I've been studying music theory and I've got up to all the notes in the first position, including sharps and flats. What I noticed is that some notes sound the same as they do lower down the board. For example, I can take the G on the third fret and play that same G sound down the fretboard (don't know exactly where, but yeah). But anyways, is there a pattern to this? And oh, notes repeat after the 12th fret, right? But they sound different than when played on the first fret. Why would they be classified as the same?
What's the question? You're going around in circles, what are you trying to ask, classified? What do you mean by that?

The guitar is mostly tuned in 4ths, with one major 3rd from G to B. So of course there's a pattern.
Last edited by GoldenGuitar at Jun 23, 2015,
Just get a 3/4 size guitar.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
If I understand what you're saying:

Mainstream western tuning standards have separated musical values into 12 notes, C through B, and they repeat cyclically. (Think of a clock.)

If you keep on ascending from C to B and then go one more fret higher, you'll get to C again. But it's a different C than before. (The clock goes from 0 minutes to 59 minutes, then back to 0 minutes in the hour again. But you're at a different hour than you were before.)

As for your first fret question, the E string plays 0th fret normally. Count 12 frets (so 12th fret will sound the same as 0, 15 same as 3).

I hope I'm understanding what you're saying.
Ok, let me be more clear and slow. I went too fast.

1. I've noticed that on the guitar, a note can be found on lots of different places on the fretboard. Let's take the note E for example, which is the 1st string played open. You can also play that exact same note E on the 5th fret, second string, or the 9th fret 3rd string, or the 14th fret of the 4th string, or the 19th fret of the 5th string, or the 24th fret of the 6th string. So as you can see, I can play a riff on other parts of the neck and it will sound exactly the same. Now, is there a pattern to this? That's my question.

2. I've read somewhere that notes after the 12th fret repeat, so the 13th fret = the 1st fret, the 14th fret = the 2nd fret, etc. I get that, but the notes sound completely different, so how is it being repeated if the sound is completely different? Only the note's names are the same, but the sound is completely different.
^that's what I read it as, Neo.

I also read it as "just started learning theory"

1. There is a pattern, and you've already figured it out.

2. Those notes are one octave higher.

Storytime!:

I actually had a student once who's father was a mechanical engineer and decided that our system of naming notes was stupid and unnecessarily confusing because there were multiple of each letter and actually rigged up a number and coordinate based system of pitch naming and began teaching that to his six year old.

I wish that was a joke. But it isn't.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
Octaves, dude. You should know about that already, if you've been "studying music theory".
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Quote by Jet Penguin
^that's what I read it as.

I actually had a student once who's father was a mechanical engineer and decided that our system of naming notes was stupid because there were multiple of each letter and actually rigged up a coordinate based system and began teaching that to his six year old.

I wish that was a joke. But it isn't.

So when I read a whole note on a music staff that tells me to play the open E, it doesn't matter where I play it?

This image sums up exactly what I mean:

I think this system is stupid as well. It confuses the player. So is there a pattern to this? Like how would I know which note would sound exactly the same on another part of the fretboard? I didn't even know about the example I showed you. I had a friend tell me this.

Quote by the_bi99man
Octaves, dude. You should know about that already, if you've been "studying music theory".

The DVD and book i've been looking at briefly covered that, and it told me that it just means eight spaces away from each other. Fret 19 to 24 isn't eight spaces apart?
Last edited by Granata at Jun 23, 2015,
Yes, you can play it anywhere where it's the right note.

It's a genius system, and it's not confusing at all. C4 is always C4 and E6 is always E6. You need to make the decision of where to render that pitch as a player.

You know where all the E's or A's or whatever are by learning the fretboard until you can find any note you need instantly. It's going to take a while so start training now.

The DVD was more than likely referring to a musical staff, and not a guitar tab.

An octave is 12 semitones/half-steps of distance. Not physical distance, but distance in notes. These notes get the same letter. The open E and 12th fret E string are both E notes, but the latter is one octave higher in pitch than the former.

Lemme know if that makes sense, and good on you for working to get the fundamentals down and asking questions.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
Quote by Granata
Ok, let me be more clear and slow. I went too fast.

1. I've noticed that on the guitar, a note can be found on lots of different places on the fretboard. Let's take the note E for example, which is the 1st string played open. You can also play that exact same note E on the 5th fret, second string, or the 9th fret 3rd string, or the 14th fret of the 4th string, or the 19th fret of the 5th string, or the 24th fret of the 6th string. So as you can see, I can play a riff on other parts of the neck and it will sound exactly the same. Now, is there a pattern to this? That's my question.

