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Guitar Glossary

Below is a list of guitar terms and definitions. To search for a term, use CTRL+F on your keyboard. You can also browse alphebetically by clicking on a letter below. If you think something is incorrect or missing, please contact us!

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Abalone - A highly colorful shell material commonly used on guitar inlays. Abalone inlays come in a rainbow of colors and can appear to change color when viewed from different angles. Sometimes also called "mother of pearl".

Accelerando - Achieved by gradually accelerating or getting faster

Acoustic Guitar - A guitar that uses only acoustic methods to project the sound produced by its strings. The term is a retronym, coined after the advent of electric guitars, which rely on electronic amplification to make their sound audible.

Action - The height of the strings above the fret board.

Active Electronics - Usually involved with active pickups. Many times a battery is used going directly to the pickup to boost the sound of the pickup.

Alnico - Alloy used in the magnets of your pickups. Consists of Cobalt, Nickel, and Aluminum

Alternating bass - A style of playing where the right hand alternates between two or more strings.

Altered and open tunings - The result of changing the tuning of one or more strings from standard EADGBE.

Alternate picking - Picking in alternate directions (down-up-down-up).

Amplify - Increasing the volume of an instrument.

Arch Top (Carved Top) - Refers to the body of a guitar that has been carved or shaped for either the tone or looks of the guitar

Arpeggio - A chord played one note at a time. A broken chord, usually played evenly low to high and back again.

Arrangement - The setting of an original or standard tune for a given solo instrument or group of instruments

Artificial Harmonic - Hold down a note on the neck with left hand, and use the right hand to lightly touch a point on the string, then pluck the side of the string that is closer to the bridge. This technique is used to produce harmonic tones that are otherwise inaccessible. To guitar players, this technique is also known as a pinch harmonic.

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Bakelite - Early form of plastic used in some guitars from the 30's to the 50's.

Bar - A sub division of time in music.

Bar line - A vertical line which shows the end of a bar of music.

Barre Chord - From the French term barré. The technique of placing the left hand index finger over two to six strings in the fingering of a chord. The great advantage of using barre chords is that they are "moveable shapes" that can be applied at practically any fret.

Bass-strum style - A right hand technique which involves picking a bass note then strumming the rest of the chord

Beam - A horizontal line which shows two eighth or sixteenth notes belonging to the beat shown on the bottom of the time signature.

Beat - A sub division of time usually felt as the pulse within a piece of music.

Bending - The act of pushing or pulling a string sideways across the a fret to raise the pitch of a note by a half to full tone or more. Used extensively in rock and blues playing as well as in jazz.

Bigsby - Term used for a simple non recessed vibrato developed by Paul Bigsby.

Binding - A protective and decorative strip made of wood or plastic that is placed along the outer most edges of the top, back, neck, fingerboard and some times headstock. This is a cap used to seal and protect joints. Sometimes incorrectly referred to as purfling, purfling actually refers to inlays along side of the binding and not the actual binding itself.

Body - The main part of a guitar (not the neck). Usually where the bridge and tailpiece are located. Pickups are wired within the body of your instrument.

Block Markers - Square, rectangular or shark tooth inlays marking fingerboard position.

Body - The main portion of the guitar which the controls, bridge and pickups are mounted. The body can be hollow (a hollow body) or solid (a solid body) design.

Bolt-on neck - Attaching the guitar neck to the body of the guitar with bolts. The screws or bolts are attached with a neck plate in the back of your guitar.

Bookmatched - Generally most acoustic and many archtop guitars have tops and backs that are 2 pieces of wood glued together to form one large panel. Bookmatched refers to the wood coming from the same tree and actually being one piece of wood that has been but into consecutive slices so the grain in the panels creates mirror image patterns.

BPM - Beats per minute, or tempo. Defines the "click speed" of the metronome.

