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Learning the Notes on the Fretboard

Tuning Notes for the Strings


E
B
G
D
A
E

T
A
B

12th Fret = Midway Point of Guitar = Notes One Octave Higher than Open Strings
Low E String

&

Note: E

T
A
B

A String

12

D String

12

G String

12

12

B String

12

High E String

E
0

E
12

* Octave = distance between two notes of the same pitch that occur higher or lower than each other.

Western Scale Is Divided into 12 Equal Parts = Called the Chromatic Scale
Chromatic Scale on Low E String
1/2step 1/2step

&

Note: E

T
A
B

#
F

#
G

#
2

#
A

0
1
2
3
4
5
6
* Each fret = 1/2 step apart; Chromatic scale built from 12 half steps.

#
1

#
C

#
D

10

11

#
F

#
C

Note: A

T
A
B

#
A

#
D

Chromatic Scale on A String

&

12

#
G

&

#
C

10

11

12

#
F

10

11

12

#
F

#
G

#
A

#
F

#
G

#
A

#
G

#
C

#
D

&

Note: D

T
A
B

#
D

Chromatic Scale on G String

&

Note: G

T
A
B

#
A

Chromatic Scale on B String

Chromatic Scale on D String

Note: B

#
C

#
D

T
A
B

10

11

12

Note: E

F
1

G
3

A
5

B
7

C
8

&

Chromatic Scale on High E String

T
A
B

#
F

#
G

#
A
6

Matching Notes on Adjacent Strings

&

T
A
B

E
12

11

E
0

#
D

D
10

#
C

Sharps and Flats


A sharp raises the pitch of a note by one half step, while a flat lowers the pitch of a note by one half step.
The context of the notes appearance along with the key of the song determines whether its a sharp or flat.
Each sharped note has a flatted counterparta note that is the same:

&

T
A
B

#
F

b
G

#
G

= b
A

#
A

= b
B

#
C

b
D

#
D

b
E

# #

# # #
&

#
# # #

Chromatic Scale Across All Six Strings

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

T
A
B

0 1

2 3

1 2 3

1 2 3

1 2

0 1

2 3

0 1

2 3

4 5

6 7 8

9 10 11 12

Chromatic Notes in Music


Chromatic scales arent often used in music, though chromatic notes are used often.
Here are several examples of chromatic notes in bass runs.

x0 12 3 0

Bass run into A:

& 44
T
A
B

#

# #

2 3

x x 0 13 2

0
2
2
2

0
2
2
2

Bass run into D:

# #
1 2 3

2 10 0 0 3

#

0

2
3
2

2
3
2

Bass run into G:

# #
1 2 3 4

3
0
0

3
0
0
3

The Diatonic (Major) Scale


C-Major Scale
Built from the following combination of whole- and 1/2- steps. (1/2 step = 1 fret; whole step = 2 frets)

&

wholestep

wholestep

1/2step

wholestep

wholestep

wholestep

1/2step

G-Major Scale
You can build any major scale using the formula of whole and 1/2 steps we learned above.

&

wholestep

wholestep

1/2step

wholestep

wholestep

wholestep

1/2step

#
F

E-Major Scale on Sixth String

&
T
A
B

wholestep

wholestep

1/2step

wholestep

wholestep

#
G

#
C

#
F

wholestep

D-Major Scale on Fourth String

&

T
A0
B

wholestep

wholestep

1/2step

wholestep

wholestep

1/2step

#
D

11

wholestep

12

1/2step

#
F

#
C

11

12

B-Major Scale on Second String


wholestep

&
B

wholestep

1/2step

wholestep

wholestep

wholestep

1/2step

#
C

#
D

#
F

#
G

#
A

11

12

T0
A
B

E-Major Scale on Multiple Strings


Descending

Ascending

&
T
A
B

wholestep wholestep halfstep wholestep wholestep wholestep halfstep

#
F

#
G

#
C

#
D
1

# #
# #

E #
D #
C B
1

A #
G #
F E

1/2step

A-Major Scale on Multiple Strings

&

wholestep

1/2step

T
A
B

wholestep

wholestep

wholestep

wholestep

#
G

Distance between Strings


All strings have the distance of a 4th between them, except for the G and B strings, which have a 3rd between them.

