To help guitar students learn the notes of the fretboard, we have created a guitar fretboard chart in pdf format, that you can download for free. If you are struggling with the name of the notes on the guitar fretboard, it's likely that you'll find these pdf diagrams useful.
Before downloading the pdf, let's have a look at the fretboard note. We can have natural notes (C D E F G A B), notes with sharps (like C# and D#) and notes with flats (like Bb, Db and Eb). In the beginning, it's easier to memorize only the natural notes, and then the notes with flats, and finally the notes with sharps.
On this site you can find also a step-by-step tutorial on guitar notes, it will teach you fretboard geometry, intervals, sharps, flats, enharmonics, fretboard navigation and other things. Finally, we have create a fretboard trainer game that will help you memorize the notes of the guitar in an easy and fun way.
The Notes of the guitar
Fretboard diagram showing only natural notes (no sharps and no flats) Click to zoom
Fretboard diagram showing natural notes and sharps notes. Click to zoom
Fretboard diagram showing natural notes and flats notes. Click to zoom
In case you are wondering why same frets are denoted with different note names, such as C# and Db, jump to the guitar notes tutorial to clarify any doubts
The chart pdf contains several fretboard maps, each one showing a particular guitar key. In this way is easier to focus on the notes of a given key and learn the notes step-by-step. The layout of the maps is clear and easy-to-remember
In the diagrams, the musical keys are organized following the circle of fifths, that is a way to display and memorize the sharps/flats that belong to a given key. Starting from the C key, that has not any sharp/flat, you'll notice that changing key, following the circle of the fifths, will introduce just one single sharp/flat at a time. Don't worry if you're not familiar with the circle of fifths, this concept is well visualized in the pdf.
Here below you find some guitar notes map for the most common tonalities.
- C Major: C - D - E - F - G - A - B - C
As said before, one of the best ways to learn the notes on the fretboard is to start memorizing only the natural notes. This strategy requires less effort, as you have to deal with just 7 notes. So here below you find the guitar notes diagram for the C key, that has natural notes only. Take your time to memorize these notes, as they'll be the foundation for more complex concepts.
Once you have the major C notes under your belt, you can proceed to the next key, that, following the circle of fifths, is the G key. The G key has the F sharp instead of the F, so you only have to raise the F by one half-step
- G Major: G - A - B - C - D - E - F# - G
- D Major: D - E - F# - G - A - B - C# - D
Sharps/flats: F# C#
The D major key introduces the C sharp notes, now you're a fretboard wizard and you easily find this new note by raising the C note by one half-step.
- A Major: A - B - C# - D - E - F# - G# - A
Sharps/flats: F# C# G#
The same mechanism of above, the new note in A major key is G#. So please raise that G by one half-step
- E Major: E - F# - G# - A - B - C# - D# - E
Sharps/flats: F# C# G# D#
Here it comes E major key with a new note, the D sharp
- B Major: B – C# - D# - E - F# - G# - A# - B
Sharps/flats: F# C# G# D# A#
Now it's time of the B major key, A sharp is the new note! You'll find the other keys and relative diagrams in the pdf.
Often, in guitar books or on teaching sites, you can encounter a stylized chart of the fretboard like to one shown below. Basically is a table, with the frets represented horizontally and the strings one on the top of another.
The lowest E strings (6th string) is placed at the bottom of the table, while the E high string (1st string) is at the top. In the chart below, each note has its own color, in this way is easier to see where the same note is placed on different frets.
- To learn more about the fretboard theory and how the guitar neck works, check our Fretboard Notes Tutorial
- This online fretboard game will help you learn the notes on the neck in an easy and fun way. Hope to see you at the top of the leaderboard (yes, the game has a leaderboard with the best fretboard wizards)
- Download link for the guitar fretboard chart pdf.
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