Glossary of Terms (simplified)

                    Terms of guitar to help understand the lingo

Action: The distance of the strings from the fingerboard. ( hi or low )

Archtop: A type of acoustic guitar or semi-acoustic with an arched top and a bridge; often used in jazz.

Barre chord: The index finger is placed across the finger board acting as the nut; the other fingers make the chord.

Capo: It clamps across the fingerboard and acts as the nut to raise the pitch.The fingering for a key can be raised.

Chord: A group of notes in relation to each other played together.

Finger picking: Using the fingers to pick; usually in a pattern.

Finger style: Playing with the thumb on the lower strings and two or three fingers on the higher pitched strings.

Bridge: What supports the strings on an archtop guitar and a fiddle. On an dreadnaught a saddle sits atop the bridge.

Dreadnaught: A common design for an acoustic guitar. Originated by C.F.Martin, it was bigger and had a louder sound with a deeper bass. It had 14 frets to the body and featured a square top and bottom to the sound box. The Martin dreadnaughts all start with the letter “D” such as the “D 28”. Many companies now use the name and it has become common with that style of acoustic guitar.

Fretboard: The fingerboard

F hole: The “f” shaped holes on the soundboard of arch top resonator guitars, and fiddles.

Fret: The wires across the fingerboard; also the space between the wires.

Hammer-on: When a finger goes down on a played string, raising the pitch.

Headstock: The top of the neck where the tuning pegs are located.

Key: The name of the root of the chords or notes music is played or composed.

Metronome: A device that counts beats per minute.Electric or manual and the time can be set.

Nut: The piece that supports the strings  from the neck to the tuning pegs. The best is made from bone, also composite and plastic on inexpensive guitars.

Octave: A complete cycle of the music scale. From low A to high A is an octave. Any note or chord that goes up or down to itself is an octave.

Pitch: The level of sound. It can be raised or lowered.

Pitch pipe: An older way to tune guitars and fiddles.

Plectrum: Another word for pick.

Root: The note the scale is based on, usually the first note of a scale and first chord in the key.

Saddle: The piece that sits on the bridge and supports the strings on the body of a dreadnaught acoustic guitar. Like the nut, bone, composite or plastic.

Slide: A tube made from glass, metal, or whatever one can find. It is placed over a finger usually tge ring or little finger to slide on the strings. Common in blues and country music.

Sound hole: The hole on the top of an acoustic guitar that lets the sound out.

Sound board: The front of an acoustic guitar where the sound hole is. It vibrates and adds to the sound.

Tablature: A diagram of notation by frets and the guitar strings. You asked for it ;))

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Tail piece: The string anchor behind the bridge on an arch top guitar; also the fiddle.

Trill: The rapid movement between two notes caused by rapid hammer-ons .

Truss rod: A steel rod that runs through the neck of most guitars. It can be used to adjust the neck.

Tuner: An electronic device that is used to tune an instrument. Some also contain metronomes.

Tuning pegs: What the strings are attached to on the headstock that aids in tuning.

Whammy bar: A lever attached to the bridge of electric guitars that alters the sound. It works good in surf music.

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