2. I've read somewhere that notes after the 12th fret repeat, so the 13th fret = the 1st fret, the 14th fret = the 2nd fret, etc. I get that, but the notes sound completely different, so how is it being repeated if the sound is completely different? Only the note's names are the same, but the sound is completely different.

To try to get a little more clear... yes, of course there's a pattern to that. It's the way that a guitar is tuned. Each string (looking low to high) is a 4th higher than the lower one, except between the G and B strings, which are a major 3rd apart. So you can play any given note, and find the same note on the next string down, 5 frets higher (or 4 frets, between the 2nd and 3rd strings). That's how people tune guitars by ear. Play the 5th fret on the low E, and tune the open A to match that, and so on.

As for the repeating notes after the 12th fret. Octaves.

Quote by Granata

The DVD and book i've been looking at briefly covered that, and it told me that it just means eight spaces away from each other. Fret 19 to 24 isn't eight spaces apart?

You're confusing scale tones with frets. Each fret covers a semitone (the same distance from one key on a piano to the next), of which there are 12 in an octave before they repeat themselves. Your typical major and minor scales are a selection of 8 of those 12 notes, omitting the other 4. Which 4 are omitted (or which 8 are used, however you want to look at it) determines what particular scale it is. So, when you're climbing up say a C major scale, for example, you play 8 notes between one octave and the next, which covers the space of 12 semitones, which is the space of 12 frets, if you play the whole scale on the same string.
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Quote by Jet Penguin
Yes, you can play it anywhere where it's the right note.

It's a genius system, and it's not confusing at all. C4 is always C4 and E6 is always E6. You need to make the decision of where to render that pitch as a player.

You know where all the E's or A's or whatever are by learning the fretboard until you can find any note you need instantly. It's going to take a while so start training now.

The DVD was more than likely referring to a musical staff, and not a guitar tab.

An octave is 12 semitones/half-steps of distance. Not physical distance, but distance in notes. These notes get the same letter. The open E and 12th fret E string are both E notes, but the latter is one octave higher in pitch than the former.

Lemme know if that makes sense, and good on you for working to get the fundamentals down and asking questions.

Thank you. Yes, i'd rather ask and sound stupid rather than not understand the board at all.

Ok, let's back up a little. You said an octave is 12 half steps in distance, but I was told that it is eight. Once we straighten that out, i'll put an image of the fretboard on here so someone can help me on whether I understand this concept or not. I think I did.
Think about it. 12 frets = 1 octave. Each fret = 1/2 step

Ergo, 12 half steps = 1 octave.

1 octave LOOKS like eight gradations of vertical "ness" (lines+spaces) on staff paper. That's the confusion.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
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Quote by Jet Penguin
Think about it. 12 frets = 1 octave. Each fret = 1/2 step

Ergo, 12 half steps = 1 octave.

1 octave LOOKS like eight gradations of vertical "ness" (lines+spaces) on staff paper. That's the confusion.

Ahh, ok. So I was confusing it with the staff (in example, the to get to the high E from the lower E, it takes 8 steps if you count the spaces and lines). Got it.

Read the other posts above, but I still do not understand the pattern on knowing which notes sound the same on other places of the fretboard.

EDIT: Reading the link that you posted, Jerry. Will post again if I don't understand it.
Last edited by Granata at Jun 23, 2015,
The octave is the 8th note of the scale, where the scale starts over. A scale is only 7 notes out the twelve halfsteps and when you get to the 8th note it's exactly double the frequency as the first note, which is why they have a sameness.

On your E string play 0-2-4-5-7-9-11-12. That's the E major scale and if you'll notice, the 8th note of the scale is the 12th fret. E F# G# A B C# D# E Basically you have to think of the 8th note as the same as the 1st note, just an octave higher, so the scale starts over.
It's a good job that the notes repeat - there's 6x21 = 126 frets (or more) on a guitar and I don't have that many letters.

Here is a picture of all the notes on the fretboard: http://www.guitar-skill-builder.com/images/guitar-fretboard-diagram-flat-notes.jpg

Octaves sound "the same" (i.e. are the same note) but are high or lower in pitch
Low E: open, D-string: 2nd fret, G-string: 9th fret, High E 12th fret.
They all sound like similar notes but are higher or lower octaves.

