Where All the Notes Are On Your Guitar
The above graphic shows you where all the natural notes are on a guitar neck. The note pattern in music is very simple: A-B-C-D-E-F-G-and A again, etc. You will notice there are positions on the neck where I haven’t got any notes written in. We’ll get to that in a moment. You will also notice that the same notes repeat themselves across the guitar neck. Some are the exact same note, and some are in different octave.
An octave is the same note( for ex. ‘A’) 12 frets above. Play any string open. Now play the same string only this time fret it at the 12th fret. (Frets are those pieces of wire in your neck. You place your finger behind the fret in question so that the string is held down against it.) Let’s look at where all the ‘A’ notes are on the neck. There are four of them played in various positions.
Sharps and Flats
Besides the 8 natural notes there are 5 notes that fall in between them. These are the “sharps” and “flats”. The distance between 3 frets (for example the 1st to the 3rd) is called a “whole step”. (This is covered more in the music theory portion of the course.) The distance between 2 frets (ex. 1st and 2nd) is called a “half step”. One half step above a natural note is called a “sharp”. We will use this symbol: #, to represent sharps. The half step below a note is called a flat. We will use a small ‘b’ to represent flats. (A sharp= A#; A flat= Ab) NOTE: There are NO notes between the E and F or the B and C. We actually only have 12 notes total to work with.
Look at the low E string. Now play the note on the 2nd fret. Since it is a half step (or one fret) above the F it is an F sharp (or F#). Since it is also a half step below a G, it is also a G flat (or Gb). This same pattern holds true across the neck. Whether you call a note a # or b is dependent on what key you are in. This is covered extensively in the theory portions of these lessons.
You now should be able to find and name all of the notes on your neck. Experiment to see which notes are the same and listen to the different tonal qualities of the same note played at varied locations on the neck.