How Many Notes On a Guitar? Just like all musical instruments, a guitar has notes and tones. Getting a good grasp of these concepts will improve your playing performance and your mastery of the instrument.

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There are only 12 unique notes on a guitar, whether it’s an acoustic or an electric guitar. These unique notes are A, A#, B, C, C#, D, D#, E, F, F#, G, and G#. But in a 24-fret guitar, there are 49 distinctive tones since each of the notes can be played at different pitches.

The Guitar’s Nature: Its Tones Are Exactly The Same

The guitar is designed as an instrument that should be played with the same tones but at multiple different positions. In other words, the tones are the same, but these are positioned at different places on the fretboard. With the repeat tones, the guitarist has a wide range of choices regarding where and how the notes and chords can be played.

Take note, too, that while each of the strings on a guitar has several tones, you can only play a single tone at a time. The repetition of tones is among the reasons for the playability of the guitar.

The Number of Tones Differs On the Number Of Frets

There are six strings in a 24-fret guitar, with each string having 25 tones. It is because there are 24 tones on the frets plus one on the open string. Keep in mind, too, that the note on the fifth fret is the same note like the following string on the open string, except the G string. In the latter, the note on the fourth fret is the same note as the subsequent string being played open.

But on guitar with less than 24 frets, the number of tones will be different. Take note that there are a few tones that aren’t on any of the E strings, so the number of tones will be lesser.

On a 20-fret guitar, for example, the number of tones will only be 45. There are 42 tones on the E strings and three notes that aren’t on these strings; thus, the 45 tones.

To make it easier to calculate the number of tones on a six-string guitar, you can use this formula: 25 + the number of frets on the guitar 

Essentially, the difference between a 24-fret guitar and a 20-fret and even a 19-fret guitar is that the former will have a couple more tones than the latter. But that’s just about the only significant difference. The playability of a guitar isn’t significantly affected by the number of frets.

It usually boils down to your personal preference and skill level. You may want to read about notes and tones in a guitar and guitar Fretboard using this resource Memorize The Fretboard In Less Than 24 Hours: 35+ Tips And Exercises Included is an excellent resource. You can also use Bass Guitar Fretboard Note Map Decals/Stickers to make it easier to remember which notes and tones are on what frets.

How Many Notes On a Guitar?


Making beautiful music with your guitar starts with an appreciation for its different notes and tones. You will also find that your ability to read sheet music will boost your guitar-playing skills, and it starts with note knowledge.

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