Reading notes and the fretboard

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diwildiac

Full Access

Joined: 10/29/20

Posts: 8

Hi all,

I'm currently following the guitar fundamentals 1 track but have a questions regarding reading notes.

On the fretboard you have all the notes in an octave on each string, low E on string 6. If I where to play notes and not plain guitar tab what is the logic with witch string I should use for a given note?

In other words, if I where to play a song with starts with the notes "G,C,E,G,G,F,E" how would I choose the strings to use, since all notes are essentially on all strings?

Not after an abosolute answare, if anyone could point of apropriate theory that would be sufficient.

/D

Sincere regards

/D

#1

Hi all,

I'm currently following the guitar fundamentals 1 track but have a questions regarding reading notes.

On the fretboard you have all the notes in an octave on each string, low E on string 6. If I where to play notes and not plain guitar tab what is the logic with witch string I should use for a given note?

In other words, if I where to play a song with starts with the notes "G,C,E,G,G,F,E" how would I choose the strings to use, since all notes are essentially on all strings?

Not after an abosolute answare, if anyone could point of apropriate theory that would be sufficient.

/D

Sincere regards

/D

snojones

Full Access

Joined: 04/17/13

Posts: 535

2 things come to my mind regarding which fingering to use in any give situation.

1. What is close and convient for reaching the note you are targeting. The easiest reach, to the new note, is usually the best move to hit the note you want to move to. So it is the path of least resistance, and the most expedience.

2. What tone do you want to sound. As you play up and down the fretboard, you will notice that the notes may be the same in pitch, but there are subtle diffrences to the tone produced. This can help to vary the way the phrase sounds. Here is a place where subtle emotion can come into you playing. This is an advanced skill, and probably not a consideration in Fundamentals 1 technique.

Captcha is a total pain in the........

#2

2 things come to my mind regarding which fingering to use in any give situation.

1. What is close and convient for reaching the note you are targeting. The easiest reach, to the new note, is usually the best move to hit the note you want to move to. So it is the path of least resistance, and the most expedience.

2. What tone do you want to sound. As you play up and down the fretboard, you will notice that the notes may be the same in pitch, but there are subtle diffrences to the tone produced. This can help to vary the way the phrase sounds. Here is a place where subtle emotion can come into you playing. This is an advanced skill, and probably not a consideration in Fundamentals 1 technique.

Captcha is a total pain in the........

diwildiac

Full Access

Joined: 10/29/20

Posts: 8

Can I assume that if I learn for an example the C scale that could be used as a bsis for targeting the notes?

Just trying to figure out the more theoreticall stuff :-)

/D

Sincere regards

/D

#3

Can I assume that if I learn for an example the C scale that could be used as a bsis for targeting the notes?

Just trying to figure out the more theoreticall stuff :-)

/D

Sincere regards

/D

Carl King

GuitarTricks Video Director

Joined: 10/08/07

Posts: 466

This is the tricky thing about reading music for guitar, but there is a system / method.

There are different positions you can choose to cover the range of the music you're reading. A lot of it depends on what the highest note is.

In my experience there are roughly 3 positions, within which you can generally cover all the notes you need:

Open through 5th

5th through 8th

9th through...

Once you get into that upper territory on the high E string, there will be tons of ledger lines. So it will hopefully be notated instead with the 8va symbol, meaning you can write it all down an octave so it's easier to read.

This requires learning all the notes in each range, and also connecting the ranges. As Steve Vai said, learn each note on the fretboard "cold."

I often recommend the Mel Bay Method books for basic reading, to get you started. Most of anything you see on the treble clef (minus upper ledger lines) can all be played in Open through 5th.

-Carl.

Carl King
GuitarTricks Video Director / Producer

#4

This is the tricky thing about reading music for guitar, but there is a system / method.

There are different positions you can choose to cover the range of the music you're reading. A lot of it depends on what the highest note is.

In my experience there are roughly 3 positions, within which you can generally cover all the notes you need:

Open through 5th

5th through 8th

9th through...

Once you get into that upper territory on the high E string, there will be tons of ledger lines. So it will hopefully be notated instead with the 8va symbol, meaning you can write it all down an octave so it's easier to read.

