Chord chart to Stave (Finding the Notes)

Reading a chord chart

To understand this exercise, we first need to know how to read a chord chart.

A chord chart represents the following:

• strings (6-1)

• Frets

• Which fingers to use on each note

• Which strings to play & not to play.

Sometimes there are crosses on the grid telling you not to play these strings which will also mean there will be just 4 notes to find.

Transferring the notes

If you’re playing a chord that has six notes, there will be only ever be six note heads to find.

The same note in pitch can be located on 2 frets or more (from different strings) but, there’s only the one placement.

The A note on string 5 for example can also be found on string 6 fret 5 but there’s only one location for that pitch on the stave.

The D note on string 4, can be found on fret 5 string 5 and, fret 10 string 6, but there’s only one position on the stave for that pitch.

Treble clef to open strings.

This image demonstrates where you can find the open strings along the staves. Notes are alphabetical, A – G.

Like a chord grid, the numbers in a circle represent what string to play that note on.

Ledger lines are extra stabe lines under or above the main stave.

Well written music, will also have which fingers to use next to the note-head.

Classical, electric and acoustic guitar music is written in the treble clef. The bass guitar music is written in the bass clef.

E major to Grid (example)

Memorising note order for the guitar

Once you feel comfortable locating the open strings on the stave, try finding the open strings as a fretted note but at the same pitch from another string.

(worksheet 1 / worksheet 2).

Grid charts, which fret?

Standard guitars have a maximum of 6 strings. Therefore, you’ll only ever need to find a maximum of 6 notes or fewer. Open strings are also to be be included.

Grid charts have fret numbers which indicate the chord’s position on the guitar’s fretboard.

To be helpful, place the roman numeral to indicate the position of the chord. Remember the roman numeral indicates the position of the first finger but you might not necessarily be using that fret..

Guitar chord chart and stave, how to find the notes.

Ledger Lines & Stave Lines

Each line and space on the musical stave represents the next letter/musical note.

Typically, there are a maximum of 3 ledger lines on either side of the stave (if in standard tuning). An extra ledger line is needed if in Drop D tuning.

Accidentals are either sharp, natural or flat symbols – placed behind the note head which indicates whether to move up or down a fret / semitone. If in writing then it’s written as spoken. F# (for example).

Chords that have either a cluster of sharps or a flats included will depend on the key it is you’re in. The key of E major for instance has Four sharps, F# C# G# & D#.

Transferring from Grid to Stave worksheet

To complete this challenge, purchase the following worksheet Finding the Notes (Grid to Stave).