In one of my earlier lessons, I have scratched the surface of the concept of Sharp and Flat notes in western music. This lesson takes it up a notch and focuses on its application. For that, I have created two exercises using the 1st String (e) notes of the guitar. These exercises will help you get a good hold on how the Sharp and Flat note concepts work on the guitar frets in a real-life playing/practicing scenario.
Important Facts about Sharp and Flat Notes
A note will have a Sharp note only when there is whole tone or whole note interval with the next note. A Sharp note is indicated by the sign “#”.
For e.g. the tonal interval between the notes E and F is half, so E wouldn’t have an E sharp. So if you say E sharp, you will play the note F.
With regard to a guitar fretboard, a half step note would be the adjacent fret and a whole step note would be one fret apart.
Similarly, a note will have a Flat note only when there is whole tone or whole note interval with the previous note. A Flate note is indicated by a sign similar to “b” in standard musical notation.
For e.g. F wouldn’t have an F flat note because the tonal interval with it’s previous note i.e. E is only half step.
A natural note is nothing but a note which is neither Sharp nor a Flat. This becomes necessary if you want a note to remain as it is or natural if a sharp or flat is indicated at the beginning of the notation.
[Video] Sharps and Flats for Guitarists
This video will give you a much clearer understanding of the concept of sharps and flats. Please do watch it.
Sharp Notes on the 1st String (e) – Open Position
Flat Notes on the 1st String (e) – Open Position
Sharp Note Exercise
Flat Note Exercise