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How to Play Heavy Metal Guitar Notes on the 5th String

Let musician Alex Skolnick teach you about notes on the fifth string in this heavy metal guitar lesson from Howcast.


Okay, we're talking about notes on the fifth string.

It's important to memorize them. It's actually important to memorize all the notes. It's most important to memorize notes on the low strings because a lot of your chords, most of your power chords, are going to be based on those strings. So, it's important to know where you are, especially when communicating with other musicians. When you look at notes on the fifth string, you have an advantage, right? The fifth string is A. First letter of the alphabet.

Okay. So, that makes it easier than any of the other strings, right there. So, let's just think of the alphabet for a second. A, B, C, D, E, F, G, and then it's going to repeat at A. So, if I just go through those notes, I get this. A, second fret B, third fret C, fifth fret, D, seventh fret E, eight F, tenth G, now back to A. Now to start out, you might focus on just the inlaid frets. C, D, E. Now, of course you have the notes in between as well. So, you have an A sharp or a B flat on the first fret. You have a C sharp or a D flat on the fourth fret. You have D sharp or E flat on sixth fret.

You have F sharp or G flat on the ninth fret. And finally, G sharp or A flat on the eleventh fret. If I just played the notes with no sharps or flats, I'd get this. That's a perfect natural minor scale, by the way. Alright, if I just played the notes that have sharps or flats, I'd get this. Okay? So, ultimately, you want to memorize these and play them as power chords as well. And that will help you memorize the notes. So, if I just play the natural minor scale as power chords, I get this.

And then you have the notes in between. And use that to memorize all the notes on the fifth string.

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