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Spider Legs Warm-Ups: Great Finger Exercises!

Plus 11,000 More Guitar Lessons.

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This lesson changes the focus from the fingers to the brain. We'll learn how to use the Spider Legs warm-ups to serve as a context for learning the names of the notes in the first four frets of the guitar.

Even if you don't read music, it is extremely useful to understand the basic concept of how the notes work, how sharps and flats work, and how to locate a specific note on the guitar. This will help in understanding the music you are currently working on, in learning new music, and in communicating with other musicians.

In this lesson, we will take each string one at a time and learn the notes found on that string. In this run-through, we'll also look at the concept of "sharps", and how they relate to the notes on the guitar. Then in the next segment, we'll learn about flats.

For the purposes of this exercise, I'm not going to go into great detail about the music theory behind notes, sharps, and flats. The purpose of this exercise is to simply familiarize you with the concepts, and where specific notes are located on the guitar neck in the first four frets.

My lesson that presents a more detailed explanation of the music theory behind all this is currently under construction. I will post the link to it right here as soon as it is ready to go.

Meanwhile, let's learn the names of the notes, one string at a time. As you get more familiar with these, you may wish to bookmark this lesson and try saying them along with me. It's a great way to make sure you are on the right track.

SIXTH STRING (lowest sounding string, Low E string):
Played open: E
First fret: F
Second Fret: F# (F sharp)
Third Fret: G
Fourth Fret: G# (G sharp) So all together, the notes on the sixth string, in ascending order, starting with the open string and going up four frets, are: E, F, F#, G, G#

FIFTH STRING (A string):
Played open: A
First fret: A#
Second Fret: B
Third Fret: C
Fourth Fret: C# So all together, the notes on the fifth string, in ascending order, starting with the open string and going up four frets, are: A, A#, B, C, C#

FOURTH STRING (D string):
Played open: D
First fret: D#
Second Fret: E
Third Fret: F
Fourth Fret: F# So all together, the notes on the fourth string, in ascending order, starting with the open string and going up four frets, are: D, D#, E, F, F#

THIRD STRING (G string):
Played open: G
First fret: G#
Second Fret: A
Third Fret: A#
Fourth Fret: B So all together, the notes on the third string, in ascending order, starting with the open string and going up four frets, are: G, G#, A, A#, B

SECOND STRING (B string):
Played open: B
First fret: C
Second Fret: C#
Third Fret: D
Fourth Fret: D# So all together, the notes on the second string, in ascending order, starting with the open string and going up four frets, are: B, C, C#, D, D#

FIRST STRING (High E string):
Played open: E
First fret: F
Second Fret: F#
Third Fret: G
Fourth Fret: G# So all together, the notes on the first string, in ascending order, starting with the open string and going up four frets, are: E, F, F#, G, G#

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You probably noticed that sometimes when we went from a note with a single letter name (G for instance), and raised the tone of the note by one fret, we called it "G sharp", or G#. "Sharp", by definition, means you are raising the note by one half-step, or one fret on the guitar.

However, this is not a completely consistent system. There are two places in the musical alphabet where no sharp (or flat) exists. That is between the notes E and F, and also between the notes B and C. Notice in the chart above that every time we went from E to F, or from B to C, there was no sharp. We just went directly from the E to the F, and from the B to the C. Strange but true, that's just the way it is.

In the next segment, we'll do a similar exercise, but this time we'll look at the concept of "flats". It is important to familiarize yourself with both the sharps and the flats.

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