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Thread: Fret board, Octaves, and Notation

  1. #1
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    Question Fret board, Octaves, and Notation

    I was wondering what it is called when you play the exact same note on two different strings and how it would be written in standard notation.

    For instance the A note can be played on the 6th string at the 5th fret. Isnít it the exact same note as the open 5th string?

    If it is the same note, what is that called and how would I indicate the difference in standard notation?

    Iím also confused about something else.

    Just in terms of the first eleven frets, there are six different notes called A, one on each string. (1st & 6th strings on the 5th fret, open 5th string, 7th fret on the 4th string, 2nd fret on the 3rd string, and 10th fret on the 2nd string.)

    Can someone show me how all six of these notes are written in standard notation?

  2. #2
    Registered User Malcolm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by time2kill View Post
    I was wondering what it is called when you play the exact same note on two different strings and how it would be written in standard notation.

    For instance the A note can be played on the 6th string at the 5th fret. Isn’t it the exact same note as the open 5th string?

    If it is the same note, what is that called and how would I indicate the difference in standard notation?

    I’m also confused about something else.

    Just in terms of the first eleven frets, there are six different notes called A, one on each string. (1st & 6th strings on the 5th fret, open 5th string, 7th fret on the 4th string, 2nd fret on the 3rd string, and 10th fret on the 2nd string.)

    Can someone show me how all six of these notes are written in standard notation?
    Print this off [img]http://www.guitarnoise.com/images/help/128/2.gif[/img] yes it is for the bass guitar and shows the bass clef, sorry could not find one for 6 string. Same principle. The clef used in standard notation only has 5 lines and 4 spaces. That's enough for 9 notes. A normal 6 string fretboard will have many duplication of notes on it as you pointed out. Depending on the number of frets on your instrument you probably have three plus octaves on your fretboard. Total of 21 + notes and those 21 notes are repeated at least three times.

    Those extra notes (on standard notation) are placed above and below the clef and called ledger notes. As your instrument has three octaves available you need to be able to look at the sheet music and know what octave your note falls into. Lower, middle, or high octave and where is that on your fretboard.

    Go look at the chart I gave you. The notes start on a ledger note E (below the clef) and goes up to the C a ledger note above the clef. To get to the octave E standard notation would just add notes to the ledger "spike". Spike is my word, could not think of anything that better describes what ledger notes look like on standard notation.


    One more questions - how would standard notation for a chord look. Well a chord would have three or four notes that are to be sounded at the same time. So the notes involved would all be placed on top of each other, indicating you sound them all at once, i.e. a C chord would have the C, E & G notes in it. So the C, E & G notes would appear stacked on top of each other.



    I bet you will have more questions, just ask, someone will jump on it.
    Last edited by Malcolm; 08-12-2012 at 02:55 PM.

  3. #3
    Registered User JonR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by time2kill View Post
    I was wondering what it is called when you play the exact same note on two different strings and how it would be written in standard notation.

    For instance the A note can be played on the 6th string at the 5th fret. Isnít it the exact same note as the open 5th string?
    Yes.
    Quote Originally Posted by time2kill View Post
    If it is the same note, what is that called and how would I indicate the difference in standard notation?
    Generally you don't. The same note is in the same place on notation.
    But in classical guitar music the difference can be specified by writing a string number in a circle above the staff. The open string note would be unspecified, but 6th string fret 5 would be shown with a "6" in a circle. The fret number is not necessary, because classical guitarists know where it is!
    Quote Originally Posted by time2kill View Post
    Iím also confused about something else.
    Just in terms of the first eleven frets, there are six different notes called A, one on each string. (1st & 6th strings on the 5th fret, open 5th string, 7th fret on the 4th string, 2nd fret on the 3rd string, and 10th fret on the 2nd string.)
    Can someone show me how all six of these notes are written in standard notation?
    Generally the lowest on the fretboard for any specific pitch is written with no other marking. Eg, 2nd fret 3rd string is in the 2nd space up. 7th fret 4th string (same pitch) is in the same place, but with a "4" in a circle above it. The same pitch on 5th string 12th fret would again be in the same space, with a "5" in a circle above.

    However, this is not always done. Quite often, classical guitar music has some other indication implying a higher fret position, such as a barre indication, or a sequence of fingering which only makes sense in a higher position. Eg, for an A on string 6 fret 5, you might just see a small "1" (meaning index finger), and/or maybe "CV", or "BV", meaning "barre fret 5".

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by time2kill View Post
    Can someone show me how all six of these notes are written in standard notation?
    Take a look at Chart #1 here.

  5. #5
    BMus (Hons), MA, PGCE JumpingJack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by time2kill View Post
    Just in terms of the first eleven frets, there are six different notes called A, one on each string. (1st & 6th strings on the 5th fret, open 5th string, 7th fret on the 4th string, 2nd fret on the 3rd string, and 10th fret on the 2nd string.)
    Look at this picture:


    All three of these notes are called A.

    The first one (on the far left) is the lowest, and this is the note produced from your open 5th string. It is also produced from your 6th string at the 5th fret.

    The second (middle) A in the picture is one octave higher than the first. This is produced from your 4th string at the 7th fret and your 3rd string at the 2nd fret.

    The last A (on the far right) is one octave higher again. This is produced from your 1st string at the 5th fret and your 2nd string at the 10th fret.

    Note that guitar music is written one octave higher than it sounds.

  6. #6
    Registered User Malcolm's Avatar
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    Do yourself a favor and learn how to read standard notation with a piano. After you can identify the note and call it's name and what octave (low, middle, high) that note is found in - then take on where it is located on the piano keyboard.

    When you can do that transfer all that to your guitar fretboard. Keyboard first.
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    Need not be an expensive keyboard.

  7. #7
    Registered User Malcolm's Avatar
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    Well forget my last post. Can not edit or delete it. It's garbage - move on.

  8. #8
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    Thanks to everyone for all of the usefull information. Very interesting. Nice charts and links.

    Now, to let all of this settle into my brain....

    Thanks again.

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