Notes on a guitar

The chart below shows all the notes on a guitar. Though the guitar is a complicated instrument, it is not as complicated as you might think when you first take a look at this chart. You should not learn the notes just by memorizing this chart. It is important to know how the guitar and the guitar notes really work. Continue reading below the chart...


The notes on the guitar

Let's begin by learning the 7 natural notes. They are named A, B, C, D, E, F, G. All natural notes are ringed in on the chart. The second thing you should learn is this:

All the natural notes are a whole step (2frets) apart except E-F and B-C, which are a half step (one fret) apart.

What will be most useful for you in the beginning is to learn the notes on the 5th and 6th string. On these two strings you will find the roots for power chords and barre chords. Let's just focus on one string for a moment. Look at the notes on the low E-string. At this point, don't mind the notes in between (F#/Gb and so on). I'll explain them in a moment. As you can see there is a half step between E and F. Whole steps between F-G, G-A and A-B. Then comes the other half step between B and C followed by two whole steps C-D and D-E.Now we have gone through one octave of the E-string. If you continue from here, the steps will be the same as from the beginning of the string.

As you've probably learned when tuning your guitar, the A-strings starts with the same note as the 5th fret on the E-string. This means that B on the A-string, 2nd fret is the same as B on the E-string, 7th fret and so on.

Now practice the notes on the 5th and 6th string by just starting out from the open string. Don't look at the chart but try to figure the notes out for your self using the bolded sentence above. Try to remember where the two half steps come, between E-F and B-C. This is accually all the information you need. It also helps a lot to practice the beginning 7 of the alphabet backwards and around.

The notes in between, sharps or flats

All the natural notes with a whole step between them will have another note in that gap. This is either a sharpened(#) note or a flattened(b) note.

A sharp (#) raises a natural note by a half step.

A flat (b) lowers the natural note by a half step.

For example the note between F and G is a F# or a Gb. If it's a F# or a Gb depends on the key of the song you're playing and simply if the note or chord is viewed as a sharpened F or a flattened G.


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