Mandolin Glossary

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Chris Thile
Chris Thile is best known as the mandolinist and singer of the now retired progressive acoustic trio, Nickel Creek.

Mortise and Tenon
Mortise and tenon is a type of neck joint used in instrument construction.

Tone Bars
Tone bars are pieces of spruce (or occasionally other wood, or composite/laminate) that are glued to the underside of a mandolin top (or mandolin family top, or archtop guitar top).

Truss Rod
The truss rod is an adjustable metal rod that resides in the neck of the mandolin (and of course other instruments such as guitars) that can be manually adjusted in order to change the curvature of the neck.

Tocaben, Louis
Louis Tocaben's name appears as arranger on a wide variety of printed sheet music and mandolin editions ranging from the late 1800s and early 1900s.

The tailpiece is the area where the strings attach to the instrument below the bridge or at the base of the instrument (as opposed to the headstock).

Alternate term for the more appropriate Bowlback shape.

Torch and Wire Inlay
"Torch and Wire" is the name given to a fancy peghead inlay pattern used by Gibson mostly on 3-point F4 mandolins from approximately 1902-1911.

Tremolo is the rapid repetition of one or more notes. It is a commonly used technique for mandolin as once the string is plucked, the note decays rapidly, and by playing the same note many times very rapidly, the illusion of a sustained note is created.

The mandolin is tuned from high (the smallest string) to low (the thickest): EE - AA - DD - GG.