Guitar notes (basics)

One of the most important guitar lessons to master is learning the notes on the fretboard. Even if you don’t know chord placement, you can still find chords if you know where each note is. Don’t let the long fretboard scare you away. It’s far easier to learn the guitar fretboard than you might think. Luckily, a little practice and a few tricks make it easy.

When learning how to play guitar, you should know the musical alphabet is a little different than the alphabet you learned as a child. Learning notes starts with some basic music theory. With the natural musical alphabet, you only have seven notes – A, B, C, D, E, F, and G. They’re called natural since you have no flats or sharps. All your sharps and flats occur between these notes. Once you know these, learning sharps and flats is as simple as moving up or down.

Sharps & Flats

Sharps and flats are just half-steps away from the natural notes. So what’s the big difference between the two? It’s all in how you move. Every half-step (or fret) changes the note.

Sharps are a half-step up from a natural note. For instance, a half-step above A is A#.

Flats are the exact opposite. One half-step down leads to a flat. For instance, if you step down from A, you’d get Ab. The confusing part comes into play with a single note has two names and the name depends mainly on the key you’re playing in. For instance, the note between D and E is D# if you’re stepping up and Eb if you’re stepping down.

Sharps & Flats

Pro Tip: An easy way to keep your sharps and flats straight is to think of stepping on a bug. When you step down on the bug, it’s flat, just like notes on your guitar.

Whenever you put your finger on the first fret of the first string and play it will make a F note and so on…. don’t worry, once you get enough practice, you will be able to play plenty of melodies and songs.

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