Fundamentals/Lesson two ( Names of open strings)
Let's now move onto learning the musical alphabet and the names of the open strings. This is the first step into the journey of complete mastery of the fretboard. We need to have the ability to quickly find any note on the neck in order to reach the level of musicianship it takes to acheive this goal.
In these lessons we will slowly build upon what was learned in the previous lesson and slowly, step by step we will continue until you are able to find any note on the neck almost instantly.
Let’s start by learning the musical alphabet!
Now that you know the different parts of the guitar let's start taking a look at the actual notes on the neck! The first thing we need to do when starting out as a guitar player is to learn the names of the strings on the guitar. If you already know this stuff then you are ahead of the game. I would suggest reading through all of this anyways. You may find something you missed along the way. Let's start by learning the musical alphabet.
So here is the musical alphabet!
A B C D E F G
That’s it! A to G. There is no h,i,j,k etc… The alphabet just repeats itself again after G.
A B C D E F G A B C etc...
Why do you need to know this? Well because these notes are the building blocks of music just the same as the letters of the alphabet in the English language are the building blocks of words and sentences.
As we progress through the levels learning the notes will become more and more important. For now just memorize this and we’ll move along. I know it will be hard and it will take you days, maybe even months to master this but slug through it! Sorry, I know I’m being a little silly here! Nothing wrong with having a little fun!
So now that we know the musical alphabet lets apply it to the fret board. The first thing we want to know is the names of the open strings. Take a look at the diagram below!
Notice no m’s or z’s in the diagram! Only letters from the musical alphabet. These letters are now going to be referred to as notes. When we hit one of these notes it sounds out a pitch. If we hit another G for example somewhere else on the neck it will sound the same except maybe a little deeper or brighter sounding. As we move along we will learn these notes in different parts of the neck but lets learn these first!
Let’s learn a sentence to help with memorizing the names of the strings.
Eddie Ate Dynamite Good Bye Eddie
Just take the first letter out of each of these words and you have the names of the open strings!
If you memorize this sentence you will always remember what the names of the open strings are!
We also need to assign a number to each string. If I said I wanted you to play the first string which one would you pick? If you said the skinny one you would be right! If you said the fat one then don’t worry. A lot of people guess the same string. It’s natural to pick this one because it’s the string up top closest to you. Take a look!
So now lets run down the strings from the 6th string to the 1st. First play the 6th string and say the name of the string. This string is the low E string. The fat string! Why do we call it the low E? Because it has a low sounding pitch. If we play the other E string we would be playing the high E string. The reason? This is because, as you most likely guessed, it sounds out a higher sounding pitch. Let’s run through the strings now.
6th string- Low E
5th string- A
4th string- D
3rd string- G
2nd string- B
1st string- High E
First go ahead and look at the example above but then try doing it by memory! Use the sentence you memorized to help out!
Some teachers like to teach the strings starting from the 1st to the 6th string instead of the 6th to the 1st string. Either way works! I learned it this way so I like to teach it in the same way. The end result of both methods will be the same.
One last thing! Make an investment into a guitar tuner. There is nothing that will kill your inspiration more then a guitar that is not tuned. No matter how perfect you may play an exercise or piece of music it will sound horrible if the guitar is not in tune. So get yourself a tuner!
Now watch the video and I'll demonstrate all this for you!