Vocabulary – Part 2

At our latest “music lunch”, we again discussed some vocabulary words. We have also discussed creating a special “glossary” section of the blog that we can use for reference. For now, however, we are keeping track of them through simple posts. Without further build-up, here is our list from this week:

Accelerando: Often abbreviated as “acc,” means to gradually increase the speed, or tempo.

Ritardo: Often abbreviated as “rit”, means to gradually decrease the speed, or tempo.

A tempo: A term meaning to return to the previous tempo.

Chord inversion: While “inversion” has a few meanings, a chord inversion is generally referring to a triad based upon its lowest note. For example, the C Major triad consists of C, E, and G. If the lowest note played is a C, the chord is considered in the “root position”. The first inversion would have an E as the lowest note, and the second inversion would have a G. The order of the other notes in the chord, other that the lowest that is, does not matter in terms of what inversion it is called. The full ordering is called the “voicing” of the chord.

P Bass: The Precision Bass, or P Bass as it is more commonly called, was the very first electric bass. Designed by Leo Fender and first sold in 1951, it had one single-coil pickup and a slab body. By 1957, it had evolved into the version seen today with a single, split-coil, hum-bucking pickup, a contour body, and larger headstock. The P Bass has a deep, warm tone with strong mid-range presence. [More info]

J Bass: The Jazz Bass, or J Bass was conceived by Fender in 1960 as a deluxe model that would be easier to play and have a brighter sound than the P Bass. The name came from the Jazzmaster guitar, which was released slightly earlier and had a similar body shape. The J Bass generally has two, single-coil pickups, and its brighter sound is used when a more “front of the mix” sound is desired. [More info]

U Bass: The U Bass, first produced by Kala Brand Music in 2009, is essentially a ukulele turned into a bass. Kala started with a baritone-size ukulele body, adding two inches to the neck for a 21″ scale length. In order to produce solid, bass foundational tones, the strings are specifically made for this shorter scale length. They are generally polyurethane with electric and acoustic-electric version using piezo pickups. [More info]


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