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Learning your guitar’s fretboard March 13, 2007

Posted by rgordon83 in Beginner, Guitar Lessons, Music Theory, Notes.
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Now that you know what notes are and how they work (Click here to see the last lesson if you don’t), we can apply it to you guitar’s fretboard.

Now that we know the order of the notes, we can figure out what all the notes are on your guitar. Let’s start with the open strings (an open string is a string played open, without your hand fretting it at all. If you pick any one of your guitar strings without touching it, that an open string)

The thickest string on your guitar, the one closest to you, is called the Low E string. Playing that string makes an E note. This string is also referred to as the 6th string. The next string down, the 5th string, is called the A string. Playing this string alone will give you an A note. The 4th string is called the D string. The 3rd string is called the G string. The 2nd string is the B string. And the 1ast string is called the High E string. The low E and the High E make the same note, but the high E string makes and E note one Octave higher than the low E string. So they have the same sound quality, but the high E is at a higher frequency.

Play the low E and high E strings at the same time. If your guitar is in tune, you should notice they sound the same, but one is a higher pitch.

Now that we know the names of all of your guitar strings, lets look at the fretboard and see what all the notes are. Since we know the order of the notes, and we know what not each string is, we can name all the notes on your guitar. Take a look at this diagram. Also, refer to the last lesson on notes if you are confused (click here for the lesson on notes):

guitar fretboard notes chart

Remember that there are only 12 notes, so once the notes reach the 12th fret, they start over as if you are starting from the beginning of that string. I.E. the 13th fret on the 6th strong (or low E string) is an F note, just like the first fret.

Also, remember, the distance between each note is called a half-step. So the distance between each fret also is a half-step (because each fret goes up or down by one note).

It may take a few minutes to get this all down. But once you get it will help you understand more advanced music theory. Please ask me any questions you have. You can post them to the “comments” section of this post.

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