What is a Guitar Pickguard and Why Do You Need One?
A pickguard is a protective layer that goes over the pickups and electronics of a guitar. They are typically made of plastic or fiberglass, though there are other materials that can be used as well.
Guitar players need to protect their instruments’ expensive parts from unwanted damage due to dropping, drooping, heavy picking, or mishandling the instrument. The pickguard is placed between the guitar’s body and its strings so it can prevent this kind of damage. It also acts as a shield so the player doesn’t accidentally touch any bare metal parts that may be underneath it.
There are many guitar pickguards to choose from, but the most popular ones are usually made of plastic. That being said, the custom pickguard world offers a lot of other cool materials to choose from
Different materials used for custom pickguards
Custom guitar pickguards are used to protect the guitars’ surface. They are available in many different colors, shapes, and sizes. Aside from protecting the guitars’ surface, these custom guitar pickguards offer a way to make your guitar unique compared to others. There are a lot of different materials used by makers, to make custom pickguards both durable and unique. These materials include vinyl, plastic, steel, wood, fiberglass, and carbon fiber/Kevlar composite.
How to Choose the Right Size of Guitar Pickguard for Your Instrument
A guitar pickguard is an essential component of a guitar that protects the instrument from damage caused by the use of inappropriate or hazardous playing techniques. The pickguard also helps to prevent corrosion of various parts, such as the bridge, strings, and machine heads.
It’s important to consider what size your guitar pickguard should be before purchasing one for your instrument. You should choose a thickness that will offer protection for the desired span of frequencies coming from your guitar. Be sure to consult with a professional before purchasing one!
Buying pickguards for one of the most common electric guitars is usually simpler than buying one for an acoustic. The model reflects the exact measures of the guitar. On the other hand, buying a custom pickguard for an acoustic usually requires some measurements, or going carefully over the specs of the instrument to make sure it fits.
How to Measure Your Instrument for Choosing the Correct Size of a Custom Guitar Pickguard
There are a lot of factors that one should take into consideration when they want to identify the right size of a custom guitar pickguard. The first thing you need to know is the thickness and composition of your instrument’s body. The thickness and composition determine how many layers of plywood it will take to create the desired depth and thickness.
The second thing you need to measure is the distance from the string nut, or bridge, to where you want your pickguard placed on your instrument. This will give you an idea of how large your custom guitar pickguard needs to be in order for it not to interfere with any strings or hardware that hangs below it.
Common potholes for buying custom pickguards
1. Not the right model
Usually happens with acoustic guitars, but electrics can be quite confusing as well. There are tons of re-issues of the 50s, 60s, and 70s models and their measurements can differ from one to another. Double-check before ordering.
2. Thickness issues
If the new pickguard is too thick, it can both look very weird and interfere with your playing. Make sure to measure your pickguard’s thickness and compare it to the one you’re buying.
3. Some custom pickguards come with no holes drilled
Just something you need to be aware of. Read the description carefully, talk to the seller and confirm.
Where to buy custom pickguards from?
There are many places you can get them from, such as Etsy or Reverb.com. But if you liked any of the images in this post, you can check out the maker who created them: Carmedon. They are also making some of the most beautiful guitar straps out there (probably the only graphic leather straps on the market).
Special thanks to Kevin from Carmedon for sending me some pictures of his work, make sure to check them out!