Pizzicato (pronounced /ˌpɪtsɪˈkɑːtoʊ/, from the Italian: pizzicato, roughly translated as plucked) is a playing technique that involves plucking the strings of a string instrument. The exact technique varies somewhat depending on the type of stringed instrument.
- On bowed string instruments it is a method of playing by plucking the strings with the fingers, rather than using the bow. This produces a very different sound from bowing, short and percussive rather than sustained.
- On a keyboard string instrument, such as the piano, pizzicato may be employed (although rarely seen) as one of the variety of techniques involving direct manipulation of the strings known collectively as "string piano".
- On the guitar, it is a muted form of plucking, which bears an audible resemblance to pizzicato on a bowed string instrument with its relatively shorter sustain. For details of this technique, see palm mute.
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