Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Reading Notes: E-F-ing

The lowest note on the guitar in standard tuning is an E. Always one fret away from E is, by a happy coincidence, the next letter of the alphabet; F. It's also a happy coincidence that these two letters are similar in appearance, because - like A&C - they are symmetrically distributed on and around the staff;
The four Es and Fs in the diagram above are shown in all their color coded glory on the fretboard in the diagram below;
As you can see, the symmetry of these notes on the staff has a fairly straightforward relationship with the note positions on the fretboard. Notice how each of the three shaded diagonal blocks connect the same sets of notes. Also notice that the block furthest to the right (block 3) spans an additional fret. This is due to the difference in tuning between the 2nd and 3rd strings. The block of notes which does not cross between those two strings has a slightly different geometry than the other two, both of which cross the 2nd and 3rd strings.

As with the two previous note reading exercises, play through these patterns slowly and say the note names out loud as you play.

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