Playing intervals on a

Intervals are the building blocks when playing a guitar. Scales, chords and arpeggios are all assembled with intervals.

The basics

In music we know these 12 notes:

If we would number them, it looks like this:
We will use intervals to understand more about music theory on the guitar

Let’s look at a string on the guitar, for example the first string. Notice that the note on 12th fret is same note as the open string (E). The difference is what we call an octave.

Congratulations, you have learned about the chromatic scale! The chromatic scale contains all 12 notes. It starts with a root note (which can be any starting note) and then uses all the other ascending notes.

Your guitar

The 6 strings on the guitar are:

  • The 1st string is (closest to face)
  • The 2nd string is
  • The 3rd string is
  • The 4th string is
  • The 5th string is
  • The 6th string is (closest to ground)
Tip: Tune the guitar by ear; Press the red buttons.

The notes on the

On the illustration below, you see the guitar fretboard with only the "G" highlighted, assuming you’re guitar is tuned E-A-D-G-B-E.


Select a note, to see the positions on the fretboard above. Notice what changes when you change the note a step up or down.

If you own a guitar, try playing all the G-notes! Notice how the all sound similar even though some are in higher octaves. What is the highest sounding G-note you can find on the instrument?

Now let’s talk about those intervals again. Pretend that "G" is the first number in the sequence of 1 to 12. We call this the key. In the following illustration you’ll see this key-note highlighted.

You have learned where the notes on the fretboard are and how they relate to the chromatic scale in this tuning.