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Guitar Lesson: Fretboard Education

Aug 18, 2007
Do you really know the name of the notes on your guitar fretboard? You can learn the notes well and in a short time if you put a little energy into the project!

It will really help you as a guitarist if you know the names of the notes on your guitar. Let's see some of the benefits you reap from learning to know your guitar:

1. It will be much easier to learn to play sheet music notation as you already know where to find the notes on your guitar. The only remaining task is to learn the names of the notes on the sheet music staff.

2. You will find it much easier to understand chords and remember chords as you easily can see where to put your fingers to play the required notes.

3. It will be easier for you to understand guitar lessons on the net or in guitar instructional books as you understand an important part of the language used in guitar instruction.

We will start with something you can learn as your first task if don't already know this. It is to know the names of the notes on the open strings of your guitar. An open string is a string not pressed down by a left hand finger.

The first string with the highest pitch on your guitar is normally tuned to an E. If you press down the twelfth fret you will find an E one octave higher. I will now give you the names of the open strings beginning with the first string:


You can practice the names of the strings by playing the strings from the sixt string down to the first and back at the same time saying the names of the strings aloud or in your mind.

An easy and effective exercise to use to learn the notes on the fretboard is to concentrate on one note at a time trying to find the note on all the strings beginning with the sixth string.

Let's start with the note E. On the sixth string you will find it on the open string. Can you spot the E on the next string? This exercise will also help you develop your ear.

Listen to the E on the sixth string and press down a finger on the fifth string and slide it until you will find an E on this string. As this is not a test but an article I will tell you that you will find an E on fret 7.

On string four you will find an E on fret 2. On string three it's on fret 8. On string 2 on fret 5 and on string one on the open string.

Now you can practice the E notes by playing one string at a time from the sixth string down to the first and back again until you can do it automatically.

Do the same with the note G for example trying to find the right fret by listening. On the sixth string you will fing G on fret three. Of course the notes will be found in different octaves and this will be a great exercise to hear the notes and recognize them by listening.

There are many more exercises you can use to learn the notes on the fretboard. The message is that you will learn the notes on the guitar fretboard in a short time if you make a conscious effort to learn them.
About the Author
Peter Edvinsson invites you to download your free sheet music, guitar tabs, ebooks, music lessons and read his music blog at Capotasto Music.
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