The tuning knobs, like most guitar parts, go by many names. This can make it difficult to know what to search for when you need answers about something specific. What are the tuning knobs on a guitar, and what should you call them?
The standard names for them are tuning-knobs, tuning-pegs, tuning-heads, machine heads, and tuners. These are terms that most guitarists can understand clearly and are universal.
There are other names that these parts are referenced with that are not quite as common. This can make it hard to know what is being spoken of by these terminologies.
Additional Tuning Knob Names
Some less common names that some players use for tuning knobs are:
- Tuning keys
- Machine keys
- Machine nuts
- Tuning shafts
- Tuning nuts
- Machine tuners
- Tuning machines
- Tuning buttons
- Peg gears
And while a few of these terms are somewhat easy to understand, for a beginner, others are harder to grasp. Especially when they are referred to as machines, cranks, tensioners, and gears.
A few of them sound like they belong to some sort of machinery and not to an instrument. But it’s still good to know them, just in case!
Why They Are Important
Tuning knobs are incredibly important on a guitar. This is because they adjust the tension of your strings. As a result, the strings can be tuned to specific arrangements. All to allow the guitar to be played as a polyphonic instrument.
Without tuners, we would not be able to tune guitar strings to a specific pitch. This would limit how we use the guitar today. So memorize those tuning peg names and scream them from the rooftops. They are one important part!