Understanding the Notes in Vth Position | Hub Guitar

Understanding the Notes in Vth Position

Most guitar players begin studying the notes on the guitar by learning the open position. That’s because we start learning the guitar by learning open chords. The open position scale can support the study of the open position chords, and provoke a deeper understanding of the guitar fretboard by inspiring small melodies or basslines that can be played along with these chords.

Once this position is mastered, it is necessary to learn another. A great position to learn next is Position V. While we could learn from the perspective of Positions II, III and IV, all of the positions ultimately overlap—and it’s time to learn a position that is substantially different than the open one. Position V is close enough to open position that you can switch between the two easily enough. It also represents an excellent compromise of the guitar’s range.

As you can see, position V can be used to read most of the notes that normally appear on the musical staff. Note that, since guitar is a transposingTransposing a song means to take all of the notes in the song and move them up or down by an equal amount. Depending on the result, this can make the song easier to perform. instrument, these notes sound an octave lower than they are written. And actually, if the guitar player is reading music written for another instrument, such as violin, they should move all notes up one octave.

Note that, if we include small stretches out of this position such as the G at the IIIrd fret of the 6th string, or the D at the Xth fret of the 1st string, we can extend this range even further—making this an incredibly useful position for improvisation and melodic playing.

C Major from Position V

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b natural
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a natural
e natural
c natural
g natural
d natural
a natural
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f natural
fret tile
b natural
d natural
a natural
e natural
b natural
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c natural
g natural
f natural
c natural
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The C major notes in the Vth position correspond also to the A minor scale.

Learning this position starts with committing to memory the natural notes (C major notes). We can follow this process to memorize the notes more quickly:

  • Play the C major scale in Vth position, ascending and descending, many times.

  • As you play the scale, say the names of every note.
  • Be mindful of the fact that the B note on the IVth fret of the 3rd string can also be played on the VIIth fret of the 4th string.
  • For each note in the C major scale, find all instances of the note within the scale position.
    • For all C: search for and play all C notes in this position.
    • For all A: search for and play all A notes in this position.
    • …etc.
  • Go across the Vth fret and name all of the notes. Repeat for frets VII, VI and VIII.

In time you will become quicker at naming the notes in the C major scale. Call upon your knowledge of the notes as you play scales, chords and arpeggios.

You can also speed up your memorization of these notes by studying F major and G major scales in this position, as each will introduce a new accidentalAny named note whose pitch is modified by a sharp (♯) or flat (♭) symbol. This even includes notes that are returned to a non-sharp or non-flat by the natural symbol (♮). to the position.

G major from Position V

fret tile
fret tile
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b natural
f sharp, g flat
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a natural
e natural
c natural
g natural
d natural
a natural
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fret tile
b natural
f sharp, g flat
d natural
a natural
e natural
b natural
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c natural
g natural
c natural
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fret tile
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F major from Position V

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fret tile
fret tile
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a natural
e natural
c natural
g natural
d natural
a natural
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a sharp, b flat
f natural
a sharp, b flat
fret tile
d natural
a natural
e natural
fret tile
c natural
g natural
a sharp, b flat
f natural
c natural
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fret tile
fret tile
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Reading music, playing melodies, improvising, practicing arpeggios and building chords with these scales in this position will enable you to learn and master the notes in this position even faster.

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