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"How do I learn the notes on the guitar?” This question is on the mind of every novice guitarist and even highly experienced guitarists who play by ear but who never learned how to read music. The guitar has particular challenges that make learning the notes and the relationships across the fretboard difficult. As music is built on thirds, the guitar delivers a painful mental blow with its tuning built primarily on fourths. Then consider that a typical guitar has a minimum of 20 frets x 6 strings equaling 120 notes, plus 6 more notes on open strings, totaling 126 note locations! It is no wonder that understanding the fretboard is a monumental challenge for many musicians.
The key to memorizing the notes is breaking the task down into its simplest forms and not making any presumptions about the guitarist’s existing knowledge. The notes are presented in charts for effective rote study. Related terminology is covered explicitly, with explanations of concert pitch, where the guitar range sits on the staff, and how guitar music is typically transcribed. There is a thorough introduction to intervals and you are encouraged to memorize many of the common intervals. After all, if you have a solid grasp of intervals, you can always figure out a note by knowing its relationship to the notes positioned around it. Lastly, standard music notation is presented throughout the book, many times beside guitar tablature and fretboard diagrams. If you have used nothing but guitar tab up until now, you will gain a powerful start in reading guitar music!
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"No matter what stage of the game you're in, if you don't have the fretboard memorized and the idea of identifying notes just generally confuses you, this book is an absolute must."
-Bobby Kittleberger, guitarchalk.com
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