There are 12 "different" semitones in an octave - look at the diagram and you can see them all. There are 7 different notes in a major/scale (plus the start note 1 octave higher).

There are good intro lessons on this site as to how notes/the major scale work - I'd suggest having a read of those
The only 6 words that can make you a better guitarist:

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Those are called Unisons. It's how tuning your guitar works.

Try to learn your notes horizontally as well - going all the way up one string at a time. If you take the time to write down your work as you go, a pretty obvious pattern of unisons will show up.

Whatever you do, do this work on your own. Do not look up a chart of the fretboard. Instead, make your own.
Quote by Granata

Ok, let's back up a little. You said an octave is 12 half steps in distance, but I was told that it is eight.

Again, you're mixing up the number of notes in a scale (regular major and minor scales, at least) with the total number of available notes in an octave. There are 12 semitones in an octave. That's all the notes you have to choose from before they repeat in the next octave. But in your major and minor scales, you only use 8 out of those 12 notes. That's how the scales sound different from each other. By using different sets of notes.
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Quote by Granata
Ahh, ok. So I was confusing it with the staff (in example, the to get to the high E from the lower E, it takes 8 steps if you count the spaces and lines). Got it.

Read the other posts above, but I still do not understand the pattern on knowing which notes sound the same on other places of the fretboard.

EDIT: Reading the link that you posted, Jerry. Will post again if I don't understand it.

Hi Granata,

Happy to discuss via private message as well (or instead) if you like.

cheers, Jerry
The note on the fifth fret of the low E string is an A. It is the same A that is heard when you pluck the open A string.

This is how many people tune their guitar.

So if the fifth fret of the low E string is the same as the open A string then likewise the sixth fret of the low string will be the same as the first fret of the A string etc.

The pattern from E string to the A string is:
Fret X on A string = Fret X+5 on low E string.

The pattern from the A string to the D string is the same. The fifth fret of the A string is a D note. It is the same D note heard when you play an open D string.

Thus the pattern for the D and A strings is:
Fret X on D string = Fret X+5 on A string.

And by extension...
Fret X on D string = Fret X+5 on A string = Fret X+10 on E string.

So if X = 0
Fret 0 on the D string = Fret 5 on A string = Fret 10 on E string.

Strings D and G are the same again.
Fret X on the G string = Fret X+5 on the D string (and by extension) =Fret X+10 on A string = Fret X+15 on E string

So fret one on the G string is the same as fret 16 on the low E string.

IMPORTANT:

The FOURTH fret on the G string is the note B. This is the same B note as the open B string.
So the pattern for the G and B strings are:
Fret X on B string = Fret X+4 on the G string.

And by extension
Fret X on B string = Fret X+9 on the D string = X+14 on the a string = X + 19 on the low E string

Between the B string to the high E string the difference is again 5 frets.
Fret X on the high e string = Fret x+5 on the B string.

So Fret 3 on the high E string = Fret 8 on the B string.

And by extension we can also find the rest of the strings.

Fret X on the high e string = Fret X+5 on the B string = Fret X+9 on the G string = X+14 on the D string = X+19 on the A string and = X+24 on the low E string.

Hopefully that explains it.

It sounds kind of silly to be able to play the same note in so many different places, but there is a reason for this. When you are playing high notes on the high e string say on the 12th fret and have to play some notes located on say the second fret of the G string at the same time then you would have to stretch your hand the entire length of the fretboard.

However, since you can also find that same note on the 12th fret of the A string you can keep your hand in the same place and just reach up and play the 12th note of the A string.

Similarly, if you had to play the low F note which is only located at Fret 1 of the low E string and also had to play the same A as before at the same time then again...you don't have to stretch your hand up to the 12th fret and can instead opt to play it at the second fret of the G string where your hand is already playing the low F on the first fret of the E string.

Hopefully that clears it up for you.

What it does mean though is that there are some thing that can be played in more than one way. Sometimes you have to make a decision as to whether you slide your hand down the fretboard to play a certain passage or play it across the strings keeping your hand in the same place. Sometimes it doesn't matter which way you go it's a matter of what feels right to you. You should always look for alternative ways to play something though because the first fingering might work but might not be the most efficient.

