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Notes In The Open Position

The Beginner's Course

More essential knowledge that will help your musical understanding and help the instrument 'make sense'.

It is important to learn the names of the notes found around the nut.

This will give you a better understanding of why you play chords a certain way, what the notes are in the chords, and also help your general musicianship, which will help in pretty much every aspect of your playing! Little things like this really make a bigger difference than it might seem at first, and I'm sure you will find this valuable if you take the time to study it.

Watch The Video Lesson


Notes In The Open Position

Notes in Open Position

The diagram on the left shows all the notes up to the fifth fret.

The notes we are most concerned with are the B E notes in the first three frets. These MUST be memorised now.

Start by learning the ‘white' notes. Make sure you also work out the sharps and flats in between those notes. You will find this easy to do if you G C F have learned your Note Circle, see lesson BC-152 • The Note Circle.

Notice that E and F, and B and C, are always next to each other (remember that they are only a semitone apart) and that all the others have a fret (and note) between them.


Suggested Exercise

Play any open chord that you know and then work out what the notes are that you are playing. What I want you to get good at is working out the notes in the open position quickly and easily.

Once you can do this, you will find it relatively easy to work out notes all over the neck. You might have to count your way up the neck a little further, but it's really no harder!

Try working out the notes for every chord we have looked at so far in the course and write down what the notes are. You might even start to see similarities between how each chord is made up.

Practical Music Theory

If you are working through Practical Music Theory - you should start to see the theory in practice - how the chords are constructed, the way that major and minor chords are very similar, and be able see the chord formula's being used.

Now that you have revised the note circle and you know those open position notes, it's time to look at some chords further up the neck, ones that move around!! in BC-172 • Power Chords 1

Beginner products you may like from
Justinguitar Beginner's Course DVD set
Justinguitar Beginners Songbook
Justinguitar Beginners Songbook
Beginners Course Book
Practical Music Theory

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Lesson ID: BC-171