#1
When reading sheet music for guitar, how do you know what position on the guitar to play? Or which "A" note to play on the guitar fretboard? I can't seem to find an answer and wondering if anyone here knew the answer
#2
Assume everything is in open position on guitar unless otherwise notated.

*edit*

so the A with 2 ledger lines would be the open A string.
#3
Just using an A as an example how do I know (looking at music sheets) if it is a 3rd string 2nd fret A or 4th string 7th fret A?
#4
Well they are the same A, the exact same pitch.

You would play the A in open position (what I mean by open position is within the first 4 frets)

Unless notated otherwise.


But you could play either of those A's if you wanted to, its really just where you already are that will depend on where you hit a particular note.
#5
but a position on the guitar is every 4 frets right? (what i have learned) 1-4 frets is 1st position, 2-5 is second position and so on, the music staff would equal all the A's on the different strings with the same pitch?
#6
Quote by Guitarfreak777
Assume everything is in open position on guitar unless otherwise notated.

*edit*

so the A with 2 ledger lines would be the open A string.


Incorrect - what if he's playing something that wasn't originally written for guitar? Even if it was, you can't rely on positions being explicitly notated - it's not a standard.

You select the position to use based on the range of notes in a run. Try and choose the position that will cover most of the notes you need to play at any given time, with minimal movement fretting hand movement up and down the neck.

That's one way of looking at it.

Alternatively there's nothing wrong with changing positions often if you feel comfortable doing so, sometimes it helps.

btw Defnist47, simply put there are 12 positions and you should know them all. If you like I will list them explicitly for you.
Last edited by bubbamc119 at Oct 12, 2009,
#7
Basically, there isn't a way telling you what position to play in or the exact note on guitar and fret to play a note? Makes things harder...
Could you list them for me please? It would be of great help thank you!
#8
That's right. If the position isn't explicitly stated, it's up to you to decide on which one is best. I find this makes for fun playing, and can really work your mind.

Here's the 12 positions I was talking about (you can ignore the solfege syllables if you like, just be aware that 'do' is the tonic for a major tonality and 'la' is the tonic for a minor tonality. To play a major scale start and finish on 'do'. To play a minor scale, start and finish on 'la');

--fa---|-------|--so---|-------|--la---|-------|
--do---|-------|--re---|-------|--mi---|-------|
-------|--la---|-------|--ti---|-------|-------|
-------|--mi---|--fa---|-------|--so---|-------|
-------|--ti---|--do---|-------|--re---|-------|
--fa---|-------|--so---|-------|--la---|-------|
Fingering (starting on the 6th string, 1=index, 2=middle, 3=ring, 4=pinkie):  
134,234,234,24,134,134

--fa---|-------|--so---|-------|--la---|-------|
-------|-------|--re---|-------|--mi---|-------|
-------|--la---|-------|--ti---|--do---|-------|
-------|--mi---|--fa---|-------|--so---|-------|
-------|--ti---|--do---|-------|--re---|-------|
--fa---|-------|--so---|-------|--la---|-------|
124,124,124,134,24,124

--so---|-------|--la---|-------|--ti---|-------|
--re---|-------|--mi---|--fa---|-------|-------|
-------|--ti---|--do---|-------|-------|-------|
--fa---|-------|--so---|-------|--la---|-------|
--do---|-------|--re---|-------|--mi---|-------|
--so---|-------|--la---|-------|--ti---|-------|
134,134,134,23,134,134

--so---|-------|--la---|-------|--ti---|-------|
-------|-------|--mi---|--fa---|-------|-------|
-------|--ti---|--do---|-------|--re---|-------|
--fa---|-------|--so---|-------|--la---|-------|
--do---|-------|--re---|-------|--mi---|-------|
--so---|-------|--la---|-------|--ti---|-------|
124,124,124,124,23,124

--la---|-------|--ti---|--do---|-------|-------|
--mi---|--fa---|-------|--so---|-------|-------|
--do---|-------|--re---|-------|-------|-------|
--so---|-------|--la---|-------|--ti---|-------|
--re---|-------|--mi---|--fa---|-------|-------|
--la---|-------|--ti---|--do---|-------|-------|
134,134,134,13,124,124

--la---|-------|--ti---|--do---|-------|-------|
-------|--fa---|-------|--so---|-------|-------|
--do---|-------|--re---|-------|--mi---|-------|
--so---|-------|--la---|-------|--ti---|-------|
--re---|-------|--mi---|--fa---|-------|-------|
--la---|-------|--ti---|--do---|-------|-------|
123,123,124,124,13,123

--ti---|--do---|-------|--re---|-------|-------|
-------|--so---|-------|--la---|-------|-------|
--re---|-------|--mi---|--fa---|-------|-------|
--la---|-------|--ti---|--do---|-------|-------|
--mi---|--fa---|-------|--so---|-------|-------|
--ti---|--do---|-------|--re---|-------|-------|
124,124,134,134,24,124