&

Low E to A String

# #
1

T
A
B

A to D String

#
1

# #

G to B String

B to High E String

D to G String

4
0

Bass Runs with the Major Scale


From E to A

From A to D

E
0 2 3 10 0

A
x0 1 2 3 0

& 44 #
# #
0
0
1
2
2
0

T
A
B

0
2
2
2

D
x x 0 1 32

0
2
2
2
0

2 10 00 3

2
3
2

x x0 1 3 2

# ..
#
# .

# ...
.

From D to G

A
x 0 1 23 0

2
3
2
0

C-Major Scale Going up to G

&

wholestep whole

T
A
B

whole

1/2

whole

whole

1/2

whole

whole

1/2

whole

..
.
...
3
0
0
0
2
3

Major-Scale Degrees
Each note of the scale has its own degree (number), starting with 1.
Here are the scale degrees for an extended C-major scale in first position.
Degree: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1* 2 3 4 5 4 3 2 1 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 7

6 5 4 3 4 5 6 7 1


&4

w
C D E F

T
A
B

0 2 3

G A B C
0 2

0 1

D E F G
0 1 3
3

F E D C
1 0
3 1

B A G F

* or 8.

2 0

E D C B

2 0

3 2

A G F E

3 1 0

F G A B

0 2

1 3

Scale Degrees in Songs (key of C)


Play through common melodies and name their scale degrees as you go.

Row, Row, Row Your Boat

4
&4

Degree: 1

T
A
B

C D

E D E F

3 2 3 4

3 3 1 1

5 4 3 2

C C G G

E E C C

G F E D

1 1

2 0 2 3

1 1 5 5

0 0

2 2

3 2 0

3 3

Joy to the World

j
j
& 44 . . j . . . J .

Degree: 8

T
A
B

6 5

2 0

6 7

T
A
B

3 1

&
2 1 2

T
A
B

8 7 6 5 5 4 3

1 0

1 0

2 0 0

3 2

2 0 0

3 2

This Land Is Your Land

4
& 4 .
7

8 7 6 5 5 4 3 8

Turn, Turn, Turn


Degree: 3 2 1

. .

1 2 3

0 2

1 2 3

4 1 2

0 2

4 1 2

2 2



3 1 3

7 5 7 2

0 0

Five Steps up from C = G Major (1 sharp)


Scale Degrees for the G-Major Scale

4
#

&4

Degree: 1 2 3 4

G A B C

T
A
B

0 2 3

5 6

7 1

2 3 4 5

D E #
F G

A B C D

E #
F G F
0 2 3 2

0 2

0 1 3

7 1 7

6 5 4 3

E D C B
0
3 1 0

2 1

7 6

5 4 3 2

A G #
F E

D C B A

2 0

4 2

3 2 0

Scale Degrees in Songs (key of G)

& 44

Degree: 1 2 3

T
A
B

4 1 2

G A B

C G A

0 2

5 5 5

6 5 4

D E #
F G

T
A
B

0 2

5 6

7 1(8)

A B #
C D

D B A

D D D

E D C

0 0 0

2 0

0 0 0

2 0

2 0

Five Steps up from D = A Major (3 sharps)


Scale Degrees for the A-Major Scale

3 2 1

#
C B A G

#
F E D

A B #
C D

4 2 0

2 0

6 5 4

E D C

7 6 5 4

2 0

5 5 5

D D D

& 44 # # # #
3 4

Five Steps up from G = D Major (2 sharps)


Scale Degrees for the D-Major Scale
Degree: 1 2

5 3 2

1 2

5 6

7 1(8)

6 5 4

2 1

# # # # #

0 2

Five Steps up from A = E Major (4 sharps)


Scale Degrees for the E-Major Scale

3 4

E #
F #
G A

2 4

#
G #
F E D
1

4 2 0

#
C B A

2 0

Five Steps up from E = B Major (5 sharps)


Scale Degrees for the B-Major Scale

& 44 # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # #

Degree: 1

3 4

E #
F #
G A

T
A
B

2 4

1 2

5 6

7 1(8)

