Guitar Dictionary | A-Z

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Another term for electron vacuum tube.

Valve Amp

An amp that, instead of transistors, uses circuitry in conjunction with electron vacuum tubes.

Synonymous With: Tube Amp


A thin slice of wood that is used to cover a surface to create the impression of solid wood construction.


A wavering sound produced by shivering a fretted note up and down rapidly.

Full Article on: vibrato

Vibrato Bar

The removable metal bar that can be attached to the bridge. The bar is depressed to cause a drop in pitch and raised to cause a jump up in pitch. Also can be used for vibrato.

Synonymous With: Whammy Bar, Tremolo Bar, Tremolo Arm

Full Article on: whammy bar techniques

Vibrato Bar Bend

A technique where a note is sounded then the vibrato bar is raised/lowered to bend the note to the desired pitch.

Synonymous With: Whammy Bar Bends, Tremolo Bar Bends

Full Article on: whammy bar techniques

Vibrato Springs

Springs attached to the bridge that counter the pull of the Vibrato bar. They can be located in a cavity in the back of the guitar.

Vibrato System

The method in which a vibrato bar is attached to the guitar. The two dominant methods are the locking tremolo system and the more common fixed bridge system.


A guitar that was made roughly between mid 1940's and the 1970's may be considered vintage, however there is no precise definition of vintage. Vintage guitars may have hand built, single piece bodies and may include woods that are not often used today (Brazilian rosewood).


Another term for volume swell.

Full Article on: volume swells


Alternative formations of a specific chord. For example, the open C major chord and the C major barre chord contain the same notes but in a different voicing.

Volume Control

A knob found on the body of the guitar that controls the signal level being sent to the amplifier. Some guitars have a separate volume control for each pickup but not many.

Full Article on: amplifiers

Volume Swell

A technique where the guitars volume control is used to create a fade in effect while playing a note or riff. A common technique involves having the pinkie of the picking hand wrapped around the volume control to allow the rest of the hand free to pluck the strinsgs.

Synonymous With: Violining

Full Article on: volume swells