Sunday, February 13, 2011

Learning The Guitar Lingo

The guitar is one of the most sought-after musical instruments today. Its popularity is manifested through-out the radio stations and the music videos on MTV. Almost all types of music in modern pop culture have been influenced by the guitar in one way or another.

For people who would like to get their hands on a guitar, they must first learn the guitar lingo. The guitar lingo is made up of weird-sounding words that are unique to the guitar world.

The guitar lingo also applies to the guitar parts. You must be able to know the parts of a guitar to be able to know how to play it. Here are some of the guitar parts:

- Body

This is also referred to as the sound box. This is the largest guitar part and it comes in different shapes and sizes. The acoustic guitars usually have a hollow body, while electric guitars have solid or semi-solid bodies. Acoustic guitars have hollow bodies because they rely on the body structure for sound resonation and electric guitars use electronic pick-ups to amplify the sound.

- Headstock

The headstock is the part at the end of the guitar which holds the tuning keys. It is connected to the neck of the guitar.

- Nut

The nut is the piece between the guitar neck and the head. It is a small rod with indentations to hold the guitar strings in place.

- Neck

The neck is the long section which holds the fret board.

- Fret Board

The fret board is divided into different notes by small metal rods. The number of frets in a fret board varies depending on the type of guitar and the brand. Modern electric guitars usually have 20-22 frets in the fret board.

- Bridge

It is a part of the guitar’s body and it is important for sound resonance. It gives elevation to the guitar strings so they can produce vibrations.

- Pick-Up

The pick-up is an electronic device which acts like a microphone: it picks up the vibrations from the strings and converts the vibrations into electrical impulses. They are usually found in electric guitars

- Amp

The amplifier a speaker box from which the sounds of the electric guitar are magnified.

- Capo

This is a device which is attached to the fret board which allows a player to play the same chord structures but in a different key. 

Listed below are some of the different words that you might encounter in learning how to play the guitar.

- Riff

Guitar riffs pertain to musical pieces which are parts of a song.

- Reverb

It is added to the sound of the guitar through an effects box or through amplifiers to make the sounds more natural.

- Tablature

Guitar tablatures or more commonly known as guitar tabs are written music for guitars. It is similar to musical pieces (with notes and other musical symbols) but the notes are translated into guitar frets. It’s a useful tool in learning how to play the guitar.

- Vibrato

It refers to a guitar technique where the string is slightly bent at a fast rate to Produce a longer resonating sound.

- Arpeggio

This refers to a technique where you remove notes from a specific chord. You can then use these to create an adlib lead technique or add to the rhythm of the song.

- Pick

This is the small device which guitar players use to strike the guitar strings and is usually made of plastic.

- Whammy Bar

This is an attachment to the bridge of electric guitars that can be used to bend the pitch of the notes. You can pull the whammy bar to be able to make your guitar “cry.” 

- Plucking

It’s a picking technique where a player does not strum the strings all at once but hits the strings one by one to attain a softer and more defined tone. 

- Palm Mute

This is a technique where a player uses his picking hand (usually the right hand) to mute the strings while strumming to be able to attain a distinct tone. It is very popular in the punk rock world.

The world of guitars is composed of many other new words and you must be able to master these or at least have an idea of what they are to be able do to appreciate the wonderful instrument that is the guitar.

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