Jazz Guitar


Introduction Chapter 1
Tuning .................................................1 Plectrum technique .............................2 Practise tips .........................................2

Chapter 2

Scales .................................................5 Arpeggios ............................................6 Chords .................................................7

Chapter 3

Approach to improvising ..................10 Example solo.....................................13

Chapter 4

Chromaticisms (little fills and commonly used ideas) ......................15 Keeping time .....................................15

Chapter 5

Boom chicking ..................................17 Voice leading.....................................18 Walking bass lines.............................20

Chapter 6 Appendix

Moving on .........................................21

Chord diagrams Notation diagram

There is a logical progression to the chapters. . For those wanting to move straight onto improvising move on to chapter 3. The guitar is a complex instrument and has many roles in jazz. improvisation and accompaniment. this book is not meant as a substitute for a good teacher. so I have divided the book into these distinct aspects of playing. chapter 5 offers many useful devices. as that would be a bold claim. For the absolute beginner I recommend going through chapters one and two. The reason for this is to assist busy people. the book can be dipped into according to needs and interests. who may have little formal musical training. but for the more advanced student. remember to have fun. I thought the hurdles faced by myself and how I subsequently overcame them may be useful to others. For those with only an interest in accompaniment. with emphasis on fun. The purpose of this book is to help others. Rather they offer the rudimentaries of some of the many facets of the jazz guitar such as technique. Since I had no formal musical training myself and started playing quite late in life. and who want to make quick progress without wading through lengthy and detailed books. However. Above all else. Its main thrust is to provide an easy to follow method for playing.I NTRODUCTION I would start by saying that this book and accompanying CD are not intended as an in depth analysis of jazz guitar playing. Neither is it meant to do away with any other educational material.

1 . Electric tuners are essential at a gig because of the background noise of venues. It is always worth remembering that jazz is an aural tradition. Many great players claim they could not read music and instead relied on their ears. 5 Tune the “E” on the 5th string on the 7th fret to the “E” on the 2nd string on the 5th fret. a more even tuning is achieved. before moving on to actual playing of scales. by pegging half the strings to just one. where most jazz is played on the guitar.Chapter 1 The Basics The basics of playing. grabbing any opportunity to sharpen and hone their aural skills. Again they are an octave apart. Note they are an octave apart. Tuning Tuning a guitar can serve as a useful ear training session. on the 5th fret to “A” using the tuning fork 2 Tune the “A” on the 2nd string on the 10th fret to the “A” on the 1st string on the 5th fret. 4 Tune the “A” on the 4th string on the 7th fret to the “A” on the 1st string on the 5th fret. Also. The following method has the advantage that it tunes the guitar in the middle of the neck. an octave apart. 1 Tune the top string. plectrum technique and effective practise. This method also allows you to bend strings to test for and obtain optimum tuning. Confused? See the fret board diagram in the appendices. tuning. an octave apart. should be covered by all beginners. 6 Tune the “A” on the 6th string on the 5th fret to the “A” on the 4th string on the 7th fret. or melodic ideas (sometimes referred as “licks”). 3 Tune the “A” on the 3rd string on the 2nd fret to the “A” on the 1st string on the 5th fret. that has been passed on down though the generations. Otherwise you can use a tuning fork pitched to A which is on fret five on the first string.

