Basic Guitar Knowledge

This lesson will give basic knowledge of the guitar such as scales, chords, and simple theory.

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Anyone who plays the guitar should have a basic knowlege of the following ideas: The Music Language - The Neck - Simple Theory - Scales and Chords - How to use a TAB I will divide this lesson into 3 seperate parts. Today we will begin the music language and how it is applied to the neck of the guitar. The Music Language The basis of all music lies upon 7 letters of the alphabet. They are ABCDEFG. Each letter is called a note and has a corresponding sound. After G, the pattern repeats itself at a higher or lower pitch. ABCDEFG ABCDEFG ABCDEFG ABCDEFG ABCDEFG...to infinity Low High Every note has a certain pitch and some have half of that pitch. These half pitches are called sharps and flats. Here is every note you will need to know to understand the guitar. A Bb B C Db D Eb E F F# G Ab A Memorize these until you can repeat them in your sleep. Learning to name these notes by heart will become of great use later on. The Neck You're probably wondering how these notes correspond with the guitar. Every open string on the guitar starts with a note. The low thick string is E (in standard tuning), the fifth string is A, and so on. Below is a model of the neck and you will see how easy this really is.
       Low                           High
frets   E     A      D     G     B     E
1       F     Bb     Eb    Ab
2       F#    B      E     A
3       G     C      F     Bb
4       Ab    Db     F#    B
5       A     D      G     C 
6       Bb    Eb     Ab    Db
7       B     E      A     D
8       C     F      Bb    Eb
9       Db    F#     B     E
10      D     G      C     F
11      Eb    Ab     Db    F#
12      E     A      D     G
See if you can fill in the rest. After you understand the musical pattern, you will be ready to become a better guitar player. In the next lesson, we will take your newly acquired knowledge and do some really neat tricks with it.

