Web learnclassicalguitar.com

Delicious Save this page on Delicious

2 Qs: Notation, Roman numerals, Circled numbers, # next to note

by PJ Kinann
(CA, U.S.A.)

I've played classical piano for years; played beginning classical on guitar when I was a child; have begun to take up the classical guitar again. I'm using intermediate books, but there are inconsistent notations in each book, so I am confused.

1. Supposedly, the roman numerals show which "position" to use. The circled numbers are the "strings," but there are numbers next to the notes that are supposedly the fingers you use; however, it's confusing because sometimes the number next to the note is the same as the fret, other times not. I can't figure out if there are errors in the book or if the numbers are the fret or the finger.

You would think they would designate the fret -- that would be most useful in learning the upper notes.

When it says #2 next to the note, for example, the second finger would be the appropriate one to use; however, the actual note may be the 4th fret up from the specific position (I, III, V, etc.). It becomes confusing. If they are telling you the finger to use, that is kind of a given - it's the next finger in line. If it is the fret, then my books have errors.

2. I've been googling the best way to learn, or a specific book that teaches how to remember the notes in the neck positions, for example, position III, V, VII, etc? The higher notes. The first position, 1-5 frets are pretty easy to remember as most of the beginner and intermediate pieces are played there. But to advance, I need to figure out a method to remembering the notes higher up on the neck.

Thank you for any suggestions.

Hey PJ!

I agree, it can be confusing at times but you have, however, seemed to get it right in your explanation. I don't think there are errors in the book. You just get used to it over time and know which to fingers, frets to use etc. A modicum of common sense is always handy when playing a fretted instrument! :)

In terms of learning the notes higher up the guitar neck, it is a matter of hard work, effort, time, and patience. There are a few methods that will help like this one:

Notes Method on Wiki

Or even the cards I've provided here...


Hope this helps,

Trevor M.

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Your Questions About Classical Guitar.


A Bit About Me...

Welcome to LCG! I'm Trevor Maurice, owner of this site. I hope you find inspiration in these pages to help you with  your journey of learning to play the classical guitar. You can read more of my story here...

Classical Guitar
Blog Posts

Sons de Carrillhoes, performed by Samantha C. Wells...


* J.S. BACH, Sarabande BWV 995, Viktor VAN NIEKERK, 10-String Guitar, classical guitar...


 * Robert de Visee - Petit Menuet (8 string guitar)...


Manuel Ponce - Scherzino Mexicano...


Segovia plays Bach's Chaconne (Read along)...



  • Classical Guitar Lessons
  • Beginner Classical Guitar Lessons
  • Classical Guitarists Bio's
  • Classical Guitar Composer Bio's
  • Classical Guitar Technique Instruction
  • Classical Guitar History Timeline
  • Tablature for Classical Guitar