|Identifying Fret & Finger Numbers||| Print ||
In order to communicate guitar lessons material clearly it is necessary to have a system in place by which we can identify some of the major items involved in playing guitar.
As you can see from the diagram, you start with the fret that is at the end of the neck, closest to the nut. (See "Parts of the Guitar") That is called the 1st fret, and the rest are numbered sequentially up the neck.
There are a couple of points to note about the fret numbering. First, notice that there are dots on the fret board, or “position markers”, at the 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th frets, and a double marker at the 12th fret. These dots are there to help you quickly locate a fret and your position on the neck. These will be very useful to you later on.
Secondly, look at the 12th fret that has 2 position marker dots. These 2 dots indicate that you have reached the octave point of the guitar neck. This means that the note value of the open strings have come full circle and will start over in a higher range. For example, the open 6th string is an "E" note and upon reaching the 12th fret of the 6th string you arrive at "E" again. This is known as the "octave" note.
As with the guitar strings and frets on the neck, we also assign a numeric value to the fingers of the left hand (for right handed players) so that we can discuss clearly where to put the fingers.
As you can see, this is far from rocket science. But having a good understanding of this material will make your early days of guitar lessons go much more smoothly.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions!
Keith Dean is founder of AdultGuitarLessons.com and a 30 year veteran of stage and studio. He toured extensively as a road musician throughout the US and Europe, was a former lead guitarist for Jason Aldean, and has shared stages with Little Big Town, Wild Rose, Winger, Confederate Railroad and more. He is a published songwriter, owned and operated a successful music store, and has instructed numerous students in guitar.