How Much We Can Play

You know where are the notes on your fretboard? Propably yes, but do you REALLY know how they relate with each other? No? Come in...

10

E|-----Daniel-----------------------------------
B|-------------Kaczmarczyk----------------------
G|--------------------------Guitar--------------
D|-LESSON--#2-----------------------Lessons-----
A|----------------------------------------------
E|----------------------------------------------
How much we can play... "You know their names. You know how-it-is constructed! What does it mean that YOU CAN'T FIND THEM? What does it mean that you know where they are "more or less". And why do you say that they're in few places at one time?" It's not a quote from a cheap criminal novel, it's a situation that happens to many, many guitarist i know. Guitar is a very popular instrument, because of the easy way of learning. Remembering the fingers posistion to form some chords is in some people's opinion "being a guitarist", what offends me a lot, but if you're reading this article you're surerly the person who don't want to walk like a blind man over yours fretboard. From my previous lesson you have gained knowledge how to name the notes one after another and how to find their places on the fretboard. Yes, that's not a mistake, find their places. In the "cheap-criminal" beggining I was talking about locating them and notes multi-placing. As you can see (knowing the previous lesson - its crucial to read the no.1 here !) every note repeats itself a few times, so propably your confusion meter shows the MAX value now. (hard topic + my bad english) blah blah blah blaah blah So because propably this doesn't make sense so far... Please, proceed. But before we proceed... a little *********************WARNING********************* ! This lesson is a long and requires dedication of your time, focus and attention. It might be unclear for the first few tries, but your hard work and determination will pay off, so stay tuned and go to the end, slowly and calmly. ! Step #1 - Piano... Again. And again I refer to piano as an instrument that leads our guitar minds to way of understanding music. I could write a book about the handiness of its keyboard in learning music theory, but instead of it you have to believe me that it's just true. Let's start. Look at the piano keyboard. If you don't have one, find a pic on the internet. Now, find a pattern of key arrangement. Got it? These are octaves, and they go from C to C.
______________________________________________________
|    |||    |||    |    |||    |||    |||    |    |||     
|    |||    |||    |    |||    |||    |||    |    |||     
|    |||    |||    |    |||    |||    |||    |    |||     
|    |||    |||    |    |||    |||    |||    |    |||     
|    |||    |||    |    |||    |||    |||    |    |||     
|    |||    |||    |    |||    |||    |||    |    |||    C,D,E,F,G,A,B and C 
|    |||    |||    |    |||    |||    |||    |    ||| 
|    |||    |||    |    |||    |||    |||    |    |||     
|    |||    |||    |    |||    |||    |||    |    |||   and again, and again,  
|    |||    |||    |    |||    |||    |||    |    ||| 
|     |      |     |     |      |      |     |     |    and again....
| C   |  D   |  E  |  F  |  G   |  A   |  B  |  C  |  
|     |      |     |     |      |      |     |     | 
( F*#$ing love to draw in ASCII <3, it took me 10 mins to draw that keyboard) Grand pianos have even around 6,7 or more octaves on them, so thats a huge range of sound to make.Thats around 75-85 notes usually. (That info can be not accurate, I'm a guitarist, not a pianist) If you think now "Hey, we, guitarists have *propably* more notes to play! 22 frets * 6 strings = 132 notes!", you're baaadly wrong. Step #2 - Guitar Almoust every note repeats itself in few places on the fretboard. You know why it is like this, becaouse you know how to tune your guitar, but if you don't - stop reading this and learn how to tune. But we know how to tune, so we go further. It has been said before, that 22*6=132. That's true, but 132 is a number of "places we can play a note". (don't cry if you don't have 22 frets, if you have 20 or 24, it's normal, don't call the doc). Next question is : "So how many notes We can play on guitar" , and the answer is vicious. On 24-fret guitar we can play only 48 notes. (now call the doc.) These are 4 full octaves, going from E to E. Look at the diagram. Yup, it's a fretboard.
|E|F| |G| |A| |B|C| |D| |E|F| |G| |A| |B|C| |D| |E|
|B|C| |D| |E|F| |G| |A| |B|C| |D| |E|F| |G| |A| |B|
|G| |A| |B|C| |D| |E|F| |G| |A| |B|C| |D| |E|F| |G|
|D| |E|F| |G| |A| |B|C| |D| |E|F| |G| |A| |B|C| |D|
|A| |B|C| |D| |E|F| |G| |A| |B|C| |D| |E|F| |G| |A|
|E|F| |G| |A| |B|C| |D| |E|F| |G| |A| |B|C| |D| |E|
 | |   |   |   |   |     |     |   |   |   |     |
 | |   |   |   |   |     |     |   |   |   |     |
 0 1   3   5   7   9     12    15  17  19  21    24 <---- fret no's
Step #3 - Moving the notes In this whole mess look-alike we find notes going from A to G. We'll talk about the E octave, which starts at 0 fret, 6 string (the thickest). First E octave goes from fret 0 to fret 12. It's time to show it on a TAB. As an example I'll use E,F,G,A,B,C,D,E notes.
E|--------------------
B|--------------------
G|--------------------
D|--------------------
A|--------------------
E|-0-1-3-5-7-8-10-12--
   E F G A B C D  E
Tuning of the guiar lets us to move that notes. Next diagram is not a normal tab. It will : horizontal - show notes from E to E, and vertical - the same notes, but on the other other frets. Simply, vertical we can se the possible places for every note.
E|--------------------
B|--------------------
G|--------------------
D|-------------0--2---
A|-------0-2-3-5--7---
E|-0-1-3-5-7-8-10-12--
   E F G A B C D  E
Do you understand? The same A note can be played at string 6 fret 5, and string 5 fret 0 (empty string). The higher E note can be played 6th string 12th fret, 5th string 7th fret and 4th string 2nd fret. Check it out now on your guitar! The other way : just choose only one note from each column, and play it from left to right, or reversed. Sounds ok? Do you get the point ? You can see that we can play that "melody" in very various fingerings, but it will sound exactly the same. This is the magical skill of a guitar.
E|--------------------
B|--------------------
G|--------------------
D|-------------0--2---
A|-------0-2-3--------
E|-0-1-3--------------
   E F G A B C D  E    
 
