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Lesson 2: The notes on the fretboard
by Francesco Barberini

Fai click qui per leggere la versione in italiano

A good visual memorization of all the notes on the fretboard is the best starting point (especially if one decides to start again from the DAEGAB), at least for what concerns the 6th, 5th and 4th string, because, especially at the beginning, the fundamental chords tones will be found most of all on these three strings. Consequently, here are some charts that graphically represent the guitar's fretboard with the notes' placements on it; plus, a useful summary for the memorization of the notes on the fretboard even without images and finally a test and some suggestions to verify all we have learned.

Where are the notes on the fretboard

The 5 notes of every fret
(Note: the second and the fifth string have the same note, an octave away)

The following outline is useful to locate by memory the position of every note on the fretboard.

If you like, you may keep it in your pocket and use it in those moments in which you have no access to a guitar....while you stand in line at the post-office, or wait for the bus, in your physician's waiting room (or, if you are really a fanatic, in between sets of a jazz concert you are attending !!)....things like that, but it's worth.

The notes to be visualized are listed in an ascending circle of fifths, but may be memorized following your favorite order. The roman numeral corresponds to the fret, while the arabic numeral corresponds to the string (or the strings). The number 0 indicates the open string.

C: I, 1; III, 2, 5; V, 3; VIII, 4; X, 6; XIII, 1.

G: 0, 3; III, 4; V, 6; VIII, 1; X, 2, 5; XII, 3.

D: 0, 6; III, 1; V, 2, 5; VII, 3; X, 4; XII, 6.

A: 0, 2, 5; II, 3; V, 4; VII, 6; X, 1; XII, 2, 5.

E: 0, 4; II, 6; V, 1; VII, 2, 5; IX, 3; XII, 4.

B: 0, 1; II, 2, 5; IV, 3; VII, 4; IX, 6; XII, 1.

Gb/F#: II, 4; IV, 6; VII, 1; IX, 2, 5; XI, 3.

Db/C#: II, 1; IV, 2, 5; VI, 3; IX, 4; XI, 6.

Ab/G#: I, 3; IV, 4; VI, 6; IX, 1; XI, 2, 5; XIII, 3.

Eb/D#: I, 6; IV, 1; VI, 2 5; VIII, 3; XI, 4; XIII, 6.

Bb/A#: I, 2, 5; III, 3; VI, 4; VIII, 6; XI, 1; XIII, 2, 5.

F: I,4; III, 6; VI, 1; VIII, 2, 5; X, 3; XIII, 4.

And now some questions you may ask yourselves, to put yourselves to the test, and some suggestions:

1) Where is the note x (your choice) all over the fretboard ?
2) Which five notes are found on the x fret ?
3) Which notes are on the x string ?
4) Where's the x note on the x fret (provided it is there)?
5) Where is the x note on the x string ?
6) Visualize an x scale on one string only.
7) Visualize an x scale in position *
8) Visualize an arpeggio on one string only.
9) Visualize an arpeggio in position *
10) Visualize a chord, possibly in all inversions and in as many positions as possible *

* visualize without fingering; these are exercises that you'll be able to do later on, because I will show you the fingerings of chords, scales and arpeggios, etc., anyway.

In the next lesson we'll get to the visualization of intervals on the fretboard, so that we'll be able to finally get to work "hands on " and begin to get our fingers used to the new way of fingering the intervals. Once learned that, it will already be possible to reproduce (on guitar) any simple melodies that might linger in our mind.

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Last Modified Date: 21/11/2004

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