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Note: These Conventions are Universal and are Not Unique to this Site.

2nd: Understanding the drawings

 Understanding how visual information such as Fretbaord Diagrams & Chord Charts are laid out will help you to interpret them correctly. Guitarfasttrack adheres to the most universally accepted conventions when conveying visual information.

Access this page using the ABOUT > THE GFT SITE > CONVENTIONS tab in the main menu.

Fig.1. Conventions (understanding the GFT Site) 

In order to understand the world of Guitar you must learn the vocabulary and conventions of the music world.

 –Underlined text – links you to more information. Mouse over and it will turn blue. Simply click.

 –A word or phrase in (brackets) is a further explanation.

 –Ascending means moving up from a Lower Tone to a Higher Tone.

 –Descending  means moving down from a Higher Tone to a Lower Tone.

Low End Of The Fretboard – that nearest the Nut where the Low notes of a string are located.

High End Of The Fretboard – that nearest the Body where the Higher notes are located.

 The Strings & Fretboard Orientation.

– Strings will be referred to as: high e,b,g,d,a,low e OR 1,2,3,4,5,6 respectively from thinest (top string) to thickest (Bottom string).
*this is not an error. Although the high e is physically located at the bottom of the guitar as it sits on your lap, Musically it is higher in pitch and therefore called the top string. The Bottom e is the Low e (thick string).  It may seem odd but it is the universally used standard.

Fretboard diagram

Fig.2. Fretboard Diagram Orientation viewed as if you have set your guitar in your lap. Note the Reference Dot inlaid on the 3rd fret of the fretboard (most guitars will have these dots with a double dots located at the 7th & 12th frets).

– The 3rd fret of the 4th string would be the note just below the reference dot on the fretboard in the above diagram.

 Note & Chord Relocation Terms.

Note location terminology

Fig.3. Note location terminology.

-“Moving UP the neck” means from the Nut towards the Body. See Fig.3.

-“Moving DOWN the neck” means from the Body towards the Nut. See Fig.3.

“Down On The String Set” means moving vertically on the strings in the direction oft the thick “Low E” string to the thin “High E string”. See Fig.3.
For example: Tune your guitar by moving down on the string set.

“Up On The String Set” means moving vertically on the strings in the direction of the thin “High E string” to the thick “Low E” string. See Fig.3.
For example: Move the Am Chord Up On The String Set by 1 string to form the E Chord.


 –The fingers are called: Index, Middle, Ring & Pinky.

-Their number symbols are: Index – 1, Middle – 2, Ring – 3, Pinky – 4

Fig.3. Finger Names and Numbers

Chord Diagrams

-Chord diagrams are a form of musical notation depicting chords.

Gord chart orientation

Fig.4. Chord Diagram ORIENTATION.

– These Symbols are used to read Chord Charts:

Fig.5.  An example of a Chord Diagram.  It is easy to read:

– The Low e string is on the left with the 6 strings running up & down. – X = do not play the string. – O = play the open string (not fretted). – numbers = fingering.  Index – 1,  Middle – 2,  Ring – 3,  Pinky – 4. – dots = the finger placement on the fret.

A Major Bar Chord

Fig.6. If the Chord begins higher up the fretboard then the beginning fret will be indicated to the right. Bar Chords will be indicated with an arch spanning where the bar is placed.

-A Major Chord may be indicated with the “Major” in the name (for example “A Major Chord”. If the word “Major” is left out of the name this implies that it is a Major Chord (for example “A Chord”).

In other words: An “A Chord” is assumed to be Major and not Minor or 7th or Augmented… etc.


 -Tab is a very useful way to reading music. There’s more than one way to write tab. Only one method is used in the GFT site.

tab g note Fig.7. An example of TAB used in the GFT site. In this example, the 3rd Fret (space) of the thinest string is played.

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