E|--------------------
B|--------------------
G|--------------------
D|--------------------
A|-------0-2---5------
E|-0-1-3-----8----12--
   E F G A B C D  E
Try it and make your own mashups of this! Step #4 - my sophistication at its high (moving the notes/how the guitar is tuned) As I Have said before, my assumption is that you know how to tune the guitar. But (just in case) here's a little revision: Between : E and A = there are 5 semitones A and D = there are 5 semitones D and G = there are 5 semitones !G and B = there are 4 semitones! B and E = there are 5 semitones Here, some examples (Notes close to each other are the same notes, but moved to the other strings.)
E|--2----------7------
B|-7-----0---12------1
G|------4-----------5-
D|--------------------
A|----------------3---
E|---------------8----
What I am trying to do is show you how to move the notes from one fret to another. Next thing is to do it on the next 3 E to E octaves. Find them by yourself (with guitar in your hands), and write it all down on paper! Don't give up - this excersie will not make you pull up a tom morello solo, but you will understand your fretboard better! And it's a next step to make guitar your friend, not your enemy. Step #5 - Do it by yourself. So now, when you really can find the notes on the fretboard, understanding what are you playing, and how are you playing will grow radically. Make a map in your head where these octaves are, and don't be caught in one scheme! Discover new ways of playing these ones. My advice upon "making the map" is to go from the left bottom corner of the fretboard ( empty 6th ) to the right top corner ( 24, or any other the highest fret of 1st string). Don't forget to revise the material you have learned, TUNE YOUR GUITAR PROPERLY and listen actively to what you play! Importance of this two things when practising will be introduced in my other lesson. Maybe I'll post myself prepared graphics about this on my profile on UG, but just in case if I'll forget - PrivateMessage me. Step #Bye bye - bye bye Woah, hope my lesson cleared, not blurred your minds. Just in case that you want to check your answers to the task i gave to you, look at the bottom of this lesson. But really, DONT do it if you havent tried to do it by yourself. Remember - bigger the problem, bigger the skill growth. If you bother to message me about my lessons, share an opinion or suggestion, I'll be happy. I'm waiting to hear what you've got to say about them! Try. Discover. Learn. Play. Peace. Daniel Kaczmarczyk Step #the last one - appendix [ don't go down too fast ] [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [
Octave 2            Octave 3           Octave 4
E|--------------0--|0-1-3-5-7-8-10-12|12-13-15-17-19-20-22-24|
B|--------0-1-3----|-----------------|-----------------------|
G|----0-2----------|-----------------|-----------------------|
D|2-3--------------|-----------------|-----------------------|
A|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------------|
E|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------------|
I've made the most obvious answers, haven't you been thinking about any others, don't you ? ;> So again, move them a little, Up and down and check how does it work on your guitar. Cya!

