Flatpicking is the technique of striking the strings of a guitar with a pick held between the thumb and one or two fingers. It can be contrasted to fingerstyle guitar, playing with individual fingers, with or without wearing fingerpicks. While the use of a plectrum is common in many musical traditions, the exact term "flatpicking" is most associated with Appalachian music of the American southeastern highlands bluegrass music, where string bands feature musicians playing a variety of styles, both fingerpicking and flatpicking. Musicians who use a flat pick in other genres such as rock and jazz are not described as flatpickers or plectrum guitarists; as the use of a pick in those traditions is commonplace only guitarists who play without a pick are noted by the term "fingerpicking" or "fingerstyle". Starting around 1930, flatpicking in American music was developed when guitarists began arranging old-time American fiddle tunes on the guitar, expanding the instrument's traditional role of rhythm guitar accompaniment with an occasional run on the bass strings.
Although early guitarists such as Riley Puckett used a thumb pick to emphasize bass notes, this part of the style was adapted into flatpicking. The melodic style in bluegrass is fast and dynamic, with slides, hammer-ons, pull-offs, powerful strumming and rapid crosspicking. Bluegrass flatpickers prefer guitars with a flat top rather than an arch top, steel strings rather than nylon; the chief exponents of the early country and bluegrass flatpicking styles included George Shuffler, Alton Delmore, Johnny Bond, Don Reno, Bill Napier. The lead guitar was sparsely used, sometimes was considered a novelty. Other instruments may be used in flatpicking, such as the mandolin. However, banjo styles such as plectrum banjo and tunes played on tenor banjos can be played either by strumming or with a plectrum but they are not known as flatpicking; this style can be typified by players such as Eddie Peabody, has connections to ragtime and Dixieland music. The foundation of Puckett and others were built upon in the 1960s by Doc Watson and Clarence White.
Watson and White both legitimized the acoustic guitar as a lead instrument in bluegrass and old-time country music. White brought guitar flatpicking to the forefront of bluegrass, while Watson brought flatpicking to folk audiences as he played fiddle tunes, blues and gospel songs throughout America. Building on the contributions of Doc Watson and Clarence White, artists such as Norman Blake, Dan Crary, John Carlini, Mark O'Connor, Russ Barenberg, Larry Sparks, François Vola and Tony Rice further developed the art of flatpicking. Rice had the most profound impact on bluegrass guitar playing of anyone since his musical hero, Clarence White. Rice's tone, rhythm and improvisational skills have influenced an entire generation of bluegrass guitarists. Important elements Rice has used in his playing are jazz type chord substitutions, different from the straight major and minor chords common to bluegrass, the use of the Dorian mode and the minor pentatonic "blues" scale in his lead playing. While there have been several songs using the Dorian mode in Appalachian roots music, Rice made a different statement by using this scale to improvise during songs written in a major key.
For instance, he is well known for playing an F major scale during a song written in G major. The use of this technique introduces the flat 3rd and the flat 7th over the G chord which has a unique sound popular in bluegrass. In recent years, players such as David Grier, Bryan Sutton, Beppe Gambetta and Tim Stafford have carried the guitar into the next millennium. Current "young guns" like Cody Kilby, John Chapman, Chris Eldridge, Andy Falco, Sean Watkins, Billy "Strings" Apostol and Jordan Tice continue to explore this style of guitar playing; these players are still reaching wider audiences. Pioneers Rice, Blake and Crary continue to produce music featuring flatpicking as well; the annual US National Flatpicking Championship is held at the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, Kansas. Lead guitar Free Flatpicking Tabs and Lessons
Guitar picking is a group of hand and finger techniques a guitarist uses to set guitar strings in motion to produce audible notes. These techniques involve plucking, brushing, etc. Picking can be done with: A pick held in the hand Natural or artificial fingernails, fingertips or finger-mounted plectrums known as fingerpicks A plectrum held between thumb and one finger, supplemented by the free fingers—called hybrid picking. Using a single thumb pick with the bare fingers is similar to hybrid picking. Another mixed technique is to play different passages with a plectrum or fingerstyle, "palming" the plectrum when not in use; the pros of each guitar picking style are indirectly correlated to the cons of the other. A pick isn’t necessary, it is easier to play non-adjacent strings at the same time. It is easier to play polyphonically, with separate musical lines, or separate melody and bass, it is easy to play arpeggios. A simpler motion is required to play notes on non-adjacent strings, it is possible to play chords with no arpeggiation.