Brace - Braces are wooden struts glued inside hollowbody guitars providing strength and affecting tone quality. An X brace is a popular brace pattern used in hollowbody guitars. Other bracing patterns include the ladder brace, fan bracing and scalloped braces.

Bridge - The bridge is located on the body of the guitar and transfers sound from the strings to the body of the guitar. This can be held in place by screws or string tension.

Bridge Pin - Some guitars are equipped with Bridge Pins. These slotted plugs help hold guitar strings in place on some instruments.

Bullet - Name give to the appearance of truss-rod adjustor nut on the headstock of some Fender guitars.

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CAP - Also called a capacitor, a common electrical component that stores up an electrical charge generally used on the tone potentiometer on electric guitars.

Capo - A mechanical barre that attaches to the neck of a guitar by means of a string, spring, elastic or nylon band, or a lever and thumbscrew arrangement. The capo can be used to raise the key of a song to suit a vocalist as well as to lower the action and shorten the string length.

Celluloid - A common plastic material used on guitar pickguards, tuners and binding. This material is not very durable and deteriorates over time therefore many vintage guitars have issues with celluloid parts.

Center Block - A solid wood block running through the body of a semi-acoustic guitar body.

Checking - Used to describe cracking found in lacquer finished guitars. Vintage guitars often have checking in their lacquer finishes. Checking is caused by the guitar's wood expanding and contracting with changes in temperature and humidity. Is important to maintain constant humidity and reasonable range of temperature to prevent checking.

Chicken picking - A combination of right hand pick and fingers, usually associated with country music, but also used by rock guitarists like Zakk Wylde and Steve Morse.

Chicken Scratching - The strings are being "scratched" (strummed) with the pick, while the left hand is damping the strings (touching the strings lightly). Produces a rhythmic effect in the style of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimi Hendrix.

Chord - A group of three or more notes played simultaneously.

Chord chart - A diagram which shows a chord progression.

Chord progression - A sequence of chords played one after another.

Chorus (of a tune) - Strictly speaking, the portion of a song lyric or melody that is repeated, often with other voices joining in. In jazz improvisation, however, "playing a chorus" would mean taking a turn improvising over the tune's chords progression.

Chromatics - 12-note scale including all the semitones of the octave.

Chromatic Scale - Because the chromatic scale has twelve notes and each fret on the guitar moves up one half-step, every note appears on all six strings somewhere before the twelfth fret. In other words, there is an 'E' on every string, an 'A' on every string, a 'Gb' on every string, etc.

Closed voicing - The term "voicing" refers to the vertical arrangement of the notes of a given chord. "Closed voicing" places the member notes as close together as possible, no matter the inversion as opposed to "open voicing" which spreads the member notes of the chord at larger intervals.

Coils - Wire is wrapped around a nonconductive material

Coil Tap - Switch used to break up a hum bucker into single coil sounds or vice versa

Count in - A count at the start of a piece of music to show when to start and how fast to play (usually the top number on the time signature).

Cutaway - A concave area generally in the upper right bout of a normal right-hand guitar that allows the player easier access to the high frets.

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Dog Ear - Nick name for a P-90 style pickup with mounting ears.

Dot Neck - Guitar with simple dot inlays in the neck position markers.

Double bar line - Two vertical lines which show the end of a section or piece of music.

Double stop - two notes played simultaneously.

Down stroke - Right hand movement from top to bottom.

Dreadnought - Generally associated with C.F. Martin and their biggest and loudest acoustic guitar. Now used my many other brands on large acoustic guitar models.

Dropped-D tuning - The practice of lowering the sixth string (E) by a whole tone, one octave lower than the fourth string. Tune down the low (thick) E string to D. This tuning facilitates "powerchords", it also produces a heavier sound.

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Eighth beat - A beat half as long in time as a quarter beat.

Electric guitar - A guitar which can be electrically amplified (usually with a solid body).

Electro Acoustic - An acoustic guitar with a built in pickup, often a piezo electric pickup.

