Ok, I recently started playing guitar again and unlike my first attempt many many years ago this time I'm taking the time to learn how to actually read / understand music instead of just tabs. That being said I have a question concerning reading music and knowing exactly which note to play.

I know the notes that are on the lines and spaces but how do you know where to play that note on the fretboard? For example, top space is an e note but how do you know if it's an open 1st string, 1st string 12th note, or any other spot on the board that equates to that e? (I'm using e as an example but I'm curious about how to know for all notes).

Since we're on the subject of the e note, what are the e notes on the 2, 3, 4, and 5th strings called? 1st is e and 6th is E but what about the other strings? As you can see this has me all kinds of confused and any help would be greatly appreciated. Even just a link or two to a website that goes into this kind of detail would be more than helpfull.

Thanks in advance!
theoreticly you could play it wherever you like................but if it helps the low e note is the second space down on the bass cleff if your looking at a grand staff
Yeah i know the notes on the strings as well. And I know how they progress up and down the fretboard and the flats and sharps as well. My confusion comes from reading a note on a piece of music and knowing which to hit on the fretboard.

For instance, a G note is open 3rd, 3rd fret on 1 and 6, etc etc but if I see a G note written in the music how do I know which to play? I know you said you could actually play any of them but if that's the case, how do you read music and play it the way it's supposed to be played without having a copy of the music to actually listen to?

Thanks for the replies btw!
hey man i know where youre coming from, 2 years ago i started taking guitar lessons and had the same questions. the first thing that is important to understand is the scale. this is a just a chromatic scale,(meaning all of the notes) where it all begins........
c c# d d# e f f# g g# a a# b you are probably wondering why there isnt an e# or b#. that is because e and f ; and b and c are half steps, just like c# and d . c to d is a whole step. dont ask why but this is the truth......
anyway what this means is that frets can be looked at as half steps so if you have an open e, the first fret is going to be f. 2nd fret f#.......
and as to your sheet music question, piano players actually read the staff an octave higher than guitarist.
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ so if this is a musical staff the bottom line is forth string 2nd fret e or 12th fret 6 string e if you have noticed that there is a couple different places to play the same note on the fretboard...... so knowing that you can see that depending on what position u r on on the fretboard you can figure out the rest of the notes.............hope i have helped you can e mail me at theweirdkidz@hotmail.com if you have questions..... jared
oh yeah and the open strings on standard tuning is E A D g(unwound)b e
Last edited by paulcreedsmith at Aug 1, 2007,
Thanks again for the replies.

Jared, if you don't mind I'm going to email you later this evening about this. You are close to the answer I'm looking for but not quite it. I'm at work so I don't have a lot of time to write out much more detail about my question but later I will be able to make it more clear and perhaps we can figure it out from there

Thanks again guys!