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Open Position Notes

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This exercise will help you correctly identify open position notes from a piece of music and find their location on the guitar.

Goal: Use the chart to play notes correctly.

Practice Speed: N/A.


  1. Any note played on an open string or in the first four frets is considered part of the open position.
  2. Many of the notes are written on a <strong>staff</strong>, which has five lines and four spaces.
  3. On the left side of the staff is a <strong>treble clef</strong>.
  4. When the notes are extremely high or extremely low, the staff can be extended using <strong>ledger lines</strong>.


  • Lesson 1: Look at the first example note; identify which line, space or ledger line it is on.
  • Lesson 2: Find the same note on the chart which tells you the string and fret of each note (fret 0 means “open” or don’t push anything down with the left hand).
  • Lesson 3: Using information from the chart, say the note name out loud and play it on the guitar.
  • Lesson 4: Repeat lessons 1 through 3 for the other example notes.
  • Lesson 5: Play along with the video to check your work.

Final Thoughts

Many people consider reading music an extremely daunting task, but it doesn't have to be. For the most part, it is as simple as looking at a piece of music, finding the notes from the music on the chart, and playing them. There are a few more symbols you need to know that are covered in the next exercises.

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