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What Are The Parts of A Bass Guitar? (16-Part Diagram and Anatomy)

Learn about the different parts of a bass guitar and how they contribute to its unique sound. From the body and neck to the pickups and strings, explore the anatomy of this essential instrument for any bassist.

Bass Guitar Parts Diagram

Here’s a bass guitar parts diagram for a standard, 4-string bass guitar.

Take note that some parts of the bass may have alternative names.

Some examples are:

  • Tuning pegs/ heads
  • Fret markers/ inlays
  • Fretboard/ fingerboard
  • Pickguard/ scratch plate
Parts of a bass guitar diagram

Parts of a bass guitar explained


Headstock: The headstock is the top part of the bass guitar where the tuning pegs are located, used for adjusting the pitch of the strings.

Tuning Pegs

Tuning Pegs: Tuning pegs are small knobs on the headstock that tighten or loosen the strings to achieve the correct pitch, allowing for tuning the bass guitar.


Nut: The nut is a small, usually white, piece at the top of the neck that separates and guides the strings, ensuring proper spacing and tension as they pass over it.

Fretboard/ fingerboard

Fretboard/ Fingerboard: The fretboard, also called the fingerboard, is the flat, long surface on the neck of the bass guitar where players press down on the strings to create different notes and pitches.


Neck: The neck is the long, narrow part of the bass guitar extending from the body to the headstock, where the fretboard is attached.


Frets: Frets are raised metal wires embedded in the fretboard, dividing it into 12 distinct, half-step notes/intervals. Pressing a string against a fret changes the pitch when played.

Note: whenever you’re asked to “fret a note”, you’ll play behind the fret, and not on top of it.

Fret markers/ inlays

Fret Markers/Inlays: Fret markers or inlays are visual indicators on the fretboard, usually dots or shapes, that help players navigate and identify specific frets while playing.


Body: The body of the bass guitar is the larger, typically contoured part that houses the pickups and provides resonance and sustain.

Strap button

Strap Button: Strap buttons are small metal fixtures on the body of the bass guitar where a strap can be attached, allowing the player to wear the bass guitar while standing.


Pickguard: The pickguard is a protective plate usually located below the strings and above the body, shielding the body from damage caused by a player’s picking.

Volume knob

Volume Knob: The volume knob is a control on the body of the bass guitar that adjusts the instrument’s overall output volume.

Tone knob

Tone Knob: The tone knob is another control on the body, which alters the tonal characteristics of the bass guitar, making the sound brighter or mellower.

Jack (input)

Input Jack: The jack, generally located on the body, is where a cable is plugged in to connect the bass guitar to an amplifier or other audio equipment.


Bridge: The bridge is a component on the body of the bass guitar that anchors the strings and transfers their vibrations to the body, contributing to the instrument’s sound.


Pickups: Pickups are electromagnetic devices placed on the body beneath the strings. They capture the string vibrations and convert them into electrical signals for amplification.

Think of them as built-in microphones for the bass.


Strings: The strings are the primary sound-producing elements on a bass guitar, typically made of metal and stretched along the length of the neck and body. They are plucked or struck to create sound.

Bass guitar parts diagram PDF

Parts of a bass guitar summary

In summary, you can divide the parts of a bass into 3 primary sections:

  1. The neck
  2. The body
  3. The guts (internal parts)

Work on memorizing the bass parts by section. Don’t worry too much about the formal functions and definitions of each part.

You’ll gain a much better understanding of the parts by playing your bass guitar, rather than analyzing the parts over and over again with the diagram.