Best of Luck.
Si
When he asked to help shrink the fretboard that, coupled with his initial posting, led me to believe that he was asking how many different individual notes can one play on a fretboard and I believe the answer (on a 24 fret guitar, excluding bends) is 49, right?

If you were only playing single notes, you could dispense with the middle 4 strings and only use the high and low E, but getting to the next note quickly might be a non-trivial exercise.

EDIT: Aaaaaand I should have read the explanation above this post before posting...
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
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Last edited by Arby911 at Jun 24, 2015,
^Dat ironic sig tho

But yeah there was confusion about the staff vs the notes themselves, an octave is 8 "things" on a staff. The confusion wasn't about the letter names. 20T perfectly delineated the pattern, so unless OP has more questions I think we've hit the nail on the head here.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
Quote by Jet Penguin
^Dat ironic sig tho

But yeah there was confusion about the staff vs the notes themselves, an octave is 8 "things" on a staff. The confusion wasn't about the letter names. 20T perfectly delineated the pattern, so unless OP has more questions I think we've hit the nail on the head here.

Yeah, that sig bites me as often as others, but I'm not sure it applies here? I wasn't wrong per se, just late to the party.
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
Quote by 20Tigers
The note on the fifth fret of the low E string is an A. It is the same A that is heard when you pluck the open A string.

This is how many people tune their guitar.

So if the fifth fret of the low E string is the same as the open A string then likewise the sixth fret of the low string will be the same as the first fret of the A string etc.

The pattern from E string to the A string is:
Fret X on A string = Fret X+5 on low E string.

The pattern from the A string to the D string is the same. The fifth fret of the A string is a D note. It is the same D note heard when you play an open D string.

Thus the pattern for the D and A strings is:
Fret X on D string = Fret X+5 on A string.

And by extension...
Fret X on D string = Fret X+5 on A string = Fret X+10 on E string.

So if X = 0
Fret 0 on the D string = Fret 5 on A string = Fret 10 on E string.

Strings D and G are the same again.
Fret X on the G string = Fret X+5 on the D string (and by extension) =Fret X+10 on A string = Fret X+15 on E string

So fret one on the G string is the same as fret 16 on the low E string.

IMPORTANT:

The FOURTH fret on the G string is the note B. This is the same B note as the open B string.
So the pattern for the G and B strings are:
Fret X on B string = Fret X+4 on the G string.

And by extension
Fret X on B string = Fret X+9 on the D string = X+14 on the a string = X + 19 on the low E string

Between the B string to the high E string the difference is again 5 frets.
Fret X on the high e string = Fret x+5 on the B string.

So Fret 3 on the high E string = Fret 8 on the B string.

And by extension we can also find the rest of the strings.

Fret X on the high e string = Fret X+5 on the B string = Fret X+9 on the G string = X+14 on the D string = X+19 on the A string and = X+24 on the low E string.

Hopefully that explains it.

It sounds kind of silly to be able to play the same note in so many different places, but there is a reason for this. When you are playing high notes on the high e string say on the 12th fret and have to play some notes located on say the second fret of the G string at the same time then you would have to stretch your hand the entire length of the fretboard.

However, since you can also find that same note on the 12th fret of the A string you can keep your hand in the same place and just reach up and play the 12th note of the A string.

Similarly, if you had to play the low F note which is only located at Fret 1 of the low E string and also had to play the same A as before at the same time then again...you don't have to stretch your hand up to the 12th fret and can instead opt to play it at the second fret of the G string where your hand is already playing the low F on the first fret of the E string.

Hopefully that clears it up for you.

What it does mean though is that there are some thing that can be played in more than one way. Sometimes you have to make a decision as to whether you slide your hand down the fretboard to play a certain passage or play it across the strings keeping your hand in the same place. Sometimes it doesn't matter which way you go it's a matter of what feels right to you. You should always look for alternative ways to play something though because the first fingering might work but might not be the most efficient.

Best of Luck.

YES! That formula helped out so much. I now get the pattern. Thank you! What you said about the reason for this makes all sense. It would be ridiculous making stretches from the 12th to the 2nd to play a riff.

