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Guitar Notes For Beginners

Updated on May 9, 2014

So you learned a few chords and it was fun for a while, but now you want more. It's time to learn how to read guitar notes.

Reading guitar notes is no rocket science, but it's not easy either, especially if you're a beginner. You'll just have to give yourself some time for learning. Remember, practice makes perfect. In this hub we'll go through some basics on how to read guitar notes.

To be a better guitar player, reading notes is important. If you're really serious about becoming a competent all-around guitarist, I would highly recommend you to look at - Learn & Master Guitar.

Guitar string notes
Guitar string notes

How To Read Guitar Notes For Beginners

In order to learn guitar notes we have to figure out how all those dots, numbers and markings on the staff translate to the fretboard.

We will start by learning the names of the notes of the open guitar strings.
The notes, from low to high, on the open strings are E A D G B E.

If you hold the guitar in playing position, E is the top string, and the thickest of the six strings. The second string and the second thickest string is A. The third string is D, the fourth is G, the fifth is B, and the sixth string, which is also the thinnest string, is E again, this time one octave higher that the first E. Just take a look at the image to your top left.

Pressing a string against the fret will determine the vibrating length of a string. This will cause the string to sound the appropriate note. Frets determine the pitch a string will produce The pitch of each consecutive fret is defined as a half-step interval on the chromatic scale. This means that each fret will produce a half-step higher pitch than the last.

The guitar scale is chromatic, which basically means that each consecutive fret is defined as a half-step interval. The notes in between the whole steps are referred to as either sharps(#) or flats(b). To sharp(#) a note move one fret higher. To flat (b) a note move one fret lower.

Here is a complete table of the names of the notes on the guitar fretboard. Numbers on the top are the fret numbers:

Names of the notes on the fretboard
Names of the notes on the fretboard


If you're looking for the most complete guitar course on the market, chech out Learn & Master Guitar. Highly recommended.


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    • profile image

      jeremy 734 

      6 years ago

      thank you im an intermediate player but need to learn music notation instead of just playing tabs

    • profile image

      NO NAME 

      6 years ago

      great tip.

    • hutchy-rants profile image


      8 years ago from Essex, UK

      Elephants And Donkeys Grow Big Ears... the easiest way to remember the strings!


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