FRETS.COM Illustrated Glossary

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© Frank Ford, 9/6/98 Photos by FF

The backs of classical and steel string guitars are usually made of two matched pieces of wood. It's conventional to decorate the joint between the two pieces with an inlay of wood purfling or marquetry. We generally call this inlay a "backstrip."

This zig zag decorative wood inlay is a backstrip decorating a rosewood Martin guitar back:

This kind of center joint decoration is virtually never used on carved instruments with arched backs such as mandolins, archtop guitars, violins or cellos.

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