Band Jargon

Musicians have the sometimes tricky task of explaining ideas to each other, and since few of us are formally trained we don’t always know what the proper word is, or even if there is one.  And if you’re playing in rock and roll you’re often borrowing ideas.  After a while you develop shorthands.  Here’s a few I’ve used over the years-

Gang Vocals–  this is one my friend used to mean- everyone shout the chorus.  The Rolling Stones do this a lot:

Woodchopper– a fast, steady beat on the snare drum and only the snare drum.  Kind of like the drum beat at the beginning of Paint it Black:

I like to suggest this one every now and then just to break things up.

Tuna– guitar tuner, one of my Japanese buddy’s corny puns

Chuck Berry Shuffle– the blues guitar rhythm pattern Chucky Berry used on almost every song- dum da dum da dum dum da dum:

We were trying to figure out what this was called when someone said they heard it referred to this way in a Johnny Thunders documentary, so it stuck.

Widdly Widdly– guitar solo with lots of notes- used mostly ironically

“Dude, enough with the widdly-widdly, I’m trying to think”

Wee-wee– a shrieky guitar solo ala Johnny Thunders

East Bay Ray– to pick/strum in double time, like East Bay Ray of the Dead Kennedys.

“I can’t think of what to do on this solo, I’ll just East Bay Ray it”

Anyway, those were a few.  I don’t know if other bands talk this way- I like making up ad hoc terms as I tend to do on this blog.


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