Some picks will have a hollow area which provides more grip. I have seen many varied and unusual approaches to this. Unfortunately. The plectrum is held between the forefinger and thumb. and how well you play. It is said that ʻlittle and oftʼ is better than long and irregular practise sessions. Do not dismiss doodling. It lays the foundations of how you play. How and when it is done probably varies considerably. such as running up or down an arpeggio. known as the ʻback beatʼ. For example. you will programme in scuffs and other unwanted sounds. helps to clear the pathways for speeding up the memory process. There are innovators of pick 2 . so while I guard against saying anyone one method is right or better. the fundamentals are going be very similar. If you practise things too quickly to start with. they are cheaper and more durable than many picks made from other materials. Remember to practise every day. Thickness and size of pick is down to preference. If the guitar had just one string. I would add that consistent practise leads to consistent progress. at the centre of the pick. and some from very accomplished players. which has a creative role to play. Plectrum technique Holding and using a plectrum correctly is fundamental to accurate and efficient playing. However. Always use a metronome when practising. gradually increasing the pace by a couple of notches until you have played the phrase at least fifteen times. Repetition is the mother of perfection. Set the click either to play on every beat or on beats two and four of the bar. Its importance cannot be over-emphasized. it is the generally accepted method and works well in most situations. so the up and down stroke is not always or necessarily the most efficient approach. Down strokes are generally played on the beat and up strokes off the beat. but I have always found that continually being aware of even the smallest physical processes. then the up and down stroke would be ideal under all conditions. Practise regularly. plastic is the most common material used to make picks. buildings it into your lifeʼs routine. As we all know the guitar usually has six strings. Start on a deliberately slow tempo.Practise Practise is the undisputed champion of progress. There are many approaches to repetition. For difficult fingerings.. but needs to be kept to a minimum if quick progress is the goal. but a bulky pick may feel clumsy with very light gauge strings.. However. close your eyes whilst practising and try to visualise your fingers connecting with your strings. Situations where it is less efficient are when playing rapidly across the strings. and visa versa. within an allotted time frame and with purpose. Practise is a personal experience and is what many of us probably spend most of our playing time doing. and will hold you in good stead for the rest of your playing years. before speeding up. slow everything down to a snailʼs pace and get it right. but a universal truth is that repetition is the tried and tested method for reinforcing memory. being aware of the pressure you apply and the strength of each note played. and sometimes produces a slightly unnatural sound. always practise with a purpose.

Exercises Study. play the exercise several times gradually increasing the speed. one to six on the accompanying CD 2 Study the fingerings at your own pace 3 Set your metronome at a slow tempo. Below are some exercises to build the up and down technique. Symbols: = down stroke. using the following method: 1 Listen to the exercises. play and learn the exercises below. = up stroke Ex 1 Warm up Ex 2 Speed exercise Ex 3 Large intervals 3 .technique who offer alternatives to the up-down technique. and I would recommend the serious student to explore this area.

Ex 4 Arpeggio (Dm7) Ex5 Argeggio with triplets (note pick strokes) Ex 6 Inside strokes 4 .

The importance of these three modes will become apparent when we look at chord progressions later. A key centre is defined by the sharp or flat notes it uses. you simply shift up three frets (a minor third) from the C major scale. the D dorian starts on the second note of the C major scale. Jazz explores the relationships between these elements probably more than any other style of music. Luckily for guitar players. Every chord belongs to a family of chords that share the same ʻkeyʼ centre. which makes playing in different keys much easier.CHAPTER 2 Overview Scales. arpeggios and chords are the ingredients of music. the G mixolydian scale. whose brilliance shifts the momentum up a gear. So if you want to play the E flat major scale. you have an arpeggio. To learn them all is a gargantuan task. There are many different scales. Scales A major scale comprises seven notes. many scales (and chord shapes) are ʻmoveableʼ i. the same scale pattern can be played at a different position up or down the neck. that fit many different kinds of chords. in order to play effectively.e. For example. such as Charlie Parker and John Coltrane. which starts five notes above the tonic. The Relationship Chords comprise several notes played in unison. acquiring the language is the next step. A common mode in jazz is the dorian scale which starts one note or ʻdegreeʼ above the ʻtonicʼ of the corresponding major scale. If you separate out the individual notes of a chord in ascending or descending order. it is only necessary to learn a few scales that are commonly used in jazz. Once these have been learnt. All the notes common to a key are known as a scale. For example. It is also an evolving music. It is this language. and to know the theory of their origins. energy and ideas. and gives it its distinctively recognisable sound. Likewise. is what makes music. Whilst jazz is an aural tradition passed on through the generations. and these come from the great innovators. and for it to evolve it needs new life. it has a uniquely expressive language rich in musical dialogue. especially for the guitar with its unusual geography. which is why it fascinates and absorbs the musician. In my view. onto a new and exciting plane. How they are put to together. A mode is simply a scale but starting on a different note. which defines jazz. 5 . and is associated with the major chord of the same key. the C major scale is directly related to the C major chord.

and one of the simplest ways to do this is with arpeggios. play and learn the exercises below. Ex 7 C major scale Ex 8 D dorian scale Ex 9 G mixolydian scale Arpeggios Arpeggios are the notes of a chord is ascending or descending order. During an improvised solo. 6 . but as with scales. These notes are often referred to as ʻchord tonesʼ. using the following method: 1 Listen to exercises.Exercises Study. or outlining the chords as they occur. These spaces are referred to as ʻintervalsʼ. seven to nine on the accompanying CD 2 Study the fingerings at your own pace 3 Set your metronome at a slow tempo. a player will be referring to. They are generally a bit more difficult to play than scales because the notes are spaced further apart. they are the building blocks of the jazz language and therefore need to be learned. Of course an experienced player is not playing just arpeggios. Their importance in jazz needs to be understood. play the exercise several times gradually increasing the speed.