There is less need to use the fretting hand to damp notes in chords, since the guitarist can pluck just the required strings. A great variation in strokes is accommodating expressiveness in timbre. A wide variety of strums and rasgueados are possible. Fingerstyle is useful in any genre. Fingerstyle players use up to four surfaces to strike string independently. However, that does not equate to four plectrums, since plectrums can more strike strings on both up and downstrokes—which is much more difficult for fingers. Picks require no maintenance, it involves less multi-tasking. Picking back and forth with a pick is easier. Alternate picking is the most efficient technique. Tremolo effects may be easier to achieve; the guitarist picks the string with less contact. A pick can be louder compared to bare finger playing, it may be easier to maintain clarity when playing fast. Playing on heavier gauge strings can damage un-coated nails: fingerstyle is more suited to nylon strings or lighter gauge steel strings.
To achieve Tremolo effects, varied arpeggios, rapid, fluent scale passages, the player must practice alternation, that is, plucking strings with a different finger each time. Using p to indicate the thumb, i the index finger, m the middle finger and a the ring finger, common alternation patterns include: i-m-i-m Basic melody line on the treble strings. Has the appearance of "walking along the strings". I-m-a-i-m-a Tremolo pattern with a triplet feel p-a-m-i-p-a-m-i A tremolo or apreggio pattern.. P-m-p-m A way of playing a melody line on the lower strings. In some genres, such as folk or country, the player can "lock in" to a picking pattern for the whole song, or the whole performance, since these forms of music are based on maintaining a steady rhythm. However, in other genres—such as classical, flamenco or fingerstyle jazz—it becomes necessary to switch fluently between patterns. Tone production is important in any style. Classical guitar, for example, stresses. Tonal techniques include: Plucking distance from the bridge.
Guitarists control this to change the sound from "soft" plucking the string near its middle, to "hard" plucking the string near the bridge. Use of nail or not. In early music, musicians plucked strings with the fingertips. Today, many guitarists use fingernails. Complex, reliable playing with fingernails requires nails that are filed and shaped. ) Many guitarists have their playing nails reinforced with an acrylic coating. Playing parameters include Finger to use Angle of attack to hold the wrist and fingers at with respect to the strings Rest-stroke or apoyando—the finger that plucks a string rests on the next string—traditionally used in single melody lines—versus free-stroke or tirando, where the string is plucked "in passing" Harmonic effects by, for instance, hitting the top surface of the nail on an upstroke to produce a false harmonic Some of the many possible fingerstyle strums include A slow down stroke sweep with the thumb; this is a sforzando or emphatic way of playing a chord. Light "brushing" strokes with the fingers moving together at a near-perpendicular angle to the strings.
This works in either direction and can be alternated for a chord tremolo effect. Downstrokes with one finger make a change from the standard upstroke strum. A "pinch" with the thumb and fingers moving towards each other gives a crisp effect, it is helpful to articulate the topmost and bass note in the chord, as if plucking, before "following through". Rasgueado: Strumming done by bunching all the plucking hand fingers into a fist and flicking them out in quick succession to get four superimposed strums; the rasgueado or "rolling" strum is characteristic of flamenco. Turning p-a-m-i tremolo plucking into a series of downstrokes; this is a lighter version of the classic rasgueado. Classical guitar technique Flamenco guitar Bossa nova Ragtime guitar Travis picking Carter Family picking American primitive guitar Folk baroque New Age fingerstyle Percussive fingerstyle African fingerstyle guitar Slide and Slack-key guitar Fingerstyle jazz guitar Guitarists resolve the problem of playing notes on non adjacent string by practicing string skipping.
To achieve speed, plectrum pickers methods of mixing up and down strokes. Flatpicking is a technique for playing a guitar using a guitar pick held between two or three fingers to strike the strings; the term f
Death metal is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal music. It employs distorted and low-tuned guitars, played with techniques such as palm muting and tremolo picking, deep growling vocals, powerful drumming featuring double kick and blast beat techniques, minor keys or atonality, abrupt tempo and time signature changes, chromatic chord progressions; the lyrical themes of death metal may invoke slasher film-stylized violence, occultism, Lovecraftian horror, mysticism, philosophy, science fiction, politics, they may describe extreme acts, including mutilation, torture, rape and necrophilia. Building from the musical structure of thrash metal and early black metal, death metal emerged during the mid-1980s. Bands such as Venom, Celtic Frost and Kreator were important influences on the genre's creation. Possessed, Necrophagia, Obituary and Morbid Angel are considered pioneers of the genre. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, death metal gained more media attention as popular genre. Niche record labels like Combat and Roadrunner began to sign death metal bands at a rapid rate.
