Guitar Theory and Mental Mapping : Post 10

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Learn the notes on the fretboard – a starting note

If you currently don’t know any of the notes anywhere on the fretboard, let’s start by learning one note on each string.

We might as well start with the open (unfretted) strings.

If you’re using standard tuning then your guitar is tuned as followed:

Note Gravity String No. Pitch
E Top 1 Highest
B 2
G 3
D 4
A 5
E Bottom 6 Lowest

Examining the remaining columns in this table:

  • Gravity – Looking down at a guitar when you’ve got it strapped on you, the bottom string is the one closest to you – bottom meaning it is lowest in pitch, not physically at the bottom of the guitar.
  • String No: The bottom string is the 6th string and the top string is the 1st string.
  • Pitch: The string which is lowest in pitch (the bottom E) is also called the lowest string and the string which is highest in pitch (the top E) is called the highest string.

The note names in the order from bottom to top

  • E, A, D, G, B, E

Say this many times, think of an acronym, or just remember them.

Whichever way works best for you, get the names of the open strings firmly fixed in your head.

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