the 12 musical notes

Just to let you know - you do not have to learn this to be able to play guitar but it does give you a better understanding of what and where the notes are. You can just learn to play chords to songs and be happy, but if you want to take your knowledge to the next level read on. This applies to both acoustic guitar and electric guitar. 

The first 7 notes in musical alphabet  to remember are             A   B   C   D   E   F   G     they are called  natural notes

The other 5 notes are called sharps or flats and they fit between some of the first 7 notes.
Where they do not fit is between the  B and C  and between the   E and F

so if we leave spaces for sharps or flats  it would look like this                   A      BC     D     EF     G 
the symbol for a sharp looks like this  and the symbol for a flat looks like this   and they both fit in the spaces we left between some of the natural notes.
When we add the sharps and flats to the natural notes it looks like this

              A   B C   D  E  F  G 
The space with the sharp and flat is one note with two names.   
Lets say if we were going from a lower sounding note  A to a higher sounding note B  the note in the middle would be A#
(A# sharp is one note higher than a A)
if we were going from a higher sound B to a lower sound A the note in the middle would be Bb
Bb flat is one note lower than a B)
so A# sharp and Bb flat are the same note , what you call that note depends upon the direction of the sound. From a lower note to a higher note makes it a # sharp. From a higher note to a lower note makes it  b flat.

Here is the whole musical alphabet starting from lower to higher sounds (from A up to G#)

              A   A #  B  C  C#  D  D#  E  F   F#  G  G# 

Here is the whole musical alphabet  from higher to lower sounds (from G down to Ab )

       Ab   A   Bb  B  C  Db  D  Eb  E  F  Gb  G


The G# and the Ab in the above lines are the same note because the musical alphabet starts over after G with one space between it and A

Lets look at the alphabet leaving spaces for our sharps or flats

                           A      BC     D     EF     G    A      BC     D     EF     G
Just remember there are no sharps or flats between B and C and E and F   There is a sharp or flat between G and A

Lets apply this to the guitar now
our 5th string is called the A string, thats what note it makes when it is played open.  The first fret on the 5th string would be A# or Bb  the second fret would be a B the third fret a C the fourth fret a C# Db and so on up the neck to the 12th fret where it starts with A again.



 The alphabet starts with the name of the open string, Lets look at the E strings.   The 1st and 6th string are both E strings

This is where it is important to remember  the names of the strings played open starting from the 6th string to the 1st string  E A D G B E                                                              below are all the strings up to the 12th fret
you do not have to memorize all of this, I haven't




Sorry I'll be back to add more soon. I'm just getting started with these pages
Bruce A. Bowen
Kendallville, Indiana
free guitar lessons