Guitar Dictionary | A-Z

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The third thinnest and third highest sounding string on a guitar. Named so because it is tuned to 'G' in standard tuning.

Synonymous With: 3rd String

Full Article on: string labelling


The amount of increase in power a signal is exposed to. Determines the amount of distortion and sustain.

Full Article on: amplifiers


A vibrato-like effect caused by flicking the Vibrato bar once a note has been sounded.

Full Article on: whammy bar techniques


Refers to the thickness of guitar strings. It can alter sustain, tone and flexibility. Light gauges are easier for bending whilst heavier gauges are better for volume and sustain. Light: 0.010 to 0.047 Medium-light: 0.011 to 0.052 Medium: 0.012 to 0.056 Heavy: 0.013 to 0.062

Full Article on: changing strings

Ghost Bend

A bend is made before the string is plucked and usually released to create a drop in pitch.

Synonymous With: Reverse Bend, Pre-Bend

Ghost Note
  1. A note that is physically acted upon but is not heard. For example the starting note before a string bend is performed.
  2. 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, Dead Note

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

Gig Bag

A case designed to hold a guitar for transportation. Gig bags can be padded and fitted with shoulder straps depending on the quality. A good gig bag should have extra padding around the edges (where most of the bumps and scrapes occur).

Glissando Slide

More commonly known as slides. Sliding is a form of legato (smooth playing) that is similar to hammer-ons and pull-offs. The technique involves playing a note and then moving the finger to a different fret, keeping the finger pressed firmly against the fretboard as you move.

Synonymous With: Slide

Full Article on: slides

Grace Note

A note that is not written in rhythm notation. Usually added as an embellishment.

Grace Note Bend

A bend that makes an immediate transition up to the desired pitch, without sounding the fretted note. The fretted note is written in notation but without a symbol describing note duration.


The word guitar is derived from the Spanish word guitarra. It is a stringed instrument that traditionally has 6 strings (although there are such things as 7, 8 and 12 string guitars) and can be plucked or strummed. Guitars can be acoustic, semi-acoustic or electric. Acoustics and semi-acoustics consist of a hollow body. Semi-acoustics and electrics are played with amplifiers via pickups.


A stringed instrument similar to the guitar. Used to provide bass in Latino folk music.