End block - Acoustic guitars normally have an end block and a neck block at opposite ends of the body. The end block is usually glued to the top, back, and sides at the bottom end of the guitar. Often strap buttons are are anchored into this block as it provides the strength necessary to support a strap.

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Feedback - Feedback is created by amplified sound re-entering the amplification system. The key components are an amplifier and a microphone. The problem begins when sound enters the microphone and is amplified. The amplified sound is then picked up by the microphone and is amplified again. This creates a feedback look in which the sound is repeatedly amplified. Eventually it reaches a point where it oscillates to create aloud pulsing noise or a high-pitched squeel.

F-Hole - Sound hole carved into instruments.

Finger picks - Banjo-style picks that fingerstyle guitarists use when playing steel-string instruments.

Fingerstyle - Playing with the fingernails or fingertips with or without fingerpicks as opposed to playing with a flatpick.

Finish - This refers to the protective coating covering the guitar, often paint or lacquer.

Fixed Bridge - Refers to non-vibrato bridges.

Flame - Sometimes also called Flame Top. Generally refers to Maple with dramatic grain resembling flames.

Flat - Lower in pitch.

Flatpick - A triangular or teardrop-shaped piece of nylon or plastic used to pluck or strum guitar strings. Flatpicks are available in a large variety of shapes, sizes, and thickness.

Flat Top - Used to refer to an acoustic guitar with a flat (non-arched) top. Many Martin and Gibson guitars are considered flat top acoustic guitars.

Footstool - A small adjustable stool used to raise the height of the guitar.

Four/four time - A time signature of four quarter beats in one bar of music.

Fret board / Fingerboard - On top of the neck its the area that you would press the string upon to create a note or frequency. Fingerboards usually have Dot or inlay so that you can have a point of reference for moving your fingers along the fret board.

Frets - The metal strips along your fretboard. They come in a variety of sizes. For example, small, medium, medium-jumbo, or jumbo. The size depends on what a guitarist likes best.

Fretless - A fretboard with no frets. Usually found with basses and gives a smooth sound.

Fret Marker - Any marking on the fretboard to assist the guitarist to quickly locate a particular fret. Fret markers are typically found at frets 3, 5, 7, 9, 12, 15, and 17. Fret twelve is usually marked differently, to indicate the octave fret. Many guitars have small fret markers on the side of the neck, for easy reference as you look down while playing.

Fretting - Placing a finger next to a fret.

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Gig - When A band plays a show at a venue.

Guitar - Seriously?

Guitar Strings - Strings for electric and steel string acoustic guitars are very similar, but cannot be used interchangeably. Each consists of a steel hexagonal wire wrapped by another wire. The type of wire used for the wrap affects the sound characteristics. Nickel is the most popular, and gives a good overall sound. Stainless Steel produces a tone considered brighter than most. Phosphor Bronze are less bright than nickel. Brass tends to provide a bright, loud sound. Tin coatings are sometimes used.

Guitar tablature - A system of reading and writing guitar music (abbreviated to TAB).

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Half beat - A beat twice as long as a quarter beat.

Hammer-on - A note sounded literally by "hammering" down with a left hand finger, often performed in conjunction with a note first plucked by the right hand on the same string.

Hang Tag - Small tags and cards hung on guitars in show rooms. A hang tag for a vintage guitar is generally very difficult to find.

Hard Tail - Term used to describe an electric guitar without a vibrato bridge, often used to describe Fender guitars.

Hardware - Refers to different parts of a guitar including jacks, bridge, tuners, and more

Harmonize - To bring two or notes together in harmony.

Harmonics - Chime-like sounds achieved in two ways: 1) natural harmonics - by touching a string at any equidistant division of the string length (typically 5th, 7th, and 12th fret), directly above the fret with left hand, and striking hard with the right-hand fingers or pick near the bridge where there is more string resistance; or 2) artificial harmonics - touching a string with the index finger of the right hand twelve frets higher than any fretted note and plucking the string with either the thumb or third finger of the right hand.

