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Glossary


Action - Height of the strings from the fret board to the string itself.

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.

Amplify - Increasing the volume of an instrument.

Arpeggio - A chord played one note at a time.

Artificial Harmonic - Fret the note normally and sound the harmonic by adding the picking hand thumb edge or index finger tip to the normal pick attack

Bar - A sub division of time in music located on a staff.

Bar (or Barre) Chord - A bar chord takes its name from the role of the 1st finger of your left hand. This finger acts as a "bar" across the fingerboard, depressing all six strings and replacing the nut (the ivory piece at the top of the neck). By using your first finger as a "bar," you can move many of the open chords you have learned up and down on the fingerboard.

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

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

Bend - Generate a note and bend up by the number of steps indicated. (1/2 step = 1 fret) The term "Full" refers to a whole step bend. (2 frets)

Body - The main part of a guitar (not the neck).

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.

Bridge - 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.

Capo - A capo is a mechanical device that places a bar across the strings which has the effect of shortening the guitar's scale length and thus raising its pitch.

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

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

Clear - removes all formatting, text or images from location on page

Coda - the closing section of a musical composition

Coil Tap - Switch used to break up a humbucking pickup tone into single coil tone or vice versa

Coils - Wire is wrapped around a nonconductive material

Copy - duplicates text or image on page

Crescendo - A gradual increase, especially in the volume or intensity of sound in a passage.

Cut - removes text or image from page

Cutaway - A cutaway refers to a portion of the body of guitar that is cut-a-away more access to the fretboard that crosses onto the body of an instrument, allowing a player to play the higher notes.

Delete - deletes text or image from page

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

Double Bar line Ending - A double vertical or heavy black line drawn through a staff to indicate the end of any of the main sections of a composition

Down stroke - Right hand movement from top to bottom.

Eighth beat - A note having one-eighth the time value of a whole note.

Electric guitar - A guitar containing pickups thereby allowing the instrument to be amplified (for acoustic instruments - acoustic/electric; acoustic instruments that contain pickups).

F- Hole - A sound hole carved into instruments that are in the shape of decorative F.

Fingerstyle - A right-hand technique, that specializes in using the fingers to pick the strings either individually or in a very specific sequence, creating a melody and rhythm at one time.

Flat - Refers to the pitch of a note; can also refer to not being on pitch

Four/four time (4/4) - A time signature; four quarter beats in one bar of music.

Fret board or Fingerboard - On top of the neck it's 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

Fret- 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.

Fretting - Placing a finger next to a fret wire and raising or lowering the pitch depending on the placement of the finger

Gig - Public performances for musicians

Guitar tablature (also known as Tab) - A system of reading and writing guitar music that uses lines to show the strings on a guitar (6 strings) and finger placement, which is indicated by a number that references which fret to place your fingers and on which string.

Half beat - A note having one half the value of a whole note

Hammer-on - a guitar technique that consists of two notes played consecutively by plucking a string and letting it ring for a split second, then pressing a fingertip down on that string with enough force to create a second vibration and a new note (the opposite of a pull off)

Harmonize - To bring two or notes together in harmony.

Harmony - A combination of sounds considered pleasing to the ear

Head Stock - Top of the instrument where the tuners are located

Headstock - The part of a guitar situated on the end of the neck which houses the machine heads also referred to as the Peghead.

Hold Bend - Bend the note up by the number of steps indicated, and then hold that position

Humbucker - 2 single coil pickups, side by side, and wired so that the electronic hum is minimized

Inlay - Markers on your fretboard that give players with a frame of reference.

Legato Slide - Create the first note by picking the string and then with the same fretting finger, slide up the string to the second note. The second note is not struck

Machine Heads (also known as Tuning Gears or Tuning Keys) - Used for altering the pitch or tuning up each string and housed on the headstock.

Melody - A rhythmically organized sequence of single tones so related to one another as to make up a particular phrase or idea

Mother of Pearl - Type of inlay using a form of shellfish material (also known as Abalone)

Natural Harmonic - With a fretting hand finger, lightly touch the string over the fret indicated, then strike it. A chime-like sound is produced (takes much practice).

Neck - The part of a guitar which houses the fret board and ends with the nut at the top and attaches to the body

Nut - Piece of plastic, synthetic material 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 and three wound strings (traditionally made of silver plated copper or bronze).

Open - A string played with no left hand fingering or fretting a note.

Palm Muting - Using the picking hand, partially mute the note by lightly touching the string just before the bridge

Peghead - Also referred to as the Headstock - the top of the instrument where the tuners are located

Pickguard - Piece of material place on the body of the guitar to protect the top of the instrument from pick scratches.

Pickup - Device that utilizes magnets to transfer string vibration into an electronic signal. This signal is then used to amplify the sound of the instrument.

Pitch - represents the perceived fundamental frequency of a sound

Plectrum (or pick) - A small shaped piece of plastic or shell (tortoise shell was used for many years) used for striking or strumming the guitar strings.

