These three terms are often used loosely and interchangeably – but they do each have a specific meaning!

All three refer to the quality of a sound: its overall characteristics. That’s why you might hear somebody talking about the tone of a violin, or violin timbre, or the texture of a strings arrangement. Or you may have come across an article on improving your guitar tone, crafting the perfect guitar timbre, or how the texture of a guitar solo performance affects the musical impact.

The three terms are clearly related, but each does have its own meaning and you should understand the difference.

What is tone?

The tone of an instrument generally refers to the overall frequency balance. Even if you haven’t done