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Understanding the relation between a guitar FretBoard and a Piano

Posted by sarabdeep Sunday, September 11, 2011


When you have practiced enough on your first scale in Guitar Learning Menu, which actually is a very essential step to enhance your relationship with your guitar. You may feel it boring as it does not give any sound. But its just the beginning. And this practice will make you become comfortable with your guitar and develop a synchronization between your two hands. When one hand is running the pick, the other hand is playing with the strings on the fretboard.



So, lets move on to your next lesson on scales. Before you begin with practicing the scale, I would urge you to have a thorough look at the below image depicting the nodes on the entire fret board. No need to cram it for now, but yes, try to grasp as much as possible and slowly you will be able to recall that what node gives what sound out of the seven musical notes : C D E F G A B.

All the nodes which are named with reference to the previous node is given the name as the previous node followed by hash (#). Similarly, if the same node is to be referred by the name of the next node, then the node is named by the next node followed by flat(b). Thats the reason you see in the above pic, the node after 'F' named as F# or Gb.

Now, let me give you the theory behind the naming of the nodes on fretboard. Guitar is very much related to the piano. The names of the nodes are also derived from the nodes on the piano. Have a look at the pic below of piano keys and the node names of one portion of keys on it:


Originally "C" node starts from the adjoining white key of the two black keys on the keyboard. This pattern repeats throughout the keyboard. The black keys are named with reference to the white keys. As mentioned above, you can see the first black node can be either named with reference to "C" node or "D" node. If we name it with respect to "C" node, then the first black node will be called as "C#" node (Called as C Sharp) and if we name it with respect to the "D" node, then it will be named as "Db" node (Called as D flat). Similarly, all the rest of the black keys on the keyboard can be named in this manner. We will prefer only one form of name to maintain uniformity in most of the cases and that will be "#" (Sharp) naming.

Lets relate this keyboard naming with our guitar fret board. So moving to the fretboard now, you can see in the above pic, that the strings are named as per the standard tuning and thus correspondingly the rest of the nodes on the fretboard are named. If you see, why the first node on the first string (Higher E string) is named "F" is the reason, that on the keyboard, the key after "E" node is "F"node. I hope its making sense to you. Lets do it for some more keys, then you will get the clear picture in naming the nodes on fretboard.

The next node on first string (Higher E string) after "F" node on the fretboard is named as "F#". So just have a look on the keyboard and tell me what can you see after "F" key? The black key? Yes. The black and as mentioned earlier above, I will name it with the sharp name and refer it to the key just previous to this black key. So its, "F#" key. Therefore, thats why you can see that the node on first string, second fret is named as "F#" node.

Lets see for one more node, and that will for sure make you understand the logic behind naming of the nodes. So, after "F#" on the keyboard, what can you see? The very next key. Its "G". Right? Yes, so correspondingly, the very next node on the fretboard on the first string, after "F#" node will be what? It will be "G" node.

This is how the naming is done for the entire fretboard. Try to compare the naming of the rest of the nodes on the above fretboard image with the keyboard keys. I hope this will give you an idea that how the nodes are named.

You can get back to me any time if you find any difficulty in understanding these naming conventions, either by commenting on this post or mail me at the id mentioned in "Contact Us" page.

I will bring up the next lessons on this at the earliest and let me know on any suggestions or feedback upon this lesson.




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