Guitarion - Positions Intro
All sounds are caused by vibrations. Some vibrations are too high or too low in pitch to be considered “musical”. Western music is only concerned with some of these vibration frequencies, known at musical notes. Our goal is for for you to master guitar, but there’s no better way to analyse the logic of musical notes than using the piano keyboard as a guide.
On the piano there are more than 80 notes. The notes ascend from the lowest pitch on the extreme left to the highest on the extreme right. We don’t invent a name for each note. Instead we use 7: A B C D E F G. These notes names are repeated on each of the white notes (We’ll get to the black note names soon!).
On the piano keyboard below you can see that there are groups of two black notes alternating with groups of three black notes. This makes it easier to distinguish each note.
If you look at the group of three black notes, you can see that A is always nestled between the second and third of those black notes. For another example, if you look at the group of two back notes, you can see that C is always placed before the first black note in that sequence.
You can become a fantastic technical guitarist without being able to read sheet music, however knowing how to read will offer you many advantages and serve as a real foundation as you move forward. So how do we know what notes to play when looking at sheet music?
Each line or space represents a note.
To understand which notes are represented by the lines and spaces, a sign called a clef is used. The most widely used clef is the treble clef. The treble clef is sometimes known as the G clef since the clef its self curls round the line that represents the G note.
Now we know where the G note is, we can work out the other notes.
To represent notes that lie above or below the limits of the staff, additional lines known as ledger lines are used.
How about guitar?
So we know how to represent notes on a piano. How do these notes translate to the guitar? Here’s each of the open string notes represented at musical notes.
Here’s all a range of notes from the staff represented on the neck with guitar tab.
The best way of memorising these notes is through repetition. There are many mnemonics to help you master this and the upcoming quizzes will help you with that. All it takes is practice. Lots of practice!