I am trying to figure out what the metal piece is at the end of the soundboard. I am just learning to play. Can someone please explain what that piece is and what it is supposed to do?

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It's called a tailpiece. It's there to keep the strings' ends in their right places. Instead of the strings stopping directly behind the bridge, their ends are trapped in slots, and the tension they produce is taken to the end of the guitar, which saves it from pulling on the body of the guitar.

  • 1
    You will also find on some electric guitars, tailpieces that are integral with the bridge (combination bridge & tailpiece), and some that have a "whammy bar". Feb 11 '18 at 2:24
  • Banjos also have tailpieces, always, since the banjo's bridge is movable and cannot support string tension. Feb 11 '18 at 17:40
  • 2
    @WayneConrad - my couple of banjos don't have tailpieces as such - the strings just get anchored to the metal rim, which isn't really a tailpiece, but a part of the surrounding.
    – Tim
    Feb 11 '18 at 17:45

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