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Getting Started Learning Notes on the Fretboard

Installment #4: "Learning the Notes in First Position"

By Mark Hanson

September 30, 2009

At this point, if you have been reading my recent ‘Tips’ about learning the guitar fretboard, you should know the names of the notes of the open strings, and the notes at the 5th, 7th, 10th, and 12th frets. You should also be able to see the “white” notes (no sharps or flats) on the bass and treble strings (6th and 1st). Additionally, you should know what chords you are producing when moving a first-position C-chord shape up the neck.

The next step is to learn the names of all of the notes between the nut and 5th fret. One way to quickly learn these is to practice end-of-the-neck scales in these keys: C, G, D, A, and E. These are the main solo guitar keys, and will include every note on the fretboard except B-flat. The other flats – E-flat, A-flat, D-flat, G-flat, - are all included in the scales of the five keys listed above, but by their enharmonic equivalents: D#, G#, C#, and F#.

To learn these scales – and their note names and positions - go to Accent On Music’s Free Tablature page.

Mark Hanson

Copyright © 2009 Accent On Music, LLC, and Mark D. Hanson. All Rights Reserved.