Strings are numbered from the thinnest string (1st string) to the thickest (6th string). The tuning is given from the 6th string to the 1st string: E-A-D-G-B-E. This tuning (E-A-D-G-B-E) is called standard tuning.
Notes are named using the first seven letters of the alphabet, however there are more than seven pitches, or notes, produced on the guitar. The note names, or letters, repeat themselves. For example: the note
name after G is A: … E-F-G-A-B-C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C …
Guitarists can move horizontally up or down the fretboard, or vertically across the fretboard. These are common terms used to communicate how to shift your hands when playing the guitar.
- Hide the tablature as you play. Only show the notation (so you can’t cheat).
- Don’t use one finger for all the notes. Find the fewest hand shifts possible.
- You will notice that I used quarter notes for B-C and E-F. These are a semitone apart. I used half notes when the interval is a whole step (2 semitones). This should reinforce the different intervals.
- Say the notes as your play them to associate the name with the note.
- Watch your fretting hand as you say and play the notes.
- Listen to the notes. Try to memorize their sound along with the feeling of fretting in that position.
- Try listening with your eyes shut and with your eyes on the frets.
- Notice how the dots on your fretboard correspond to each note.
- Use a metronome at 60bpm (1 second per beat). Increase the speed by intervals of 20bpm each time you go through it. See how fast you can play it cleanly. Go slower if you are getting sloppy so you don’t form bad habits.