B #
C #
D E

0 2 4

6 5 4

#
D #
C B A
4

2 0

2 1

#
G #
F E
1

4 2

3 4

B #
C #
D E

1 2

7 1(8)

#
F #
G #
A B
4

1 3

5 4

2 1

#
A #
G #
F E

C B

4 2

4 2

Keys with Flats


Four Steps up from F = B b Major (2 flats)

Four Steps up from C = F Major (1 flat)

Scale Degrees for the B b-Major Scale

Scale Degrees for the F-Major Scale

& 44
T
A
B

1 2 3

5 6 7 1(8)

7 6 5

C D E

E D C b
B

0 2

2 0

A G

b b

b
b
1 2 3

b
b

F G A b
B

1 3

1 3

b b b
& 44 b b b
b
4

5 6 7 1(8) 7 6

b
E F G b
A b
B C D b
E

T
A
B

1 3

1 3

D C b
B b
A G F b
E
3 1

5 6 7 1(8)

b
B C D b
E F G A b
B

Four Steps up from Bb = E b Major (3 flats)


Scale Degrees for the E b-Major Scale
1 2 3

0 2

A G F b
E D C b
B

2 0

Four Steps up from E b = A b Major (4 flats)


Scale Degrees for the A b-Major Scale
1

2 3

5 6 7 1(8)

7 6

b b b b
b b b b
b
b
A b
B C b
D b
E F G b
A

1
4

Four Steps up from A b = D b Major (5 flats)


Scale Degrees for the D b-Major Scale

7 6 5

1 3 4

1 3

G F b
E b
D C b
B b
A
0

3 1

Four Steps up from D b = Gb Major (6 flats)


Scale Degrees for the G b-Major Scale

b b b b b b b
& 44 b b b b b b b b b b b b b b b b
b
1

2 3 4

6 7 1(8) 7 6

b
D b
E F b
G b
A b
B C b
D C b
B b
A b
G F b
E b
D

T
A
B

1 3 4

1 2

4
*

6 7 1(8) 7 6

b
G b
A b
B b
C b
D b
E F b
G F b
E b
D b
C b
B b
A b
G
4

* Cb = B

1 2

Chord Theory
Major Chords (also called major triads)
Built from the 1st, 3rd, and 5th degrees of a major scale. The 1st degree of a major chord is also called the root.

C Major Chords

x3 20 1 0

& 44

ww
www

T
A
B

0
1
0
2
3

34 2 0 1 0

ww
www

3
1
5
3
1

ww
www
w

5
1
5
3
1

3
1
0
2
3

2 10 0 0 3

2 10 0 3 4

w
& www
ww

1
3
1
5
3
1

3
0
0
0
2
3

ww
ww
ww

3
3
0
0
2
3

A Major Chord

w
# www
ww

1
5
3
1
5
1

0
0
1
2
2
0

D Major Chord

x0 1 2 3 0

0 23 1 0 0

1
5
1
5
3
1

3
1
5
3
1
5

0
1
0
2
3
3

E Major Chord

G Major Chords

T
A
B

x 32 0 14

x x 0 13 2

# www
ww

5
3
1
5
1

0
2
2
2
0

# ww
ww

3
1
5
1

2
3
2
0

Seventh Chords (also called dominant seventh chords)

Built from the 1st, 3rd, 5th, and b7th degrees of a major scale; or just add a b7th degree to a major chord.
To get the b7th degree, lower a 7th by one fret (1/2 step).

D7 Chord

7th chords resolve to a chord 4 notes away:


7

D
x x0 2 1 3

#w
& www
T
A
B

2
1
2
0

3
b7
5
1

C7 Chord

D
xx0 2 1 3

G
2 10 0 0 3

C7
x 3 24 1 0

b wwww
w

2
1
2
0

3
0
0
0
2
3

0
1
3
2
3

10

C7 resolves to F:
7

3
1
b7
3
1

x 32 4 1 0

xx 3 2 1 1

0
1
3
2
3

1
1
2
3

G7 resolves to C. In this context, we call

G7 Chord

V7
G7

G7

3 20 0 0 1

w
& www
ww
T
A
B

A7 Chord

G7 the V7 chord and C the I chord.*

A7

32 0 0 0 1

x3 20 1 0

x0 1 1 12

w
# ww
ww

1
0
0
0
2
3

0
1
0
2
3

3
2
2
2
0

b7
3
1
5
3
1

1
0
0
0
2
3

A7 resolves to D:
V7
I
7
D
A

x 0 1 11 2

x x 0 13 2

3
2
2
2
0

2
3
2
0

b7
3
1
5
1

* (whatever key youre in is the I chord)

