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Unread 11-13-2007, 03:33 PM   #1
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Joined: Apr 2006
Location: The Star Destroyer Chimeara
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Guitar Acronyms and Terminology

Common Acronyms, Shorthand

Countries of Manufacture:
MIA- Made In America
MIM- Made in Mexico (usually referring to Ensenada-built Fenders and Martins)
MIC- Made In China
MII- Made in Indonesia
MIJ- Made In Japan
CIJ- Crafted In Japan
MIK- Made In Korea
MIV- Made in Vietnam
MICan - Made in Canada

FR- Floyd Rose
SC- Fender Stratocaster (also "S-style")
TC- Fender Telecaster (also "T-style")
J-bass- Fender Jazz Bass (also "J-style")
P-bass- Fender Precision Bass (also "P-style")
LP- Les Paul
SG - solid guitar (Gibson's genius idea for a guitar name)
PRS- Paul Reed Smith

SS- Solid State
HRD- Either of the two models in the Fender Hot Rod amp series, Deluxe (Dlx) and DeVille (DV or DeV)
VJ- Epiphone Valve Junior amp
VK- Peavey Valveking
Twin- Fender Twin Reverb (usually, though non-reverb Twins do exist in both the vintage and modern product lines)
JC- Roland Jazz Chorus
Plexi- Early Marshall amplifiers marked by a plexiglas front panel
PODxtL- Line 6 PODxt Live
FS- Footswitch (also “fsw”, “ftsw”)
FX Out/In- Effects loop out (send) or in (return)
PA- Public address, colloquialism for the house sound system, also Power Amp
Pre- Preamp
100W- 100 watts RMS (or other number)
4x12 or 412- A cabinet with 4 - 12" diameter speakers (number of speakers followed by sizes of speakers, 2x10/210, 1x8, etc.)
Ch- Channel(s)
Fender BF - Fender Blackface era (1963-1967)
Fender SF - Fender Silverface era (1968ish-1982ish)
Tweed - refers to early Fender amps (pre-1963) with a Tweed covering before black Tolex.

Pickup Designations:
P’ups- Pickups (also just “pups”)
HSS- Humbucker, single coil, single coil
SSH- Single coil, single coil, humbucker
SSS- Single coil, single coil, single coil
HS- Humbucker, single coil
SH- Single coil, humbucker
HH- Humbucker, humbucker
HSH- Humbucker, single coil, humbucker
HHH- Humbucker, humbucker, humbucker
SC- Single Coil (also “Single”)
HB- Humbucker (also “Hum”, “Bucker”)
P90- Single-coil pickup originally developed by Gibson, "Soapbar" (SB) and "Dog Ear" (DE) varieties exist
P- usually Piezo

Effects (particularly Boss designations):
FL- Flanger
PH- Phaser
DD- Digital Delay
DL- Delay
RV- Reverb
CS- Compressor
TR- Tremolo
CH- Chorus (also CE- "Chorus Ensemble")
OD- Overdrive
DS- Distortion
EQ- Equalizer
GE- Graphic Equalizer
ME- Multi-effects
OC- Octaver
TU- Tuner
TS- Ibanez TubeScreamer
AC/DC- Alternating Current/Direct Current, also a popular band

DI - direct injection
RI- Reissue
GAS - Gear Acquisition Syndrome
FSR - Factory Special Run or Fender Special Run
OHSC - original hard shell case
HSC - hard shell case
R6, R7, R8, etc. - Gibson Reissues by year (R6 = 1956 Reissue)
VOS - Vintage Original Spec (Gibson's recent line of 'reissues')
FMT - Flame Maple Top
QMT - Quilted Maple Top
PAF - Patent Applied For (Gibson's original humbucker, usually used to refer to pickups styled after these early ones)
NOS- New Old Stock (vintage equipment that hasn’t been used, often in reference to tubes)

WTB- Wanted to buy
WTT- Wanted/willing to trade
FS - For sale
OBO- Or best offer
GC - Guitar Center
MF - Musicians Friend
HC - Harmony Central

Guitar Types

Guitar- A fretted stringed instrument usually having 6 strings. Sometimes an object of affection, and love.

Guitarist- A person who is able to play the guitar.

Acoustic Guitar- A type of guitar that produces its own sound, and does not need another source of amplification.

Flat-Top Guitar- An acoustic guitar that has a hollow body, flat top and back, and produces sound via a soundhole.

Classical Guitar (also "nylon-string guitar")- A flat top guitar that uses nylon or gut strings.

Steel Sting Guitar (also "folk guitar")- A flat top guitar that uses steel strings.

Arch-Top Guitar (also "jazz guitar" or colloquially "jazzbox")- An guitar with a carved, arched top. Usually has two f-shaped sound holes. Electric varieties and acoustic varieties exist.

