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Guitar Dictionary | d


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The fourth highest sounding (fourth thinnest) string on a guitar. Named so because it is tuned to 'D' in standard tuning.

Full Article on: string labelling

An instruction found in music notation indicating that you should return to the beginning of the song and play up to the measure that is labelled 'fine'.

Drop D tuning. Where the 6th string (low E-string) is tuned down a tone and the other strings are left in standard tuning.

See Also: standard tuning, dropped tuning, 6th string, e-string, tone

Full Article on: tuning your guitar, table of tunings

Restricted in volume or intensity.

Restricting the volume or intensity of musical sound. The term can be used to refer to muting.

Full Article on: fret hand muting

Short for direct current. Electricity that only flows in one direction. Tube amps tend to use Direct current voltages.

Synonymous With: Direct Current

A note that has been muted to the point it has no discernible pitch. In the context of guitar music this would be a mute performed with the fretting hand, as palm muted notes still have a distinctive pitch.

Synonymous With: False Note, Ghost Note

See Also: Fret Hand Muting, Fretting Hand, Palm Muting

The length of the non-vibrating sections of a guitar string, such as behind the nut or saddle.

A guitar effect that stops the sound for a set period of time, creating an echo-like effect. Can be used to add depth to a sound.

Re-tuning strings to a pitch other than standard tuning.

Full Article on: tuning your guitar

  1. Within the notes of a major or minor scale.
  2. Within the same key signature.

The use of digital technology to re-create the sounds of classic amplifiers and effects.

  1. A perfect or minor interval that has been reduced in pitch by a semitone. For example, a perfect fifth is an interval of 7 semitones therefore a diminished fifth is an interval of 6 semitones.
  2. A chord consisting of a major triad with a flattened third and fifth. For example, an A major triad uses the 1st, 3rd and 5th notes of the A major scale (A C# E), therefore an 'A diminished' chord would contain the notes A, C and Eb.

Full Article on: intervals, diminished chords

Electricity that only flows in one direction. Tube amps tend to use Direct current voltages.

Synonymous With: DC

Sound that is heard straight from the natural source without any intervention, electronic or otherwise.

Distorted or unnatural sounding.

A guitar effect in which gain (an increase in power of a signal) is used to create a dirty and fuzzy sound. There are many forms of distortion, used in various styles of music.

Synonymous With: gain,overdrive,fuzz

See Also: gain

Full Article on: amplifiers

A technique in which the tremolo bar is depressed rapidly to create an effect resembling the dropping of a bomb.

Synonymous With: Dive Bomb

See Also: tremolo bar

Full Article on: whammy bar techniques

A brand name and series of products developed by the Dopyera brothers.

A guitar with a metal resonator inside.

The dominant note can be found on any diatonic scale. It lies a perfect fifth above the tonic.

Fret markers that are in the form of little circles. They are the most common fret markers and they are usually found on the 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th, 15th, 17th, and 19th frets and a double dot is usually found on the 12th fret.

A fretboard with dot markers.

See Also: Dot Markers

A pair of strings aligned closely to one another enabling both to be sounded with one pluck. A standard 12-string guitar has six double courses of strings.

Lowered in pitch by two semitones.

See Also: semitone

Full Article on: intervals

Increased in pitch by two semitones.

See Also: semitone

Full Article on: the chromatic scale

When an instrument is recorded on one track, then recorded again on a second track. The idea is that when the two tracks are played simultaneously any differences in timing or tone combine to make a thicker sound.

A note that lasts for the duration of two bars.

See Also: bar

Full Article on: note duration

A type of tremolo system patented by Floyd Rose that involves a flexible floating bridge that responds smoothly to the vibrato bar. It is sometimes called the 'double-locking' system because the strings are locked at the bridge and the nut using nut locks. Every time you alter the tension on any of the strings the floating bridge moves and puts the other strings out of tune. This leaves you having to tune your guitar twice before attaching the nut locks, making tuning difficult.

Synonymous With: Floyd Rose tremolo system, Floyd Rose vibrato system, double-locking vibrato system, locking vibrato system,locking tremolo system

A type of tremolo system patented by Floyd Rose that involves a flexible floating bridge that responds smoothly to the vibrato bar. It is sometimes called the 'double-locking' system because the strings are locked at the bridge and the nut using nut locks. Every time you alter the tension on any of the strings the floating bridge moves and puts the other strings out of tune. This leaves you having to tune your guitar twice before attaching the nut locks, making tuning difficult.

Synonymous With: Floyd Rose tremolo system, Floyd Rose vibrato system, double-locking system,locking vibrato system,locking tremolo sytem

A guitar that has two necks mounted on a large body. The two necks usually consist of a six-string and a 12-string or a six-string and a bass neck.

A chord of two notes that are on adjacent strings and similar frets.

  1. The use of one finger to bend the two notes of a double stop up a quarter of a tone.
  2. Using separate fingers to bend a double stop up a specified number of steps.

A drop in pitch brought about by depressing the vibrato bar. Extreme down-bends can be referred to as divebombs.

Full Article on: whammy bar techniques

The use of just downstrokes to create a consistent rhythm. Used a lot in punk, rock and heavy metal.

A strum or pluck that moves downward towards the floor.

A model of acoustic guitar that is larger than normal and produces more volume and bass than an ordinary acoustic. Originally used to describe models of guitar designed by Frank Martin and Harry Hunt.

Where all strings are tuned down a tone then the 6th string (low E-string) is tuned down another tone, CGCFAD.

Full Article on: tuning your guitar

Where the 6th string (low E-string) is tuned down a tone and the other strings are left in standard tuning.

Full Article on: tuning your guitar

A long headstock that points down towards the floor.

Synonymous With: downward headstock, downward facing headstock

Where the lowest string is tuned a tone lower in relation to the normal intervals between strings. For example, a standard tuned guitar that has its low E-string tuned to D would be in dropped D tuning. Dropped tunings allows easy playing of power chords on the lower strings and are used mainly in heavy metal music.

See Also: drop c tuning, drop d tuning

Full Article on: tuning your guitar, table of tunings