Learning the notes on the guitar fretboard

To start, here’s a couple things you should already know:

  • Each of the guitar’s six string’s E,A,D,G,B,E
  • The musical alphabet has seven natural notes A,B,C,D,E,F,G

Okay so there is seven notes, that’s sounds easy enough…

But why does it take 12 frets to reach the same note again (octave)?

The distance between the notes are not the same.

You need to know two basic guitar music theory rules:

  1. The distance between B-C and E-F is one fret
  2. The distance between the all the rest of the notes is two frets.

So for example let’s start with the open E string

Likewise, if you start on the A string you have

And the same thing for the rest of the strings

But wait….

What about the notes in between?

That’s where the sharp’s and flats come into the picture.

The notes in between can be called sharp or flat depending on the key of the song. It has the same pitch, but two different names. This is more important when reading music. But the basic idea is simple. If the note is above, then the note is called sharp, if its below , then it’s called flat.

Let’s take for example the 1st fret on the A string. The note is above A so it’s called

  • A Sharp or A#

That same note is also below B, so we can call it

  • B Flat or Bb
To really learn the notes on the fretboard takes time, and practice.

Here is how you practice

  1. Start with each string going up and down and say just the natural notes. Try for one string a day.
  2. Then go up each string and say the natural notes and call all the notes in between sharps.
  3. After that do the same thing and call all the notes in between flats.
  4. A good game you can play is to just randomly pick a note and figure out what note it is. This is even better if you have someone pick the note for you.
  5. Learn the notes of your favorite songs

“Jammin” Bob Marley – Chords

Chord Chart Available in Songbook

reggae guitar lessons songbook

Bm- Guitar Chords - How to play "Jammin"- Bob marley E9 - How to play "Jammin"- Bob Marley- Guitar ChordsF#m - Guitar Chords - How to play "Jammin"- Bob MarleyG - Guitar Chords - How to play "Jammin"- Bob Marley

 
Guitar Technique


The best way to learn this song is by listening to the recording, playing along, and trying to get the rhythm locked in. Once you get comfortable with the finger positions on the left hand just keep that right hand moving, keep the right hand going, don’t break the rhythm! Other than that, use a clean tone, have fun, and keep jammin!

“One Love” Bob Marley Chords

Chord Chart Available in Songbook

reggae guitar lessons songbook

Reggae guitar chords - Bob Marley- Bb     Reggae guitar chords - Bob Marley - F major     Reggae guitar chords - Bob Marley - One love - Eb     Reggae guitar chords - Bob Marley - One love - Gm

Guitar Technique


The strumming pattern for “One Love” is a basic downstroke on the offbeat which is explained in detail in my video lesson “How to play reggae riddims”. This song sounds great on acoustic guitar, and if your are using electric guitar then use a clean tone for your amp settings and make sure your right hand attack is short and crisp. The barre chord shapes I have suggested are all in one position for smoother voice leading and so you won’t have to go up and down the neck.

Live Audio

“Stir it Up” Bob Marley Chords & Wah Wah Pedal

Video Lesson

Chord Chart Available in Songbook

reggae guitar lessons songbook

Guitar Technique


The Wah effect pedal can be used for the rhythm guitar part Bob Marley is playing by pressing all the way down on your wah pedal. Using the clean channel of your guitar amp this should give your guitar more top end (treble).

The wah pedal can also be used during the lead guitar part that Peter Tosh is playing. You want to slowly press down on the pedal as you play the chord on the downbeat.

With guitar effect pedals less is always more, so try to be economic with your use of the Wah pedal when playing