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Sharp Signs

This is a sharp sign.

A sharp sign written before a note on the staff means that you play the note that is one fret higher than the written note, e.g., the note written on the staff below is called F sharp (F ), and is played on the fourth fret of the second string. When are sharp sign is written on the staff, it is always written before a note.

The F Note

Play this note with the fourth finger of your left hand just behind the fourth fret of the 2nd string

The following 12 Bar Blues is in the key of D and uses F notes in Bars 9 and 12. The sharp sign affects all of the notes that appear on the same line or space after it, and only within that bar. E.g., in bars 9 and 12 the sign appears before the first F note in each bar on the bass staff. The sharp also applies to all the following F notes within that particular bar. The effect of a sharp or flat sign is canceled by a bar line, meaning that a new sign would be needed to indicate any sharps or flats in the next bar.

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19(Fingers)

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Flat Signs

This is a flat sign.

A flat sign written before a note on the staff means that you play the note that is one fret lower than the written note. For example, the note written on the staff below is called B flat (B ), and is played on the first fret of the third string. When a flat sign is written on the staff, it is always written before a note.

The B Note

Play this note with the first finger of your left hand just behind the first fret of the 3rd string

This symbol indicates a ‘ghost note’, sometimes called a percussive or dampened note. This is a note that has no particular pitch and is a more rhythmic technique of playing. It has a percussive sound and is achieved by the left hand lightly touching the string while the right hand plays the string. In the progression below the ghost note is achieved by the left hand releasing pressure on the fretted note.

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The following 12 Bar Blues is in the key of G and uses B notes. Like sharp signs, a flat sign affects all of the notes that appear on the same the line or space after it, and only within that bar. E.g., in bars 5 and 10 the sign appears before the first B note in each bar on the bass staff. The flat also applies to all of the following B notes within that particular bar. This Blues in G uses a ‘lead in‘ which means notes that come before the first full bar of music. In this example the lead-in is an eighth note.

20(Fingers)

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The C Note

Play this C note with the fourth finger of your left hand just behind the fifth fret of the 1st string

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The following Blues in G uses an F note, a B note and the new C note, as just introduced. Use the correct left hand fingering as indicated by the small numbers next to the notes on the bass staff.

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