5th. This means that the notes of a solo will have a strong relationship to the chords. and 7th notes of the scale. using the following method: 1 Listen to exercises.Exercises Study. E. play and learn the exercises below. ten to twelve on the accompanying CD 2 Study the fingerings at your own pace 3 Set your metronome at a slow tempo. sometimes referred to as ʻharmonyʼ provides the springboard for musical ideas in a solo. 3rd. Ex 10 C major arpeggio Ex 11 D minor arpeggio Ex 12 G dominant arpeggio Chords Chords. C major 7. For example. and B. These are referred to as the ʻchord tonesʼ. G. The basic chord is comprised of the root. is spelt C. There are 7 . play the exercise and gradually increasing the speed.

F. then progressing to the G7. However. The easiest way to demonstrate this is by taking a major chord and then showing how the minor and dominant are formed from it. you arrive at the ʻharmonisedʼ C major scale. a more interesting or melodic approach might be to ʻoutlineʼ the changes as they occur by paying attention to the notes which change with the chords. then create a backing track to hear how it works. Starting with the C major 7. which demonstrates this idea. or the key modulates so the improviser adapts by playing notes to reflect the changes. G. This will create a distinctly stronger sound. is the II V I progression.three main chord types. major. Harmonised C Major Scale: I II Cmaj7 Dm7 III Em7 IV Fmaj7 V G7 VI Am7 VII Bm7b5 If you take each chord in the II V I progression in isolation. the II V I of C major is Dm7. and form separate chords within the same key from each note. Starting with the Dm7. 8 . a common device is the seventh degree. C major 7 = C E E G B C dominant 7 = C C minor 7 G Bb G Bb = C Eb Chord Progressions A song will comprise several chords. If you take the C major scale (C. which are strung together into a ʻprogressionʼ. falling to the third. The numbers in a chord progression simply represent the notes of the scale. the third note as well. Cmaj7. As the chords change. D. lower the seventh note B to Bb. Understanding. G7. E to Eb. minor and dominant. You can of course simply play the C major scale over all the chords and it will work fine. As you can see from the example below. you can play the D dorian scale (see chapter on scales). If you lower. and the task of the improviser is to create a solo that flows and integrates with the progression. See the illustration below. to form the C dominant 7. Look at the exercises below to understand how this works. The differences between them are the sizes of intervals (number of notes) between the chord tones. A common progression in jazz. E. you form the C minor 7. and recognizing commonly used chord progressions is key to fluid improvising. apply the G mixolydian and so on. For example. A and B). you can improvise using the relevant scale and mode.

play and learn the exercises below. Dm7 G7 Cmaj7 Ex 14 Dm7 G7 Cmaj7 Ex 15 Dm7 G7 Cmaj7 9 . and play the exercises over the changes.. 4 Create a backing track using the chords below. using the following method: 1 Listen to exercises 13 to 15 on the accompanying CD 2 Study the fingerings at your own pace 3 Set your metronome at a slow tempo. Ex 13 lop a deve or se f sen ng playi r’ bar ‘ove .Exercises Study. lines. play the exercise several times gradually increasing the speed.

