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Another name for the pickguard, this is typically a plastic plate that’s fixed to the lower front of a guitar’s body, usually under the strings or under the soundhole. This protects the body’s finish from wear and tear due to a player’s heavy picking or strumming style. Some are also ornamental, like the pickguard on Gibson’s “Dove” acoustic. Some players will remove a scratchplate if they feel it interferes with their ability to play a particular instrument. Others may remove it because it covers up part of a figured or flamed maple top.

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