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February 06, 2010


Open chords - chords usually contain open strings (not fretted with left hand). Often the first kind of chords a beginner learns (D - G - Am etc). You can call it the overturn of barré or power chords.

To transpose - A lick in A minor played on the seventh fret will be played on ninth fret if transposed to B minor lick.

Hexatonic scale - Scale with six notes per octave (a pentatonic scale has five notes per octave).

Staccato - Is gained by using strictly alternate picking.

Sweeping - The pick is swept through the strings in a downward or upward motion, this technique is largely used with arpeggios.

Syncopate - To transform the rhythm by stressing or accenting a weak beat, purposely playing off beat.

Bpm - Beats per minute. It defines the tick speed of the metronome.

Barré chords - Are played with a "barred finger" over the guitar neck, done with the index finger of the left hand. The first barré the beginner may come across is usually F.

Chromatics - 12-note scale together with all the semitones of the octave.

Chicken Scratching - The strings are being scratched (strummed) with the pick, while the left hand is damping the strings (touching the strings lightly). It produces a rhythmic effect in the style of Jimi Hendrix & Stevie Ray Vaughan.

Chicken picking - A combination of right hand pick & fingers, generally associated with country music but also used by rock guitarists like Steve Morse & Zakk Wylde.

Alternate picking - Every other note is played with a down stroke & every other note is played with an upstroke. Do not cheat, keep it strict! It’s a vital part in playing scales & solos.

Double stop - two notes being played simultaneously.

Drop D tuning - Tune down the low (thick) E string to D, which facilitates power chords, also produces a heavier sound. From low to high: D-A-D-G-B–E.

Artificial Harmonic - Hold down a note on the neck with left hand, & use the right hand to calmly touch a point on the string and then pluck the side of the string that is closer to the bridge. This type of technique is used to produce harmonic tones that are in other cases out-of-the-way. Guitar players call this technique pinch harmonic.

Hybrid picking - The pick is in combination with fingers.

Legato - Is obtained on the guitar, using strictly hammer-ons and pull-offs. This is a method favored by legato player Allan Holdsworth.

Accelerando – Achieved by progressively accelerating or getting faster.

Palm mute - the strings being damped with right hand palm close to the guitar's bridge.

Pedal tones - Notes that relentlessly repeat in a pattern. A technique favored by neoclassical guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen, Vinnie Moore.

Pinch harmonic - The thumb slightly touches the string after it is picked, creating a high pitched sound in a position. It usually requires heavily distorted amplifier settings and pinch harmonics are also known as artificial harmonics.

Pre-bend - The note is bend just before it is struck with the pick. Be sure to bend the note in right pitch.

Ritardando - Obtained by steadily delaying or slowing down the tempo.

Slur - To glide over a series of notes smoothly without a break, mostly used in combination with legato.

Triple stop - 3 notes played at the same time.

Tapping - The use of right hand fingers on fretboard usually middle finger, so that you do not have to put the pick down.

Vibrato - Gained by bending the string up or down. This technique is essential to the guitarist's tone & originality.


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