From guitar lesson two, you'll remember that the name of the open sixth string is "E". Now, let's figure out the other note names on the sixth string.
Coming after E in the musical alphabet is... you guessed it... F. Referencing the musical alphabet we just learned, we know there is no blank fret between these two notes. So, F is on the sixth string, first fret. Next, let's figure out where the note G is located. We know that there is a blank fret between F and G. So, count up two frets, and G is on the third fret of the sixth string. After G, in the musical alphabet, comes the note A again. Since there is a blank fret between G and A, we know that A is on the fifth fret of the sixth string. Continue this process all the way up the sixth string. You can check the diagram here to make sure you are correct.
Remember: there is also no blank fret between the notes B and C.
Once you reach the 12th fret (which is often marked on the neck of the guitar by double dots), you'll notice you have reached the note E again. You'll find on all six strings that the note on the 12th fret is the same as the open string.
Once you've finished counting up the E string, you'll want to try the same exercise on the A string. This shouldn't be difficult... the process is exactly the same as it was on the sixth string. All you need to know is the name of the open string to get started.
Unfortunately, understanding how to figure out note names on the fretboard isn't enough. For these note names to be useful, you'll have to go about memorizing them. The best way to memorize the fretboard is to commit several note names and frets to memory on each string. If you know where A is on the sixth string, for example, it will be much easier to find the note B. For now, we'll just worry about memorizing the notes the sixth and fifth strings.
In lesson five, we will fill in the blank frets in the diagram with note names. These names include sharps (♯) and flats (♭). Before you start learning these other notes, however, you'll need to understand and memorize the above notes.
THINGS TO REMEMBER:
- The musical alphabet goes from A to G, then back to A again.
- There is no blank fret between the notes B&C, and E&F.
- The note name on the 12th fret of any string is always the same as the open string.
- Memorize the open string name, and several more note names and locations on both the sixth and fifth string. This will make finding all other notes much quicker.