This requires learning all the notes in each range, and also connecting the ranges. As Steve Vai said, learn each note on the fretboard "cold."

I often recommend the Mel Bay Method books for basic reading, to get you started. Most of anything you see on the treble clef (minus upper ledger lines) can all be played in Open through 5th.

-Carl.

Carl King
GuitarTricks Video Director / Producer

Iman_Oldie

Registered User

Joined: 12/27/20

Posts: 18

As already mentioned, finding the best fret grouping, so your fingers can get to each note quickly and easily. In fact my biggest problem at the moment is figuring out which finger to use so the progression from one note to the next is logical.

Also mentioned was "tone". I always wondered why someone would choose to play D on the A string 5th fret when you could play an open D string more easily but perhaps you want to 'bend' or 'hammer' that note which can't be done on an open string.

As far as scales go, you will find a lot of emphasis is put on learning pentatonic scales as you can traverse up and down the strings within a fairly tight group of frets and the same positions can be transferred up and down the fretboard. Also, much more interesting than a C scale ;-)

#5

As already mentioned, finding the best fret grouping, so your fingers can get to each note quickly and easily. In fact my biggest problem at the moment is figuring out which finger to use so the progression from one note to the next is logical.

Also mentioned was "tone". I always wondered why someone would choose to play D on the A string 5th fret when you could play an open D string more easily but perhaps you want to 'bend' or 'hammer' that note which can't be done on an open string.

As far as scales go, you will find a lot of emphasis is put on learning pentatonic scales as you can traverse up and down the strings within a fairly tight group of frets and the same positions can be transferred up and down the fretboard. Also, much more interesting than a C scale ;-)

ChristopherSchlegel

Guitar Tricks Instructor

Joined: 08/09/05

Posts: 7448

Originally Posted by: diwildiac

On the fretboard you have all the notes in an octave on each string, low E on string 6. If I where to play notes and not plain guitar tab what is the logic with witch string I should use for a given note?

In general this will be indicated on the sheet music music plus tab notation. And although there is sometimes more than one place to play some notes on the guitar, the context of the music will usually mean that it's easier or more efficient to play in one location than another.

More importantly, as a beginner it's more than enough for you to just focus on the notes of the open strings & the first 5 frets.

Originally Posted by: diwildiac
In other words, if I where to play a song with starts with the notes "G,C,E,G,G,F,E" how would I choose the strings to use, since all notes are essentially on all strings?

It's not quite that wide open. :) The sheet music for a song will show you the specific notes in a certain range. For example there are only 2 possible places to play the lowest C on the guitar.

1. 3rd fret A string.

2. 8th fret low E string.

And for the vast majority of beginner applications that note C will be played on the 3rd fret of the A string.

Keep following the Fundamental course. In GF2 you will get to reading music & a lot of this will be made much more clear. For now it's more important to build your basic playing skills.

Hope this helps!

Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory

#6

Originally Posted by: diwildiac

On the fretboard you have all the notes in an octave on each string, low E on string 6. If I where to play notes and not plain guitar tab what is the logic with witch string I should use for a given note?

In general this will be indicated on the sheet music music plus tab notation. And although there is sometimes more than one place to play some notes on the guitar, the context of the music will usually mean that it's easier or more efficient to play in one location than another.

More importantly, as a beginner it's more than enough for you to just focus on the notes of the open strings & the first 5 frets.

Originally Posted by: diwildiac
In other words, if I where to play a song with starts with the notes "G,C,E,G,G,F,E" how would I choose the strings to use, since all notes are essentially on all strings?

It's not quite that wide open. :) The sheet music for a song will show you the specific notes in a certain range. For example there are only 2 possible places to play the lowest C on the guitar.

1. 3rd fret A string.

2. 8th fret low E string.

And for the vast majority of beginner applications that note C will be played on the 3rd fret of the A string.

Keep following the Fundamental course. In GF2 you will get to reading music & a lot of this will be made much more clear. For now it's more important to build your basic playing skills.

Hope this helps!

Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory