Week 1: 6th String Octave Relationships (Guitar Lesson)

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Chris Liepe

Week 1: 6th String Octave Relationships

Welcome to week 1 of this 6 week program! This lesson covers all of the 6th string octave relationships found across the fretboard.

Taught by Chris Liepe in 6 Week Note Memorization Program seriesLength: 14:57Difficulty: 2.0 of 5

6-week program: Learn the Notes on the Neck!

Before you begin, you should know that this series is really aimed at beginners who haven't navigated the neck much. If you've been playing for a while, this series might seem overly simplistic to you. If you're beginning and can't fathom the idea of actually learning what note you're playing when you hit some "random" fret, this series is for you!

The idea with this 6-week program is that you do one lesson per week and practice the simple idea presented and demonstrated as part of your regular practice time on the guitar. This certainly doesn't mean that you don't practice other things. Each concept presented in these lessons is designed to be added to what you're already doing. You'll quickly realize that it doesn't take long to practice these concepts. BUT... Don't move on to the next lesson in the series until you've worked the lesson you're on for 1 week. We want to cement one concept before we build on it! Once you move on, to say, 'week 2', continue to practice the concepts from "week 1". Once you move on to "week 3", continue to practice the concepts from weeks 1 and 2 etc... etc...

To help you learn the notes on the neck, each lesson takes you through simple octave relationships starting from different strings. Weeks 3 and 5 also deal with simple 5th interval relationships. Though I demonstrate these relationships from multiple notes in the lessons, the supplemental content is written all from notes C and G to make it simple to take in. Once you have the shapes and can see the relationships, you can take them to any note you want. The one exception to the C/G rule is the last lesson where I notate things from note "F". Again, once you play it from F, you can take it anywhere using the relationships taught in the series.

The very method presented in this series for learning the notes on the neck was the first way I every tried and I still think its the most effective. Why? ...Because it's so simple. Even as you're playing chords or scales up the neck and you stop to ponder the note you're playing on the 8th fret, the simple octave and 5th relationships pop out like they are lit up, giving you a path to follow so you can name that note. If you try to add more intervals and more relationships, I have found that it's too much for your brain to grab on to in that short moment you need to name that note.

After awhile, you won't need to "trace the octaves" in order to name a note. As you keep reviewing and applying these concepts, you'll eventually get to the point where it seems like the notes themselves jump out at you.

Take this series week by week, spend some time on it, even though it may seem simple. Stick with it! You'll be naming notes all over neck in about 6 weeks!!

Video Subtitles / Captions

Supplemental Learning Material


Member Comments about this Lesson

Discussions with our instructors are just one of the many benefits of becoming a member of JamPlay.

Boodoe84Boodoe84 replied on May 22nd, 2017

What about the fifth string? How do we learn those?

RTRRTR replied on October 23rd, 2015

This lesson is plain awesome. IT really literally connects the dots. A brilliant way to convey the information. Thank you. RTR

Tristantman02Tristantman02 replied on March 14th, 2015

Finally! I have to tell you this was the first lesson I have taken with Jam Play after many other attempts at learning the fret board (books and other websites__) and this first series, didn't give me a headache but most importantly made the best sense to study this way. Excellent set up coordinating the number string vs octave. week 1..........#thankU

Sleuth86Sleuth86 replied on March 9th, 2018

I agree 100%. Bought the books and tried to just memorize the notes, but all failed. This one lesson just makes so much sense that you have to ask yourself... why didn't I think of that? ;)

JR JrJR Jr replied on March 2nd, 2015

I have had problems learning the notes on the neck and how they relate. This is really helping!

jackphotocajackphotoca replied on February 3rd, 2015

Thanks, Chris. I just watched your JamPlay live event and right away checked out this 6 week series. I've struggled with rote memorization of the neck. Your musical approach may get me over the hump.

FleshbitsFleshbits replied on February 19th, 2014

Can you identify the musical octave of the 6th string base notes? For example is an open 6th string an E0,E1,E2? open 1st string? That way I would be able to translate guitar to piano and back again and also have more aptitude to work with sheet music.

grburgessgrburgess replied on April 24th, 2015

Just remember that the guitar music is actually 1 octave lower than it is written.

DrapteDrapte replied on February 12th, 2014

Will this be beneficial for when I use other tunings?

jliebsjliebs replied on July 16th, 2013

Chris , if your playing only on the E string then why is the supplemental material show tabs on various strings not all on E ? I don't follow.

jliebsjliebs replied on July 17th, 2013

never mind i get it. feel stupid on that one.

johnnyrockitjohnnyrockit replied on June 17th, 2012

Chris it's like the words I used in that rap song I made ROCKIT RAP I said "It's a puzzle fo' shuzzle" and I want to personally thank you for the juice, the light, and another missing piece too my puzzle!!! thank you good Sir!!!

jliebsjliebs replied on October 24th, 2012

Would be helpful if your supplemental info actually had all the notes on the e string named for reference

johnnyrockitjohnnyrockit replied on June 17th, 2012

Chris!!! Chris!!! CHRIS!!! OMG!!! Just Started this and it's unbelievable!!! It's like after years and years in the muck and mire of my own musical confusion it's like I have just had a come to God moment!!! Record this date down! I want to always remember it! 6/17/2012It's like a whole bunch of light switches have just started to turn on! It's, It's, well, you know that scene in the movie 2001 when dave goes into those lights? OMG!!! that's what this has been like...All kinds of things seem to be coming together in my head about music it's unbelievable!!! Mark this date down for johnnyrockit the lights are turning on!!! God Bless you Chris!!! OMG!!!

theplasticwaffletheplasticwaffle replied on April 14th, 2012

So you are just concentrating on A B C D E F and G and nothing inbetween right?

aseeeaseee replied on April 25th, 2012

F Sharp

tati23tati23 replied on April 10th, 2012

Why am I so confused?

grburgessgrburgess replied on April 24th, 2015

Learning the notes on a piano is trivial, and most students know them after a single lesson. But it's very common for guitar players to take years because it's not obvious without some study and effort.

Chris.LiepeChris.Liepe replied on April 12th, 2012

ask away... :) I'll see if I can you out of confusionville

thebarronthebarron replied on March 20th, 2012

AWESOME! Been playing off and on for a few years. I would mainly stop because I would get aggravated in the learning material. THIS is my first " course " on the site, and I am impressed! THIS course is like my Rosetta Stone for learning the neck. I look forward to taking part in all of the courses, even the beginner courses. As I am sure I will glean knowledge from all of the instructors. THANKS!!

teg3teg3 replied on December 20th, 2011

AWESOME!! Pieces of the puzzle are coming together. Thanks

ferhispanoferhispano replied on August 8th, 2011

OK, lets do it !

fonz17_99fonz17_99 replied on August 7th, 2011

This is fantastic! Thanks!

jam_play_guitarjam_play_guitar replied on August 7th, 2011

Chris, I came across this technique from another teacher and it really gave me confidence on the guitar and helped be to attack the guitar in a new way (knowing that the octave relationships is one of the great secrets to Learning to play guitar). Thanks for thinking of covering this subject.....really interested to see where you take this. Oh by the way I keep the octave pattern in my wallet and study it when I need to. We all learn by sharing what we know Smartdog

delvennedelvenne replied on August 7th, 2011

Great lesson Chris! Thanks

rkirbyrkirby replied on August 6th, 2011

Thank you so much. This approach has made what seemed to be overwhelming so easy.

bubsterbubster replied on August 6th, 2011

been playing for 6 years never seen any one lay it out this way, too bad because it would have been a great help. awesome lesson and look forward to finishing the 6 week program.

dvick1979dvick1979 replied on August 5th, 2011

really opened the fretboard up....thanks man

wanderingtribewanderingtribe replied on August 3rd, 2011


hastern1hastern1 replied on August 2nd, 2011

Started playing about 8 mos. ago. Just started this lesson tonight, Dah just got it. The G anyway.

flatulentoneflatulentone replied on August 2nd, 2011

Excellent idea! I am totally pumped about this series. I have the Fretboard Logic books and still don't know all the notes. I do admit that I know a good number of notes especially those found in the Am pentatonic patterns (pretty much all the positions of A C and D) so this will help me concentrate on the rest of the notes. Thank you

tedgarrisontedgarrison replied on August 1st, 2011

This is great stuff!! I'm excited about this series. Thank you so much for creating it.

ames57ames57 replied on July 31st, 2011

Chris, I've been playing guitar on and off for 20 years, and my laziness/reluctance to learn the names of the notes on the entire fretboard has hampered my understanding/playing. This is a great way to learn the fretboard. Although I should have done this years ago, I'm going to take the time to do it now. Thanks for another great lesson and series.

AllTubeAmpAllTubeAmp replied on July 30th, 2011

.....I hopped on board w/this lesson yesterday....looks really promising Chris.....thanks so much Robert

stratmusicstratmusic replied on July 30th, 2011

I am SO excited about this series!! I have already been using your six week approach ever since you wrote that article and it has helped me meet my goals and stay focused more than anything else I have tried. THANK YOU for this series...it's going to be great!

francricfrancric replied on July 29th, 2011

Yes, looking forward to the lessons

SodaPopSodaPop replied on July 29th, 2011

Great new series!

tammy7689tammy7689 replied on July 29th, 2011

this is going to be a great series...thanks chris.....hope to see more like this

6 Week Note Memorization Program

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

Chris will guide you through this 6 week guitar note memorization program dedicated to help commit them to memory.

Lesson 1

Week 1: 6th String Octave Relationships

Welcome to week 1 of this 6 week program! This lesson covers all of the 6th string octave relationships found across the fretboard.

Length: 14:57 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 2

Week 2: 5th String Octave Relationships

Chris demonstrates the same note memorization technique used in the week 1 lesson. This time around, octave relationships are based on the 5th string.

Length: 8:37 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 3

Week 3: 5th Interval Note Relationships

In week 3 of this 6 week program, Chris demonstrates how the 5th interval can be used to determine the location of various notes on the fretboard.

Length: 8:36 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 4

Week 4: 1st and 2nd string Octave Relationships

Chris moves the octave relationship to the 1st and 2nd strings, which will cause you to think backwards to find the correct note.

Length: 8:23 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 5

Week 5: 5th Interval-Strings 1, 2, and 3

Welcome to lesson 5 in this 6 week series! Chris demonstrates the same 5th interval technique used in lesson 3. This time he applies it to strings 1, 2, and 3.

Length: 4:54 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 6

Week 6: Single Note Practice Drill

Welcome to the final week in this 6 week series! Chris demonstrates a great practice tool to apply everything you have learned in this series.

Length: 4:44 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only

About Chris Liepe View Full Biography Chris Liepe was born on September 17th, 1981 in Portland OR. His first instrument was piano which he pursued until discovering his love for the electric guitar in high school. He became fans of such groups as Soundgarden, Collective Soul and U2 inspiring him to start singing, songwriting and helping others in their musical endeavors with teaching, co-writing and album production.

Having moved to Colorado with his family, he began gigging, recording and teaching in a number of music stores as well as out of his apartment until deciding to pursue music full time. He moved to Denver, CO to complete a Bachelors in Music Technology and was then hired on by Sweetwater Productions, a division of Sweetwater Sound and one of the largest, most successful recording studios in the Midwest.

Chris spent nearly 4 years at Sweetwater as a producer, recording engineer, studio musician and writer. During this time he had the privilege of working with many artists including Augustana, Landon Pigg, Jars of Clay, and Mercy Me. He also wrote for and played on numerous independent albums and hundreds of radio/TV commercials.

Wanting to get back to his favorite State in the world (Colorado) and feeling the urge to 'go freelance', Chris moved to Greeley, CO and opened his own recording and teaching studio. He continues to write and produce music for artists and agencies and is happy to be among the proud JamPlay.com instructors.

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