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Classical Guitar Words, Terms, and Definitions

I have put together a list of common words, terms, and defintions when it comes to classical guitar and how it is played. If you have any suggestions please feel free to email me!


Rasgueado - These are flamenco finger strumming techniques. They are very aggressive and usuallly very fast. More of a striking of the strings rather than a strumming of the strings. Typically they stay within the realm of Spanish and Flamenco Guitar but occasionally they are used in pure classical guitar. Typically the big thing about Rasgueado is that rather than strumming with the hand as a whole the Rasgueado uses each finger distinctly in a very rapid succession.

Apoyando - This is a rest stroke where the finger, after plucking the string comes to rest on the next string. This is generally not a beginner technique.

Tirando -this is the common plucking technique It is also called a free stroke. The finger plucks the string and comes free of it. The finger does not come to rest on the next string as in apoyondo.

Hammer-on - This is a left hand technique where the sound is produced by the finger hammering onto the string. There is no plucking with the right hand.

Pull-off - This is a left hand technque where the sound is produced by the fretted finger pulling off a string. There is no plucking with the right hand.

Flamenco - A Style of Music and Dance that originates from Spain. There are also Flamenco styles of guitar which are typically made with different types of wood like.

Golpe - A flamenco style of tapping the sound board either above or below the strings. Often times flamenco guitars will have a plate on the guitar to protect the face from wear. This plate is called a Golpeador.

Arpeggio - A series of notes played in a repetitive pattern. Often a chord is formed with the left hand and the right hand plays the notes of the arpeggio.

Luthier - A master craftsperson who makes musical instruments.



Parts of the Guitar:

  • Tuning Pegs: You turn these to tune the strings to the correct pitch
  • Nut: The strings ride over this. It holds them tight and in the proper location
  • Fingerboard and Neck: Where you place your left hand and play
  • Frets: small metal bars that you press the string against to create a note
  • Sound Hole: The sound of the guitar is created within the body and emanates from here
  • Rosette: A decorative pattern around the sound hole
  • Face: The flat top surface of the guitar
  • Bridge base: the strings are attached to this
  • Sound board - The top surface of the guitar or face. The sound hole is in this.





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