Guitar Scratchplates / Pick Guards

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About Guitar Scratchplates / Pick Guards

Guitar Scratchplates (or Pickguards as they are also known) not only keep your instrument from being damaged with unwanted pick marks but also contribute to the appearance of the instrument. Many guitars such as the Stratocaster, Telecaster and Les Paul have their own style of pickguard and have been designed to best protect and complement the look of the instrument. They are usually made of plastic and come in a variety of colours and styles, from plain colours to multi-ply or tortoise shell style aesthetics. Replacement pickguards are available from many top brands such as Fender and upgrade options are also a possibility thanks to Seymour Duncan. Whether you are looking to change the appearance of your instrument with a different colour scratchplate, freshen it up with a new pickguard or are looking to change to different electronics or pickup configurations, these are often top of the accessory list.

Why Do I Need a Guitar Scratchplate or Pickguard?

  • A simple way to change the appearance of your instrument
  • Official replacement and upgrade options available from top brands
  • Replace an old scratchplate to give your guitar a fresh look

Frequently Asked Questions about Guitar Scratchplates / Pick Guards

Question: What are guitar scratch plates made of?
Most guitar scratch plates are made of plastic although they can be made from a number of other materials such as metal or wood.
Question: Do pickguards affect sound?
As with most parts of a guitar, pickguards can affect sound but changing one for another likely wouldn't be as noticeable as something like changing the body wood.
Question: Do you really need a pickguard?
Not all guitars have been designed with a pickguard but many iconic guitars such as the Stratocaster and Telecaster make use of one to help protect the surface of the instrument from unwanted play marks.
Question: Is changing a pickguard easy?
Changing a pickguard can be very easy if you purchase an official one that is compatible with your guitar. It can be as simple as unscrewing the old one along with the control pots, pickups and switches then replacing it with the new one. One thing to check for is the number of screw holes and their alignment as this can differ depending on the model.
Question: What's the point of a pickguard?
A pickguard protects the surface of the guitar from damage caused by the guitar pick/plectrum making contact with the guitar while strumming.