Tools > Guitar Dictionary

Guitar Dictionary | b


a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z | A-Z | 0-9 | Symbol Dictionary


The second thinnest and second highest sounding string on a guitar. Named so because it is tuned to 'B' in standard tuning.

Synonymous With: 2nd string

Full Article on: string labelling

A flaw that occurs in machineheads whereby the string-post does not immediately turn in response to the tuner.

Musical equipment that facilitates live playing. For example, amplifiers, stands and cables.

A thin plate used to cover the control cavities on the reverse side of the body in which the circuitry and bridge are found.

Full Article on: anatomy of the guitar

The front panel of a speaker onto which other components are mounted.

The metal stopper found on the end of guitar strings used to anchor the string to the bridge.

An instrument similar to the guitar that is used in Spanish folk music. It consists of a pear-shaped body and steel strings.

Tuners that are found on the reverse side of the headstock.

See Also: machineheads

A unit of time in music, commonly consisting of four beats. Represented by a vertical line on tablature or the staff.

Synonymous With: measure

Full Article on: the staff

Another term for blade pickup. A pickup that uses one polepiece for each coil as oppposed to having one vertical polepiece under each string.

Synonymous With: Blade Pickup

Any chord that requires you to hold down more than one string with a single finger. The most common examples of barre chords are ones in which the index finger holds down five or six strings (on the same fret) whilst the other fingers hold basic chord shapes. This provides a way of using the simple open string chords further up the fretboard (like a capo).

  1. Short for Bass guitar.
  2. Sounds of a lower frequency. Origin Latin Bassus.

Also known as the F clef as its symbol has two dots, between which, is a line on the staff that represents the note F. Written guitar music does not require a bass clef as guitars only have a maximum of a four octave range which can be covered by the treble clef.

Full Article on: the staff

A variety of guitar that typically has four strings and is tuned an octave lower.

The lowest note in a chord.

Another term for neck pickup.

  1. A unit of time, determined by the tempo of a piece of music, which is used to measure the duration of a note. A tempo of 60bpm would infer that the each beat is one second long. A beat is an average note duration that other note duration symbols are based around.
  2. The underlying rhythm of a piece of music determined by the tempo.

Synonymous With: pulse

A measurement of the tempo of a piece of music. Most music has a tempo of 60-220 beats per minute.

Synonymous With: bpm

A technique where a fretting hand finger is used to literally bend the string up or down (towards either side of the neck). The bend creates an increase of tension on the string and therefore an increase in pitch.

Performing a bend or series of bends.

A vibrato system developed by Paul Bigsby. The term is also used to describe vibrato systems that work on the same principle.

A strip of flexible material such as wood or plastic which is used to strengthen the body of an acoustic guitar where the soundboard and back meet the sides.

A pickup that uses one polepiece for each coil as oppposed to having one vertical polepiece under each string.

Synonymous With: bar pickup

  1. When the sound of one note unintentionally overlaps with another. Bleeding is more noticeable when playing with distortion.
  2. When sound from one source leaks into the input of other instruments.

Fret markers that consist of quadrilateral shapes instead of the usual circles.

Music of African/American origin that is often slow and sad. The guitar is a popular instrument for the blues and guitarists used this form of music as a base for early rock and roll. Most forms of rock music including heavy metal can be traced back to blues music.

A term used by blues guitarists to describe a quarter-tone bend, a bend creating an increase in pitch of half a semitone.

Synonymous With: quarter-tone bend, microtonal bend

See Also: Semitone

A component of a pickup around which the coil is wrapped.

The main section of the guitar, on which the neck and bridge are attached. In acoustic guitars the hollow body acts as a resonator for the sound. Electric guitars use electronic amplification and therefore have less need for the hollow body, although the body still has an effect on the timbre of the instrument.

See Also: solid body

Full Article on: anatomy of the guitar

A device that contains electronic equipment for transmitting a signal in order to eliminate the need for wires. Its name is given because it is worn on the body although a lot of wireless transmitters are small enough to be plugged into the guitar.

A guitar neck that is secured to the body of the guitar by screws (not bolts, ironically) and a metal plate. Found on solid body guitars.

A process used to manufacture the Soundboard and back of an acoustic guitar. It involves cutting the shape from one billet of wood and splitting it into to symmetrical slices.

A finger piece that can be slid up and down the surface of the guitar strings to create a unique effect. They can be made from a variety of materials.

Synonymous With: bottleneck slide, slide

See Also: slide guitar

Containing binding.

See Also: Binding

A section of an acoustic guitar body. The waist of an acoustic guitar divides the body into the upper bout and lower bout.

Beats per minute. A measurement of the tempo of a piece of music. Most music has a tempo of 60-220 beats per minute.

Synonymous With: beats per minute

Strips of wood found on the inside of an acoustic guitar. They are used to strengthen the body but also have an effect on tone. Sometimes the bracing can be stripped down to alter the tone produced by the guitar; this is sometimes referred to as scalloped bracing.

Synonymous With: bracing

Strips of wood found on the inside of an acoustic guitar. They are used to strengthen the body but also have an effect on tone. Sometimes the bracing can be stripped down to alter the tone produced by the guitar; this is sometimes referred to as scalloped bracing.

Synonymous With: braces

A type of hardwood that is used in the manufacture of guitar bodies, necks and fretboards. No longer used so commonly as it is a protected species.

A symbol in written music that represents two bars (in 4/4 time).

Full Article on: note duration

  1. The metal or wooden component on the front of the body that holds the strings in place. The tension of the strings is usually altered at the head of the guitar by the machineheads. Bridges contain one saddle for each string, on which the strings are held in place. The position of these saddles can sometimes be altered to adjust the intonation.
  2. A passage of music that connects two sections of a composition.

Full Article on: anatomy of the guitar

The component of an acoustic guitar bridge through which the strings are threaded.

The pickup located in front of the bridge.

Synonymous With: treble pickup, lead pickup

Full Article on: anatomy of the guitar

Used on flat top acoustic guitars. They consist of plastic pegs that are placed into the holes of the bridge to hold the strings in place.

A flat surface made of metal (on electric guitars) or wood (on acoustic guitars) that the components of the bridge are attached.

Full Article on: anatomy of the guitar

Where the notes of a chord are not played at the same time. For example, two notes could be played followed by another two, or in the form of an arpeggio.

Material used in the manufacture of modern acoustic guitar strings.

Where frequency components of a signal are blocked by a signal of the same amplitude and opposite polarity. Can be called phase cancellation because of its use in the phaser and flanger guitar effects.

A technique where the index finger holds a note or part of a chord whilst the tip of the finger mutes the adjacent lower string.

Full Article on: fret hand muting