More V7I Cadences


Key of G:
V7
7

I Chords As 7th Chords (I7 Chords)


Key of C:
V7
7

Key of D:
I

I7

IV

V7

G
2 10 0 0 3

G
32 00 0 1

C
x3 20 1 0

D
x x 0 13 2

D7
x x0 2 1 3

G
210 0 0 3

A7
x0 11 1 2

D
x x0 1 32

#
&

# ww
ww

2
1
2
0

3
0
0
0
2
3

1
0
0
0
2
3

0
1
0
2
3

2
3
2
0

2
1
2
0

3
0
0
0
2
3

3
2
2
2
0

2
3
2
0

D
x x0 2 1 3

T
A
B

Key of E:
I
I7
7

0 23100

& #

T
A
B

0
0
1
2
2
0

0 23 1 4 0

0
3
1
2
2
0

IV

V7
7

Key of C:
I
I7
7

IV

V7

G7

x0 12 3 0

x 21 3 0 4

0 23100

x3 20 1 0

x 32 4 1 0

xx 3 2 1 1

32 0 0 0 1

x3 20 1 0

#
#

ww
www

0
2
2
2
0

2
0
2
1
2

w
# www
ww

0
1
0
2
3

0
1
3
2
3

1
1
2
3

1
0
0
0
2
3

0
1
0
2
3

0
0
1
2
2
0

11

Major 7th, 7th, and 6th Chords


Major 7th (maj7): built from 1, 3, 5, and 7th degrees of the major scale.
7th (7): built from 1, 3, 5, and b7th degrees of the major scale.
6th (6): built from 1, 3, 5, and 6th degrees of the major scale.
For D:

x x0 1 3 2

#w
& www 1
T
A
B

For G:

D ma j7

D7

D6

xx0 1 11

xx0 2 1 3

# # www 7
w

# ww b
ww 7

2
3
2
0

2
2
2
0

210 0 0 3

2
0
2
0

C ma j7

&
T
A
B

x 3200 0

ww 1
www

ww
www 7

0
1
0
2
3

0
0
0
2
3

C7

C6

x 32 41 0

x 4 23 10

b wwww b7
w

0
1
2
2
3

3
5
7
8

2
0
0
0
2
3

G7

32 00 0 1

n ww b7
ww
ww
1
0
0
0
2
3

0 2 31 4 0

0 20 140

0 23 14 0

w1
# www
ww

w
# # www 7
ww

w
# n www b7
ww

w
# # www 6
ww

0
4
1
2
2
0

E7

0
3
1
0
2
0

w
#
& www
w

T
A
B

5
2
2
2
0

x 0 1 11 2

x 0 11 1 1

x2 1 3 4 x

2 x0 3 1 0

# # www 7
ww

# n www
ww

# # www 6
ww

b www
w

www
w
#w

4
2
2
2
0

A7

3
2
2
2
0

b7

E6

0
2
1
2
2
0

Ninth chords (9): built from 1, 3, 5, b7, and 9th


degrees of the major scale. (9 = 2 one octave up)
You also need a b7th degree for the chord to be a 9th.
9
9

ma j7
A
x
0 1 11 3

E ma j7

0
0
1
2
2
0

For A:

ww
ww
ww
0
0
0
0
2
3

Ninth Chords

x0 11 1 4

G6

3200 0 0

0 2 3 10 0

www
ww 6

# ww 7
ww
ww

3
0
0
0
2
3
For E:

For C:
x3 20 10

3 20 0 0 1

w1
ww
www

# ww
ww 6

2
1
2
0

G ma j7

x x0 2 0 3

A6

2
2
2
2
0

3
3
2
3

12

0
1
2
0
2