phrases and it is interactive. Create your own backing track of the blues with a tape recorder. but imitation would seem to be a universally accepted method. your skills in 10 . such as grammar. To help explain this a useful analogy is between learning a language and learning jazz. Learning jazz is a similar process. which may determine word order for example. Like a language. Start with just the first four bars. increasing the speed by just a couple of notches until your have played the phrase ten times. using a metronome. and a story is a solo. there are many approaches to its acquirement. or 7th) within the lick that leads up or down to a chord tone in the next chord. until they can be applied instantaneously. Languages have rules. When we respond verbally. try to find a chord tone (root. licks can be applied to music. Make sure it is thoroughly learnt before applying it. if you are playing Bb7 going to Eb7. repeating the phrases until they sit comfortably under the fingers. It has grammer. Use a metronome. Jazz has similar conventions. such as the last phrase of a solo expressing finality. sometimes quite literally. from the earliest age. There are also many books devoted to the subject. Learning licks or phrases by great artists is a good starting point to develop a feel for the language. which helps create meaning. then a sentence is a musical phrase. spelling. Put any notes that are causing difficulty under the ʻmicroscopeʼ. Licks? Just as in the ʻcutʼ and ʻpasteʼ commands of a computer. For example. See if you can apply the principle of sevenths falling to thirds. and play with slow deliberation. As explained in Chapter 2 with the II V I examples. the process seems automated. 5th. it is our training in how to speak as children that allows us to articulate a response. which allows us to speak with apparent spontaneity. If a musical note is a word. The internet is a good source for licks. if you donʼt like it your wonʼt remember it.CHAPTER 3 Approach to Improvising How you approach improvising may be determined by how you define improvisation. The best way to apply them is directly to a tune. The rules of language are burnt into the synaptic pathways. When choosing licks that will become part of your repertoire. These exercises need to be practised everyday in an even and methodical fashion. Start with a simple tune such as a blues. 3rd. However. you ask? Well. Joe Pass used to say. So where is the creativity in that. over a period of time. the note Ab descends to the note G. starting with a slow tempo and play the lick twice. which also make statements.

Ex 16 Bb7 Eb7 Bb7 Eb7 Ex 17 Eb7 Bb7 Eb7 Bb7 11 . spontaneity will become more apparent.applying the language will become so automated. and play the exercises over the changes. using the following method: 1 Listen to exercise 1 on the accompanying CD 2 Study the fingerings at your own pace 3 Set your metronome at a slow tempo. It should always be in the back of your mind that spontaneity and creativity is the ultimate goal. it will leave more room to begin developing more interesting ways of self-expression and articulation. play the exercise several times gradually increasing the speed. 4 Create a backing track using the chords below. play and learn the exercises below. Exercises Study. Also.Try the exercises below.

Eb7 12 ././.Ex 18 Eb7 . Bb7 Ex 19 Bb7 .

it strengthens your musical ʻearʼ. Learn the solo thoroughly. and shows you how great improvisers construct solos.Example Solo Solo transcription is a very important part of learning jazz for three main reasons. Below is a constructed solo. Exercise20 s learn solo our of y favourite players... The benefits cannot be over-emphasized. 13 . Every jazz player should be encouraged to transcribe solos from a CD or tape of their favourite players. is a great resource for licks or ʻchopsʼ. thereby offering an insight into their thought processes. which incorporates some of the ideas already discussed. then create a backing track and play over the changes. singing the notes as you play.

One of the great proponents of this kind of playing is Pat Martino. The beauty of them is that they are easy to play.CHAPTER 4 Fills and Frills (Chromaticisms) The geography of all instruments is different. who takes full advantage of the guitarʼs geography. The result is a very effective. and itʼs probably a good idea not to over do it. 14 . and how they can be incorporated into licks. by playing the guitar in the most physically efficient way. This makes the task of learning the fret board a daunting one. Learn them and then incorporate them into a few of your own ideas. However. Playing chromatically over changes requires skill. play and learn the exercises below. the upside is that the guitar is well suited to playing chromatically (all the notes including the ones in between scale notes). ending or filling in between ideas. There are many standard fills or phrases which illustrate how chromaticisms can be incorporated into oneʼs playing. Below are some examples of some of them. 4 Create a backing track using the chords below. using the following method: 1 Listen to exercises 20 to 26 on the accompanying CD 2 Study the fingerings at your own pace 3 Set your metronome at a slow tempo. Exercises Study. This tends to give each type of instrument a unique vocabulary. They provide a useful device for starting. and can often be used spontaneously. play the exercise several times gradually increasing the speed. The guitar is particularly guilty of note duplication. and play the exercises over the changes. which alters the fingering of scales or arpeggios in different positions on the neck. flowing and unique sound.

When you are playing. The beat is a precise record of time and accompaniment plays the supporting role. Ex 25 Dm7 G7 Cmaj7 (C6) Ex 26 F7 ././. You can be playing happily one minute and the next. . I have yet to find any educational material that focuses on this problem. Bb7 ./. and the accompaniment. ./. Keeping Time Losing oneʼs place is a common problem when improvising.Ex 20-24 Fmaj7 (Dm7) . There are therefore two main areas to focus on to improve time 15 . which is surprising given its prevalence among novices. there are two processes which help in keeping your place. the pulse or beat. panic sets in as you realize that you are no longer in ʻsyncʼ with other band members./.

