View Full Version : new vocabulary

08-25-2003, 02:39 PM
Hello there,

I've discovered this site a few weeks ago (by reading Guni's excellent -no !- amazing articles about intervals, chords, scales and modes, which I finally understood after many months of struggle online to find some consistent and complete info). I loved the atmosphere on the forums too so I spent some time reading them. Now is the time to express myself :)

I've been playing guitar (classical and electric) for 4 months now, and I'm still wondering about some basic terms in english (my mother language is french) that you mainly use in the electric world (by opposition to the classical world).

Could someone give me some insight about the following words and their relationships :
chops, licks, solos, chorus, verse, shred, legato ?

Also, about abreviations, I guess that PA means Power Amp, PG means Paul Gilbert, and 3NPS means 3 notes per string ? Or am I totally wrong ?

Last topic : I just read Bongo Boy's excellent explanation about power amps, but I still need some light : what is exactly a cabinet ? a "standard" amp (or are all amps power amps ?), a pre-amp ? I guess my little Fender Frontman 15W has a pre-amp, a power amp and a cabinet included ?

Thanks for all your wisdom :)

08-25-2003, 09:58 PM
Hi there SillyCone, welcome to the forums!

Yep, the abbreviations are right, although PG has always been Peter Gabriel in my world :) (ok, i think iŽve mentioned this before...)

Here are my interpretation of the words:
1. chops
Can mean almost anything related to how one plays, -'HeŽs sure got some chops', meaning he can play pretty well, or versatile, or both.

2. licks
Small melodies learned in advance that one can rely on for soloing, etc - 'small melody snippets'. Most good players have a bunch of them to use in their improvisations for some extra spice.

3 solos
Improvised playing. It really means to be alone when doing something, but in the musical world it mostly refers to improvised playing while being backed up by a band. Can be 'pre-fabricated' also, i.e. composed solos.

4 chorus
The highlight of a song, often the part where drunk people sing along. Repeated throughout the song with some verses and maybe bridges and solos in between. In instrumental music (i.e. no singing) the chorus is the melody you remember when turning the radio off.

5. verse
In mainstream popmusic - the filler stuff in between choruses needed to make the song the right length for air play (i.e. 3.10 - 3.30) ;) In songs, itŽs normally the part where the lyrics are not repeated. The buildup to a chorus. And other stuff (iŽm sure someone else is better at explaining all this).

6. shred
Playing really fast, like Thorsten or Yngwie.

7 legato
Playing some notes by hammering the fingers down on the fretboard/pull off from the fretboard without picking the note. Usually you pick one note per string, to get the string started, then do legato for the rest of the notes (on that string).

Amps, cabinets, etc:
Amp usually refers to one encased thing, like a head or a combo. A head is just preamp and poweramp, maybe some effects too, like reverb. If you use a head youŽll need a cabinet, which is the wooden box with speakers in it. Together the too make up a stack, like in Marshall stack. If you are really serious headbanger youŽll need two cabinets per head. A combo is the type of amp with preamp, poweramp and speaker, just like you said.

All this being said by a guy from Sweden, so donŽt believe a word! ;) I do not even have a valid reason for answering your post, i just wanted to say welcome...but there you go.

Most english words can mean almost anything, depending on the context, the way you say it etc, making it a somewhat confusing language.

Bongo Boy
08-25-2003, 10:20 PM
Originally posted by Cuno
If you are really serious headbanger youŽll need two cabinets per head:D
Most english words can mean almost anything..making it the IDEAL language for statemanship AND politics. :D
what is exactly a cabinet ? a "standard" amp (or are all amps power amps ?), a pre-ampIf I used the term 'standard' amp I should apologize--I really don't know what that would mean. But no, all amps are not power amps.

Here's the deal. In casual conversation we could refer to an "amp" without being specific--the context is important. If we're not really talking about amps, but are just generally talking about, say, the equipment a beginner might need to play electric guitar, we might just say "You'll need a guitar, a cable, and an amp." In this context, we use the word "amp" to mean "one or more electronic components used together to amplify your guitar and make audible sound." This could mean an amp like yours, which we call a 'combo' (short for 'combination amplifier and speaker cabinet in a single enclosure').

The term 'pre amp' means preamplifier, which, from the latin would mean 'before amplification'. Therefore, it's an example of English borrowing from Latin--incorrectly. Incorrectly, because it isn't before amplification at all...it's simply a particular kind of amplification that you have to do before poweramplification.

I can't explain the differences between preamps and power amps any better than I already did. What I can add though, is that the preamplifier, whether it's packaged separately or packaged with the power amp, is the amplifier that your tone controls (treble, bass) are connected to.

Finally, if folks are writing about microphone preamps, in particular, they often will simply write 'pre' or 'mic pre' to refer to those amps--this seems to be a little more common than when folks talk about guitar preamps.

Hope this helps---and you guys keep that lambic ale coming, okay?

08-25-2003, 10:25 PM
If you are really serious headbanger youŽll need two cabinets per head

:) I wonŽt touch this...


Bongo Boy
08-25-2003, 10:40 PM
...yes, and with TWO or more heads you're a gangbanger.

Wecome to iBreathe, SillyCone...you asked for it!!

08-25-2003, 10:58 PM
Thanks a lot, guyz, that was a load of complete and clear info, like I love them :D

This IBreatheMusic site is really the best for understanding everything you always wanted to know...

I'll now feel perfectly at ease when speaking to other electric guitarists (and follow all threads on the forum :) ) !

I feel already at home :)

Read yall'round.

08-25-2003, 11:45 PM
Originally posted by Bongo Boy
...yes, and with TWO or more heads you're a gangbanger.

See ? Iiiii didnŽt say it ! YOU did ! :)

Silly Cone.. welcome at ibreathe !

Bongo Boy
08-26-2003, 03:48 AM
Originally posted by SillyCone
This IBreatheMusic site is really the best for understanding everything you always wanted to know...
...and for talking about everything as if you already did know. :D

08-26-2003, 06:38 AM
LOL guys! I gotta buy a spare head :D

08-26-2003, 09:10 PM
WELCOME!!!!!!!!! :) :) :)