Guitar Lessons for Beginners ::: Bluesy Style Lessons ::: Americana Finger-Style Lessons ::: Christmas Carol Lessons
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What is music?
Map of the fretboard
The Major Scale
The C Major scale
Unlike pianos and other keyboard instruments, guitars (and other stringed instruments) have multiple positions for the same notes... most of them, anyway. This can be very confusing when you're first starting out, especially if you're learning a tune by ear. You can never be quite sure in what position you should be playing the notes you're hearing. But, after a while, we guitarists begin to realize how blessed we are to have this multiplicity of choices. That, coupled with the asymmetric tuning of the guitar — that 'kink' in the tuning — gives us all kinds of different ways to attack the same piece of music. If it were simply the same pattern in a new location, that wouldn't be very useful, but it's not. That jogged out B string allows us to find different fingerings for the very same passages of music, whether it's a chord progression, or a riff, or melody... whatever. While this may not make you jump for joy if you're just starting out, later on you'll begin to see how handy that becomes, and how it enriches your playing, especially when you start dabbling with improvisation, making your parts up on the fly.
You will eventually get to know your fretboard like the back of your hand, with plenty of practice, of course. If you're anything like me, it won't be the note names so much as shapes and patterns of music that can move along the fingerboard according to the key of the piece. I'm sure that applies to most instruments, but the guitar is particularly suited to a graphic mindset. That is not to say that knowing all the note names isn't important — it's very important — but let them filter in over time.