Fretboard – Part 1

The following diagrams show the names and positions of notes on the guitar. One of the challenges of learning to play and read music on the guitar is that the same note can often be played in several different positions on the fingerboard.

We will cover more on where to play specific passages on the fingerboard in a future post. For now it’s more important to develop a thorough knowledge of the fingerboard and memorize the note names and positions.

This can seem like a daunting task at first but it will become easier as you progress. Like with anything new and unfamiliar, start by breaking the task up into smaller chunks and don’t try to learn it all in one go.

Diatonic* notes and positions:



The corresponding keyboard diagrams are:


*Diatonic notes are ones that are unaltered by sharps or flats. You can think of these as the white notes on the piano keyboard. The next post will cover the chromatic notes that include all note names and positions.

Note: The stacked notes in the tablature notation above should not be interpreted as chords but in this case, as alternative positions for the same notes.

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