Guitar Lesson

Music Notes

Difficulty: beginner

In music, letters start on A and go up to G, then start over. Most letters are connected by a half step. These connector notes are called sharps or flats, depending on what key we are in.

The easiest way to think about sharps and flats is by visualizing a piano keyboard. The sharps and flats are black keys. If we start at A and move to the right we can see how we progress through the alphabet, from A back to A.

A half-step, on the guitar, is each fret as you move up the neck. If we start on A, and count up in half-steps, we have 12 total notes until we get back to A. Here is what that looks like on the guitar’s A string.

Sharps use a “#” sign and flats use a “b” sign.

A# is one half-step above A. Bb is one half-step below B. A# and Bb are the same note! This note is between A and B.

There are 12 total notes in the western musical alphabet.

1 - A

2 - A#/Bb

3 - B

4 - C

5 - C#/Db

6 - D

7 - D#/Eb

8 - E

9 - F

10 - F#/Gb

11 - G

12 - G#/Ab

Notice that B and E do not have a connecting note, this is important to remember. E and B are shown highlighted here, we can see that there is no sharp (#) after either note.