Guitar Dictionary | A-Z

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The depth of the curve on the surface of the fretboard. The shallower the curve is the more flat the fretboard feels.


A technique where the pick is firmly dragged across the strings. Can be done to provide emphasis on the highest note and can sometimes contain muted strings. A similar technique to arpeggiated chords.

Synonymous With: Pick Rake

Full Article on: arpeggiated chords

Random Natural Harmonics

A technique where a string is picked continuously whilst a fretting hand finger slides along the same string between the bridge and the body.

Full Article on: natural harmonics

Re-Picked Bends

Picking once the bend has been sounded, usually marked with RP (re-pick).

Relative Tuning

Where one string on a guitar is used to tune all the others by comparison. The fifth fret trick is a common method of relative tuning.

Full Article on: tuning your guitar

Relative View

Taking modes from a scale by starting on a note other than the root note. This allows you to see how two different scales in two different keys can contain the same notes. Alternatively you could try the altered view.

Full Article on: modes

  1. When pressure is taken off of the string to stop the sounding of a bend.
  2. An instruction in written music to return a bent string to its original position
  1. A set duration of silence.
  2. A symbol in written music indicating that the instrument should remain silent for a specified duration.

Full Article on: rests


Short for reverberation.


A constant wave of overlapping echoes producing an ambient effect. Reverb can occur naturally by the reflection of sound off solid objects or can be simulated by analogue or digital means.

Reverse Bend

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

Synonymous With: Pre-Bend, Ghost Bend

Rhy. Fig.

Short for rhythm figure.

  1. The duration of individual notes as opposed to their pitches.
  2. The section of guitar music that acts as an underlying structure. This is usually achieved by strumming chord progressions that support the lead guitar parts.
Rhythm Click

Another term for fret hand mute.

Rhythm Figure

A section of written music played by the rhythm guitarist.

Rhythm Guitarist

A guitarist that plays the rhythm and main underlying body of a song whilst the lead guitarist plays melodies and solos.

Rhythm Slashes

A system of notating rhythm guitar music by writing the name of the chord instead of using a stave. It makes tabbing rhythm guitars quicker and shorter.


A repeated sequence of notes, most common in rock and pop.

Right Hand Tapping

A technique where the left hand (fretting hand) holds frets whilst the right hand (picking hand) hammers on to frets higher up the fretboard. Right hand tapping is commonly used to achieve fast legato style playing.

See Also: Hammer-On, Pull-Off


The sounding of a note (vibration of a string).


A technique where one finger rolls from one fret onto the same fret of an adjacent string. It is used in sweep picking to play consecutive notes without the notes bleeding into each other.

Full Article on: exercises - sweep picking


The note from which a scale or chord is based. The first note of a scale or chord.

Root Position

An arrangement of a chord where the different pitches of the notes correspond to the scale from where the notes were taken. For example the root position of the C major chord would have C as the lowest note, E as the second lowest and G as the highest note, because that is the order they appear on the C major scale.


An inlay that surrounds the sound hole of an acoustic guitar. Used purely for decoration.