Open Strings On The Stave

Getting to know the stave and standard notation is pretty intimidating for guitarists. For some reason the vast majority of us avoid it like the plague, probably due to our preference for memorization, use of the ear and a generally more improvisational approach that differs from the approach of allot of other instrumentalists. Tab is, comparatively, very easy and quick to read so it’s no wonder that standard notation gets shunned by many guitarists.

With that in mind, the ability to put music to paper and read it is very useful indeed. Whilst we can only glean so much from a piece of paper, the amount of basic information included in standard notation (the stave) is very comprehensive. Tab can only tell us the physical position of the notes. The rhythm, tempo and velocity of those notes can only be communicated through standard notation. So this category of the blog is dedicated to taming the dreaded stave.

Starting off, I’ve transcribed the positions, (blue link below) in the stave, of the open strings in standard tuning (E, A, D, G, B, E) and some basic scale shapes to show the correct register of each note. It is useful to learn which notes are in the same register as one another in a practice session e.g. open high E is in the same register as 5th fret B, 9th fret G, 14th fret D and 19th fret A.

Notes On The Stave

The next step I took from here was to start learning and memorizing all of the notes on the neck. A subject I will post on in detail later. Only once this has been done can the stave be truly tamed!

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