Dansm's Musical Notation for Guitar
Notes on the Fretboard
Knowing a little about reading music is very helpful when playing guitar. It can help you learn a song, figure out a chord, or just make you a little bit more knowledgeable about guitar. This page will teach you the musical notes represented on the first five frets of your guitar. From there, you should be able to figure out the rest of the fretboard with a little thought. I will progress one string at a time, so you should be able to follow this easily. Make sure you check out my introduction to standard notation because it will give you a basic knowledge of the notes you are about to see. Note that I only use sharps in this example, but remember that certain sharps and flats are interchangeable (see my chords page). Good luck!
The Sixth String
If you were to play the first five frets of the sixth string, you would play E, F, F#, G, G#, and A. This is indicated below:




The Fifth String
If you were to play the first five frets of the fifth string, you would play A, A#, B, C, C#, and D. This is indicated below:




The Fourth String
If you were to play the first five frets of the fourth string, you would play D, D#, E, F, F#, G. This is indicated below:




The Third String
If you were to play the first five frets of the third string, you would play G, G#, A, A#, B, C. This is indicated below:




The Second String
If you were to play the first five frets of the second string, you would play B, C, C#, D, D#, E. This is indicated below:




The First String
If you were to play the first five frets of the first string, you would play E, F, F#, G, G#, A. This is indicated below:




This may be the easiest way to learn the notes: just remember the names of the notes shown above. It's not terribly important to know anything further up the fretboard, so concentrating on the first five frets is all that is necessary. I hope this hasn't been to complicated. Good luck, and remember to keep working on it!
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1997 Daniel E. Smith. Last updated 6-22-97