Clap on beat one while listening to your backing track. Apart from the importance of aural training. A lengthy discussion of it is beyond the scope of this book. Record a two bar backing track that ends on the first beat of the third bar. Donʼt play busily.keeping. and many adult colleges offer evening classes. time keeping can be improved by practising to ʻfeelʼ beat one of each bar. There are several aural training books and CDs. This will help develop a sense of bar length. Fit in a few minutes at the beginning of each practise session. and licks when you play them. There are metronomes that will beep differently on beat one. 16 . just enough to concentrate on the music as it flows past. A simple exerciseyou can do on your own is to sing the notes of arpeggios. Perhaps the first thing to focus on is aural training. to develop a sense of where bar lines fall. and this can be very useful. listen intently while trying to keep time. Now play and try to land on a note on that beat. Finally. Try to visualise each bar line as it approaches and passes. Eventually you will develop an inner sense of time keeping.

Below are some examples of chord progressions to help develop this style. By releasing the fingers of the left hand. Apart from the gypsy jazz guitarists. The art of accompaniment is a much under-rated and overlooked area of playing. although little used in modern jazz. especially during a bass solo. In its most basic form. I am going to focus on three types of accompaniment. and its value to your overall musicianship should make it an essential item in your daily practise routine. There are a few proponents of this style who use mostly three note chords. making abundant use of substitutions. and walking bass lines. play and learn the exercises below. often referred to as “boom-chickʼ and a trade mark of the gypsy jazz guitarists. the effect of which is to produce a long-short syncopated sound. play the exercise several times gradually increasing the speed. including the root. in order to keep the bass moving. and to do it justice. A very slight emphasis can be played on beats two and four. It is also widely used in a big band setting.CHAPTER 5 Accompaniment This is a big area. Boom-chicking This style. it involves strumming with down strokes on each beat of every bar. or chord melody (solo) playing. the sustain on beats two and four are shortened. using the following method: 1 Listen to exercises 27 to 29 on the accompanying CD 2 Set your metronome at a slow tempo. hence the expression ʻboom-chickʼ. is something every professional jazz guitarist knows how to do. which seems to make it ʻswingʼ more. it would be necessary to devote a book on the subject. voice leading typically used in a small jazz ensemble. block chords are used which comprise four or more notes. many mainstream guitarists still use this style of playing. used in duo settings. Exercises Study. the old style four-in-a-bar. To be an effective accompanist requires quite a lot of dedication. 17 . and in the absence of a drummer. Usually.

This usually entails maintaining one or two notes common between chords while changing the other notes by small intervals in the same or contrary directions to a resolution. 18 . These chords are useful in a small band situation and should be played in a punchy or stabbing fashion. This involves the use of altered (not common to the scale) or extensions (scale notes other than chord tones)..Ex 27 Dm7 G13 Cmaj7 Cmaj9 Ex 28 Gm7 C7 Fm7 Bb7 Ebmaj7 . They are usually easy to finger and very effective.9 Eb6 Ebmaj7 Ex 29 Bbmaj7 Gm7 Cm7 F9 Bbmaj9 Gm7 Cm7 F7 Voice Leading Voice leading is the smooth transition from one chord to the next..

play the exercise several times gradually increasing the speed. Ex 30 Fm9 Bb7#5b9 Eb6/9 Ex 31 Am7 D7#9#5 Gmaj7 Ex 32 Fm11 Bb7#9#5 Eb6 19 . using the following method: 1 Listen to exercises 30 to 32 on the accompanying CD 2 Set your metronome at a slow tempo. play and learn the exercises below.Exercises Study.

bass lines and so on. Once the basics have been mastered it is quite an easy technique and will come in very handy. using the following method: 1 Listen to exercises 20 to 26 on the accompanying CD 2 Study the fingerings at your own pace 3 Set your metronome at a slow tempo. Try the examples below./. to provide an effective accompaniment in a duo or while playing solo. the latter having the advantage of being able to change without a pause between single lines. Ex 34 Bb7 Eb9 Bb7 Bb13 20 . play and learn the exercises below. It is best played finger style but with a bit of dedication can also be played with a pick.Walking Bass Lines Walking bass lines played on a six string guitar are usually played together with chord stabs. Ex 33 Dm7 G7 Cmaj7 . Exercises Study. play the exercise several times gradually increasing the speed. This means that the bass lines have to be kept fairly simple and on the lower two strings.