Since death metal has diversified, spawning several subgenres. Melodic death metal combines death metal elements with those of the new wave of British heavy metal. Technical death metal is a complex style, with uncommon time signatures, atypical rhythms, unusual harmonies and melodies. Death-doom combines the deep growled vocals and double-kick drumming of death metal with the slow tempos and melancholic atmosphere of doom metal. Deathgrind and pornogrind mix the complexity of death metal with the intensity and brevity of grindcore. Deathcore combines death metal with metalcore traits. Death'n' roll combines death metal's growled vocals and distorted, detuned guitar riffs with elements of 1970s hard rock and heavy metal. English heavy metal band Venom, from Newcastle, crystallized the elements of what became known as thrash metal, death metal and black metal, with their 1981 album Welcome to Hell, their dark, blistering sound, harsh vocals, macabre, proudly Satanic imagery proved a major inspiration for extreme metal bands.
Another influential band, formed in 1981. Although the band was a thrash metal act, Slayer's music was more violent than their thrash contemporaries Metallica and Anthrax, their breakneck speed and instrumental prowess combined with lyrics about death, violence and Satanism won Slayer a rabid cult following. According to AllMusic, their third album Reign in Blood inspired the entire death metal genre, it had a big impact on genre leaders such as Death and Morbid Angel. Possessed, a band that formed in the San Francisco Bay Area during 1983, is described by Allmusic as "connecting the dots" between thrash metal and death metal with their 1985 debut album, Seven Churches. While attributed as having a Slayer influence and former members of the band had cited Venom and Motörhead, as well as early work by Exodus, as the main influences on their sound. Although the group had released only two studio albums and an EP in their formative years, they have been described by music journalists and musicians as either being "monumental" in developing the death metal style, or as being the first death metal band.
Earache Records noted that "the likes of Trey Azagthoth and Morbid Angel based what they were doing in their formative years on the Possessed blueprint laid down on the legendary Seven Churches recording. Possessed arguably did more to further the cause of'Death Metal' than any of the early acts on the scene back in the mid-late 80's." During the same period as the dawn of Possessed, a second influential metal band was formed in Orlando, Florida: Death. Called Mantas, Death was formed in 1983 by Chuck Schuldiner, Kam Lee, Rick Rozz. In 1984 they released their first demo entitled Death followed by several more; the tapes circulated through the tape trader world establishing the band's name. With Death guitarist Schuldiner adopting vocal duties, the band made a major impact on the scene; the fast minor-key riffs and solos were complemented with fast drumming, creating a style that would catch on in tape trading circles. Schuldiner has been credited by Allmusic's Eduardo Rivadavia for being recognized as the "Father of Death Metal".
Death's 1987 debut release, Scream Bloody Gore, has been described by About.com's Chad Bowar as being the "evolution from thrash metal to death metal", "the first true death metal record" by the San Francisco Chronicle. Along with Possessed and Death, other pioneers of death metal in the United States include Macabre, Massacre, Cannibal Corpse,Obituary, Post Mortem. By 1989, many bands had been signed by eager record labels wanting to cash in on the subgenre, including Florida's Obituary, Morbid Angel and Deicide; this collective of death metal bands hailing from Florida are labeled as "Florida death metal". Morbid Angel pushed the genre's limits both musically and lyrically, with the release of their debut album Altars of Madness in 1989; the album "redefined what it meant to be heavy while influencing an upcoming class of brutal death metal." Death metal spread to Sweden in the late 1980s, flourishing with pioneers such as Carnage, God Macabre, Entombed and Unleashed. In the early 1990s, the rise of melodic death metal was recognized, with bands such as Dark Tranquillity, At the Gates, In Flames.
