Guitar Dictionary | A-Z

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An interval of 12 semitones.

Full Article on: intervals

Octave Pedal

A foot operated guitar effect that combines what you are playing with a note an octave higher.

Open String

A string that is played without being fretted.

Open String Chord

A chord that consists of open strings and may or may not include fretted notes.

Optional Note

A note that does not have to be played. Usually refers to notes that are sometimes improvised by a musician.


An instruction in written music to play a note, or series of notes, an octave higher than what is written on the staff. Represented by the symbol 8va.

Synonymous With: 8va

Full Article on: symbol dictionary

Outside Picking

Where alternate picking is used on two strings, the lower of the two being picked with downstrokes and the higher string being picked with upstrokes.

See Also: Inside Picking

Full Article on: exercises - alternate picking


A bend that is wider than a full bend.


Achieved by a gain setting that is deliberately too high. A signal overload is produced and enhances or creates distortion. Overdrive can be produced by greatly increasing volume, even in a clean channel.


To record a section of music that overlaps a pre-recorded piece of music.