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Learning the Notes

We are giving two sets of notes, Figs. 45 and 46, to help you
learn how to make the notes on a Hawaiian Guitar.

Fig. 45 shows the notes you will use most often. They are
shown arranged in the scale of A major, which has three sharps,
F#, C# and G#. This is the easiest for a beginner to learn,
owing to the way the guitar is tuned. The letters on top give
the names of the notes. The numbers under the notes show the
frets over which you hold the steel in order to produce the
notes. That is all you have to do—put the steel over the fret
indicated and then pick the string. The symbol O means an
open string. Do not use the steel.

Practice playing the notes in order to get a good idea of
where they are, so you can find them when you see them
written in music.

Fig. 46 shows all the notes that can be produced on each
string. Play up and down each string, moving the steel from
fret to fret and naming each note out loud as you pick it and
listen to it sing. You will not ordinarily need all these notes, but
they are included just in case you might want to use some of
them some time.

Notice that most of the notes can be made on more than one
string, thus, all the notes on the first string from E (the first


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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III