The Musical Alphabeth and What It Means For Your Fretboard

You may have heard about the term “Musical Alphabeth” it works similar as the normal alphabeth we use for everyday speech and written communication. The Musical Alphabeth usually starts with a C and the order is like: C-D-EF-G-A-BC.

Why is it useful to be aware of the order of the notes? Because it helps you seeing where you are on the fretboard, it will also help you with moving chordshapes along the fretboard: Play a D chord and move it up two frets and you will get an E chord for the simple fact that E is the next note after D.

When you look at the oder of the notes I gave you earlier on you notice that I put a – inbetween the C and D,  F and G and G and A.  The – means you can raise the note to get a #: Play a C anywhere on the fretboard and go up one fret and you will get a C#. You are able to do this with any note where you see the –

Being aware of the order of the notes gives you the ability to name notes anywhere on the fretboard. Have a look at the following example: Think of the low E string and play the first fret on this string, this note is an F because it is fretted on the first fret and we use the E string, go one note up after E and you get an F. If you were to play the second fret on the E string you will get an F#, but let us forget the sharps for now. Let us play the fifth fret on the low E: The fifth fret gives you the A note——2nd fret would be F#, 3rd fret would be G, 4th fret would be G# and the fifth will give us the note of A. Keep refering back to the order of the notes and start from the notename of the string which you use and count up whereever you are on the fretboard.

Getting to know the names of your notes on the fretboard is very usefull for all kind of playing situations, it may be an idea to learn the notes of the low E and A string. After a while you will not longer need to think about the notenames, the fretmarkers (the white dots or block on the fretboard) will help you to navigate your way around the fretboard.

Happy playing and hope to catch you soon again.