Beginner Primer Guitar course
Introduction to Music language & literature

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Musical alphabets

In this lesson we are going to learn about the musical alphabet. Luckily it's only seven letters : A, B, C, D, E, F, G. These letters are used to name the notes that we see in music sheets.

Contents of the lesson
Note cycle
Musical alphabet

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Note Cycle

In western music, there are a total of twelve notes per octave, named A, A#, B, C, C#, D, D#, E, F, F#, G, G#. The sharp notes (#) are called accidentals while the regular notes are called natural notes. The accidental notes can also be referred to as flats ie - Bb, Db, Eb, Gb and Ab.
This is the foundation of music theory so you will need to memorise this diagram as soon as you can.

On the neck

Take the open A string (the second thickest) as an example. The diagram below shows all the notes on the neck. Now compare the diagram with the note cycle. Now you can try playing each note in turn saying the names as you go A, A# or Bb, B, C and so on.

The musical alphabet

Sheet music uses what we call staff to organise notes. The staff consists of five lines and four spaces. Each line and space represents a different letter (A-G), which in turn represents a note.

Note that the sequence will move alphabetically upwards when represented on staff.

An easy way to remember the notes is use “Every Good Boy Does Fine” for the lines and “FACE” for the spaces.


Now let's try some easy exercises to make sure we understood everything so far. Try and identify the notes at random places pointing with a pencil and name them out loud as soon as you can
Exercise 1 :
Exercise 2 :
Exercise 3 :
Exercise 4 :
Exercise 5 :

Use the following diagram to draw the notes you have learnt, accurately.


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