--do---|-------|--re---|-------|--mi---|-------|
--so---|-------|--la---|-------|--ti---|-------|
-------|--mi---|--fa---|-------|-------|-------|
-------|--ti---|--do---|-------|--re---|-------|
--fa---|-------|--so---|-------|--la---|-------|
--do---|-------|--re---|-------|--mi---|-------|
134,134,234,23,134,134

--do---|-------|--re---|-------|--mi---|-------|
-------|-------|--la---|-------|--ti---|-------|
-------|--mi---|--fa---|-------|--so---|-------|
-------|--ti---|--do---|-------|--re---|-------|
--fa---|-------|--so---|-------|--la---|-------|
--do---|-------|--re---|-------|--mi---|-------|
124,124,124,124,24,124

--re---|-------|--mi---|--fa---|-------|-------|
--la---|-------|--ti---|--do---|-------|-------|
--fa---|-------|--so---|-------|-------|-------|
--do---|-------|--re---|-------|--mi---|-------|
--so---|-------|--la---|-------|--ti---|-------|
--re---|-------|--mi---|--fa---|-------|-------|
134,134,134,13,134,134

--re---|-------|--mi---|--fa---|-------|-------|
-------|-------|--ti---|--do---|-------|-------|
--fa---|-------|--so---|-------|--la---|-------|
--do---|-------|--re---|-------|--mi---|-------|
--so---|-------|--la---|-------|--ti---|-------|
--re---|-------|--mi---|--fa---|-------|-------|
123,124,124,124,23,123

--mi---|--fa---|-------|--so---|-------|-------|
--ti---|--do---|-------|--re---|-------|-------|
--so---|-------|--la---|-------|-------|-------|
--re---|-------|--mi---|--fa---|-------|-------|
--la---|-------|--ti---|--do---|-------|-------|
--mi---|--fa---|-------|--so---|-------|-------|
124,134,134,13,124,124


Start with the first position, then move your fretting hand up 1 fret, and play the second position etc etc. There is one position per fret that you move up.

btw good on your for giving standard notation a serious crack. It'll make you a better player. And if you want to know more about solfege, see the post I wrote here;

http://www.jsguitarforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=56336
Last edited by bubbamc119 at Oct 12, 2009,
#9
Im confused on the 6th frets and the numbers at the bottom of the tab lines.
does this mean positions (if there are 12 covering 4 frets for everything position) mean it only covers up to the 15th fret?
#10
You can place those positions anywhere you like on the fretboard depending on what key you want to play in. The numbers underneath each position are fingerings. 1 = index, 2=middle, 3=ring, 4=pinkie. Try the first position listed and let me know how you go - for example line up the 'fa' on the first fret.
Last edited by bubbamc119 at Oct 12, 2009,
#11
On the tab should the frets represent any special frets or thats where it can be played anywhere? And I play with fingers according to the 1234 with the fa so la and everything right? I just did so. After a few tries its easier of course
#12
As I said, you place the position according to the key you want. So in this case with the 'fa's' on the first fret, the 'do' will line up on C - 3rd fret 5th string. To stay in the key of C, all the do's will line up on the C's.

Keep going with the first position, then switch to the second position. You'll notice that it's now your middle finger that falls on C, not your ring finger like in the first position. Try and play all positions eventually.
#14
Quote by bubbamc119
Incorrect - what if he's playing something that wasn't originally written for guitar? Even if it was, you can't rely on positions being explicitly notated - it's not a standard.

You select the position to use based on the range of notes in a run. Try and choose the position that will cover most of the notes you need to play at any given time, with minimal movement fretting hand movement up and down the neck.

That's one way of looking at it.

Alternatively there's nothing wrong with changing positions often if you feel comfortable doing so, sometimes it helps.

btw Defnist47, simply put there are 12 positions and you should know them all. If you like I will list them explicitly for you.


Look at my 2nd post.

Quote by Guitarfreak777
Well they are the same A, the exact same pitch.

You would play the A in open position (what I mean by open position is within the first 4 frets)

Unless notated otherwise.


But you could play either of those A's if you wanted to, its really just where you already are that will depend on where you hit a particular note.



I don't know what kind of music you are reading but in all the peices i've read in the guitar ensemble at my college if there is no notes to play in a differenty position then you assume its in open.

Now of course you could play the notes a number of places if you want, but for someone like the TS who is just starting out reading it will be much less strain on his mind to just think in open position rather than "okay where should I play this notes"?
#15
I'm talking about sheet music in general. Say you want to cop a violin, saxophone or piano lick - there's no position indicated i.e. it's not standard practice to notate positions. 99.9999% of the sheet music in the world is not specifically for guitar, why restrict yourself to the remaining 0.00001%?