A guitar neck is the part of the guitar in which chords are created by placing fingers in specific patterns. This part is divided into sections called frets by thin wire devices, also called frets. Typically, the frets are identified by pearl or abalone fret markers, however, some guitars do not use these markers on the neck and the neck is simply finished with a light oil.
There are two types of mounting styles used to attach the neck to the guitar body. The first is the neck through method, which uses an extension of the neck to actually make up part of the guitar body. The second is the bolt-on method. It uses screws or bolts to attach the neck to the body.
While the average guitar neck appears to be a solid piece of wood, it is not. The typical guitar neck is constructed of two or more pieces of wood that are glued together and shaped to fit the hand in a specific design. The actual neck is commonly made from a very hard wood, such as maple, to resist twisting and bowing. Inside the maple wood, a cut is made to allow the placement of a steel rod, called a truss rod, to be placed underneath the fretboard. The fretboard is commonly rosewood or mahogany and is glued to the top of the maple neck, securing the steel truss rod in between.
The truss rod allows the user to adjust the amount of tension and bow in the guitar neck to combat the effects of the tightened strings. Small cuts are placed across the fretboard in a specific measurement called the scale to allow for the proper pitch of the chords when played. The fret wire is slid into these cuts and provide the surface of the strings to press against to produce the chords. Often, and especially on well-used guitars, the fret wires must be replaced to ensure proper tonality and chording when played.
The shape of the backside of the guitar neck is called the profile. This can be a thick D shape, a thin D shape or any variation in between. Particular neck profiles tend to make some vintage models of guitars extremely favored by experienced players. This can often lead to a reissue of some guitar models as manufacturers attempt to duplicate the neck of a vintage model onto a new model.