All the bass terms - in different languages

Greetings from Denmark

I am learning to play the bass through both Youtube and the Beginner to badass course.

I just came to realize that if I go to the music store I have no idea what the different parts of the bass - and other musical terms - are called in my own language :slight_smile:

So I thought a little English vs. X-language dictionary might be useful. I did some google-ing and can now present to you all the terms in Danish.

Maybe players from other countries can continue this thread :slight_smile:



Bar = Takt
Bass clef = Basnøgle eller F-nøgle
Body = Krop
Flat = b for (F.eks. “b for G”)
Fret = Bånd
Fretboard = Gribebræt
Headstock = Hoved
Midtone = Mellemtone
Neck = Hals
Nut = Sadel
Pick guard = Slagplade
Pickup = Pickup
Pitch = Tonehøjde
Saddle = Stol
Sharp = Kryds for (F.eks. “Kryds for G”)
Staff = Nodesystem
String = Streng
Tab = Tabulatur
Treble = Diskant
Tuning peg = Stemmeskrue

Other Danes, correct me if I’m wrong :slight_smile:


Very nice, good work! Only one correction: in English it’s “tab” not “tabs” (short for tablature).


I thought I was interesting that in Polish, fretboard is podstrunnica (lit. understrings ) instead of deska progów (lit. board of frets). .
I think a pickup is either a pickup or a przetwornik.

I’m not sure what a gryf or a mensura is tho ( help @jacq @Hann @MC-Canadastan )


Gryf would be the neck, but menzura hmm… a scale(?). It is the length of string (struna) between the nut (siodełko) and the bridge (mostek).

For me, the most interesting was always (that would apply not only to PL, though):

c d e f g a h c
c d e f g a b c


Yeah. I learned my bass in English… like pretty much everything else, so the Polish bass terms are new to me as well.

EDIT: here is a good reference for the terminology in PL.

Apparently menzura is the scale length.


I like Slagplade much better than pickguard. Slagplade is most of a good band name.


heh yeah my wife kept saying h instead of b and I was wondering if there’s a secret ninth note I would learn when I got advanced enough :slight_smile:

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Gryf = neck
Menzura = scale (like: the scale of my bass is 34")
I also know the term “przystawka” for a pickup (“przetwornik” is probably a more professional, electric term)


Wait til you hear it pronounced… it is not like you think :rofl:

To make a feeble attempt: the first part (“slag”) is more like “slow” (but rhyming with “cow”); the second part (“plade”) is two syllables (pla-de), the first sounds like the start of “plea(sure)” and the second like a very soft “the”

They say Danish is easier to pronounce when you have a potato in your mouth :wink:

@soren_ladegaard : I think you got most of the important ones. You could add “bridge”, which is not necessarily exactly the same as a saddle (I always think of the saddle as part of the bridge) - I don’t know whether this part is called “bro” in Danish!?
Also, “scale length” could be included; might be “mensur” in Danish!?! (From the term used in German)
And perhaps “action” could be translated to “strenghøjde” eller “strengehøjde”??


In Denmark you also hear a lot of people saying a c-scale like this:

c d e f g a H c

I don’t know if it’s an urban legend but I’ve been told that “a thousand years ago” a Danish munk was writing about music notation and because of sloppy handwriting the letter “b” looked like a small “h” and that has stuck ever since.

It wasn’t until I started the Beginner To Badass course that I realised that obviously it’s the alphabet going from A to G and that it doesn’t make sence throw an H in the mix :slight_smile:


mmmmm! przystawki… :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:


To make things worse, germans are used to saying h for b and b for b flat. Oh, the headache :sweat_smile:


That’s the “secret chord” Cohen sings of in Hallelujah :rofl:


That is indeed an urban legend. Back then notation was invented (the first version only had pitches, no note lengths), there were 2 b’s:

The b-rotundum

and the b-quadratum.

They were one halfstep apart.
So in some languages, the b-rotundum became became the b (bb in english).
The b quadratum, as it has similarities with an h, became the h, because the original symbol didn’t translate well into print, many printers didn’t had a type for it.

Also: the symbol for b-quadratum later became what we now know as ♯ (sharp). And today again, this symbol often is written as a # (hash), as we can’t find it on a keyboard.


So long as there’s something to wash them down with, and it’s not that godawful herring Poles are so enamoured with.