How To Use The Don't Fret Guitar Note Map On Your Guitar


Effortlessly locate the notes in sheet music or guitar tab right on your guitar fretboard using our easy guitar tablature and a Don't Fret Note Map™. You'll be playing your favorite songs in no time - "Put it On and Play"™

Click here for a more detailed explaination of the parts of a guitar.

Our Don't Fret Note Map™ and our Don't Fret Guitar Note Finder Chart™ provides the guitar player with a clear way to find guitar notes, chord note groupings, scale notes, arpeggios and the notes on a music staff shown directly on the guitar fretboard.


How to find the note on a music staff on your guitar neck.

Notice that the notes on the 12th fret are the same as the open string notes. Starting at the 12th fret the note pattern repeats. Locating the notes from the 13th fret on is easy when you know where they are on the first 12 frets.

image of a guitar note finder chart showing the relation of notes on a music staff and notes on a guitar fretboard using a don't fret note map

It's Never Been Easier To Learn To Play Guitar. The notes on the music staff above and the guitar Note Map are similarly color coded; all the A’s are red, B’s are Blue, C’s are yellow, D’s are orange, E’s are magenta, F’s are silver grey and G’s are green. Each note on the staff has a corresponding location on the guitar fretboard. Using the Note Finder Chart you can find the location of a music staff note anywhere on your guitar neck.
Additionally each note on the staff has a pair of guitar tablature numbers below it. The first number indicates the string the note is found on, the second number indicates the fret the note is found/played at, respectively. In the graphic above the first note on the music staff is an E. The numbers directly below it are 6|12. That means the E note is located on the sixth (6) string at the twelfth (12) fret. The next note on the music staff is an A note. The numbers below that A note are 5|12. That means the A note is located on the fifth (5) string at the twelfth (12) fret. Take a moment and review the graphic above. Locate all of the notes on the music staff on your guitar fretboard.
Sharps and flats are located between two natural notes*. If you are playing the Blue B on the E (6) string at the seventh (7) fret and need to descend one half tone to B flat, you would move your finger down the fretboard one fret (one half tone) to the sixth (6) fret where the B flat is located. If you are playing the Red A on the E (6) string at the fifth (5) fret and need to ascend one half tone to A sharp, you move your finger up the fretboard one fret (one half tone) to the sixth (6) fret where the A sharp is located. Our Note Map gives you an unmistakable "roadmap" of the guitar fretboard.

*Exceptions are when the scale incorporates half tones. A good example of this can be found in the C major scale. The tone between the B and C is only a half tone/step. Again the tone between the E and F is only a half tone/step. What if you need to play a C flat or B sharp? Treat it just like you would any other half step/tone note. If you need to play a C flat simply move your finger down the fretboard one tone/fret. You will effectively be playing a B note, but in the structure of the scale and the music score you will be playing a C flat. For a B sharp you would move your finger up the fretboard one tone/fret. Even though you are actually playing a C note, the scale or song you are playing would notate it as a B sharp.
Several of the notes on the staff can be located in more than one position on the guitar fret board. For example, the first E note we discussed was located on the sixth string at the twelfth fret. The same note can be found on the fifth string at the seventh fret. The Don’t Fret Note Map™ gives you an unmistakable guide to the exact locations of all the notes for the first twelve frets of the guitar fretboard.

Once you get familiar with the note locations on your guitar fretboard try out some of our easy beginner color coded guitar songs.

Are you looking to further your knowledge of guitar scales? Our Don't Fret Note Map™ can be an invaluable tool. The no-miss road map of the guitar fretboard eliminates any confusion and NPAS (Novice Player Anxiety Syndrome). Put one on your fretboard and see how easy it is to learn guitar scales and guitar songs.


How to use the Don't Fret Note Map™ to play guitar scales.

Scales are based on a compilation of tones. The common "major" scale consists of eight tones or notes (from the starting root note to the root note one octave higher or lower). The tonal "step" progression for a major scale pattern is:
Whole step, Whole Step, Half Step, Whole step, Whole step, Whole step, Half step.

This is what the major scale step pattern looks like in graphic form.
image showing the c major scale in graphic form including roman numerals, arabic numerals, step intervals and root note positions
In the lower portion of the graphic above, you will see that the note in the first box above the roman numeral ‘I’ position is a C. The orientation of this graph is meant to link the roman numerals to chord names. You may ignore this for now, it is not necessary to understand these chord names yet. If you’re curious about learning more theory, please click here to go to our Guitar Classroom section on "Three Chord Theory".

Download a blank step pattern and numbering diagram.
The image will open on your screen. Once you see the image, right click on it and "save the image". Note the file location where it will be saved, for ease of finding it again.


Play a C Major scale

The following C major guitar scale pattern reflects the pattern illustrated above. Notice in the image below the major step pattern of whole step (C to D), whole step (D to E), half step (E to F), whole step (F to G), whole step (G to A), whole step (A to B), half step (B to C). As long as you start on a natural note, you can apply the step pattern and produce a major scale. After you have practiced this pattern, start on a different natural note, on the sixth or fifth string, and see if you can end up on the same natural note, one octave in pitch higher than the one you started from. Once you get to the top of the "run" pluck the root note again when you start the descending run. Conversely, once you get to the bottom of the run pluck the root note again to start an ascending run. At first be sure to play the root note at the beginning and end of each ascending or descending piece. Now find your way back down the scale to the natural note you started with. Be sure to play the pattern in reverse when descending the scale. The major scale step pattern in reverse would be: half step, whole step, whole step, whole step, half step, whole step, whole step.
Important Tip: Good guitar playing technique would have you use one finger to play the note/notes in one fret space. In the image below you will fret the notes in the seventh fret space with your index (1) finger. Your middle (2) finger frets the notes in the eighth fret space. Your ring (3) finger frets the notes in the ninth fret space and your little (4) finger frets the notes in the tenth fret space.

Here's what it looks like on your guitar

Play this ascending C scale by starting on the sixth (thickest) string at the eigth fret.

graphic of  a c major scale as  played on the guitar starting on the eighth fret, sixth string


Here is a second example of how to play an ascending C major scale on a guitar. This C major scale pattern for guitar starts on the third fret, fifth string.

graphic showing how to play a c major scale as played on the guitar starting on the third fret, fifth string


This third example shows how to play an ascending C major scale using open strings on the guitar. The arrows that extend past the nut indicate that the string should be played open or unfretted. This pattern starts on the fifth string, third fret. Note that the scale uses the same step pattern that all major scales are built from. In this example your first (1) finger covers the first fret, your second (2) finger covers the second fret and your third (3) finger covers the third fret.

graphic of a c major scale played on a guitar using open strings

Learn color coded major and minor guitar scales.
It's never been easier to learn to play guitar scales, guitar songs or guitar chords.

With the use of a Don't Fret Note Map™ and our unique Don't Fret Guitar Note Finder Chart™ you can learn everything you need to know about note locations on a guitar fretboard. Lessons become clear and understandable. Songs and scales are learned faster and easier using our Don't Fret Note Map™ for guitar.