Now, when I read a music sheet, and it shows a quarter note on the 4th space (the top space that's between the two lines), which tells me to play the 1st string E open, is it really telling me that I can play that one, or I can play the one on the 5th fret 2nd string, or the one on the 9th fret third string, etc? And does the same apply for the other notes? Or is there a slight change in pitch which makes it the musician's responsibility to determine which fret they should be on for the particular song? Hope that makes sense. I know that it's telling me to play the high E note, but I don't understand whether it's telling me that I have to play that specific one (open 1st string) or whether it doesn't matter and that I can play that riff higher down the frets as long as the notes are the same (I understand that there is a high E note and a low E note, a high F note and a low F note, etc). Also, will knowing this pattern have any benefits in my future guitar playing? I just wanted to know out of curiosity, but knowing this looks like it can help in some music theory areas.

EDIT: And oh, is that formula you gave me basically an octave? I think I got it down, not sure completely.

But again, thank you so much for that formula. That's exactly what I was looking for. I'll just have to remember that the G string kinda messes up the rule and adds 4 instead of 5, but you made it very clear, and I thank you.
Last edited by Granata at Jun 25, 2015,
The music notation (music sheet) is just indicating what to play and when. It gives no advice on where (which string/fret) to play a given pitch.

Glad you're making more sense of this now from 20T's advice.

If you then think about the (adding 5 or adding 4) this means that as you cross the entire set of strings at the SAME fret (any fret), from bass to treble string, you get

+5 (to 5th string) + 5 (to 4th string) + 5 (to 3rd string) + 4 (to 2nd string) + 5 (to 1st string).

Add that up and you get 24 (semitones) ... there are 12 semitones in one octave, double that for 2 octaves, and so on. So, here, by making this vertical line across the strings, you get 2 octaves (24 semitones), and hence the pitch name on the bass string and on the treble string both have the same letter (and sharp or flat if that applies).

So, 5th fret on 6th string is an A. 5th fret on 1st string is also an A, but 2 octaves higher.

Therefore if you learn the pitch names at frets 0 (open string, the nut is the fret) up to 11th fret on the bass E string, you get the top string from free ... it's identical pitch names.

Similary, if you only cross from the 6th to the 4th string on SAME fret, you get

+5 (6th to 5th string) + 5 (5th to 4th string) ... so, 10 semitones.

e.g 3rd fret on 6th string to 3rd fret on 4th string gives 10 semitones. (the notes are G and F respectively)

Once on the 4th string, go up 2 frets (2 semitones), and now in total we have 12 semitones from that bass G note ... i.e. an octave, so the 5th fret on the 4th string is also G.

In general, go across 2 strings, and up 2 frets on the higher pitched string, and you get the octave.

This basically gives you the names of the pitches on the 4th string for free, if you know the 6th string names.

If you see this in tab:

x
x
x
3
x
1

you're visually looking at an octave (go across 2 strings from the bass E, using 1st fret, then up to to the 3rd fret). We've got F and its octave.

Or this:

x
x
9
x
7
x

Or this:

x
x
x
2
x
0

In the last 2 examples, we've got E and its octave.

What's going on here then in our familiar E maj chord shape? (don't worry about the numbers without arrows)

0 <--
0
1
2 <--
2
0 <--

Hopefully you can see we have E, its octave, and its double octave?

Or here...

5 <--
5
6
7 <--
7
5 <--

This is exactly the same shape as the E ... but everything has been slid up by 5 frets.

Now we have A, its octave, and its double octave.

The tuning from G to B screws things up. But exactly the same logic applies.

Do exactly the same as above, adding up the distances as you cross strings, starting from the 4th to the 2nd string (the D and B strings). See what you get. How many frets do you then need to move up by on the higher pitch string to total up to 12?

Do the same starting from the 3rd string to the 1st string (G and treble E strings)

Now look at this chord shape (D). What's going on at the arrows?

2
3 <--
2
0 <--
x
x

cheers, Jerry
Last edited by jerrykramskoy at Jun 25, 2015,
Quote by Granata
YES! That formula helped out so much. I now get the pattern. Thank you! What you said about the reason for this makes all sense. It would be ridiculous making stretches from the 12th to the 2nd to play a riff.
Cool

Quote by Granata
Now, when I read a music sheet, and it shows a quarter note on the 4th space (the top space that's between the two lines), which tells me to play the 1st string E open, is it really telling me that I can play that one, or I can play the one on the 5th fret 2nd string, or the one on the 9th fret third string, etc?
Yes. It is telling you that should play that E note that is found on any of those places because they are all the same pitch. Usually you would scan the notes around it and decide where you will play it. The first place to go would be the open E string because it requires no fingers to play it and you can be ready to do other things with your fingers. However you will have to play through the piece and work out the best fingering positions for you. If there are a lot of notes higher than this one around it then you might find it easier to play on a lower string further up the fretboard. Or it may just be that playing it in another position just feels more comfortable and allows your fingers to move more smoothly. You might not know this by just guessing and might actually have to spend a bit of time learning it in a couple of positions.

