Guitars Glossary: C

capo: A device that clamps down across the fingerboard of a guitar at a particular fret to shorten the length of all the strings at the same time, forcing the strings to play in higher pitches than they normally do.

Carter-style picking: A popular folk guitar picking style — named after the famous Carter family — in which the melody is played on the low strings with the thumb while the fingers provide an accompaniment in the form of brushes.

chord: A chord is produced when three or more notes are played simultaneously.

chord progression; harmonic progression: A string of changing chords.

chord-melody style: A musical style — frequently used in jazz solos — that incorporates both the melody and chords of a song.

chorus unit: An amplifier effect that makes your guitar sound like two guitars being played together.

circle of fifths: A tool used by musicians to determine the relationship between major and minor keys.

common time: A specific time signature (4/4 time) that indicates four beats in each measure, with the quarter note equalling one beat.

common tones: Notes that appear in two or more consecutive chords.

contrapuntal style; counterpoint: A musical style — used frequently in classical guitar music — in which you play two or more simultaneously.

contrary motion: In musical notation, when one musical line ascends while the other descends.

cut shuffle; boom-chick pattern: A rhythm pattern created by alternating notes and chords.

cut time: In musical notation, a symbol —a C with a vertical line “cutting” it in half — that tells you to count the half note as one beat instead of the usual quarter note.

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