The Guitar Acronym and Abbreviation List

Do you know the difference between an MIM and an MIJ guitar? Are you wondering if you need an HSS or HSH setup in your next purchase?  Or maybe you can’t decide whether or not you like a QMT better than a FMT?  If these acronyms are confusing the hell out of you then you’ve come to the right place my friend!

I have listed below some of the more common guitar related acronyms and abbreviations which you might find scattered around the internet on websites and forums.  Help expand the list of terms by leaving a comment below with your own acronyms!

Guitar Abbreviations and AcronymsJump To Section A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


AANJ – All Access Neck Joint
AH – Artificial Harmonic
ALNICO – an Aluminum, Nickel, Cobalt magnetic alloy that gives magnetic pickups their unique sound
AT – Arch Top


BK – Black (a southpaw’s favourite finish color apparently)
– Beats Per Minute


CIJ – Crafted in Japan
– Computer Numeric Controlled
COA – Certificate of Authenticity
CS – Coil Split
CS – Custom Shop
CT – Coil Tap
CV – Classic Vibe (Range of guitars by Squier)


DI – Direct Injection


EADGBE –  Standard Tuning
– Ernie Ball Music Man (manufacturer)
EMG – Electro-Magnetic Generator (pickups)
ESP – Electric sound Products (manufacturer)
EQ – Equaliser


FB – Fixed Bridge
FGD – Free Guitar Day
FMT – Flame Maple Top
FR – Floyd Rose
FSR – Factory Special Run
FT – Flat Top


GAR – Gear Acquisition Remorse
GAS – Gear Acquisition Syndrome
GOTW – Guitar of the Week
GMC – Green Multi-Color (famous Ibanez swirl finish)


HB – Humbucker (pickup)
HH –
2 Humbucker Pickup Configuration
HNGD – Happy New Guitar Day
HO – Hammer On
HSC – Hard Shell Case
HSH – 
Humbucker, Single Coil, Humbucker Pickup Configuration
HSS – Humbucker, Single Coil, Single Coil Pickup Configuration
HT – Hardtail



J-Bass Fender Jazz Bass



LE – Limited Edition
LH – Left Handed
LP – Les Paul
LSD – Lead Singer’s Disease
LTHB – Light Top, Heavy Bottom (strings)


MHS – Matching Headstock
MIA – Made in America
MIC – Made in China
MII – Made in Indonesia
MIJ – Made in Japan
MIK – Made in Korea
MIM – Made in Mexico
MOP – Mother of Pearl


NAD – New Amp Day
NAMM – National Association of Music Merchants
NBD – New Bass Day
NGD – New Guitar Day
NH – Natural Harmonic
NPD – New Pedal Day
NOS – New Old Stock, a new guitar that’s been in a store’s stock a long time
NT – Neck-Thru


OD – Overdrive
OEM – Original Equipment Manufacturer
OFR – Original Floyd Rose
OHSC – Original Hard Shell Case


PA – Public Address
PAF – Patent Applied For (pickups)
– Fender Precision Bass
PG – Pick Guard
PH – Pinch Harmonic
PM – Palm Mute
PO – Pull Off
POS – Piece of S#!&
POTS – Potentiometers (volume & tone pots)
PRS – Paul Reed Smith (manufacturer)
PU – Pickups
PUPS – Pickups


QMT – Quilted Maple Top


RG – Roadstar Guitar (Ibanez Series)
RI –
– Respected Internet Guitarist
RR – Randy Rhoads (Jackson Series)
RTFM – Read the F*#%ing Manual


SB – Sound Board
SB – Sunburst
SC – Single Coil (pickup)
SC – Single Cutout (guitar body style)
SG – Solid Guitar (Gibson SG)
SS –
2 Single Coil Pickup Configuration
SS – Solid State (amps)
SSC – Soft Shell Case 
SSS – 3 Single Coil Pickup Configuration
ST – String Thru
STD – Standard
SUAPYG – Shut Up And Play Your Guitar


TAB – Tablature
TOM – Tune-O-Matic (bridge)
TRC – Truss Rod Cover
TS – Ibanez Tubescreamer


UV – Universe (7-string version of Ibanez JEM)


VB – Violin Bass (Höfner)
VT –
Very Thin (Höfner)
– Vintage Original Specs


WH – White




ZPS – Zero Point System
– Zero Resistance

Jump To Section A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

If you have some of your own which I’ve missed leave a comment below! :)

10 replies
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  1. itab
    itab says:

    ibanez has some very nice acronyms, so does ESP. japanese manufacturers seem to have a thing for that. ther guitarames sometimes look like arbitrary sequences of numbers and letters.

    NT – no trem or neck through, depends on who you ask
    TAT – through and through (caparison)
    BLKS – black satin
    ZR – zero resistance
    ZPS – zero point system
    RG – Roadstar Guitar
    HS – Brige Humbucker and Neck Singlecoil setup (used to be popular with 24-fret superstrats)
    H – single humbucker setup (the bestest :P)
    RR – randy rhoads
    WH – white
    SB – sunburst
    ST – string through, set through or strat-style guitar

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