View Full Version : Need help mapping music notes to fret positions

04-18-2011, 11:50 AM
I am trying to learn how to read music. I have a question with how to map a note on a sheet of music to the corresponding note on the fretboard. For example, the C note can appear in a line below the sheet of music or on the third space of the bar (e.g. the FA'C'E position one octave higher than the previous one). Since I can pick the C note on each of the four strings, how do I know which one to use.

Hope this makes sense. Thanks.

- Jack

04-18-2011, 12:37 PM
I don't recall which C the C string on a uke is tuned to off the top of my head. However, that matters little in most cases - what is more important if you're planning to pick out a melody or a riff is to choose notes that will let you get the entire riff or melody in on a ukes limited fretboard. I.e. a "middle C" in the song might need to be mapped higher or lower on the uke to allow the rest of the melody or riff to fit without running out of notes.

04-18-2011, 12:38 PM
Open "C" string is middle C on a piano.

04-18-2011, 12:54 PM
Yep - that's the reference, middle C.

And these might help:

Ukulele JJ
04-18-2011, 01:05 PM
Open "C" string is middle C on a piano.

...which is the C just below the treble-clef staff with a ledger line through it. On a standard-tuned ukulele, this is the only place you can play this particular note. (On a low-G uke, you could also play it on the fourth string, fifth fret.)

The C in the third space is still a "C" note, but it's an octave higher than "middle C". On the uke, it is most commonly played on the first string, third fret.

But you're right that there are other locations where you can play it too. There's no one, single, "correct" place. (It usually depends on what's most convenient for your fingers, mostly due to what else you're playing before and after.)


04-18-2011, 03:34 PM
keep in mind that if the sheet music contains notes below middle C, and you don't have a low G string, your sheet music middle C becomes 3rd fret of A string. i've been tabbing a bit of sheet music myself, and have stopped and restarted a lot for that. tenor uke with low G super helpful - 5 more steps down! yippie! good luck. peace. rock. jc

04-19-2011, 03:36 AM
Thank you for all the responses. This really helps!

- Jack

04-19-2011, 06:08 AM
Hi ukejack82, member Lori posted below link in my introductory post, and I think it will be very helpful to you also. It contains both tabs and sheet music. This will allow you to quickly understand the connection between frets and notes.