5

I was trying to describe a part of the guitar to a friend a I could not come up with the proper name for it. I was try to refer to the two points on the body of an electric guitar where typically part of the strap typically goes on one side. I've included a picture and circled the parts on the guitar that I'm referring to.

enter image description here

Is there a proper name for those parts of the guitar?

  • 3
    I don't think there is a specific name; I've heard people call them 'horns', especially when referring to Gibson SGs – Shevliaskovic Jul 12 '16 at 16:41
9

They are indeed called horns. In the 60s/70s, Burns made some electric guitars called Black Bison, I seem to remember,and the horns did resemble those of a bison.The cutaway is necessary to reach higher frets, but if the horns were removed as well, the balance of the instrument would be compromised even more. Besides which,as you say, most manufacturers need the top horn to fit the strap button to.

  • 2
    I've seen a guitar or three without horns and they look ugly (I don't mean flying V or voyager style designs, I mean ones that would have horns but the horn is cut off) - somehow we've been programmed over the last 100+ years to need some of that classic guitar shape to be retained even with a double cutaway. Even ESP LTD guitars with just very small horns don't look right. – Todd Wilcox Jul 12 '16 at 16:59
  • 1
    Doubtful, as the majority of lefties would expect the whole thing to be mirror image. Excepting Jimi, of course, who really didn't mind which way the guitar was. Good job he had a preference for Strats - or was that why? – Tim Jul 12 '16 at 17:43
  • 1
    Les Claypool had Carl Thompson build him a custom 6-string and actually had to have them rework it to include a longer horn to balance the instrument. I think the balance consideration is a little more important on basses since they have a longer scale (more leverage) and are heavier in general, not to say that it's not important on guitars. – Basstickler Jul 12 '16 at 17:49
  • 2
    @Basstickler - that's fair. On six of my basses, the top horn is level with about fret 14, and they all balance really well. It also puts the strap button in a good place - with a shorter horn, it would tip. – Tim Jul 12 '16 at 18:11
  • 1
    Agreed, @Basstickler. The "balance" of the guitar on your leg is much more apparent to me with a bass than with a guitar. – user6164 Jul 13 '16 at 13:55
4

They're called horns:

enter image description here

The indentations next to them (beside the neck) are referred to as cutouts or cutaways, and are usually more often what is referenced in relation to the general shape of a guitar body. In the image I've provided, the guitar is a single cutaway, and the image you have shown is a double cutaway.

  • Did you make up 'tricep'? Never heard of that one! – Tim Jul 12 '16 at 17:10
  • 2
    I did not make this image, and I have not heard "tricep" anymore than I've heard "Jackhole". :P – Dedwards Jul 12 '16 at 17:36
  • 1
    Yes, jackhole did sound a little out of order - it's always been a jack socket to me. Although after explaining to a student that the plug was called a jack, he asked if the corresponding part on the guitar was Jill... – Tim Jul 12 '16 at 17:39
  • 1
    I always understood the socket to be the jack, and the type of plug that mates with a jack can be referred to as a jack plug. OED agrees: oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/jack – nekomatic Jul 13 '16 at 8:17
  • 3
    @Dedwards You may not have made this image, but it does not make it correct. The only parts that are correct are the joint, shoulder, waist and horn. Everything else is entirely fictional, made up by whoever made the image. – Graham Jul 13 '16 at 10:35

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.