The notes on the guitar fretboard: Some basic theory

Recently I looked at the layout of the notes on the guitar fretboard, and described a useful notation for showing the absolute pitch of each note, Helmholtz pitch notation, shown here:

Fretboard with note names

Perhaps one of the more puzzling things for a newcomer to music theory is the apparently uneven distribution of “natural” notes: why are they next to each other in some places like E and F, and not in others like F and G?

To understand this, we need to take a step back and look at some basic music theory.

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