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  • Writer's pictureJeff Powers

Standard Tuning Music Theory (part 5)

Updated: Feb 11

There are two basic things to know in order to find all the notes on the guitar neck.

#1: the tuning


* Funny memory tip "Eddie Ate Dynamite Goodbye Eddie"

#2: half steps and whole steps

*tip there is a whole step between each note meaning 2 frets apart on the guitar except B and C and E and F which are next to one another without a fret between them.

Some things to know: The thin string is called the first string and the thickest string is called the six string… It might seem counter intuitive....but that is the common music language.

The white (usually) nut at the top of the neck near the head stock is actually fret zero.... in order to make a note you put your finger on the string and push down stretching it over the metal fret… The metal fret is actually what makes the pitch and your finger is just stretching it over that point. So, the white nut or fret zero doesn't need to be pressed down because it is already stretched over the fret.

So think of the open string as putting your finger on the opposite side of the white nut/fret zero (on the head stock). If that is "E" then the very next fret (the first fret) is F because E and F are right next to one another and there is no note between them (on the keyboard there is no black key between E and F).

So if F is the first fret then the next natural note G is on the 3rd fret.... the sharp or flat would be between F and G.

If G is the third fret then A is the fifth fret because it's a whole step apart.

If A it's on the fifth fret then B is on the seventh fret because it is a whole step away.

If B is on the seventh fret then C is on the eighth fret because it's only a half step between B and C… There is no note between them.

If C is on the eighth fret then D is on the tenth fret because C to D is a whole step.

If D is the 10th fret then E is the 12 the fret because D to E is a whole step.

We started with E open and made our way up to the 12th fret the octave E

****The 12th fret will have the same note name as the open string on all six strings because they are 12 notes apart****


E is fret 0

F is fret 1

G is fret 3

A is fret 5

B is fret 7

C is fret 8

D is fret 10

E* is fret 12

 (*octave higher)

We will do this with each string later but for now the sixth string will suffice in showing how to find notes up and down the neck

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