Guitar Vocabulary


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Alternative Folk

Alternative Folk

Genres of Music
Alternative Folk (ɔltə́rnətɪv fók) is a category of music that keeps the gentle tones of traditional Folk while adding in a more aggressive and energetic sound that brings a new edge to the style of music. Often teamed with protests and feminism, the Alternative Folk sound features greats like Billy Bragg, Ani DiFranco, Suzanne Vega, and Victoria Williams. Alternative Folk features the driving sounds of guitar with a backbeat of accompany instruments, adding to the drama of the message of each song.
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Alternative Rap

Genres of Music
Alternative Rap (ɔltə́rnətɪv rǽp) is a subgenre of Hip Hop music and is defined as being against mainstream and popular rap music. This subgenre borrows heavily from Funk, Rock, and even Reggae. What began in the later eighties with De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest, and OutKast, is often more embraced by the Alternative Rock fan than the Rap or Hip Hop followers. The Alternative Rap category contains lyrics that speak to a greater audience than the clichés of sex, money, and drugs that are portrayed in traditional Rap. More recent artists include Kanye West and Nas.
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alternative rock

Alternative Rock

Genres of Music
Alternative Rock (ɔltə́rnətɪv rÁk) rose out of the independent underground rock music that was popular in the 80s. This style of music features very loud, and often distorted, guitar sounds coupled with the traditional punk sound that started it all. While the beginnings of Alternative Rock were small, bands like The Feelies and Violent Femmes saw a rising number of fans in the 80s. The genre rose in popularity once Nirvana released its Grunge sound. It was after this period that Alternative Rock began to see more radio airtime and more of a following. This genre of music has always stood on the rejection of commercial music and was made popular by bands such as REM, Sonic Youth, and Smashing Pumpkins.
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Rock Latino

Alternativo & Rock Latino

Genres of Music
Alternative and Rock Latino (ɔltə́rnətɪv ǽnd rák latíno) is a type of Latin music that combines the sounds of Rock, Metal, and Reggae. Up until recently, this category did not exist and all Latino music fell under the Latino category. In the 50s, Rock emerged in Latin America and artists began using non-traditional instruments in their rock music such as maracas and quenas. In the 60s, groups like Santana began creating a new sound to Rock that included Jazz. In the 90s, the sound further evolved through bands like Maldita Vecindad and Café Tacuba. The Latin Alternative sound was finally born.
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ambient

Ambient

Genres of Music
Ambient (ǽmbiənt) is a style of music that originated in the United Kingdom. This style of music is meant to be played as background music, blending seamlessly into the background without overpowering conversation. Brian Eno is said to be the founder of Ambient music through combining the style of environmental music mixed with electronic sound. With no specific beat, Ambient music seeks to create an atmosphere with the use of synthesizers and a melodic timbral sound. The Yellow Magic Orchestra, along with Mike Oldfield helped to bring the ambient sound to the mainstream, allowing the music to be listened to with intent or ignored as a part of the background buzz of sound. 
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American Trad Rock

American Trad Rock

Genres of Music
American Trad Rock or American Traditional Rock (əmɛ́rəkən trad rák) is a style of music with roots deeply embedded in the 50s sound of Rock, R&B, and country. American Trad Rock started with greats like Elvis Presley and Big Joe Turner. This roots based rock music relies heavily on what made the traditional Southern Blues rockers so famous. American Trad Rock is all about that traditional sound that has influenced so many subgenres of Rock music. Showcasing the guitar, bass guitar, and drums, this style of music has recently become known as Root Rock.
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Americana

Americana

Genres of Music
Americana (əmɛ̀rəkǽnə) is a catchall phrase that describes the traditional styling of American music, especially Folk, Country, R&B, and Rock and Roll. This style of music heavily uses acoustic instruments, but electrical bands are almost always present. This subgenre of music developed in the 90s, to include artists and sounds who did not traditionally fit into the varied categories that this style of music was derived from. Artists like Allison Krauss, Neil Young, and The Mavericks are some of the most well-known artists in this category.
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Amplifier (amp)

Amps, Pedals & Tone
An Amplifier (ǽmpləfɑ̀yər), sometimes referred to simply as an “amp,” is a device that increases the audio signal made by a guitar. A high quality amplifier is judged by its fidelity, which means the clarity of sound it maintains. Technically, the perfect amplifier will boost the sound wave output of the guitar while keeping it's original signal’s shape. The better the amp, the better it will increase guitars output while maintaining the correct signal shape. No amplifier will boost a signal with zero distortion, but there is a certain level of distortion the human ear can't hear, which is the “sweet spot” high-end amp manufacturers aim for.
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Archtop Guitar

Guitar Types
The Archtop Guitar (archtop gətɑ́r) is an acoustic or semi-acoustic steel stringed guitar that takes its name from its distinctive curved or arched top. The design is credited to Orville Gibson, whose 1898 patent for a mandolin included design specifications and construction techniques also applicable to guitars. The design incorporates a violin style arched top and back, each carved from a single block of wood that creates a need for internal bracing, f-holes on the stomach, a stoptail or moveable bridge and a tailpiece. The distinctive rich tone of these guitars made them particularly suited to electrification, and they quickly became staple instrumental accompaniments in the Big Bands and Swing Bands of the 1940s. The archtop fell out of style in Pop music for a time, but has seen a revival since the 1990s, and have remained popular with jazz and blues musicians since their inception in the early 1900s.
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