The 7 Fret Rule


Octave Patterns on the Guitar Fretboard

Here are several factors you need to understand about the guitar to appreciate the Octave Patterns on the Guitar Fretboard.

First, each fret raises (or lowers) the pitch of a string by a semi-tone.

Second, there are 12 semi-tones in an octave. So the 12th fret is the Octave Fret for each of the strings. The 12th fret has the same pitch as the nut, only an octave higher.

Third, each of the strings (except for the B string) is tuned 5 semi-tones above the next lower string.

The combination of these three factors results in a number of significant patterns. I call the first of these “The 7 Fret Rule”.

Here is an explanation: If you consider the notes on each of the lowest 3 strings (the E, A, and D strings), you notice that you’ll find a note one octave higher on the next string 7 frets higher on the neck.

For example, you find an F at E1 and an F, an octave higher, at A8 (7 frets higher). Another example: you find C at A3 and an octave higher at D10 (7 frets higher).

Once you recognize these factors, you may also realize that the same note is found 5 frets lower on the next string. For example, C is at low E8 and A3 – five frets lower. G is at D5 and G0. I call this the 5 Fret Rule.

Both of these relationships exist because of the simple mathematics of the frets, and the way the guitar is tuned.

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