Following the original death metal innovators, new subgenres began by the end of the decade. British band Napalm Death became associated with death metal, in particular, on their 1990 album Harmony Corruption; this alb
Steve Morse is an American guitarist and composer, best known as the founder of the Dixie Dregs. Morse's career has encompassed rock, funk, jazz and fusion of these musical genres. In addition to his successful solo career, he was a member of Kansas in the mid-1980s. Most Morse became a member of the supergroup Flying Colors alongside long-time bandmate Dave LaRue. Steve Morse was born in Ohio, his family soon moved to Tennessee Ypsilanti, where Morse spent his childhood. Although familiar with piano and clarinet, Morse became interested in guitar. Morse worked with his older brother Dave in a band called the Plague until the family moved to Augusta, Georgia. In the late 1960s, he played in a band called Three with his older brother and a junior high schoolmate, William Gerald Wooten, who played keyboards; the three performed at a local psychedelic youth club, the Green Onion, at Legion Halls and church functions. While enrolled in the Academy of Richmond County, Morse met bassist Andy West and together they formed the Dixie Grit, adding keyboardist Johnny Carr and guitarist and vocalist Frank Brittingham, with Dave Morse drumming.
This short-lived group covered bands such as Cream. West and Morse continued to play as a duet billed as the Dixie Dregs until Morse's expulsion from school in the 10th grade; this expulsion enabled his enrollment at the University of Miami School of Music. During the 1970s, the University of Miami played host to a number of future influential musicians, including Bruce Hornsby, Pat Metheny, Jaco Pastorius. Andy West enrolled at the University of Miami and, with Morse, drummer Bart Yarnold, keyboardist Frank Josephs and violinist Allen Sloan, collaborated in a lab project entitled Rock Ensemble II. In 1975, the group compiled a recording used for promotional efforts; this recording was released in 1997 as The Great Spectacular. From late 1987 to early 1988, Morse worked as a commercial airline co-pilot. Upon Morse's graduation from the University of Miami in 1975, he and West named their group Dixie Dregs. A fellow University of Miami alumnus, Rod Morgenstein, replaced the injured Bart Yarnold and the band began performing regularly.
An heavier performance schedule led to the attention of Capricorn Records recruiters including Allman Brothers Band manager Twiggs Lyndon and, in late 1976, the group was signed by the southern rock label. Their first effort for Capricorn, Free Fall, established Morse as an important newcomer to the fusion genre, he was recognised for both his compositional skills and his musicianship. Although receiving positive reviews as a pivotal jazz fusion album, it sold poorly. What If was released in 1978. Writing credits were more collaborative and the band's sound had matured into more than what was considered fusion at the time. Southern rock, classical and country elements were combined to form a cohesive and listenable music. Though supported by a tour, record sales remained flat, but gained Morse and the band an invitation to perform at Montreux Jazz Festival on 23 July 1978; the recorded performance was released the following year on Night of the Living Dregs. Capricorn went bankrupt in late 1979, the Dixie Dregs were left without a label.
Arista Records signed the band in 1979 to record three albums. Production control was handed to Morse, Dregs of the Earth was released in May 1980. All eight tracks were written by Morse, the album peaked at number 27 on Billboard's Jazz Album Chart. Arista became concerned about Dixie Dregs' album sales and pressured the band to change their name to the Dregs in an attempt to increase the band's visibility in the public eye. Unsung Heroes included eight new Morse compositions in early 1981, but the name change did little to address Arista's worries; the Dregs felt compelled by label management to add lyrics to their next release, appropriately titled Industry Standard. Morse's compositions on Industry Standard began to sound more like his evolving solo work than Dregs' collaborations, the album received critical and public praise. Industry Standard was voted "Best Guitar LP" by readers of Guitar Player magazine in their annual reader's poll that year. Additionally, Morse was voted "Best Overall Guitarist" in the same poll, an honour that he would hold for five consecutive years.