Harmonic Tones - Certain places along a guitar string where you can produce multiple tones. These locations happen to be located directly above the fret wires at the 5th, 7th, and 12th frets. It works because at these specific points the string will continue to vibrate in two independent sections, when you apply pressure at the harmonic point. Using harmonics for tuning works well because you are not bending the string in any way. If you haven't played a harmonic before, try this: Pluck any string. Now lightly touch that string just above the 12th fret wire. If you press down just right, you will hear the harmonic tone. If you press too hard you will either mute the string or hear the octave note

Harmony - Two or more notes sounding simultaneously.

Headstock - Describes the part of the guitar where the strings attach to the tuners. Also called a peghead. Fender generally uses 6 in-line tuners on the headstock and gibson prefers three on each side of the headstock.

Heel - Portion of neck where the neck curves or is reduced to join the body.

Hexatonic scale - A scale with six notes per octave (a pentatonic scale has five notes per octave).

Hollow Body - An electric guitar body style with a thin body similar to an acoustic guitar.

Humbucker - 2 single coil pickups, side by side, and wired to that the electronic hum you get with most single coil pickups is canceled out.

Hybrid picking - The pick is in combination with finger(s).

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Inlay - Markers on your fretboard that give players with a frame of reference. Most are dot inlays, but can be a variety of shapes or designs.

Interval - The distance between two notes.

Intonation - The ability of your instrument to play and hold the correct note. Often adjusted by adjusting the bridge saddle.

In Tune - A note is in-tune when it matches the pitch of another note in the manner it is supposed to. When tuning a guitar, strings are "in tune" with each other when you can sound the same note on different strings and they sound the same. When playing a chord, a note is in tune if it sounds at the right interval from the other notes around it.

Inversion - Structuring a chord with a note other than the root as the lowest note.

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Jackplate - Mounting plate for output jack.

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Laminated - The backs, sides and even tops of some instruments can be made from several pieces of wood which have been laminated to form one piece, usually at the determent of it's sound. (Especially if it's the top that's laminated.) A neck can also be made from more than one piece of wood to produce a decorative center stripe.

Lead guitar - The part played by a guitar soloist in a rock band.

Legato - Is obtained on the guitar by using strictly hammer-ons and pull-offs. Some of the legato examples on freelicks.net are played purely with hammer-ons (hit the strings really hard!), this is a technique favoured by legato player Allan Holdsworth.

Locking Nut - Bolts that lock the strings in place at the nut.

Logo - The manufactures brand name or trademark usually on the headstock.

Luthier - A guitar maker and guitar repair expert. Always look for an experienced luthier. A good luthier will generally offer free repair estimates and explain the nature of the repair. Sometimes incorrectly spelled Luther.

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Machine heads - Used for tuning up each string and housed on the headstock (sometimes referred to as tuning heads or tuning keys).

Major Chord - The combination of the first, third and fifth notes of a scale.

Melody - A succession of musical notes played one after another (usually the most recognizable tune of a song).

Modulate - To change keys within a piece of music

Mother of Pearl - Type of inlay using a form of shellfish material.

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Neck - The part of a guitar which houses the fret board. The neck is sort of the middle of the guitar. It's where the strings are stretched over the fretboard.

Neck Block - The neck block is found inside of the body at the base of the neck. The Neck block provides a strong point to mount the neck to the body.

Neck Pickup - Refers to the pickup closest to the neck.

Neck Plate - A metal plate used in the Fender style bolt on designs. it is screwed to the neck and the body fastening the neck to the guitar body.

Neck Press - Uses gentle heat and pressure to straighten a neck. Can be tricky and should only be performed by a trained Luthier.

Neck Reset - A neck reset is performed restore the correct angle between the fingerboard bridge which provides the correct action needed to play the guitar.

Note - A note is defined by it's frequency: the speed of vibration of the sound producing device. For a guitar, the vibration is created by the strings.

