Guitar Lesson Series – Part 2: Strings, Basic Notes Names

Welcome to Part 2 – I don’t know why it took me 10 minutes of footage to tell you that a guitar usually has 6 strings and in standard tuning, they are EADGBE. Anyway, if you don’t feel like watching the video, that’s cool but know that you’re missing out on my awesome soothing boring voice (don’t listen to it while operating heavy machinery). Nonetheless, the video does cover some other ..maybe the more important of all the notes to remember in some key frets (fret 3, fret 5, and fret 7).

Knowing the some key note names from the 5th and 6 strings on fret 3, 5 and 7 are very important because it will help you know the names notes on all the strings regardless of frets. This is of course begs the question, why do you have to know the names of any notes on the frets.

The short answer is:

  1. it allows you understand build chords and understand what notes go into a chord
  2. it’s cool…i think…(don’t be a snob about it though ;-))

The long answer is in the next post (Part 3)

Guitar Lesson Series – Part 1: Lesson Overview & Intro Guitar

In this lesson, you will learn the overall goals of this series. A lot of  times, when we learn guitar, we do so by remembering shapes of the basic chords (e.g. shape your fingers this way to play a C chord).

This is a great step as first step and allows you to play many popular songs, and for many of us, those open chords and a couple of barre chords (F and B) will be all we need to play our favorites songs. There are plenty of videos on YouTube that will offer these types of lessons.

My favorite genre of music to play is R&B, and therefore what I was trying to do with this series is to expand the basics a bit so that you understood what notes make up a chord (e.g. C major is composed of C, E and G notes), and therefore will give you the options play that same chord in a different share (to get a different voicing), or add an extension to it (e.g. C7, Cmaj7, etc..).

This means that if the song called you to play a Cmaj7, you would not be intimidated by the name and would be able to break it down and construct it (e.g. for those who are curious, C major 7 is: C, E, G, B ….B is the 7th note of the C major scale which makes the chord a Cmaj7). R&B, especially tend to use these types of chords (maj7, m7, maj9, min9) and it’s helpful to understand how they are built. Obviously, there’s still the part of about knowing where to place your fingers on the guitar fretboard, but the goal is to help you understand why you’re shaping your fingers that way.

This type of lesson is of course part of what’s called Music Theory, which can sound intimidating to beginner guitar players, but all it means is : it is teaching us how things work.

Compared to guitar players, piano players tend to be better with theory because there is a bit more emphasis on it in their lesson (not saying that guitar teacher don’t teach music theory) and stuff like scales tend to be easier to learn on the piano because the notes on the keyboard are linear as opposed to the guitar).

Anyway,  in addition to the lesson overview, the first video also provides you with basic things about guitar parts (top, fretboard, neck, etc…)..basic stuff that is good to know in case you need replace them for any reason (upgrade, repair, etc..).