It's also good for your fingering and for your fretboard understanding to play the same thing in a couple of different positions as a means of practice
.

And does the same apply for the other notes? Or is there a slight change in pitch which makes it the musician's responsibility to determine which fret they should be on for the particular song? Yes it is the same for all the other notes. And no there is no change in pitch, but there is a slight change in timbre. Timbre is the way the difference in sound quality not related to volume or pitch and that gives different musical instruments a particular sound, For example you can play the same E note on a piano or guitar but they each sound different even though they are the exact same pitch. They have what is called a different timbre. There is an very slight difference in timbre when playing the same note higher up on a different string. It's not really enough to notice most of the time until you get a few strings away. For example the difference between the open high E string and the E on the 5th fret of the B string is not really noticeable. The difference between the open hig E string and the 19th fret on the A string however will sound noticably different. Mostly it comes down to convenience and ease of playing which is determined by the surrounding notes and the kinds of stretches involved in the different positions for a particular piece of music.

NOTE: Because of the way the gutiar is constructed and depending on the quality of the guitar Going up the fretboard may alter the pitch by a few cents ever so slightly. It shouldn't be enough to worry about and won't really be a considerable factor in where you play a given note.

Hope that makes sense. I know that it's telling me to play the high E note, but I don't understand whether it's telling me that I have to play that specific one (open 1st string) or whether it doesn't matter and that I can play that riff higher down the frets as long as the notes are the same (I understand that there is a high E note and a low E note, a high F note and a low F note, etc). Also, will knowing this pattern have any benefits in my future guitar playing? I just wanted to know out of curiosity, but knowing this looks like it can help in some music theory areas.
Yes it helps in your future guitar playing.

I have a friend that plays guitar and he was playing blackbird. I knew the song also and he was doing these weird stretches that meant he had to slow down or would sometimes dull a note becuase the stretch was kind of awkward. He commented how it was quite a difficult song to play.

I told him that he was making it hard on himself and showed him how I played it. While I had originally started learning the song the same way he played it, I asked myself if there was an easier way and because the same notes can often be found in multiple places I would try playing it another way and it made the whole thing so much smoother and more comfortable to play that I found it quite easy to play. I showed him how I did it and explained that we were both playing the same notes and he found the new way much easier to play.

I found this was also true of tab as well as sheet music. Even in published tab books I would find some fingerings to be really bizarre because they could be played so much easier in another place.

Also it's really handy to know that if you play and then move up the fretboard you can still find the same notes without having to go back down the fretboard.

It definitely helps with your guitar playing
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EDIT: And oh, is that formula you gave me basically an octave? I think I got it down, not sure completely.
No. It is not an octave it is a unison.

An octave is the same pitch class but a different pitch height. That is an octave is the same pitch class an octave above or below the starting pitch. These are UNISONS, A unison is a pitch that is the SAME pitch class and same pitch height as the starting note. i.e.it is not just the same pitch class it is the very same pitch.

To illustrate the difference play the note on the open high e string then play the note on the 5th fret B string. They are a unison. They are both "E4"

Then play the pitch on the open high e string and the pitch on the second fret of the D string. Both are E notes but they are an octave apart. You can clearly here that one is higher than another. One is E4 and the other is E3.

Then play the pitch on the high e string followed by the pitch on the 12th fret of the high e string. Again they are the same pitch but one is an octave above the other. One is an E4 and the other is an E5
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But again, thank you so much for that formula. That's exactly what I was looking for. I'll just have to remember that the G string kinda messes up the rule and adds 4 instead of 5, but you made it very clear, and I thank you.

Cool also...it's really useful to know because it means that you can hold down the fifth fret of the E string and play that and the open A string and they should be the same note. I they sound different then you have to sharpen or lower one of the strings to make them match. If you have a starting pitch and tune one string to your starting pitch then you can use this to tune the guitar. Fifth fret low E to match the A string, then fifth fret A string to match the open D string etc. Then of course there's that fourth fret G string to match the open B string.