Nut - Piece of plastic or metal between the headstock and fretboard. Guides the strings from the headstock and tuners over the fretboard.

Nylon string guitar - An acoustic guitar which has three nylon strings.

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Octave - A simplified definition is: eight notes in sequence. Technically, this definition is only true if you think of notes by their name. For example, the notes C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C form an octave from C to C. More specifically, an octave is any two tones with frequency ratios of either 2-to-1 or 1-to-2.

Open - A string played with no left hand fingers fretting any note.

Open chords - These chords usually contain open strings (not fretted with left hand). Often the first kind of chords the beginner will learn (D - C - Am etc). The opposite of barré- or power chords.

Open voicing - A manner of chord construction in which the member notes are broadly separated.

Out of Tune - Anything not "in tune" is, by definition "out of tune."

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P-90 - Refers to an early Gibson single coil pickup.

PAF - Refers to a sticker on Gibson pickups.

Palm mute - The string(s) is being damped with right hand palm, close to the guitar's bridge.

Passive - Usually describes a guitar that does not use pickups which require power (active pickups).

Pedal tones - Notes that constantly repeat in a pattern. This technique is favored by neoclassical guitarist such as Yngwie Malmsteen, Vinnie Moore etc.

Peghead - A peghead is where the tuners are mounted, also called a headstock. Vintage guitars often have cracks or repaired headstocks as this will often crack if a guitar falls over.

Pentatonic scale - A five-tone scale used often in rock.

Pickguard - Piece of material place on the body of the guitar to protect from pick scratches, and to hide wiring and pickups.

Picking - Plucking or producing a sound on the guitar in general, either with the fingers or a flatpick. Sometimes refers to playing a single-note melody line.

Pickups - An electromagnet housed underneath the strings on an electric guitar which produces a signal to be amplified by a guitar amplifier.

P I M A - Letters derived from the Spanish names for the fingers of the right hand: pulgar (thumb), indice (index), medio (middle), and anular (ring). Used to indicate fingering.

Pinch harmonic - The thumb slightly catches the string after it is picked, creating a high pitched sound in any position. Usually requires heavily distorted amplifier settings. Pinch harmonics are also known as artificial harmonics.

Pitch - The frequency generated by a vibrating string. For example, the frequency of the Concert-A note is 440Hz.

Plectrum - A small triangular shaped piece of plastic used for striking the guitar strings with the right hand. Another name for a flatpick.

Positions - A reference to placement of the left hand index finger at various frets.

Pot - A Potentiometer mounted to the body of an electric guitar commonly used for control of volume and tone. The tone pot will normally have a capacitor soldered in circuit.

Power Chord - A chord consisting of the first (root), fifth and eighth degree (octave) of the scale. Power chords are typically used in playing rock music.

Pre-bend - The note is bend before it is struck with the pick. Make sure the note is bend to the right pitch.

Pre-CBS - Refers to Fender guitars manufactured before the 1965 takeover of Fender by CBS. Vintage collectors prefer pre-CBS guitars.

Pull-off - The opposite of a hammer-on. Performed by plucking a note with a finger on a higher note and pulling parallel to the fret to sound a lower note on the same string.

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Quarter beat - A sub division of time in music twice as long as an eighth beat.

Quilted - Describes beautiful undulating pattern found in wood, generally refers to Maple and can also be referred to as "maple quilting" or maple quilted".

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Relative Pitch - The comparison of one pitch to another. 'Relative pitch' often refers to tuning a string so that it matches the pitch of another string. Tuning this way, rather than to an absolutely correct frequency, can make that are slightly out of tune sound correctly tuned.

Relief - The upward arching bow in an instrument's neck that allows the strings to move without touching the frets. A bowed or warped neck will have to be heated and pressed to restore the neck to correct relief.

Refin - Refers to a refinished guitar. Refinished guitars have a significantly lower value than original guitar with the original surface.

