As far as beginner guitar lessons, so many teachers will tell you, “You need to memorize every note on the fretboard.”
For those of you who don’t want to memorize every note on the fretboard when learning guitar, I have a solution. Using 2 simple tricks, you are going to be able to find any note on the fretboard without memorization!
Besides teaching you these two tricks, this episode of Acoustic Tuesday is going to feature the Heartbreaker of the Month guitar, from Heartbreaker Guitars in Las Vegas. Finally, I am showcasing the work of Gillian Welch and David Rawlings.
I want to give a big shoutout to everyone who took part in my 5-Day Blues Guitar Challenge. The response from everyone was awesome. I can’t wait to do another 5-day challenge!
As always, you can watch Acoustic Tuesday at 10 am every Tuesday in these four places:
- Acoustic Life YouTube channel
- We Play Every Day Facebook Community
- Get show notes emailed directly to your inbox.
- Listen to audio-only below or in iTunes
This Week on Acoustic Tuesday
Finding Notes on the Fretboard
I’m kicking off the episode with 2 simple tricks for finding every note on the fretboard.
The first trick is knowing the musical alphabet. Simply put, the musical alphabet is just the letters A through G. Once you hit G, you go back to A.
The second trick is understanding what a whole-step and a half-step are.
A whole-step is the two frets on the fretboard (if you need a refresher on guitar notes, visit this lesson here). For example, the distance between A and B is a whole step.
In contrast, half-steps are one fret on the fretboard.
Here’s what you need to remember:
- There’s a whole step between A and B, C and D, D and E, and F and G, and G and A.
- There’s a half step between B and C, and E and F.
I like to use the pneumonic device “Big Crazy Elephants Fight,” to remember where my half-steps are in the musical alphabet.
Now that you know where the half steps and whole steps are — and you know your musical alphabet — you’re on your way to finding any note on the fretboard!
Over time, as you practice, you’ll begin to know exactly where certain notes are. But for now, you can use the musical alphabet paired with whole-steps and half-steps to find any note on the fretboard.
Heartbreaker of the Month: Lowden F50
To switch gears from the land of learning guitar to the land of buying guitars, Heartbreaker Guitars in Las Vegas has a killer feature.
This month’s Heartbreaker guitar is the Lowden F50.
With a master-grade California Cedar top and Koa back, this guitar is an absolute gem.
The warm tones that come from the Cedar top are beautifully complemented by the articulate responsiveness of the Koa back.
Here’s the crazy part…I almost bought this guitar. But, because I’m a sucker for sunburst finish, I ended up going with a Bourgeois guitar instead!
If you want to get more information on this awesome guitar, be sure to visit Heartbreaker Guitars’ website today.
Featured Artists: Gillian Welch & David Rawlings
If you’re looking for the epitome of an acoustic duo that represents the folk and Americana genres, look no further than Gillian Welch & David Rawlings.
I’m pretty sure everyone has heard of these two, but if you haven’t, you need to check them out ASAP.
From the melodies to the lyrical content to the harmonies, Gilliand Welch and David Rawlings are timeless. This is easily seen in their song “Hard Times,” featured below.
If you can make it through the day without the song stuck in your head, kudos to you!
Another great example of the groups’ harmonies and using meaningful guitar fills, check out “The Way it Will Be,” below.
I mean, their dynamic is just unmatched. Rawlings isn’t stepping on Welch’s toes in any way shape or form. Everything he does seems to compliment and give Welch plenty of space.
We all now Rawlings is capable of laying down some smokin’ solos, but he doesn’t — which is perhaps the most beautiful part of that song.
For one last example of everything this duo is capable of, check out “Tennessee,” below.
One last comment: David Rawlings’ style is just insane. The way he solos has a piercing timbre that cuts through and sounds so purposeful. Every note has intention and meaning!
If you’re interested in some of their work, be sure to check out Gillian Welch’s albums.
To purchase some of their albums, visit Amazon today.