#1
I know how to write music to a certain degree (as in about the first 5 frets..), but how would you write it, if, for example, it was at the top of the neck? Is there some sort of symbol or something?

Like if you wrote E(open), F(1), G(3), then how you you write E(12), F(13), G(15)?


On an unrelated note (ha, pun): Being a self-taught guitar player is hard.. but atleast it's rewarding!

EDIT: Also, off topic: What are octaves (I have a faint idea of what they are), and how can you tell them apart, like where do each of them start and end?
#2
An octave represents different variations of the same note. The second fret of the d string is an octave higher (8 notes, 12 frets/half-steps) than open e.
#3
i dont know about most guitarists, but i write in both the bass and treble clef.
So an open E, i write it in the bass clef staff, and a higher E, i write it in the treble clef.
And octaves are the same note, played on a higher pitch.
example
first fret E is the same note as 13th fret E.
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#4
It's very complex. Music theory is something that's best if someone else teaches you. Find a buddy who knows it or something.
#5
just so i can get some clarity as well. if i played on the big E string fret 0, 1, 2, 3 is it correct to say that im playing in another octave when i play the notes on E string fret 12, 13, 14, 15?
or is that something different?
sorry or stealing the thread hehe :#
#6
Ah, so every E is an different octave of the same note? I see.. Or should they be on a different string on, or close to the same fret as the original note? Example: It'd be better to have high E's G(3), and G(open), rather then High E(open), and E(12)?

Now that's cleared up, what about the writing high notes?
Last edited by Dog-- at Jan 28, 2008,
#7
Quote by konkordmusk
i dont know about most guitarists, but i write in both the bass and treble clef.
So an open E, i write it in the bass clef staff, and a higher E, i write it in the treble clef.
And octaves are the same note, played on a higher pitch.
example
first fret E is the same note as 13th fret E.

hmm...that actually sounds like a good idea. might get really complicated but a good idea though.
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#8
Quote by a4lrocker
hmm...that actually sounds like a good idea. might get really complicated but a good idea though.

Yeah, it does get difficult, but it just takes massive amounts of practice.
It gets harder as you change tunings, especially radically changed tunings. such as drop a flat.

take the octaves this way.
Open E string, 2nd fret D string, 5th fret B string, and open high e string are all the same note.
take that same pattern, shift it up one, and those are octaves:
1st fret low e, 3rd fret d string, 6th fret b string, and first fret e string.
now, for rooting on the a string, it changed minimally.
open a string, 2nd fret g string, and 5th fret e are all the same note.
Also, another NEAT-O trick to making sure you tuned your guitar correctly, is playing both E's together. if they arent correct, you made a mistake somewhere in tuning your guitar. (assuming you are playing in some form of standard tuning)
Even more help with octaves.
If you are looking at a piano, and playing a middle C, you can find the octave by playing 12 half steps from that middle c. C, C Sharp, d, d sharp, e, f, f sharp, g, g sharp, a, a sharp, b, b sharp, and back to C, is the whole chromatic scale.
If you are writing music, another thing to help you is to figure the key out, and then write yourself a scale out.
so, lets take a simple c major. the progression of steps is Whole whole half, whole whole whole half steps.
so, root note c, next note d, next note e, next note f, next note g, next note a, next note be, top note c ( the octave)
Quote by leeb rocks
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#9
Ok, now I'm almost positive I understand octaves, but I still don't understand writing high notes!
#10
Quote by Dog--
Ok, now I'm almost positive I understand octaves, but I still don't understand writing high notes!


What dont you understand?

There are 12 notes. Writing on the lower part of the neck is very much the same as the higher part.
#11
As in writing notes on a staff? Octaves would be on different parts. Notes on the staff represent a pitch not a note. So if you read E on the staff, it's not just any E, it's THAT E.

___________
___o_______
___________
___________
-----o-----------

Those are 2 different E's in treble clef (the first one is on the first space, and the other one is on the bottom line)

The bottom E is 2 fret on the D string, and the top E is open E or 14 on the D string (same pitch)

Make sense?
#12
Oh... so if I write

---O--------
-------------
-------------
-------------
-------------
-------------


That could potentially be any F on the high E string? Just as if I wrote an F at the bottom space, it'd potentially be any F on the D string?

I thought there was some specific symbol that you had to write to signify what particular note it'd be, like writing a symbol above the note, above the staff indicating whether to play a low note or higher, higher, etc, etc.

So I guess you just play whatever, for example, E on the high E that sounds best for that particular piece of music?
#13
The musical staff DOES NOT represent guitar strings. There are only 5 lines.

The top line F is only one pitch of F. However, you can play that same F in multiple places. You can indicate a position in the music seperately.
#14
oops, I accidentally put another line, I know about the guitar strings and staff not the same, chill.

As for the indication of the different note - what is it?
#15
It's a specific pitch. There is only one pitch for top-line F, even though you can play it in multiple places on a guitar, multiple fingerings on a horn, etc.

Think of it this way - it corresponds with a specific piano key.


Were I to be sight reading a piece on the guitar, I might play the top-line F at 1st fret high E, 6th fret B, or 10th fret G, depending on where my hand is. Same pitch.
#16
So, you sort of have to 'guess' which note to play? I mean if the song was played at the bottom of the neck, but you play it at the top, no harm done, but it's still not as the way it was originally written..

Is it one of those 'whatever sounds best, play it' kind of things?

If that's true, what if it's a low toned song, and the solo is really high? How would you know to play that particular part high, and the rest of it low?
#17
A written note only has one pitch. The difference between where you play it will only be timbral (it will have a different TONE but it is the same NOTE "high & low - wise".) I feel like you're missing this in your understanding of written music. Think of a piano. There is one, and only one key, you press when you see a top-line F notated. A first-space F you press a different key, an octave down.

On a guitar, because there are multiple places at which you can produce the same pitch, you have to choose.


Classical guitar music normally has position indicated where it's not obvious; you know exactly where to play it. Otherwise, part of sightreading as a skill for guitarists is being able to look ahead and create efficient and logical fingerings and position shifts. You can tweak it for sound - Eric Johnson is notorious for using extremely awkward stretches and fingerings because he only likes the way a particular pitch sounds at a specific location.
#18
Quote by Dog--
Oh... so if I write


That could potentially be any F on the high E string? Just as if I wrote an F at the bottom space, it'd potentially be any F on the D string?

I thought there was some specific symbol that you had to write to signify what particular note it'd be, like writing a symbol above the note, above the staff indicating whether to play a low note or higher, higher, etc, etc.

So I guess you just play whatever, for example, E on the high E that sounds best for that particular piece of music?


It can only be that "high" F. If you played another "higher" F on the E string, it would have a different notation (the space above 3 ledger lines above the staff). But say you played the previous F, but on the B string (6). It would be the same note. Or even 15 on the D string would still be the same. Still on the top line.

Play these on your guitar and you'll notice that they are all the same note, just located somewhere else. The musical staff only tells you which note (and how high), not location. That is at the player's discretion.
#19
That's the answer I was looking for! So it is 'play what sounds best', then!

Thanks, everyone!
Last edited by Dog-- at Jan 30, 2008,
#20
It is also important to note that unlike the keyboard (piano) it is possible on guitar to play the same note in unision at different positions on the neck. That being said you use position notation above the staff to suggest the correct left hand placement and "voicing" of the note to be played.