplified. Sound is created by electromagnetism, and that means they require completely different strings.

Pure Nickel Wound Guitar Strings

Although they are described as pure nickel, these strings usually contain other metals as well. Pure nickel wound strings were used in the original electric guitars, and they are still favoured by musicians looking for the classic rock and roll sound.

Nickel Plated Steel Guitar Strings

The vast majority of modern guitars are sold with nickel plated steel guitar strings, as the steel that covers them reduces interference from friction with the fingers. The abundance of this type of string on the market makes them the most affordable option in many cases, and many musicians prefer them because of the bright sound they create.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel strings deliver an all-round performance that many musicians will pay a premium for. They are more resistant to corrosion than other types of string. Despite these obvious benefits, however, steel is a more abrasive metal than nickel, and that can cause premature wear to frets.

Buying Affordable Parts for Guitars on eBay

An accurate search for guitar parts on eBay can be performed by searching by category. This type of search begins by clicking the All Categories link near the top of the page. This will reveal a list of categories, and the Musical Instruments link should be chosen, followed by the Search icon. A new page will be presented, and a list of sub-categories will be displayed on the left of that page. The link entitled Guitars should be selected, and a new list of sub-categories will then appear. The sub-category of Accessories should be clicked, and a list of current guitar parts and accessories for sale will be displayed. There will be a number of check-boxes on the left of the screen that allow to narrow the list of results down to only the most pertinent items. It will then be possible to use price, condition, or a number of other factors to find the ideal guitar parts for certain needs.


Just like a car, buying a guitar is not simply a matter of investing in the initial product. A guitar is a living, breathing instrument, and it will inevitably need care and maintenance over its lifespan. The key to minimising the cost of maintaining this beautiful instrument is shopping around for the most affordable parts possible. Which parts most suit a particular player will be a matter of personal taste, but in many cases only very specific parts will suitable for the different types of guitar. Professionals will often not want to deviate from their tried and trusted guitar parts, but beginners can amateurs can drastically reduce the cost of maintenance by searching for the most affordable parts and accessories possible on eBay.

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