Guitars Glossary: P

palm mute; P.M.: A dampening technique in which you anchor the heel of your right hand against the strings just above the bridge.

pick: A small triangular piece, about the size of a quarter, used to strum the strings on a guitar.

pick-strum patterns: A rhythmic pattern that adds variety to the music by separating the bass and treble lines so that they play independently.

pick-style playing: A type of guitar playing that involves dragging a pick across the strings to produce sound.

pickup selector: A switch that determines which pickups are currently active.

pickups: Bar-like magnets that pick up the vibrations of an electric guitar's strings and transmit those signals to the amplifier.

pinch harmonics: An “artificial” harmonic created by simultaneously striking the string with a pick and the tip of your right thumb.

pitch: The specific wavelength frequency of a musical sound indicated as a letter from A to G with or without a sharp (#) or flat (b).

pitch pipe: A device that produces a single specific pitch, used as a reference to tune a guitar.

playing in position: A way of playing the guitar in which your left hand remains in a fixed location on the neck of the guitar.

plectrum: Any artificial device used to pluck or strum the strings of a guitar.

portamento: A smooth, continuous change in pitch often created by using a slide.

position: On the guitar, a position is a group of four consecutive frets.

pots: The electronic capacitors connected to the other side of a volume knob.

power chord: A chord consisting only of roots and fifths.

prebend and release: A bending effect that is created when you stretch a string before you strike it, then strike the string, and then release the bend.

pull-off: A guitar articulation technique in which a string is played by a fretting finger as it is released from a fret.

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