Some Basic stuff on Acoustics / Sound:

Sound is produced when molecules in the air are disturbed by some type of motion produced by a vibrating object. This object, which might be a guitar string, human vocal cord, or a garbage can, is set into motion because energy is applied to it. The guitar string is struck by a pick or finger, while the garbage can is hit perhaps by a hammer, but the basic result is the same: they both begin to vibrate. The rate and amount of vibration is critical to our perception of the sound. If it is not fast enough or strong enough, we won't hear it. But if the vibration occurs at least twenty times a second and the molecules in the air are moved enough, then we will hear sound.
To understand the process better, let's take a closer look at a guitar string.

When a finger picks a guitar string, the entire string starts to move back and forth at a certain rate. This rate is called the frequency of the vibration. Because a single back and forth motion is called a cycle, we use a measure of frequency called cycles per second, or cps. This measure is also known as Hertz, abbreviated Hz. Often the frequency of vibration of an object is very fast, so we can also express the frequency in thousands of cycles per second, or kilohertz (abbreviated kHz).

The actual distance the string moves is called its displacement. This is proportional to how hard the string is plucked. A greater displacement results in a louder sound.

The displacement of the string changes as the string vibrates.
The string is pulled back by the pick;  When released, the string moves back towards its resting point. The String  moves through the resting point and onward to its outer limit. It then moves back towards the point of rest.
(Like the pendulum on a Grandfathers' Clock, or a child's swing.)
This pattern repeats continuously until the friction of the molecules in the air gradually slows the string to a stop. As the string vibrates, it causes the molecules of air around it to vibrate as well. The vibrations are passed along through the air as sound waves. When the vibrations enter your ear, they make your eardrum vibrate, and you hear a sound. Likewise, if the vibrating air hits a microphone, it causes the microphone to vibrate and send out electrical signals.

In order for us humans to hear the sound, the frequency of the vibration must be at least 20 Hz. The highest frequency sound we can hear is theoretically 20 kHz, but, in reality, it's probably closer to 15 or 17 kHz. Other animals, and microphones, have different hearing ranges.

This section is a bit advanced!

If the simple back-and-forth motion of the string was the only phenomenon involved in creating a sound, then all stringed instruments would probably sound much the same. We know this is not true, of course; the laws of physics are not quite so simple. In fact, the string vibrates not only at its entire length, but at one-half its length, one-third, one-fourth, one-fifth, and so on. These additional vibrations (overtones) occur at a rate faster than the rate of the original vibration (the fundamental frequency), but are usually weaker in strength. Our ear doesn't hear each frequency of vibration individually, however. If it if did, we would hear a multinote chord every time a single string were played. Rather, all these vibrations are added together to form a complex or composite sound that our ear perceives as a single tone.

This composite waveform still doesn't account for the uniqueness of the sound of different instruments. For example, stringed instruments usually have a resonator. In the case of the guitar, the resonator is the big block of hollow wood to which the string is attached (the guitar body). This has a major impact on the sound we perceive when a guitar is played because it enhances or amplifies some of the vibrations produced by the string and diminishes or attenuates others. The ultimate effect of all the vibrations occurring simultaneously, being altered by the resonator, adds up to the sound we know as guitar.