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Learning the Notes on the Guitar Fretboard

Updated on December 16, 2009

Why you should learn the notes on the guitar fretboard

If you want to be able to take your guitar playing to the next level, you really need to learn the notes on the guitar fretboard. It will open a whole new world for you as far as understanding how the guitar works.You will be able to play the same chord in a number of different places on the neck.This will make playing even simple songs sound a lot more interesting. Have you ever listened to a song that you know is a simple chord progression, like G, C, and D, and yet the person playing it is adding all sorts of extra notes that make the song sound really good, but you just can't figure out what they are doing? Well when you know the notes on the fretboard, you then know what notes are in the chord. You can then play those notes in different places on the guitar neck and make a simple strumming song sound a lot more interesting. The only thing that holds players back from learning the fretboard is that it seems overwhelming to memorize all those notes. And in fact,it is. But there is an easy way to learn the fretboard. You just need to learn the pattern the notes follow on the fretboard.

All the notes on the guitar fretboard

Click image to see full size
Click image to see full size

The Guitar Fretboard

        To the right is a diagram of all the notes on the guitar fretboard. The first thing to know is that the notes on the 12th fret are the same as the open string. In other words, at the 12th fret all the notes repeat themselves. So now we have it broken down to only having to learn the first twelve frets.
The next thing to realize is that there are only 12 different notes in music.

They are: A Bb B C C# D D# E F F# G All music is comprised of just these twelve notes.

O.K. Now we have it down to where you only need to learn twelve notes. Next we will have to learn how to figure out where these notes are on the guitar fretboard.

All G notes on the guitar fretboard

Click on image to see full size
Click on image to see full size

The Pattern

      To the right is a diagram of the fretboard with all the G notes marked on it. This is the pattern you need to learn. A few points to know that will make this a lot easier to remember are:
1: The first and sixth string are the same.
2: The note on the sixth string is two frets up on the fourth string.
3: The note on the fifth string is two frets up on the third string.

So to make use of this, all you really need to learn is the notes on the sixth string, and you will be able to find that note anywhere on the guitar fretboard. I would suggest just picking one note at first and practice this pattern until you have it down. Once you have it down, then start using it with every other note. If you spend a few minutes every day doing this, before you know it you will have all the notes on the guitar fretboard memorized.

The notes on the sixth string

Here are the notes on the sixth string

      E |--F-|--F#-|--G-|--G#-|--A-|--Bb-|--B-|--C-|--C#-|--D-|--D#-|--E-|

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    • moondive profile image


      8 years ago from Modena,Italy

      Nice hub for beginners in guitar playing


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