More Octave Patterns on the Guitar Fretboard – 5 Fret Rule
In a previous post we discussed how various features of the way guitar strings are tuned lead to predictable patterns between the strings.
A corollary of the previously mentioned “7 Fret Rule” is what we will now call the “5 Fret Rule”.
All this rule says is that you will find the same note on the next string 5 frets down (closer to the nut). This is an extension of the fact that each string (except the B string) is tuned 5 semi-tones above the previous one.
So, for example on the A string D is at A5 and five frets lower at D0. Similarly, F is at A8 and (five frets lower) at D3.
The tuning of the B string complicates this neat arrangement slightly. Since the B string is only tuned 4 semi-tones above the G string, that means B is found at G4 and (only four frets lower on the B string) at B0. To take another example, D is found at G7 and B3 (4 frets lower).
A good place to start with the application of these octave rules is to apply them to the key of G and stick with that until you master those positions.
What that means is that you should learn the location of G on the E string (E3), seven frets up on the A string (A10), five frets down on the D string (D5), seven frets up on the G string (G12), and four frets down on the B strings (B8), and 5 frets down on the E string (E3).