19 comments sorted by best / new / date

comments policy
    daniel.kPL
    Also, if you read the lesson, please rate it, I see many comments and only two ratings
    JimDawson
    LOL! Useful lesson, and I found the clearly foreign spelling and grammar quite entertaining to read! I imagined all of it in the voice of Skwisgaar Skwigelf, and it fits quite well. I found a lot of this lesson was actually quite hilarious! I already knew this stuff, so I found it quite easy to understand. People underestimate the value of lessons like this! Even though this lesson has lots of bad grammar, it really isn't that difficult to figure out exactly what you're trying to say with minimal effort. Good job!
    technoguyx
    To be honest I didn't quite understand the lesson. Is it just about the range of notes that we have on the guitar?
    daniel.kPL
    ooops... grammar... I'll try to work on spelling and grammar, as you say so I'm glad that after all it's a useful lesson for someone. And about the point of the lesson... as the title says "How much we can play" is ment to be a lesson that will show people the range of our instrument, it's not so obvious to everyone. I know a lot of guitarists who are convinced that they have 120 notes available on the fretboard .
    Alvigo
    Cool lesson bro,dont care what the other peeps say!your language is fine for me cos I can see what you are trying to say!
    IcanHasBass
    whywefight wrote: i miss van ham.
    It's time UG. Lets stand up for what we want. We want Van Ham? We want Nolan Whyte to write another story? Lets join together in arms and fight for what we want.
    unyinz
    Might not really be a big deal, but I wanted to point out that the range of notes on a guitar can be extended by using harmonics or pitch-shifting pedals.
    Dopemgs
    Hey, gotta say that despite I already knew that I had to learn it the hard way, most people can't realize how important it is to know where your limits are so that they can extend beyond them Great lesson, sad it wasn't written a year ago when I was fighting to understand this but still great lesson
    rob904
    whywefight wrote: i miss van ham.
    Great, now I'm depressed. Dick.
    Ultraussie
    I already worked out this stuff by myself, anyway its a good lesson anyway for beginners.
    technoguyx
    unyinz wrote: Might not really be a big deal, but I wanted to point out that the range of notes on a guitar can be extended by using harmonics or pitch-shifting pedals.
    You're right on that, if you can handle pinch harmonics well or have a whammy pedal you would have a much wider range of notes.
    ulfheddin99
    good info, thanks for sharing. I'm glad you took the time to outline the concept for those of us that are just starting out. I imagine it will help me immensely while I foray into musical theory for the first time...
    JimDawson
    daniel.kPL wrote: And about the point of the lesson... as the title says "How much we can play" is ment to be a lesson that will show people the range of our instrument, it's not so obvious to everyone.
    After reading this lesson, it makes perfect sense to me why you would name it that; after all the tonal reach of our instruments is "How Much we can Play" on it! However, for future reference it would have probably been clearer to the unthinking majority if you would have called the lesson something like "The Complete Tonal Range of the Guitar". Also, if people use UG's search engine they would be more likely to find this lesson if it had a keyword like "tonal" or "range" in it.
    dwainfish
    Yeah, not sure what your trying to get at? We have less octaves than pianists, check, notes on the fretboard repeat themselves, check.. Took me half an hour to realize that's all you're actually teaching!?
    burgey
    The spelling and grammar are appalling in this lesson! Makes it very difficult to understand what the actual point of it is?
    daniel.kPL
    After reading this lesson, it makes perfect sense to me why you would name it that; after all the tonal reach of our instruments is "How Much we can Play" on it! However, for future reference it would have probably been clearer to the unthinking majority if you would have called the lesson something like "The Complete Tonal Range of the Guitar". Also, if people use UG's search engine they would be more likely to find this lesson if it had a keyword like "tonal" or "range" in it.
    Thanks for that advice, when I was choosing the title, I was'n thinking about it practically, but aesthetically.
    Might not really be a big deal, but I wanted to point out that the range of notes on a guitar can be extended by using harmonics or pitch-shifting pedals.
    Thanks for pointing that out.
    Rrac Niac
    This clearly says beginner lesson, can you read/?, was easy to skim read and understand, if ou are just learning,this lesson is a must.