Resonator Guitar (also "dobro")- An acoustic guitar that uses a resonator cone, usually aluminium, to produce sound.

Electric-Acoustic Guitar- Any acoustic guitar that can be electrically amplified by any amplifier via a pickup, usually a piezoelectric transducer.

Electric Guitar- A type of guitar that uses a pickup, usually magnetic, to create an electric signal for use with an electric amplifier to produce its sound.

Solid-Body Electric Guitar- A type of electric guitar that has a solid body to reduce body resonation, and usually requires an amplifier.

Hollow-Body Electric Guitar- A type of electric guitar with a hollow body to increase resonance, and may or may not require an amplifier. Often a type of Archtop Guitar. A Semi-Hollow Body Guitar may either utilize chambers in order to increase resonance or be a thinner Archtop with a center block in order to increase sustain and weight.

3/4-size guitar (also "parlor-sized guitar")
A smaller than normal guitar with shorter strings and less space between frets.

General Terms

A term referring to the height of the strings above the frets and fretboard.
altered and open tunings
The result of changing the tuning of one or more strings from standard EADGBE.

alternate picking:
Picking in alternate directions (down-up-down-up).

A broken chord, usually played evenly low to high and back again.

The setting of an original or standard tune for a given solo instrument or group of instruments

barre chord:
From the French term barré. The technique of placing the left hand index finger over two to six strings in the fingering of a chord. The great advantage of using barre chords is that they are "moveable shapes" that can be applied at practically any fret.

The act of pushing or pulling a string sideways across the a fret to raise the pitch of a note by a half to full tone or more. Used extensively in rock and blues playing as well as in jazz.

A mechanical barre that attaches to the neck of a guitar by means of a string, spring, elastic or nylon band, or a lever and thumbscrew arrangement. The capo can be used to raise the key of a song to suit a vocalist as well as to lower the action and shorten the string length.

Three or more notes sounded simultaneously.

chorus (of a tune):
Strictly speaking, the portion of a song lyric or melody that is repeated, often with other voices joining in. In jazz improvisation, however, "playing a chorus" would mean taking a turn improvising over the tune's chords progression.

closed voicing:
The term "voicing" refers to the vertical arrangement of the notes of a given chord. "Closed voicing" places the member notes as close together as possible, no matter the inversion as opposed to "open voicing" which spreads the member notes of the chord at larger intervals.

A concave area generally in the upper right bout of a normal right-hand guitar that allows the player easier access to the high frets.

dropped-D tuning:
The practice of lowering the sixth string (E) by a whole tone, one octave lower than the fourth string.

finger picks:
Banjo-style picks that fingerstyle guitarists use when playing steel-string instruments.

fingerstyle (also fingerpicking):
Playing with the fingernails or fingertips with or without fingerpicks as opposed to playing with a flatpick.

A triangular or teardrop-shaped piece of nylon or plastic used to pluck or strum guitar strings. Flatpicks are available in a large variety of shapes, sizes, and thickness.

A small adjustable stool used to raise the height of the guitar.

A note sounded literally by "hammering" down with a left hand finger, often performed in conjunction with a note first plucked by the right hand on the same string.

Chime-like sounds achieved in two ways: 1) natural harmonics - by touching a string at any equidistant division of the string length (typically 5th, 7th, and 12th fret), directly above the fret with left hand, and striking hard with the right-hand fingers or pick near the bridge where there is more string resistance; or 2) artificial harmonics - touching a string with the index finger of the right hand twelve frets higher than any fretted note and plucking the string with either the thumb or third finger of the right hand.

The distance between two notes.

Structuring a chord with a note other than the root as the lowest note.

lead guitar:
The part played by a guitar soloist in a rock band

To change keys within a piece of music

open voicing:
A manner of chord construction in which the member notes are broadly separated. See closed voicing above.

pentatonic scale:
A five-tone scale used often in rock.

Plucking or producing a sound on the guitar in general, either with the fingers or a flatpick. Sometimes refers to playing a single-note melody line.

p i m a:
letters derived from the Spanish names for the fingers of the right hand: pulgar (thumb), indice (index), medio (middle), and anular (ring). Used to indicate fingering.

Another name for a flatpick.

A reference to placement of the left hand index finger at various frets.

power chord:
A chord consisting of the first (root), fifth and eighth degree (octave) of the scale. Power chords are typically used in playing rock music.

The opposite of a hammer-on. Performed by plucking a note with a finger on a higher note and pulling parallel to the fret to sound a lower note on the same string.

rhythm guitar:
Rhythmic strumming of chord backup for a lead player, singer, or ensemble.

The adjustment of the action of a guitar for optimal playing characteristics.