Refret - Also called a fret job, refers to re-fretting a guitar.

Repeat sign - Two dots placed before a double line indicating the repeat of a section of music.

Rhythm - A sequence of events played with the right hand on a guitar which gives a piece of music a distinct beat.

Rhythm guitar - Rhythmic strumming of chord backup for a lead player, singer, or ensemble.

Rhythm notation - A system of reading and writing music which shows rhythm.

Ritardando - Achieved by gradually delaying or slowing down the tempo.

Root - The first note of a scale. A chord is named for it's root, even if the root is not actually played.

Rosette - A decorative pattern around the sound hole. It is purely decorative.

Rout - A hole or cavity cut into a guitar, often the body of the guitar. Many times a pickup cavity is routed to enable a different pickup to be installed. Routing will diminish the value of a vintage guitar and routing should not be done on a valuable guitar.

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Saddle - The rigid bar at the opposite end of the strings from the nut. The saddle is located near the base of the guitar, imbedded in the bridge. The nut and the saddle work together to keep strings off the fretboard, so they can vibrate and produce sound. On an acoustic guitar, the saddle is frequently an ivory color.

Scale Length - Length of the vibrating string from nut to saddle or twice the distance from the nut to the 12th fret.

Scalloped Fretboard - When the fret board has been carved out to create a scoop between frets.

Set Neck - When a neck is glued into the neck pocket of the body of a guitar.

Setup - The adjustment of the action of a guitar for optimal playing characteristics.

Sharp - Higher in pitch.

Shuffle - A rhythm of which each main beat is divided into three smaller beats (prominent in blues music).

Single Coil Pickup - Usually thinner sound than humbucker, used in most fender guitars.

Six String - Shorthand for a guitar that has six strings. Most acoustic and electric guitars have six strings, some have twelve.

Slide - A plastic or glass tube placed over the third or fourth finger of the left hand and used to play "slide" or glissando effects in rock and blues and other forms of traditional music.

Slur - To glide over (a series of notes) smoothly without a break, often used in combination with legato.

Soap Bar - Nickname for a P-90 style pickup that has no mounting ears.

Solid Body - Refers to electric guitars with a solid (non-hollow) body. Includes many Fender and Gibson guitars.

Sound hole - The hole in the front of an acoustic guitar body from which the sound is projected.

Spaghetti Logo - Early style Fender logo with letters resembling spaghetti. Used to assist in dating Fender guitars.

Split Coil - A double coil pickup wound with multiple coils that are smaller than a standard 2 coil pickup where each coil works with a few strings. Most commonly one coil is used for the e and a strings and one coil is used for the d and g strings. The Fender Precision bass uses this type of pickup. A split coil generally has a little less hum canceling but better high frequency response.

Staccato - Is obtained on the guitar by using strictly alterntate picking.

Standard Tuning - A six-string guitar tuned to E-A-D-G-B-E, or a bass tuned to E-A-D-G. Most beginners learn in standard tuning.

Steel string guitar - An acoustic guitar which has all steel strings (usually four wound and two plain ones).

Stem - The vertical line in music or rhythm notation which appears above or below a note or rhythm.

Stop Tailpiece - Has slots in it to hold string balls in place. Usually used with a Tune-o-matic bridge.

Strap - Used to hold the guitar while in standing position.

Strap Pin - A secure button for attaching a guitar strap. These are almost always metal.

Strings - Stretched between the tuners and the body. Different string weights give different sounds or frequencies.

String winder - A swivel device with a handle with a fixture that fits over the tuning keys.

Strumming - A technique where the right hand plays the noted of a chord simultaneously either with down or up strokes. Performed with a pick or the fingers. Generally consists of brushing across 2-6 strings in a rhythmic up and down fashion appropriate to the tune being played.

Sustain - The duration of sound from one or more strings. The longer a note, or notes, can be heard, the longer the sustain.

