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GUITAR TIP - NOTES ON THE FINGERBOARD
  • NOTES ON THE FINGERBOARD

    If you don't already know the notes on the guitar fingerboard, today is the day to learn them! Below is a list of all the notes on the fingerboard, from the open string to fret 12, one octave higher. (FYI, guitars usually have "double dots" on fret 12.)

    You will probably notice that some of the notes in the list below have TWO names. The two-note pairs are "enharmonic equivalents," which means that they are notes that are written differently but refer to the same sound in the tempered scale. The note name you ultimately choose is dictated by key signature, the chord that the note occurs within, or whether it appears in an ascending or descending line.

    Try to memorize two strings at a time. Start with the lowest or "thickest" strings, six and five (low E and A). Keep in mind that natural half steps occur between B and C, and E and F (try "1,000,000 B.C." and "E. F. Hutton" as mnemonic devices).

    It may seem tedious to learn the notes up and down the fingerboard, but think of it as the equivalent of learning the language of a country you want to visit. It isn't absolutely necessary to speak French to go to Paris, but doing so will make your visit more rewarding, interesting, and pleasant. In the same way, it isn't necessary to know the notes on the fingerboard, but if you do, your musical horizons will expand and your playing will become that much more enjoyable and interesting.

    String one (open)
    E--F--F#Gb--G--G#Ab--A--A#Bb--B--C--C#Db--D--D#Eb-E

    String two (open)
    B--C--C#Db--D--D#Eb--E--F--F#Gb--G--G#Ab--A--A#Bb-B

    String three (open)
    G--G#Ab--A--A#Bb--B--C--C#Db--D--D#Eb--E--F--F#Gb-G

    String four (open)
    D--D#Eb--E--F--F#Gb--G--G#Ab--A--A#Bb--B--C--C#Db-D

    String five (open)
    A--A#Bb--B--C--C#Db--D--D#Eb--E--F--F#Gb--G--G#Ab-A

    String six (open)
    E--F--F#Gb--G--G#Ab--A--A#Bb--B--C--C#Db--D--D#Eb--E
  • I play a little game in my head sometimes that's related to this. I'll think "(string) 1 - (fret) 8" is "C"

    So, based on that:
    (String-Fret)
    1-1 = F
    1-2 = F# (Gb)
    1-3 = G
    2-3 = D
    3-5 = C
    4-9 = B
    etc.

    Kind of like flash cards. I gets kind of hairy on the strings 2, 3, and 4 because I don't relate those strings to roots.

    Jim, you should post your famous "Jim Campilongo Meal Plan" here. I'll bet there's some folks here that haven't seen that. Great stuff there.

    -Bernie
  • Thanks Bernie ... and I love your contribution. And breakfast - lunch etc is a good idea. I'll dust it off and post.
  • This is GREAT!
  • Thanks Bernie ... and I love your contribution. And breakfast - lunch etc is a good idea. I'll dust it off and post.
  • Did the Meal Plan ever get posted? I looked but haven't found it.
  • Hi Tony ... done!
  • I hope you don't stop writing these guitar tip threads, Jim. Thanks.

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