Guitar notes should be learned early on in your playing career. Although at first you can get by with just learning the shapes of chords and scales, you will eventually need to learn the names of the notes you are playing. This will aid communication with other musicians, and will also improve your knowledge and enjoyment of music. Knowing the way in which notes relate to each other in scales and chords will aid your songwriting, lead guitar improvisation and musicianship. The notes on the fretboard are shown below:
Guitar Notes In Open Position
The diagram above shows guitar notes in open or first position – this is the position of your fretting hand when playing open strings and notes in the first four frets.
(A chart showing every note up to the twelfth fret is included in the Guitar Scales Chart book, available to download from this site.)
Free Guitar Notes Diagram Download
Click on the image below to download guitar notes chart.
Notice how many notes have more than one name – for example, an F sharp (F#) can also be called a G flat (Gb). As you progress, you will learn that notes can also be double sharps and double flats, but for the time being it is best just to stick with the above names. Most times you can refer to a note by any of its names – but in a strict musical setting, you would refer to a note depending on which key you are playing in.
How To Learn Guitar Notes
You will come to learn the note names naturally as you play the guitar, but it will really help your understanding not just of the instrument but also of music in general if you make an effort to learn the notes that you are playing at an early stage. You can of course learn the Guitar Notes Diagram above off by heart, but a better way is by playing the chords and scales that you know, and finding out which notes you are playing as you play them, by referring to a diagram such as the one above. This way you will learn not just the note names, but also when they occur with each other and how chords and scales are built.
The Best Way To Learn Guitar Notes
The best way of all to learn guitar notes – and this is for guitarists of all levels (you’d be surprised how many experienced guitarists have to think about which notes they are playing if asked) – is to say the notes aloud as you play them. Try this now by playing a scale that you know, for example a major scale, and saying the note names either aloud or mentally. You may be surprised how hard this is, and also by how quickly you will start to learn your guitar notes if you practise this regularly!