After fulfilling their commitment to Arista, the Dregs' members, who had tired of touring, disbanded in early 1983. In the late 1980s, the group reunited for a tour featuring former members Morse, Morgenstein and Sloan, their return was complemented by a "Best Of" release entitled Divided We Stand. Bassist Dave LaRue completed the line-up for a seven date tour culminating in the 1992 live album Bring'em Back Alive. Violinist Jerry Goodman, of the Mahavishnu Orchestra fame, filled in for Sloan, absent as a result of his medical career, they signed a deal with former label Capricorn Records for their first studio album in years entitled Full Circle in 1994. After the 1983 breakup of the Dregs, Morse formed the Steve Morse Band, a trio with bassist Jerry Peek and drummer Doug Morgan. After the first tour of the eastern United States, Morgan left for previous commitments, they began recording The Introduction in September. The group toured Germany i
Al Di Meola
Al Laurence Di Meola is an American guitarist. Known for his works in jazz fusion and world music, he began his career as a guitarist of the group Return to Forever in 1974. Between the 1970s and 1980s, albums such as Elegant Gypsy and Friday Night in San Francisco earned him both critical and commercial success. Born in Jersey City, New Jersey, into an Italian family with roots in Cerreto Sannita, a small town northeast of Naples, Di Meola grew up in Bergenfield, where he attended Bergenfield High School, he has been a resident of New Jersey. When he was eight years old, he was inspired by Elvis Presley and the Ventures to start playing guitar, his teacher directed him toward jazz standards. He cites as influences jazz guitarists George Benson and Kenny Burrell and bluegrass and country guitarists Clarence White and Doc Watson, he attended Berklee College of Music in the early 1970s. At nineteen, he was hired by Chick Corea to replace Bill Connors in the pioneering jazz fusion band Return to Forever with Stanley Clarke and Lenny White.
He recorded three albums with Return to Forever, helping the quartet earn its greatest commercial success as all three albums cracked the Top 40 on the U. S. Billboard pop, he could play so fast. As Return to Forever was disbanding around 1976, Di Meola began recording solo albums on which he demonstrated mastery of jazz fusion and Mediterranean music, his album Elegant Gypsy received a gold certification. In 1980 he recorded the acoustic live album Friday Night in San Francisco with Paco de Lucía and John McLaughlin. In the beginning of his career, as evidenced on his first solo album Land of the Midnight Sun, Di Meola was noted for his technical mastery and fast, complex guitar solos and compositions, but on his early albums, he had begun to explore Mediterranean cultures and acoustic genres like flamenco. Notable examples are "Mediterranean Sundance" and "Lady of Rome, Sister of Brazil" from the Elegant Gypsy album, his early albums were influential among jazz guitarists. Di Meola continued to explore Latin music within jazz fusion on Splendido Hotel.
He exhibited a more subtle touch on acoustic numbers "Fantasia Suite for Two Guitars" from the Casino album and on the best-selling live album with McLaughlin and de Lucia, Friday Night in San Francisco. The latter album became one of the most popular live albums for acoustic guitar, selling more than two million copies worldwide. With Scenario, he explored the electronic side of jazz in a collaboration with Jan Hammer. Beginning with this change, he further expanded his horizons with the acoustic album Cielo e Terra, he began to incorporate the Synclavier guitar synthesizer on mid-1980s albums such as Soaring Through a Dream. By the 1990s, Di Meola recorded albums closer to modern Latin styles than jazz. A notable exception was the 1991 album Kiss My Axe, which peaked at #2 on the US Contemporary Jazz Albums chart. However, in 2006 he rediscovered his love of the electric guitar, the DVD of his concert at the Leverkusen Jazz Festival 2006 is subtitled Return to Electric Guitar. 1976 Land of the Midnight Sun 1977 Elegant Gypsy 1978 Casino 1980 Splendido Hotel 1981 Friday Night in San Francisco with John McLaughlin, Paco de Lucia 1982 Tour De Force – Live 1982 Electric Rendezvous 1983 Passion, Grace & Fire with John McLaughlin, Paco de Lucia 1983 Scenario 1985 Soaring Through a Dream 1985 Cielo e Terra 1987 Tirami Su 1991 Kiss My Axe 1991 World Sinfonia 1993 Heart of the Immigrants 1994 Orange and Blue 1995 The Rite of Strings with Stanley Clarke, Jean-Luc Ponty 1996 The Guitar Trio with John McLaughlin, Paco de Lucia 1996 Di Meola Plays Piazzolla 1998 The Infinite Desire 1999 Winter Nights 2000 World Sinfonía III – The Grande Passion 2002 Flesh on Flesh 2005 Cosmopolitan Life with Leonid Agutin 2006 Vocal Rendezvous 2006 Consequence of Chaos 2007 Diabolic Inventions and Seduction for Solo Guitar 2007 Live in London 2008 World Sinfonia – La Melodia 2008 He and Carmen with Eszter Horgas 2010 One Night in Montreal 2011 Pursuit of Radical Rhapsody 2013 All Your Life: A Tribute to the Beatles Recorded at Abbey Road Studios, London 2015 Elysium 2017 Morocco Fantasia 2018 Elegant Gypsy & More Live 2018 Opus Official site Al Di Meola Interview - NAMM Oral History Library
In musical terminology, tempo is the speed or pace of a given piece. In classical music, tempo is indicated with an instruction at the start of a piece and is measured in beats per minute. In modern classical compositions, a "metronome mark" in beats per minute may supplement or replace the normal tempo marking, while in modern genres like electronic dance music, tempo will simply be stated in bpm. Tempo may be separated from articulation and meter, or these aspects may be indicated along with tempo, all contributing to the overall texture. While the ability to hold a steady tempo is a vital skill for a musical performer, tempo is changeable. Depending on the genre of a piece of music and the performers' interpretation, a piece may be played with slight tempo rubato or drastic accelerando. In ensembles, the tempo is indicated by a conductor or by one of the instrumentalists, for instance the drummer. While tempo is described or indicated in many different ways, including with a range of words, it is measured in beats per minute.
