Guitar Pickguards

Believe it or not, guitar pickguards are not just for decoration, but serve a practical purpose as well.

What is the Purpose of a Pickguard?

A guitar pickguard is the piece of plastic or other scratch-resistant material that is attached to the front of the guitar body beneath the sound hole and whose purpose is to prevent the guitar’s finish from being scratched by guitar picks.

Some types of guitar playing require more aggressive pick use, and the pickguard prevents damage to the body of the guitar, thus maintaining the integrity of the guitar’s sound.

Sometimes called scratchplates or (in Flamenco music) an ‘el golpeador’, pickguards come in a variety of designs and materials including celluloid, vinyl, PVC, plywood, fabrics, metal, mother-of-pearl, pearloid or acrylic glass. Top-of-the-line guitars may have pickguards carved from exotic or rare woods, precious metals, abalone pearl, gems, furs or even specially prepared skins, depending on the musician’s preference and budget.

Replacing a Pickguard

An older guitar’s pickguard may show decided wear and tear, including a slight curling around the edges. In such a case the owner of the guitar may decide to have the pickguard replaced. Wear and tear are not the only reasons to have pickguards replaced however. Some individuals choose to replace the pickguard that comes standard with the guitar they have purchased with a custom-made pickguard of a specialized material or design.

While it is possible to replace a pickguard yourself, it is recommended that one have a luthier replace the pickguard as incorrect removal can damage the body of the guitar due to the strong bonding adhesives used to apply the pickguards.

TABLE OF CONTENTS: Guitar Parts & Accessories

Acoustic Guitar Amps| Acoustic Guitar Bridge| Acoustic Guitar Bridge Pins| Acoustic Guitar Case| Acoustic Guitar Flight Case| Acoustic Guitar Kits| Acoustic Guitar Microphone| Acoustic Guitar Neck| Guitar Pics| Guitar Pickguards| Acoustic Guitar Pickups| Acoustic Guitar Saddle| Acoustic Guitar Stand| Acoustic Guitar Strap| Acoustic Guitar Strings| Acoustic Guitar Tuner| Acoustic Guitar Tuning

Return from Guitar Pickguards to Acoustic Guitar Parts

Return to Best Acoustic Guitars HOME

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.


Winter Clearance Sale on Guitars at Musicians Friend. Save up to 88% MSRP!

Custom Search

Newsletter

E-mail Address
First Name
Then

Don't worry — your e-mail address is totally secure.
I promise to use it only to send you Play Acoustic Guitar Newsletter.

Acoustic Guitar Reviews

Guitar Buying Guide

Child Guitar Reviews