Power Chord - normally a chord which contains the root and the 5th

Pre Bend - Bend the note up by the number of steps indicated, and then strike it

Pull-off - a stringed instrument technique performed by plucking a string by "pulling" the string off the fingerboard with one of the fingers being used to fret the note.

Quarter beat - A note having one quarter the value of a whole note

Redo - allows user to repeat previous task or command

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

Rhythm - A specific kind of such a pattern, formed by a series of notes differing in duration and stress.

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

Saddles - A plastic, synthetic or bone seat in which the strings are held in place and guided over the bridge

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

Segno - a notation written at the beginning or end of a passage that is to be repeated

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

Sharp - Refers to the pitch of a note or can also indicate that a note is being played out of tune, higher than it normally should be

Shift Slide - Same as a Legato Slide, except the second note is struck

Shuffle - A rhythm of which each main beat is divided into three smaller beats

Slide Down - moving the note to a lower frequency or pitched note

Slide up - moving the note to a higher frequency or pitched note

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

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

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

Strap - A length of material or leather, attached to the headstock and body allowing the player to hold the guitar while in standing position.

Strap Button - the device that allows a guitar strap to be attached to a guitar, usually a small metal or plastic knob that flanges so that strap doesn't fall off easily

Strings - Stretched between the tuners and the body. Different string gauges provide different tensions and thereby a different feel. Different metal alloys give the instruments different tones (i.e. Phosphor Bronze, Nickel Plated Steel, 80/20 Bronze).

Strumming - A technique of brushing or stroking the strings in an upward and downward motion to make the strings emit sound

Tap - a guitar technique that utilizes both hands on the fretboard. A finger from one-hand frets a note, then the other hand frets a note and implements a pull-off thereby plucking a series of notes, in many cases a triplet. This technique was made most-famous by Eddie Van Halen back in the late 70's which spawned an entire genre of technique throughout the world of metal guitar.

Tapped Harmonic - a technique where the fretted finger acts as a barre, while the harmonic is tapped

Tempo - The speed of a piece of music.

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

Three/four time - A time signature of three quarter beats in one bar of music (refer to a waltz)

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).

Tremolo Bar Dip (n = Amount) - Guitar technique that utilizes the whammy to alter the pitch of the string. Dipping will lower the pitch of the string. The letter n is an indicator as to how much you will depress the whammy to achieve a specific note (1/2 step, whole step, etc).

Tremolo Bar Down (n = Amount) - Guitar technique that utilizes the whammy to alter the pitch of the string. Pushing the whammy bar down will lower the pitch of the string. The letter n is an indicator as to how much you will depress the whammy to achieve a specific note (1/2 step, whole step, etc).

Tremolo Bar Inverted Dip (n = Amount) - Guitar technique that utilizes the whammy to alter the pitch of the string except instead of having the bar pointing towards the headstock of the instrument, the bar points to the bottom of the guitar. Technically, this inversion will increase the pitch of the string.. The letter n is an indicator as to how much you will depress the whammy to achieve a specific note (1/2 step, whole step, etc).

Tremolo Bar Up (n = Amount) - Guitar technique that utilizes the whammy to alter the pitch of the string. Pulling the whammy bar up will increase the pitch of the string. The letter n is an indicator as to how much you will pull up on the whammy to achieve a specific note (1/2 step, whole step, etc).

Tremolo or Vibrato system - Device that includes the bridge and anchors the strings to the instrument and then allows the player to stretch the strings by pressing down or pulling up on the tremolo bar

Tremolo Picking - pick and play the note as rapidly and continuously as possible

Trill - consisting of the more or less rapid alternation of two adjacent notes

Truss Rod - A long rod inside your guitar neck designed to help keep your neck angle correct.

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

Under-Saddle pickup - This type of piezo pickup utilizes pressure and is traditionally used on Acoustic instruments but can also be found on electric guitars. They are located under the saddle on the bridge and the pressure from the strings at pitch transfers the sound to the piezo element.

Undo - allows user to implement previous task or command

Up stroke - Right hand movement from bottom to top.

Vibrato - a pulsating effect in an instrumental tone produced by slight and rapid variations in pitch. This can be achieved by shaking (bending and releasing) the string with the fretting finger

Volume Swell Louder - A volume swell is a musical crescendo. The initial 'attack' ill produces higher pitched overtones over the top of the fundamental note, followed by a diminution of these overtones. Consequently the tail end of the note is softer than the attack. This technique is often executed by the little finger which is wrapped around the volume pot of the guitar. When the note is struck the volume is increased from zero by a rolling motion of the little finger.

Volume Swell Softer - Same as above only the tone of the guitar grows softer

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

Whammy Bar - A long metal bar that allows a player 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.

Repeat Start - A directional barline that indicates the beginning of a repeating section.

Repeat End - A directional barline that indicates the end of a repeating section

Paste Replace - Replaces the current selection by writing over it with the pasted segment.

Paste Insert - Works like a regular paste function by inserting the pasted segment at the current selection.

Trim - Trims the staff to the current selection.

Auto-Fix Staff - If staff lines are unequal in width due to manual editing, this function crops all lines equally to the length of the shortest line.