Grade 3 Question

Hi it seems things got much more difficult going in to grade 3. In module 15 “a capo for two and CAGED” Justin starts going in to the different chord shapes along the fretboard and the root notes. He cheekily says we should have studied all the notes on the fretboard in the beginner course so we would know where all the root notes are and points out how useful that is going to be moving forward.

Huh? Unless I’m losing my mind I don’t remember any modules about learning the notes on the fretboard. Not sure what he’s talking about and feeling pretty lost. Maybe I missed it but I sure don’t remember a module on that. Could someone point me to it. Struggling grasping what he’s even talking about in this module with how to know all the notes and what not.

I understand the concept of caged. The idea that there are 5 basic chord shapes that repeat themselves up and down the fretboard. But he’s talking about all these different notes in each chord along the fretboard as if were supposed to know this off the top of our head.

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Hello, Falz24 and welcome to the community. Justin discusses the notes on the fret board as part of the lesson on Power Chords. As part of that lesson, he presents a chart showing 6 notes on the 5 and 6 strings that you need to memorize before moving forward. With those six notes memorized you can add the other notes when needed. I would also recommend exploring the Music Theory course.


Notes on String 5 & 6 are essential to know for all sorts of reasons…the others - I would argue - not needed so much straight away (although you already know the notes on String 1 as they are the same as string 6). I still find my brain playing catch up note names when I pick a particular note on string 2,3 & 4 and that’s 8 years on. It doesn’t stop me playing guitar so don’t worry.

Welcome to the forum Nick
Here is the lesson Chasethedream mentioned in his post.
When you did this lesson did you read all the text under the lesson.

It starts as early as the first Module in beginner Grade 2, it’s incorporated into practice for that module at least the notes in the open position in the first 3 frets: Notes In Open Position |

Hi no I did not read everything in the text as I was using the app for grades 1 and 2 and there is no text on the app so this was never mentioned. I see that online there is.

I also do remember the lesson on notes in open position. But never saw anything about it after so kind of just forgot it after that lesson.

I guess I’ll just learn the E and A strings up and down the fretboard? Or do I just learn the 6 essential notes for power chords?

In the lesson I’m referring to he said you should know all the notes on the fretboard which sounds like quite the study. Did I misunderstand? What are the notes I need here?

Thanks for everyone’s help

Yes this. The nice thing about learning the notes on the E and A string is when you learn
then you can find the notes on the D and G string really easily. The red dot are the same
note one octave apart.


It seems a lot bigger of a task than it is. There are only 12 notes on a guitar.
The E and e string are the same but 2 octaves apart. And using the octave trick it’s easy to
find the notes on the D and G string.
You’ll also find you use more Chord progressions than others and their root notes will stick
in your head fairly quickly.

But in the end you really don’t need to know all the notes of by heart in seconds guitar is a
pattern based instrument and once you know the patterns the rest falls into place.

Very helpful. This is a great resource here. Thank you for the help :slight_smile:

Time to memorize

Shoot guys honestly I’m still confused. I realize he’s trying to show how to predict how chord shapes change for each note as you move up the fretboard with capo or barre. But it’s not making any sense to me the way he’s explaining it. Like I see what he’s getting at but his explanation on how to get there is not making sense to me. Is there a video somewhere else or could someone break this down to me?

The part I’m struggling with is the root note being the predictor of the next chord shape for that note and finding that root note all the way down the fretboard.

Do you know where the root notes are in the open chords
C A G E and D?
I need to know to help you. So i can try and help you.
I’m going out for the evening so maybe someone can help
before I get back in a few hours.

See if this helps.

I have just used the C shape here as an example. If you can follow this you should be able to do the same for the other open chord shapes AGED. Three of the diagram show the chord interval as they all use the “normal” C fingering.

Note in all 4 diagrams the principle chord shape does not change, it is the open C chord shape, as shown top left. Adjacent to that we have a capo on the 4th fret. Using the same open chord C fingering we play a new chord. See how the root notes are now in different frets. Let’s just look at the A string. In the second diagram, that root is now in the 7th fret which is E, so this new chord, still using the C “shape” is E major.

Next and bottom left, we will play a C shaped barre chord, with the index finger barring the G B and e strings at the 2nd fret. Fingers 2 3 & 4 now have to “play” this new chord but we still use the open C shape - compare with diagram one (same but moved up 2 frets). The root on the A string is now in the 5th fret which is D. So this “C shaped” chord is D major.

Last on see below

OK as my index finger is cramping, lets use the capo again but this time on the 7th fret. Now play the regular open C shape, just as you did for the first two examples. Compare all the diagrams. This time the root on the 5th string is in the 10th fret which is G. So now you should be able to say what the chord is ?? Yes ?

This same principle applies to all the open chord shapes CAGED, so knowing where the root notes are in open chords helps to identify the roots and therefore the chord names elsewhere on the neck, be that with a capo or a barre chord.

So if you know all the notes on the E and A string you will be able to name any C A G & E shaped chords, C & A root in A string, G & E root on E string. So using the octave method, 2 strings down 2 frets up the notes on the E string can be seen on the D string. So you can now identify all the D shaped chords - root on the D string.

Let me know if this helps.



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