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    Traize
    to be honest, i found the article fairly useful for understanding the different notes & their place on the guitar... of course, i am new to guitar
    PAUL-----
    [quote]swaZy? wrote: C is the equivalent to B# all right apart from this bit C isnt equiv to B#.. I explain: A semitone is one musical step right there fore a tone is two musical steps eg. A - B is 1 tone as you go A-A#/Bb-B A-A#/Bb is a semi tone cos it is one musical step *By musical step i mean one note up in the pattern: A-A#/Bb-B-C-C#/Db-D-D#/Eb-E-F-F#/Gb-G-G#/Ab-A
    PAUL-----
    **FIX**
    swaZy? wrote: C is the equivalent to B#
    ok your comment was fine apart from this bit.. i will explain: A semitone is one musical step: eg. A-A#/Bb A tone is two musical steps: eg. A-A#/Bb-B And by musical step i mean one step up in the spiral of notes that goes: A-A#/Bb-B-C-C#/Db-D-D#/Eb-E-F-F#/Gb-G-G#/Ab-A-A#/Bb-B-C-C#/D b-D-D#/Eb-E-F-F#/Gb-G-G#/Ab-A-A#/Bb-B-C-C#/Db-D-D#/Eb-E-F-F# /Gb-G-G#/Ab- over and over. ***By spiral i mean a rising circle that you are viewing from birds eye view; as the notes go around the spiral you can only see the A-G#/Ab although there are many A's A#/Bb's ect. if you look at the spiral from the horizontal angle you now see the spiral showing pitch the notes are the same except higher or lower. I hope that makes sense and helps
    dyone3
    to all the humans out there that didnt understand this simple illustration pls consult youre psychiatrist... if you dont understand things pls dont diss the person who tried to help you... its just the matter of figuring things out... anyway this shit is good... thanks man....
    digitarius1
    Yeah this is pretty good especially for someone like me who has never taken a music lesson. I am a beginner on guitar and these lessons truly help, thanks.
    joshgiesbrecht
    If you have only ever played guitar this is harder than if you've learnt piano.. Cause piano has it all layed out for you
    Sy_B
    I'm a beginner, don't even own a guitar (YET) I play my friend's from time to time, looking into getting one next year. After looking at the ( what at first looked confusing ) diagram, I've figured it out easy rules to remember. -They range from A to G, then repeat. -C and G have nothing, also they rhyme. -Below E there are no sharps (#) E's the cutoff point. -Sharps (#) come after, Flats (b) before. -C can be memorized as the "Nothing note" by knowing it's the middle (or close) letter. For me, I find those rules easier than just memorizing each specific note and all. Then you just follow the pattern on each string, like if the string is B, you start with C and move to Db and so on. This is a great article, instead of telling you everything it makes you work to memorize it. At first I was annoyed, but I realize how helpful it is.
    ellucifere
    it's good but for people who don't know anything about this at all, it's confusing
    JohnnyGoo
    He left out some notes. Each note except for B and E has a sharp (#)Example: A#, C#, D#, F#, G#. The scale actually goes like this; E -F -F#/Gb -G -G#/Ab -A[/b ]-A#/Bb -[b]B -C -C#/Db -D -D# /Eb -E .
    666-JoE-666
    # means Sharp, and yes a small m is a minor
    uxma wrote: wats # , wats Am , is that A minor ? wat the heck ?
    toy_machine3090
    Thanks, I'm just starting to play guitar and I found this lesson easy to understand and very helpful. Thanks again.
    woundedfinger
    simonzwaan wrote: Today we will begin .. sounds like school but its still doenst explain what the "b"'s mean and # so yah
    did you really go to school man? i mean, hello? schools dont spoon-feed, duh.. BTW, nice work ssmith..
    iampeter
    this is a great article thats easy to understand once you solve the simple pattern at the end. thanks for writing this
    habatooi
    All you idiots out ther who that made no sense to i think you should jst go and look it up on wiki. because that all these little pretty pics and stuff for you to look at!!!!!
    johnsonjm111
    U'd think the people on this site would have SOME Guitar Basics, and know what a (#)sharp, (b)flat, (Am)Minor, or (Amaj)Major.
    Donkey Dong
    Maybe Im completly stupid, but I see no correlation with the individual notes. How would I go about filling in the rest?
    Darken Rahl
    Beginner(Chris) wrote: Ok, i need a little help here, based on the model of the neck, does this mean that , if the first string(Lowest pitched) is played openly, will it sound exactly the same if the 7th fret of the 2nd string is played???
    No...I believe its a different octave of that note. Its like 4 octaves higher, you can find them all and show yourself. So hit open E, hit next E, and keep going... youll see what I am talkinga bout.l
    \m/°»DIG«°\m/
    ok. Now that these kids are done b*tchin' ...explain this part a li'l more ... The Neck You're probably wondering how these notes correspond with the guitar. Every open string on the guitar starts with a note. The low thick string is E (in standard tuning), the fifth string is A, and so on. Below is a model of the neck and you will see how easy this really is. Low High frets E A D G B E 1 F Bb Eb Ab 2 F# B E A 3 G C F Bb 4 Ab Db F# B 5 A D G C 6 Bb Eb Ab Db 7 B E A D 8 C F Bb Eb 9 Db F# B E 10 D G C F 11 Eb Ab Db F# 12 E A D G What,why,who,when,where, how ...just explain it a li'l better plz.
    lewisb87
    Great post! Easy to understand, if you dont understand then you shouldnt reali be playing the guitar should you? Thanx again great help!
    BrainStew310
    for all u retards who dont understand, UG Stranger stands for Ultimate Guitar Stanger, and it is like a person who dont got a screen name or account here
    BrainStew310
    and i havent started takin guitar lessons yet but i plan to soon and i dont really understand much of that whole lesson
    DaddyTwoFoot
    I swear to God, the admins of this site need to ban strangers from commenting. I know that seems rash, but after reading all these cooments, that's really the only way to go. Also, good article. Should help out lots of beginners. 4 stars.
    8_my_guitar
    !! EXPLANATION HERE !! After racking my brain and requestin the help of my smart girlfriend, I have figured out the pattern of this "neck" layout. First of all, thanks for making me use my brain to figure it out! Jeesh, you are like a real guitar teacher or somthing...they never tell you completely, make you figure things out. Anyhow the pattern is such: Look at page vertically... frets E A D G B E 1 F Bb Eb Ab 2 F# B E A 3 G C F Bb 4 Ab Db F# B 5 A D G C 6 Bb Eb Ab Db 7 B E A D 8 C F Bb Eb 9 Db F# B E 10 D G C F 11 Eb Ab Db F# 12 E A D G Notice that if you read it this way they form A Bb B C Db D Eb E F F# G Ab A (up and down folks) With this logic, if we take fret 11, the next two strings that "teacher" left out are : Bb & Eb This helped page helped...thanks! And all the postings are funny. Keep on being silly you crazy kids you
    guitarfetus
    GREAT article. Thanks for enlightening me. I'm a complete beginner and this is the first time anyone has wrote an article that simply tells me what the NOTES are on each string!!!! THANKS!!! Also, why is it that every message board I have ever been on has these idiots. Why don't they stand on a street corner and say the same types of comments to people passing by and see what happens?
    metal4all
    ctb: hey uh even though u probably arent going to see my message i'll say just for the hell of it that in the 11th fret those are the notes on the 6th, 5th, 4th, and 3rd string
    guitty
    8_my_guitar, i think you're a good teacher too. nice explanation. i think i get it now.
    swaZy™
    heres an example for you people: A# is written A Sharp, therefore, # is Sharp Ab is written A Flat, therefore, b is flat Am is written (if im not mistaken and correct me if I am) A minor, therefore, m is minor C is the equivalent to B# i hope i helped :X
    Beginner(Chris)
    Ok, i need a little help here, based on the model of the neck, does this mean that , if the first string(Lowest pitched) is played openly, will it sound exactly the same if the 7th fret of the 2nd string is played???