Solos often start with a few introductory notes. these elements can be enhanced by the use of dynamics and rhythm.Ex 35 Bbmaj7 Gm7 Cm7 F7 Bbmaj7 Gm7 Cm7 F7 Bbmaj7 Moving on Striving towards freedom on your instrument is the ultimate goal of any improviser. colour.Rhythm adds spacial interest and contrasts with long flowing lines. say on beat one as the chord sequence resolves to the tonic. you may wish to emphasise a particular note. and expression. which should become part of your practise routine. Learning and playing licks over chord changes is an important step in becoming an improviser./. Subtlety. which build to a climax and then taper off. Try the following examples: Ex 36 Dm7 G7 Cmaj7 . Record a backing track of a simple chord sequence. Continuing our analogy of jazz improvisation and the spoken language. 21 . Dynamics adds greater depth and feeling by changing the volume of what is being played. For example. It has an introduction. creating very simple rhythmic ideas. as well as providing you with a breathing space. or a few bars of the same chord and play just one or two notes per bar. The next step is to add interest with other devices. a solo is similar to a story. contrast. Playing lightly while approaching that note will create greater dynamic effect. expressiveness are all devises used to engage an audience. It improves the creative aspect of your playing. but without spontaneous creative expression. a structure. your solo may sound a little contrived after a while. boldness. In a solo.

Good luck! 22 . Ex 38 Dm7 G7 Cmaj7 ./. The idea is to whet the appetite for developing those areas which are of more interest to you./. and I hope it has been useful. I set out to give a broad brush stroke to the many aspects of playing jazz on the guitar. The book is also designed for just dipping into once in a while along the journey.Ex 37 Dm7 G7 Cmaj7 . there is enough material here to keep you busy for a while. There is a wealth of other material available in other books and on the internet to follow up on all the subjects I have touched on. Hopefully. That concludes the book and CD.

They are nearly all moveable which means that you can play them in all keys simply by shifting them up or down. Cmaj7 X X 3 1 3 2 4 3 X Cm7 1 2 3 1 3 X C7 1 2 3 4 X Cmaj9 X X X 1 3 2 4 3 3 2 Cm9 X 1 3 4 X C9 1 2 3 4 X 3 Cmaj7 X X 8 1 3 4 2 8 1 X Cm7 2 3 4 X X C7 2 4 3 X X Cmaj9 X 1 3 4 8 2 X Cm9 81 3 4 3 X C9/13 2 3 4 81 ( 8 2 ( 4 X Cmaj7 X 1 1 3 2 4 X C6 1 2 4 3 X X C6 1 3 4 X X C6/9 ( 1 1 3 4 82 2 X C6/9 CmMaj7* X X 3 1 2 4 3 ( 3 1 3 1 8 2 3 C7#9 X X X 1 3 2 3 4 3 2 C7b9 X X 1 Cm6 X 1 3 2 4 3 8 2 X Cm6 1 3 4 X X Cm11 X 1 2 3 4 8 2 X Cm11 1 3 4 X ( 1 3 3 X C13 X C13 X X 81 2 3 4 3 2 Cdim ( 1 3 4 1 82 Cdim X 1 Cm7b5 X X 3 1 3 2 4 82 Cm7b5 X X 1 3 4 ( 1 3 2 1 3 3 * minor seventh chord with a major third ( 3 4 . For example. shift Cmaj7 up three frets to the sixth fret and so on. to play Ebmaj7.Appendices Chord diagrams The chords below are often referred to as block chords.

F# is on fret 2. E A D G B E F B 3G C E F B 5A D G C 7 B E C F 9 D G 12 E A D A C F D G E F B G C D E A B C E F A B A D G Notes on the Stave tuning guides E F G A B C D E F G A B C D E F G AB C D E . on the sixth string. They are the same note. Flat (b) notes are situated one fret below. and Gb is also situated on the second fret. What determines whether it is a F# or Gb is the original key signature the tune was written in. For example. and sharp (#) notes are one note above the note in question.Fret Board Below is a diagram of the notes on a guitar fret board up to the twelfth fret.

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