Reading guitar music 2

You have spent the last few days studying the names of the guitar strings, and how they are written on the staff. But of course, there are many more notes missing, many notes in between the open string notes. This article will identify the missing notes, show you how they are written on the staff, and how you can memorize them.

staff all notesx

The first diagram should be familiar to you. It is all the open strings of the guitar and how they are written on the staff. The diagram below it includes the notes that are in between those of the open strings. Two things that should be noticeable are that all these new notes do not go past the 3rd frets, meaning they are either on the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd frets, and that there are two notes in between any two open strings, except between B and G, where there is just one note. These observations are crucial in how we will go about memorizing all these notes. Also crucial is knowing by heart the names of the spaces (FACE) and lines (EGBDF) of the staff.

staff examplex

(1)So let’s say you see a note in between 1st string high E and 2nd string B. You are still unfamiliar with how these new notes look, but by process of elimination you can figure out the answer. (2)You know that, from knowing the spaces and lines, there are just two notes in between E and B; D and C. So the mystery note must be one of those two notes and on the first two strings. You also know that, for now, we are not playing anything above the high E string, so the note must be somewhere on the 2nd string B. (3)You know that the note must either be on the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd fret of the 2nd string B because we are not playing anything past the 3rd fret for now. But which fret is C and which is D? (4)Well, B and C are one half step away, meaning they are one fret away from each other. So if the 2nd string B is open, then the next fret is the 1st fret, which is where C is. You know that all other notes except B-C and E-F are a whole step away, or two frets away, so the D note must be two frets from C. If C is on the 1st fret, two frets up is 3rd fret, which is where the D note is at. (5)Now that you know how to play note C and D on the 2nd string B, you just need to identify which one of the two notes the mystery note is and play it. In this example, the note was C. It is this exact same reasoning that you must use when you see a note you still havent memorized yet. First identify the open strings above and below the note, eliminate the notes that it can’t be through FACE/EGBDF, figure out the half step/whole step relation between the notes between the two open string notes, and then identify which note from those it is and simply play it. As you continue to do this, over time you will get better at it and begin to memorize the notes in between the open strings from simply seeing them over and over.

notes between stringsx

Here we have all the notes in between two open strings on the guitar. (1)The notes between high E (1st string) and B string (2nd string) are D and C. (2)The note between the B string (2nd string) and G string (3rd string) is A. There is just one note between B and G, all other open strings have two notes between them. (3)The notes between G string and D string (4th string) are F and E. (4)The notes between D string and A string (5th string) are C and B. (5)The notes between A string and low E string (6th string) are G and F.

Hints: If you look closely, you will see that, except for the 3rd string, there is a note on the 3rd fret of all the other strings. The 2nd string and 6th string have the same progression of notes on their frets: 3-1-0. The 4th and 5th strings share the same fret progressions: 3-2-0. Only the 3rd string has a different fret progression: 2-0. This is the progression of the notes on each string, starting from low E (6th string) to B string (2nd string):

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