Whole Steps, Half Steps & The Musical Alphabet

At this point you should know the names of the strings. From the ceiling to the floor:

  • 6E
  • 5A
  • 4D
  • 3G
  • 2B
  • 1E

It is important to add music theory and knowledge of the guitar along the way of developing guitar skills. To start, memorize the following:

WHOLE STEP

A whole step is the distance between two frets which is essentially skipping a fret. For example going from the 1st fret to the 3rd fret is a whole step.

HALF STEP

A half step is the distance of one fret or simply moving to the next fret. For example moving from the 1st fret to the 2nd fret is a half step. In the musical alphabet, going from notes B to C and E to F are considered half steps.

MUSICAL ALPHABET

The musical alphabet consists of:

A B C D E F G A B C D E F G

After G the alphabet reverts back to A and vice versa. Within the musical alphabet there are whole steps (w) and half steps (½) steps which would look like this:

A w B ½ C w D w E ½ F w G w A

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