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Mapping the Guitar Neck to Fingering Charts



Fingering charts are a common and useful way for guitar players to learn chords or reference chord fingerings at a glance. However, many students find the layout of a fingering chart to be confusing at first. In this article we will use a guitar fingering chart to explain how to map fingering charts to the guitar neck.

The first thing to note about a fingering chart is that the strings are laid out as if looking at the guitar neck dead-on; that is that the thickest string on the guitar (commonly referred to as the sixth string or “low E” string) is the vertical line furthest to the left on the fingering chart. The next string to the right is the fifth string (“A string”), then the fourth (“D string”), third (“G string”), second (“B string”), and finally the first or “high E” string is the line furthest to the right.

Generally, a fingering chart will have six horizontal lines which represent frets. On some fingering charts, the top line is thicker than the rest which designates that line as the nut. Dots are placed on the vertical lines between the horizontal lines; this designates which string and fret is to be played.

The key to remember is the difference in perspective. While fingering charts look like the guitar neck from the front, when playing the guitar, the instrument is viewed from the side. The leftmost string on the fingering chart is the closest string to the player. Remembering this difference in perspective can decode fingering charts for many students.

#musiclesson #guitar #fractalschoolofmusic #resourcelibrary

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