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Chords Leve l 2
Bandwa gon Mu s i c S t ud i o s
44
(g) Volume Changes.
Another great way to have fun with your
strumming is to change the volume of your
strumming.
Go from loud to soft or soft to loud. Do the
change gradually or do the change quickly.
The name for playing quiet is “
piano
” and the
symbol for piano is “
p
”.
The name for playing loud is “
forte
” and the
symbol for forte is “
f
”.
Here are the common definitions of volume –
SOFT
LOUD
DESCRIPTION
NAME
SIGN
DESCRIPTION
NAME
SIGN
As soft as possible
double piano
ppp
As loud as possible
double fortissimo
fff
Very soft
pianissimo
pp
Very loud
fortissimo
ff
Soft
piano
p
Loud
forte
f
Moderately soft
mezzo piano
mp
Moderately loud
mezzo forte
mf
The name for changing from quiet to loud is
crescendo
”. Here is the symbol for crescendo
– its shape is from small to bigger which shows
a small volume to a bigger volume –
The name for changing from loud to quiet is
decrescendo
”. The symbol for decrescendo
shows a big volume to a smaller volume -
Some good examples of songs that use volume
changes to enhance their sound are -
(a) Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana. Most of
the song is the same chord pattern over and
over but by changing volume it doesn’t get
boring. The intro starts medium loud then
changes to very loud. The verse goes from very
quiet to medium quiet, while the chorus is back
to very loud.
(b) Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin. For
most of the song there is only acoustic guitar
and vocals giving a quiet, folky sound. The song
builds to be a bit louder half way through –
electric guitars and drums are added. The end
of course is full on rock with the band playing
loud and the guitars using distortion to add
extra grunt.