I expect all frets to go from A to A# to B to C to C#... until G#

But I noticed that sometimes, on my guitar notes are skipped or come back to a lower notes that preceded it.

For example:

  • On the G string b3 go immediately to c4 on fret 4 and 5 respectively.

  • on the D string, it goes from b3 to c4 again on fret 9 and 10 respectively

  • fret 6 and 7 on the D string, goes from g#3 to a3



3 Answers 3


In the note numbering system for octaves and registers the starting point is C, not A so B3 is followed ascending chromatically by C4 and G#3 is followed ascending chromatically by A3.

  • 1
    It is a confusing system! Compounded by most 88 note pianos (about the only instrument that encompasses all notes) go from an A note on the left. So logic says that should be the start point. +1.
    – Tim
    Jul 5, 2020 at 6:42
  • @Tim it certainly can be confusing. It seems like the bottom line is most concepts in theory and harmony are historically based around a C major scale model. Jul 5, 2020 at 7:22
  • I can feel a song coming on… Let's start at the very beginning - A very good place to start - When you read you begin with ABC - When you sing you begin with do-re-mi...
    – Tetsujin
    Jul 5, 2020 at 7:43
  • @Tetsujin The Jackson 5 wrote one but they decided to change the notes to ABC and do-re-mi. I like your idea, need a collaborator? Jul 5, 2020 at 9:07
  • @Tetsujin - Those folks must be moveable do fans--the movie version is in B flat major.
    – Dekkadeci
    Jul 5, 2020 at 12:33

In note naming, C is the first note of each octave. Listed chromatically i.e. in semitone steps starting from octave 1 the names are: C1 C#1 D1 D#1 E1 F1 F#1 G1 G#1 A1 A#1 B1 C2 C#2 D2 D#2 E2 F2 F#2 G2 G#2 A2 A#2 B2 C3 ...

Shown on a piano keyboard:

note names on piano keyboard

  • ...and the lowest note on most pianos is A0.
    – Tim
    Jul 5, 2020 at 9:00
  • Maybe that's why the Bosendorfer Imperial Grand only goes down to C0. They ran out of names..?!
    – Tim
    Jul 5, 2020 at 9:09
  • 1
    @Tim Roadies carrying a 400 pound thing to the stage ... "Man, this Hammond guy was messed up! If this is just the B3, we'll be dead before we've got all the keys in!" Jul 5, 2020 at 9:28
  • Love it! They should have done it, like I did in the '70s, with a C3 - after which it's truss time.
    – Tim
    Jul 5, 2020 at 13:29

If I understood your question correctly, the problem may be an uneven fretboard, combined with a low action (i.e. low bridge position, leaving the strings very near the fretboard)

In that situation if a particular fret is lower than the next (higher), when you press the string against the fret, the next (higher) fret will also be touching the string, and it will be as if you fretted the next fret.

This situation may be alleviated in a few different ways:

  1. Lift the bridge, increasing the action (strings higher above the fretboard)

  2. If the cause is a worn-out fret, it may have to be replaced (or all frets leveled down to a similar height).

  3. If the cause is a fret that has partially popped out, gently hammer it back down (use some semi-soft material between hammer and fret, so you don't dent it, and be very gentle and progressive with the force applied. Or better, have it done by a competent person)

  4. If the problem is excessive curvature of the neck, adjust the truss rod to make the neck straighter.

There are many good video on youtube showing how to tune up a guitar, watch several of them before attempting to do any major work by yourself.

  • I don't think you understood the question correctly - it's about not understanding the letter name/number system for identifying notes! See the other, correct, answers.
    – Tim
    Jul 5, 2020 at 12:58

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