For example, a tempo of 60 beats per minute signifies one beat per second, while a tempo of 120 beats per minute is twice as rapid, signifying one beat every 0.5 seconds. The note value of a beat will be that indicated by the denominator of the time signature. For instance, in 44 the beat will be a crotchet; this measurement and indication of tempo became popular during the first half of the 19th century, after Johann Nepomuk Maelzel invented the metronome. Beethoven was one of the first composers to use the metronome. Instead of beats per minute, some 20th-century classical composers specify the total playing time for a piece, from which the performer can derive tempo. With the advent of modern electronics, bpm became an precise measure. Music sequencers use the bpm system to denote tempo. In popular music genres such as electronic dance music, accurate knowledge of a tune's bpm is important to DJs for the purposes of beatmatching; the speed of a piece of music can be gauged according to measures per minute or bars per minute, the number of measures of the piece performed in one minute.
This measure is used in ballroom dance music. In different musical contexts, different instrumental musicians, conductors, music directors or other individuals will select the tempo of a song or piece. In a popular music or traditional music group or band, the bandleader or lead singer may select the tempo. In popular and traditional music, whoever is setting the tempo counts out one or two bars in tempo. In some songs or pieces in which a singer or solo instrumentalist begins the work with a solo introduction, the tempo they set will provide the tempo for the group. In an orchestra or concert band, the conductor sets the tempo. In a marching band, the drum major may set the tempo. In a sound recording, in some cases a record producer may set the tempo for a song. In classical music it is customary to describe the tempo of a piece by one or more words, most in Italian, in addition to or instead of a metronome mark in beats per minute. Italian is used because it was the language of most composers during the time these descriptions became commonplace.
Some well-known Italian tempo indications include "Allegro", "Andante" and "Presto". This practice developed during the baroque and classical periods. In the earlier Renaissance music, performers understood most music to flow at a tempo defined by the tactus; the mensural time signature indicated. In the Baroque period, pieces would be given an indication, which might be a tempo marking, or the name of a dance, the latter being an indication both of tempo and of metre. Any musician of the time was expected to know how to interpret these markings based on custom and experience. In some cases, these markings were omitted. For example, the first movement of Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 has no tempo or mood indication whatsoever. Despite the increasing number of explicit tempo markings, musicians still observe conventions, expecting a minuet to be at a stately tempo, slower than a Viennese waltz. Genres imply tempos. Thus, Ludwig van Beethoven wrote "In tempo d'un Menuetto" over the first movement of his Piano Sonata Op. 54, though that movement is not a minuet.
