FRETS.COM Illustrated Glossary

They keep the top and back separated. . .
© Frank Ford, 9/6/98 Photos by FF

You might be tempted to think the little braces inside instruments are called "ribs."

That would be too easy!

The ribs of a stringed instrument are its sides:

It's not too hard to guess why they're called ribs. This mandolin clearly has ribs:

The old lutes and other bowl shaped instruments had ribs, too. Sometimes these ribs are called "staves" as the staves of a barrel.

Old timers and retro types like call 'em "ribs." Most of the rest of us call the sides of a guitar its "sides."

This modern mandolin has sides:

It's just an opinion, but that's the way I see it. . .

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