How to Find Notes on Guitar

richardsguitarstudio on January 23, 2014

In this video tutorial, I show you how to find notes on guitar. Playing songs, solos, improvising, songwriting, and learning songs by ear – all of the areas of guitar playing – are enhanced by your knowledge of basic music theory. So, if you know the names of the notes on the fretboard and some basic music theory (keys, scales, intervals, triads), all of these elements will become easier, more efficient, and simply better overall. The method I use in this video is naming the notes on the fretboard using single-string chromatic and diatonic scales. Here are a few tips:

  1. Learn to read music on guitar. In order to move from amateur to advanced, you must learn to read and play standard music notation. It’s the best way to learn basic music theory and learn the universal language of music. If you cannot look at a sheet of standard music notation and have a meaningful conversation about the music with any other musician (other than another guitarist; so, let’s say a pianist or violinist or conductor), than you are musically illiterate. You must become literate in the language in order to progress.
  2. Great guitarists do not solo using diagrams! Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, and John Petrucci (just to name 3 amazing guitarists whether you are a fan of their songs or not), do NOT solo using the “fretboard logic” method of connecting diagram after diagram after diagram of scales, arpeggios, chords, and licks. Unless you have photographic memory, this simply is not possible. They know the fretboard, what key or mode they are playing in, what the notes are in the key signature/scale/triad, etc. If you think you will play anywhere close to these guys without learning at least basic music theory, you are sorely mistaken and will waste loads of time. Do it the right way and you will not be disappointed, I promise. Fast, easy, fun, learn  in 3 quick lessons, etc will never get you anywhere worthwhile. Music training demands a lot from us, but the returns are worth it.
  3. Try target notes. Now go back to your scale diagram that you know best and find what the names are. Then, improvise over a backing track in that key and try targeting one of the notes at the start of each phrase. For example, in the key of A minor try targeting the B note at the start of each phrase and see how that sounds. Then try the E, and so on.

Music Alphabet with sharps – A-A#-B-C-C#-D-D#-E-F-F#-G-G# then it starts back over with A again.

In this guitar lesson, Nate from Richards Guitar Studio shows you how to find notes on guitar. Good for learning fretboard theory, music theory, music notes, and note names on the strings and frets.

Richards Guitar Studio offers professional private guitar lessons and bass lessons in Aston, PA. We serve Delaware County, including Media, Springfield, Swarthmore, and Ridley. We focus on quality guitar instruction for all ages, levels, and styles, including acoustic, beginner, metal, rock, shred, classical, blues, jazz, country, theory, and improvisation and composition.

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