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Course Walk-Through: Session 2 – Notes on the 1st & 2nd Strings

Sunday, January 16, 2011
Are you ready for Session 2? The first half of Session 2 is all about reading music.  This topic is pretty big and could take a while to explain in a blog post so I am going to skip it for now and jump right to the notes on the first and second strings.  If you aren't sure about moving on from Session 1, don't worry; as long as you've spent some time practicing each day, you're ready to move on - even if you can't play the finger exercises perfectly.  You should be doing those finger exercises through all the sessions from here on. (est. time: 2 week, 15-30 minutes a day)

First Stringguitar notes on the E string

If you recall from the post on Session 1, we learned that the first string is also called the E string.  Played open (without touching it), the note this string makes is what?  Right - an E.  Nice work!  The other three notes on the first string are F and G.  See the diagram and TAB on the right to see how to play these notes.

The notes we're going to be learning are all in the "first position".  That means your first, second, third and fourth fingers correspond to the first through fourth frets, respectively.

To practice these notes, I've included a first string exercise just below.  There are lots more of these in the lesson book that comes with the course.  It is very important to practice these exercises.  Not only will it help you learn the notes on the strings, but it will develop finger and hand strength and coordination which will be indispensable as you continue to learn.finger exercise TAB for the first string

Second Stringnotes on the b guitar string

Moving on the the second string (second from the bottom of the neck), we have the B string.  That means this string plays a B note when open.  The other two notes in the first position on the second string are C and D.  See chart at right for fingering positions and TAB.

Your second finger is your middle finger.  As your first learning, your finger will touch other strings as your trying to play notes.  In the beginning this is OK.  As you improve, this problem will solve itself as you become used to playing so don't get discouraged if you keep muting other strings with your fingers.

Below is a second string exercise to help you learn these notes.  One tip would be to write the name of the notes above the images of the notes on the music to help you learn note names.  If you're reading off of a computer (which you probably are if you're reading this blog!), you can simply say the note out loud as you play it.

finger exercise on the second string

When going through these exercises, don't worry about playing fast or perfectly.  Aim for a smooth, steady rhythm, trying to give each note it's proper number of beats (quarter note gets one beat, half note gets two beats, etc.).  Keep playing exercises until there is no hesitation between the notes.

Here is an exercise for the first (E) and second (B) strings together:

tab and string exercisesI'll leave you with an actual video lesson taken right from Session 2 of our guitar course.  It covers notes on the second string:

Keep practicing hard for 30 minutes each day and you'll be more than ready for Session 3, coming in a couple of weeks!  If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below or visit the Session 2 thread in the Student Support Forum.
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