the notes on the d string

As I write the text for this lesson, I am assuming that you are now completely at terms with all of the information presented in Lessons Five, Seven, and Nine. If you are, please continue. We are learning three new notes today: D, E, and F, all of which will be found on your 4th string.

Notes On The D String

I’m thinking you’re probably getting fairly comfortable with reading the notes by this point, so I’m going to up the ante a bit by using a rhythmic element we learned in the last lesson on strumming. The tune below will mark your first exposure to reading eighth notes. Remember that eighth notes get a half-count, so there are two eighth notes for every quarter note. When you see two or more together, they are beamed, and look like what you see in the image below. These will be picked with a down followed by an up.


You’ll also run across a couple of dotted half notes, which get three counts instead of two. When a dot follows a note, you add half of the time valuation of the original note. In this case, a half note normally gets 2 counts. Half of 2 is 1, and 2 + 1 is 3. Here’s what it looks like:

Dotted Half

Here’s a new song which will incorporate notes from each of the four strings you’ve learned, plus the new rhythms we just discussed.


Once you've gotten it polished up, play it backwards. Once you can do that, flip it upside-down and you'll have a great opportunity to review the notes on the first few strings. Also, at this point you can take the material from Lessons Five, Seven and Nine and flip those upside-down. Imagine, you’ll never run out of music to read! Hooray!