If you have a guitar and think it's out of tune and don't have a tuner, and the cell phone batter went flat then you can pick up a landline and (if it's the same as in my country) you can use the dial tone to tune your G string). Then using this relationship you can then tune the rest of the strings working your way out from the G string.

Also knowing this relationship is handy for understanding intervals and how chord construction works across strings.

There are so many patterns and relationships in music that noticing and paying attention to them makes understanding your instrument easier. Understanding your instrument makes you a better player.
Si
Quote by 20Tigers
If you have a guitar and think it's out of tune and don't have a tuner, and the cell phone batter went flat then you can pick up a landline and (if it's the same as in my country) you can use the dial tone to tune your G string). Then using this relationship you can then tune the rest of the strings working your way out from the G string.

I'd never heard this before and picked up my guitar to check and found that it sounded more like an F so I looked it up on wikipedia and found this:

The modern dial tone varies between countries, being a combination of two tones. In the North American Numbering Plan, the frequencies are 350 Hz and 440 Hz, as defined in the Precise Tone Plan), while most of Europe uses a constant single tone (425 Hz). In the UK the dial tone also consists of 350 Hz and 440 Hz. These two frequencies correspond to the standard concert pitch of A440, and approximately an "F".

F is 349.23 hz (close enough to 350) and 440 hz is A of course. 425 hz is a little higher than G# (415.3 hz). Those are sorta close to G (392 hz) so it'll get you in the ballpark (a whole step flat or a little more than a half step sharp), but if you want to get more exact and live somewhere where the dial tone is 350 and 440 you could tune the D string so that the 3rd fret matches the dial tone, tune everything relative to that, and you'll be pretty damn close to standard.

If you're not sure of the dial tone pitch in your country you could tune your guitar using a tuner, then find the closest pitch to the dial tone on your guitar and just remember that for later use.

Of course, if you're just playing by yourself or with a friend it doesn't really matter if you're exactly at A=440 or not, as long as everything is in tune together. If I'm playing with a friend and we don't have a tuner for some reason (a pretty rare occurrence) then whoever seems to be closest (or has a better ear for tuning) will just tune their guitar relative to itself and then the other person tunes to match them.

Still a pretty cool trick to know, especially if you haven't really internalized how high or low the strings should sound.
I suggest doing a diagram like this to get your mind around the pattern:

Bernie Sanders for President!
yeah, or don't do that. What an awfully complicated diagram. I'm glad if it helped you but I can't see the benefit.

Quote by The4thHorsemen
I'd never heard this before and picked up my guitar to check and found that it sounded more like an F so I looked it up on wikipedia and found this:

F is 349.23 hz (close enough to 350) and 440 hz is A of course. 425 hz is a little higher than G# (415.3 hz). Those are sorta close to G (392 hz) so it'll get you in the ballpark (a whole step flat or a little more than a half step sharp), but if you want to get more exact and live somewhere where the dial tone is 350 and 440 you could tune the D string so that the 3rd fret matches the dial tone, tune everything relative to that, and you'll be pretty damn close to standard.

If you're not sure of the dial tone pitch in your country you could tune your guitar using a tuner, then find the closest pitch to the dial tone on your guitar and just remember that for later use.

Of course, if you're just playing by yourself or with a friend it doesn't really matter if you're exactly at A=440 or not, as long as everything is in tune together. If I'm playing with a friend and we don't have a tuner for some reason (a pretty rare occurrence) then whoever seems to be closest (or has a better ear for tuning) will just tune their guitar relative to itself and then the other person tunes to match them.

Still a pretty cool trick to know, especially if you haven't really internalized how high or low the strings should sound.

It was a long time ago before mobile phones and only a last resort if I had a very out of tune guitar, no starting pitch etc. I might try it again tomorrow.
Si
Visual references are of very limited use. You need to work with the guitar and your ears. Whenever possible, work concepts out on the guitar and write your own reference material.
Quote by 20Tigers
yeah, or don't do that. What an awfully complicated diagram. I'm glad if it helped you but I can't see the benefit.

It was a long time ago before mobile phones and only a last resort if I had a very out of tune guitar, no starting pitch etc. I might try it again tomorrow.

Yeah but on the other hand, you have to admit, that would make for a great quilting pattern!

Best,

Sean
^Yeah and that way all my guests can be confused as shit when they look at the blankets.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp