Guitar Lesson No .1-
|Learning Guitar – Lesson Four|
|Part 2: Notes on the Neck|
So far, most of what we’ve learned on the guitar has been focused on the bottom few frets of the instrument. Most guitars have at least 19 frets, so you can see by only using the first three, we aren’t using the instrument as effectively as we could. Learning the notes all over the guitar fretboard will be the first step we will need to take in order to unlock the instrument’s full potential.The Musical Alphabet
Before we begin, it is very important to understand the way the “musical alphabet” works. It is similar in many respects to the traditional alphabet, in that it uses standard letters (ABC’s). Where it differs, is that in the musical alphabet, the letters only progress up to G, upon which, they begin again at A. As you continue up the musical alphabet, the pitches of the notes get higher (when you go past G up to A again, the notes continue to get higher, they don’t start at a low pitch again.)
This is an illustration of the musical alphabet. The ties between the notes B and C, and also between the notes E and F, reflect the fact there is NO “blank” fret between these two sets of notes. Between ALL OTHER notes, there is one fret space. This rule applies to all instruments, including piano. If you are familiar with the piano keyboard, you will know that there is no black key between the notes B and C, and also E and F. But, between all other sets of notes, there is a black key.
From guitar lesson two, you’ll remember that the name of the open sixth string is “E”. Now, let’s figure out the other note names on the sixth string. Coming after E in the musical alphabet is, of course, F. Using the above summary, we must remember that there is no blank fret between these two notes. So, we know that F will be on the sixth string, first fret. Next, let’s figure out where the next note, G, will be located. From the summary, we know that there is a blank fret between F and G. So, the note G will be found on the third fret of the sixth string. After G, in the musical alphabet, comes the note A again. Since there is a blank fret between G and A, we can surmise that A is on the fifth fret of the sixth string. Continue this process all the way up the sixth string. You can check the diagram to the left to make sure you are correct. Remember: there is also no blank fret between the notes B and C.