Sweeping - The pick is swept through the strings in a down- or upwoard motion. This technique is used mainly used with arpeggios.

Swing - A rhythm in music in which the down beat is felt slightly longer than the up beat (sometimes called a shuffle).

Syncopate - To modify the rhythm by stressing or accenting a weak beat (purposely playing off beat).

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Tablature or tab - A system of writing music for fretted instruments whereby a number or letter appears on lines representing the strings, indicating the fret to be played.

Tailpiece - On instruments without bridge pins the strings are commonly anchored to a tailpiece. This normally mounts to the end block and pulls the strings down towards the top after passing across the bridge.

Tapping - The use of right hand fingers on the fretboard, I recomend the middle finger, so that you don't have to put down the pick.

Tempo - The speed of a piece of music.

T-Frets - Refers to the shape of the metal fret. T-Frets are used in most refrets.

Thinline - Term used to describe hollow body electric guitars, first used with the Gibson Byrdland guitar. Also used by Fender and others.

Three/four time - A time signature of three quarter beats in one bar of music.

Three quarter beat - A beat which is one and a half times as long as a half beat.

Three-Quarter guitar - A smaller than normal guitar with shorter strings and less space between frets.

Through Neck - A Thru neck design uses a neck that actually runs right thru the center of the body.

Thumbwheel - A small wheel used on adjustable bridges (those usually found on archtop guitars or mandolins) to adjust the bridges height. The top portion of an adjustable bridge rest upon these flat wheels and as they are screwed upward on their post the top portion of the bridge is raised.

Tie - A curved line which shows two notes of the same pitch joined together and played as one with the time value of both.

Time signature - A sign at the beginning of a piece of music (looks like a fraction) which shows how many beats in each bar (top number) and how long each beat lasts (bottom number).

Tone - The combination of pitch, volume, sustain and sound character produced by a particular guitar or guitar equipment.

Transcription - To write a solo, note for note, off of a recording.

Transpose - To change the key of a piece of music by a specific interval.

Trapeze Tailpiece - This tailpiece design has a hinge like mechanism on it and has a shape similar to a swinging trapeze.

Tremelo - A technique performed with either a very rapid down-up movement of the pick or a pami plucking of the fingers.

Triad - A three-note chord.

Triple stop - Three notes played simultaneously.

Truss rod - A curved metal bar implanted into the neck of a guitar used to adjust the amount and direction of bend in the neck.

Tube (Valve) - "Tube" is the U.S.A. slang term for "electron tube". Tubes are glass enclosed devices that modify and/or amplify input signals to produce loudspeaker sound.

Tune-o-matic Bridge - Attached to guitar's body by to posts and has adjustable saddles.

Tuner - An electronic tuning device.

Tuning - Adjusting the tuning keys until a particular string vibrates at the correct frequency, and sounds the proper note(s).

Tuning Key - A knob used to tighten or loosen a string. The effect is to raise or lower the pitch to bring the string into proper tune.

Tuning Machines - Mechanical devices used to increase or decrease string tension. Located on the guitar head stock. These can be all inline (Fender style) , all individual or in 2 groups (Gibson style).

Twelve/eighth time - A time signature of twelve eighth beats in one bar of music.

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Up stroke - Right hand movement from bottom to top.

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Veneer - Refers to thin wood or plastic laminate used in the construction of some guitars.

Verse - The lyrics " melody portion of a song that tell the flowing story. A chorus is usually song after each verse.

Vibrato - To vibrate by slightly altering a pitch higher and lower.

Voicing - The arrangement of the member notes of a chord, or placement of the melody or bass line within a harmonic progression.

Volute - A piece of wood installed just behind the peghead. It strengthens the neck where the headstock begins.

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Waist - Part of the body of a guitar which is smallest in dimension from top to bottom.

Whammy Bar - Used to stretch the strings on a tremolo or vibrato system.

Whole beat - A beat in music which lasts for a whole bar in music with a time signature of four/four.

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