Many tempo markings indicate mood and expression. For example and allegro both indicate a speedy execution, but allegro connotes joy. Presto, on the other hand indicates speed. Additional Italian words indicate tempo and mood. For example, the "agitato" in the Allegro agitato of the last movement of George Gershwin's piano concerto in F has both a tempo indication and a mood indication. Composers name movements of compositions after their tempo marking. For instance, the second movement of Samuel Barber's first String Quartet is an Adagio. A particular musical form or genre implies its own tempo, so composers need place no further explanation in the score. Popular music charts use terms such as bossa nova, ballad
A guitar pick is a plectrum used for guitars. Picks are made of one uniform material—such as some kind of plastic, felt, wood, glass, tagua, or stone, they are shaped in an acute isosceles triangle with the two equal corners rounded and the third corner less rounded. They are used to sound individual notes on a guitar. In British English, guitar picks are referred to as plectrums, reserving the term pick to identify the difference between this and finger picks. Musicians have used plectra to play stringed instruments for thousands of years. Feather quills were the first standardized plectra and became used until the late 19th century. At that point, the shift towards what became the superior plectrum material took place. Other alternatives had come and gone, but tortoiseshell provided the best combination of tonal sound and physical flexibility for plucking a taut string. Prior to the 1920s most guitar players used thumb and finger picks when looking for something to play their guitar with, but with the rise of musician Nick Lucas, the use of a flat "plectrum style guitar pick" became popular.
There have been many innovations in the design of the guitar pick. Most of these were born out of the issue of guitar picks slipping and flying out of the hand of the player. In 1896, a Cincinnati man affixed two rubber disks to either side of a mandolin pick, which made it the first popular solution to the problem. Over the next two decades more innovations were made, such as corrugating the rounded surface of the pick or drilling a hole through the center to fit the pad of a player's thumb. A more notable improvement was attaching cork to the wide part of the pick, a solution first patented by Richard Carpenter and Thomas Towner of Oakland in 1917; some of these new designs made picks undesirably expensive. Pickers realized that all they needed was something to sink their fingerprints into so the pick wouldn't slip, such as a high relief imprinted logo. Celluloid was a material on which this could be done. Tony D'Andrea was one of the first people to use celluloid to sell guitar picks. In 1902 he came upon a sidewalk sale offering some sheets of tortoise shell colored cellulose nitrate plastic and dies, he would discover that the small pieces of celluloid he punched out with the dies were ideal for picking stringed instruments.
From the 1920s through the 1950s, D'Andrea Manufacturing would dominate the world's international pick market, providing to major businesses such as Gibson and Martin. One of the main reasons celluloid was so popular as guitar pick material was that it closely imitated the sound and flexibility of a tortoise shell guitar pick; the practice of using Hawksbill turtles for their shells would become illegal in 1973 as a provision of the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, forcing musicians to find something else to pick with. Musicians had been partial to shell picks, when D'Andrea provided an alternative, D'Andrea Manufacturing became successful and gained renown as the guitar pick of choice through the 1960s. Celluloid provided a good alternative in many ways. Tortoise shell was rare and had a tendency to break. Celluloid was made from cellulose, one of the most abundant raw materials in the world, nitrocellulose combined with camphor under heat and pressure produced celluloid.
Though meant as a replacement for ivory billiard balls, celluloid began being used for many things for its flexibility and relative inexpensiveness, making it a natural candidate as a material for guitar picks. Other materials, such as nylon and less popularly wood, glass, or metal would become popular for making guitar picks for their increased grip, flexibility, or tonal qualities. Pick shapes started with guitarists shaping bone, wood, metal, stone or ivory to get the desired shape. Most of today's guitar pick shapes were created by the company that made the first plastic pick in 1922, D'Andrea Picks. D'Andrea Picks was the first company to create custom pick imprinting in 1938, allowing customers to order imprinting up to 12 block letters. One of the first to make the player imprint popular was guitarist Nick Lucas in the early 1930s. Playing guitar with a pick produces a bright sound compared to plucking with the fingertip. Picks offer a greater contrast in tone across different plucking locations.
Conversely, the many playing techniques that involve the fingers, such as those found in fingerstyle guitar, classical guitar, flamenco guitar, can yield an broad variety of tones. A heavier pick produces a darker sound than a lighter pick, but the shape of the tip has the most influence on the sound. A pointed tip produces a brighter, more focused sound, while a rounded tip produces a rounder, less defined sound. Most pick manufacturers print the thickness in thousandths of an inch on the pick; some other brands use a system of letters or text designations to indicate thickness. Approximate guidelines to thickness ranges are presented in the following table: While most pick manufacturers adhere to the above thickness schedule, one company, Red Bear Trading Co. makes their picks a bit thicker. For instance, RBTCO's "light gauge" starts at 1 extends up to 1.1 mm or so. Most common mass-manufactured pick