A plastic or glass tube placed over the third or fourth finger of the left hand and used to play "slide" or glissando effects in rock and blues and other forms of traditional music.

standard tuning:
The guitar is generally tuned EADGBE low to high.

string winder:
A swivel device with a handle with a fixture that fits over the tuning keys.

Performed with a pick or the fingers. Generally consists of brushing across 2-6 strings in a rhythmic up and down fashion appropriate to the tune being played.

tablature or tab:
A system of writing music for fretted instruments whereby a number or letter appears on lines representing the strings, indicating the fret to be played.

To write a solo, note for note, off of a recording.

To change the key of a piece of music by a specific interval.

A technique performed with either a very rapid down-up movement of the pick or a pami plucking of the fingers.

A three-note chord.

An electronic tuning device.

To vibrate by slightly altering a pitch higher and lower.

The arrangement of the member notes of a chord, or placement of the melody or bass line within a harmonic progression.

Relating to Electronics

Boosts an electrical signal from the pickup(s) to a stronger signal that can power the amplifier's speaker(s).

A plastic cover that conceals the tremolo's block, springs and claw, or covers the control/electronics cavity, or the plate on the neck/body joint where the screws are.

The part of the pickup that the coil wire is wrapped around.

Often referred to as a cord or guitar cable, it carries the electrical signal produced by the pickups to the amplifier.

In guitar wiring, a capacitor acts as a filter for certain frequencies in conjunction with a potentiometer, to affect the tone of the guitar.

A general reference to the bobbin and coil assembly.

Coil tap:
Running a wire partway through the windings of a coil, usually to short half the pickup for lower output.

Coil split:
Using only one of two humbucker coils.

Coil wire:
Very thin (43-42 gauge, .0022-.0025") copper wire which is coated with a nonconductive material, usually a thin plastic finish.

A material with the ability to transmit or convey electrical and/or magnetic energy.

The two stamped pieces of vulcanized-fiber material Fender used in the construction of the pickup bobbin of their traditional single-coil pickups. Six magnets were pressed into two pieces of flatwork, one for the top of the coil and the other for the bottom.

Referring to wire. The higher the gauge number, the thinner the diameter. The thinner the diameter (the higher the gauge), the higher the DC resistance per linear foot of distance. There are tonal differences between two coils with the same number of turns of two different gauges. The thinner-wire pickup will have a higher DC resistance, and therefore a different response than a pickup utilizing a thicker gauge coil wire. If a pickup is wound to a specific DC resistance, a higher gauge (thinner) wire will achieve that resistance quicker than a thicker gauge wire.

The unit of measurement for a magnetic field and its strength.

The measurement of the overall resistance of an electrical circuit.

The process of adjusting a string's length (using the individual saddles of the bridge) so that each string plays in tune at every fret.

Jack Plate:
Mounting hardware for the output jack.

A ferrous (containing iron) material which can be magnetically charged and will attract other ferrous materials. Often pickups are manufactured first, then the magnets are charged. Magnetism is measured in Gauss. There are two common methods for charging the magnets of a pickup. One method is to simply introduce the pickup to the field of another larger magnet and let it charge the magnet(s) of the pickup. The orientation, proximity, and exposure time will determine the polarity and intensity of the pickup's magnet(s). A precise method utilizes a capacitor discharged into a coil of wire, similar to a large solenoid. The pickup is placed within the coil of wire, the capacitor is charged with a preset amount of voltage and current, and then the capacitor is allowed to discharge into the coil. The coil will become a very stable, but with a short-lived magnetic field surrounding the pickup. This short burst of magnetism can be repeated as many times as necessary to produce a consistent product.

The unit of measurement for electrical resistance. The higher the value, the greater the resistance.

Output Jack:
This is a receptacle that accepts the cable, which is then connected to the guitar amplifier.

When two or more electrical components are combined so that their inputs are connected and their outputs are connected.

Generally made of plastic, it is often used to mount the pickups, pots and switch. The pickguard is held in place by pickguard screws.

Transmits the vibration of the strings into an electrical signal. The pickup is comprised of three primary parts, the magnet(s), copper wire, and the bobbin.

Part of a pickup which senses string vibration. Depending upon the design of the pickup, the polepieces may not be actual magnets, but they must be magnetically conductive.

Often referred to as a "pot," it is an electrical device consisting of a resistive strip and a variable sweeper. The resistance strip is equal to the pot's value (250K, 500K, 1 Meg, etc.) and its ends are the two outer lugs on a pot (lug 1 and lug 3). The middle lug (lug 2) is connected to the "sweeper" which travels along the resistance strip as the pot shaft is rotated. The location of the sweeper will determine the amount of resistance between lugs 2 and 3, and 2 and 1. The pots used in guitar electronics are generally "audio taper." This means that the resistive strip has a special logarithmic taper to compensate for the way the human ear perceives changes in volume. This allows the musician to vary the volume or tone of an electric guitar in a smooth manner.

