FRET BOXES: chords, scales and capo notation
Here are the abbreviations used for each finger. Fretting hand: 1, 2, 3, 4, (T) Picking hand: p (thumb), i (index), m (middle), a (annular), c (little finger)
Nut and Fretboard
This fretbox diagram represents the guitar’s fretboard exactly, as seen in the photo. This design is used for ease of visualising a fretboard scale or chord quickly.
Ch ord example
This diagram represents a G chord. The ‘o’s are open strings, and a circled number is a fretting hand finger. A black ‘o’ or circled number is the root note (here, G).
The blue line in the diagram represents a capo – for this A chord, place it at the 2nd fret. Capos change the fret number ordering. Here, the original 5th fret now becomes the 3rd fret, 7th fret now 5th fret, etc.
Here the chord looks like a C in the tab, but the capo on the 2nd fret raises the pitch to make it a D. The 2nd fret capo’d notes are shown with a ‘0’ in the tab as if they were open strings.
The fret box diagram illustrates the fret hand fingering for the A major scale using black dots for root notes and red dots for other scale tones. The photo shows part of the scale being played on the fourth string with the first, third and fourth fingers.