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Sharp and flat notes on the guitar fretboard
Recall that I stated there are no sharps # or flats (b) in the key of C. I also said if you
were sitting at the piano, all the white keys make up the key of C. The black keys are the
sharps and flats that make up other Major keys. Now I would like to explain the sharp
and flat notes and where they're located.
The sharp has its own symbol and that symbol is (#). The flat also has its own symbol
and it is (b). Take a look at the image below and notice the notes along the Low E string.
Of course the first note will be the open Low E string which is the thickest string. Moving
along the string, the next note is the F note on the first fret. Look below and find the F
note. One half step or 1 fret from the F note will be the F# at the second fret. So you
have now learned that one half step is 1 fret away from the next note and 1 whole step is
two frets away. Fore example, the F note is one whole step away from the G note. The F
note is one half step away from the F#. Sharps are determined by the arrow. Moving in
the way of the arrow you would be ascending and you would have sharps as illustrated.
One half step from the F# is the G note at the 3rd fret. Look above and notice that G note.
The next note is the G#, A, A#, B, C, C#, D, D#,and E. After the E note at the 12th fret
the notes repeat. Remember me telling you in the earlier lessons that all notes repeat after
12 frets? Look at the image below and notice the notes are now flats. Moving in the way of
this arrow is descending and you would have flats. Look at the image below.
Look at the image above and notice the flats are illustrated. See which way the arrow is pointing.
This determines that you will have flats. Please don't let this confuse you. Look at the G flat or
second fret above. That G flat is the same note as the F#. Look at the upper image at the second
fret and notice the F#. The A flat is the same note as the G#. They're either sharps ascending of
flats descending. No big deal. The most important thing to know is, each note is one half step
away from each other, or 1 fret. And one whole step is two frets apart. Look Below.
Look at the notes on the Low E string. The G note on the 3rd fret is one whole step away from the
F and the A note. The B note is one whole step away from the A note, but one half step away from
the C note. The F note is one half step away from the E note, but one whole step away from the G
This information is very important and should be studied. You would use this information to build
up your major scales. Once you learn this, figuring out major keys and playing lead guitar will
make things easier. You may want to make a copy of these blank guitar fretboard illustrations to
complete your first assignment.
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