Being a complete newbie at playing guitar( Got it on last weekend), I'm trying to learn a simple christmas song. From this site:

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I do not know what does 7 means, is it referring to 7 string guitars or something else? Would be love to have some advice here!

  • The notation you posted is for single notes played on the high e string and has nothing to do with chords. The numbers indicate the frets the note is played on. Dec 22, 2015 at 7:13
  • @RockinCowboy yeah , i figured. My apologies for such a silly question.
    – Gene
    Dec 22, 2015 at 8:41

1 Answer 1


It's talking about fret numbers, in this case on an E string. The top and bottom strings are both E strings, but if you play on these fret numbers with the right rhythms on either one, the melody will be Jingle Bells. More often than not, a melody like this would be played on the higher-pitched E string, not the lower one.

Actually, more often than not a melody wouldn't be played on a single string, but that's the point of this particular version...

  • I know. But as a total beginner, I'm still getting the hang on playing G major and C and etc properly. So yeah, at least I can get something out for now. Thanks!
    – Gene
    Dec 22, 2015 at 3:23
  • 1
    @Gene Understood, but I'm not at all sure that playing on one string with lots of shifting (meaning, moving your hand up and down the fretboard) is actually any easier than playing on 2 or 3 strings without shifting. At least the normal way that beginners learn melodies is playing them in "first position," which is the point on the fretboard where your four fingers are on the first four frets without shifting. Dec 22, 2015 at 11:00
  • Ahh!! In that case, would you give me any tips on any songs I could try out without shifting?
    – Gene
    Dec 23, 2015 at 3:32
  • @Gene Any song could be, including Jingle Bells. Take the transcription you currently have, except convert the numbers like this: 7 –> 3 on E string, 5–>1 on E string 4–>0 also known as open E. The rest of the notes are on the B string; 2–>3 and 0–>1. That will be the same melody but in first position on the E and B strings. I'm sure the site you found has melodies transcribed that aren't single-string like this. Dec 23, 2015 at 4:15

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