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Guitar Lesson: Make A String Safari On Your Guitar

December 5th, 2011 · No Comments · Guitar Lessons

It seems like many guitarists have a hard time reading sheet music. Let’s start by learning to know the fretboard!

I think the most important part in learning to know the fretboard is to make a concentrated effort.

To be a poor sight reader is not part of your personality. Maybe it has become a habit to not doing something about it. Let’s start with step one!

In this guitar lesson you will learn to find your way around the guitar fretboard and learning the notes on the six strings.

I call this a string safari as it might be a thilling experience to at last understand what you can find on the guitar fretboard.

Let’s start by taking a look at the note E. Where can you find it on the fretboard?

With the conventional tuning of your guitar you will have the note E on the first open string. I guess you are aware of the fact that you can find the same note on the second string too.

This is the strength but also the difficulty with fretted instruments. You have a choice as to which string to choose.

On the second string you’ll find the note E on the fifth fret. When you play E on the first and second string you’ll find that they will have the same pitch but they sound a bit different.

On the third string you will find E on the ninth fret. Now you can practice playing the E notes on these three strings just to get used to the positions. It will help you immensely to know the positions for these notes as you play guitar sheet music.

You can proceed learning more of the guitar fretboard in a similar way. Let’s continue!

On the fourth string you will find E on the second fret. This E will be one octave lower. On the fifth string you will find this E on the seventh fret.

On the sixth string you have the open E one octave lower. Let’s make an exercice:

Try to play the note E on all the strings going from the first string, nearest your feet, up to the sixth string. What frets do you have to press down?

Using numbers indicating what frets you will have to press down we will get the following row of numbers:

0 5 9 2 7 0

0 means that you play the open first string. 5 means that you play the fifth fret on the second string and so on. Let’s make the sequence a little bit longer.

We will play the strings from the sixth string down to the first and then back again. Remember to start with the sixth string!

Here you have the sequence written out:

0 7 2 9 5 0 5 9 2 7 0

You might want to invent other small exercises on you guitar fretboard, like playing all A’s on all six strings until you can play them with ease.

Playing all A’s on the fingerboard starting with the sixth string down to the first and back again will look as follows:

5 0 7 2 10 5 10 2 7 0 5

Knowing the notes on the guitar fingerboard will be a great help for you when you sight read guitar sheet music as you don’t have to guess or search for the note on the fretboard anymore. It will also help you when you try to play a melody by ear or when improvising a solo.

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