Reading The Thin "E" String


In the next section you will learn all the notes on your six strings within the first four frets and how they are written on paper. Each diagram (like the one to the left) will be laid out the same. Let’s break the diagram down into three parts;

  • Finger Number
  • Note Names
  • Position of notes on the staff

Your “E” note is played open on the first string, “F” is played with your first finger on the first fret on the first string and “G” is played with your third finger on the third fret on the first string.

open_e_thin f_high g_high

What you see below are not songs but exercises. They should not be memorized, they should be read, the same way you would read a book. When you read a book you take in the story but you don't memorize the words do you? The same should happen when you read sheet music fluently.

There are two ways to play any instrument, one is to learn how to sight read music. This is the same as reading a book out loud to someone. The next way is to memorize the song, this is the same as being an actor where you memorize your lines then repeat them when you are performing. Because you have memorized your parts, this gives more room to be creative with your performance (to ad-lib or improvise). Neither way is better or worse than the other, and both take a while to master, doing both memorizing and sight reading should be your goal, this will set you apart from other guitarist.





Now practice all 3 lines together along with the audio below!