The Secrets of Learning the Fretboard

Glossary of Guitar Terms

Guitar Dictionary
Accent An emphasized note
Accidental A symbol used to raise or lower the pitch of a note in standard notation.
The symbol is either a sharp (♯), a flat (♭), or a natural sign (♮).
Action The height of the strings from the fretboard
Arpeggio A succession of chord tones
Bar Also called a measure, a bar is a segment of written music in which
there is a designated number of beats
Bass Note Lowest note of a chord
Bridge Section of the guitar on the body where the strings held. It is on
the opposite side from where you tune the guitar.
Camber Curvature of the fretboard.
Capo A clamp that holds down all the strings on a given fret.
Chromatic Refers to note going up or down a semitone
Feedback Sound produced by a guitar amplifying its own sound.
Fretboard Wood section of the guitar with frets mounted on it.
Flat A symbol (♭) which signifies the lowering of a note 1 semitone
Frets Metal strips on the fretboard
Headstock Area where the tuning pegs are located
Improvisation Making up a solo as you go.
Interval Distance between 2 notes
Key The reference pitch for a song
Luthier A guitar maker
Natural Symbol (♮)
for negating a sharp or a flat.
Nut Section where the strings are held tightly near the headstock
Octave An interval of 12 semitones or 6 whole steps
Root The note of reference for a scale or chord
Semitone A half step
Sharp A symbol (♯) which signifies the raising of a note 1 semitone
Tempo Speed of the music
Triad Three note chord
About Patrick MacFarlane 127 Articles
I've been teaching guitar online for 25 years. My site has been featured in Rolling Stone and Acoustic Guitar magazine. I'm the author of The Secrets of Learning the Fretboard and Guitar Lesson World The Book.