Power Amp:
The electrical circuit which boosts the preamp signal to a level strong enough to drive the speakers.

An electrical device which boosts or buffers a signal's strength or impedance. In a guitar amplifier, the preamp does most of the tone shaping and is where the distortion circuit occurs.

The restriction or impedance of electrical flow.

An electrical component designed to apply a predetermined amount of resistance to an electrical circuit.

Selector Switch:
Determines which pickups are connected to the amp.

When two or more electrical components are connected so that the output of one component feeds into the input of the next component.

The top or face of an acoustic or hollowbody guitar, which vibrates with the strings and projects the sound of the guitar.

Tone Control:
A potentiometer and capacitor wired to control certain frequencies of the pickup's output.

Variable Resistor:
See Potentiometer

Volume Control:
A pot wired to determine the volume or loudness of the instrument through the amp.

Winding machines:
A mechanical means to assist in the winding of the wire around a bobbin to make a pickup coil. The machines are often very simple, comprised of an arbor for the bobbin, a motor to drive the arbor, and a variable speed control for the motor. More advanced winding machines have methods for guiding the coil wire onto the bobbin, controlling the number of wraps per layer and the wire spacing, winding counters, tensioning for the coil wire, and more. If you wish to make your own pickups, a simple winding machine could be made from an old sewing machine motor and controller, and a simple arbor made of wood.

The wraps of copper wire around the bobbin of a pickup. Coils generally have anywhere from 6,000 to 8,500 turns of wire. The number of turns is a rough indicator of a pickup's potential output and tone. The higher the number, the higher the output, but not always. As the number of windings increase, the pickup will also lose some clarity and high and low-end response. Generally, high output pickups have increased upper midrange response, but high and low frequencies are compromised.

Typical single coils are wound from 4-6.5K Ohms, while typical humbuckers wired in series (each coil of the humbucker is half the DC resistance reading) measure 7-9K Ohms. The gauge of wire and the number of windings will determine the actual size of the pickup coil. Smaller wire (43-gauge for example) will give a greater DC resistance with less windings, compared to larger (42-gauge) wire.

For some acoustic guitar/mandolin/banjo terms and general repair info head over here.

Originally Posted by gtrdave View Post
The key to great tone is really found in the kind of hand soap that you use.
For years I used a typical off-the-shelf bar-type soap and I had no idea that, even though I rinsed properly and thoroughly after every cleansing, there was still a soap scum residue on my hands and fingers.
This negatively affected my tone in ways that I just can't describe.
Then, on a whim, a few years ago I wandered into a Bath and Body Works store at a local mall and picked up some of their gentle foaming anti-bacterial hand cleansers.
The difference in my guitar's sound is so wickedly improved that I no longer feel the need to buy a new amp or pedals or even strings...EVER!
So, it's my belief that tone is in the soap.
Thank you and goodnight.

Last edited by Rainer.; 01-03-2008 at 12:38 AM.
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Unread 06-02-2011, 12:11 PM   #2
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I was curious what a "folk guitar" is. Maybe if you had put the chords and such. Just a beginner in guitar.
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Unread 06-02-2011, 01:24 PM   #3
I just have to have a say
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Joined: Oct 2008
Location: Nashville, MI
Posts: 316
You forgot one that took me forever to learn. GAS - Gear Acquisition Syndrome. It took me forever to figure out this.
1 Thes. 5:16-18 // Rejoice always, pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus to you

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Unread 06-02-2011, 05:30 PM   #4
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Location: Seaside, Oregon
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I've seen the Fender Hot Rod Deluxe acronym spelled HRDx alot....
Also the Fender Twin Reverb Reissue as TRRI ....

Good idea on the post, nbfan....
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Unread 05-17-2012, 06:48 AM   #5
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Dude, you left out "banjitar" and "git-fiddle."
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Unread 06-13-2012, 03:18 PM   #6
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Great Job, nbfan. What a resource!
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Unread 08-28-2012, 08:46 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by busdriver72 View Post
Dude, you left out "banjitar" and "git-fiddle."
What about the all important Manjo... or the Banjolin... and what about the Ukejo or Banjulele?

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Unread 08-29-2012, 02:03 AM   #8
Hey, I can change this!!!
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Originally Posted by LC7rock View Post
as played by one of the worlds top grossing stars!!!

(in the 20s)

I build guitars & mandos. Watch the progress below!!

luthier blog

Soundclick Developing Worship forum
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Unread 10-01-2014, 10:47 AM   #9
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You forgot "murse" (man-purse) just kidding LOL!
Matthew 5:3

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
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