To show note, scale a group of pitches arranged from high to low covering one octave, and chord a group of three or more tones forming a harmony positions, a string instrument fingerboard is drawn for the selected instrument. Similar to guitar tab, the first string is drawn on top. The frets are drawn as vertical lines. The nut (open string end) is only visible in open and in first position.
Guitar 1st position C Major triad
Dotted lines are used to show positions for instruments without frets such as the violin. Diamonds are drawn for reference to show the 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th, 12th frets. The 12th fret is indicated with two diamonds.
Violin C Major chord
The portion of the fingerboard that is drawn may be the entire fingerboard or just a few frets of one or two strings. Two numbers above the top string give the position (fret number) and the string number of the top string. Here is a C Major chord arpeggio shown with the first 12 frets of the guitar:
The fret number 0 means open position and the first string is on top.
Here is the same arpeggio with only a portion of the fingerboard displayed:
Fret 3 indicates 3rd position and string 2 means that the second string is on top.
Press the up arrow to zoom in and the down arrow to zoom out.
You can use Practice Settings &endash; Portion of the Fingerboard to set the fingerboard and range to study.
see also Dot and Note Colors, Octave Shapes, Portion of String Instrument