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Hands-On Music Theory by Richard Wentk

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2A Sense of Scale

AGRAND PIANO HAS 88 NOTES. MIDI has 128 notes. Guitars have up to 144 notes. (Some guitars have more frets than others. Electrics often have 21 or 22 frets, some acoustics have up to 24 frets, and a few have 24 frets for all six strings.) Some of the notes repeat, however, so there are really only 48 different pitches. But they don’tall soundexactly the same. So let’s go with the first definition and pretend guitars have more notes than any other instrument.)

So how do you know which notes to play?

Obvious Choice #1 is to play all of them, all the time. Don’t do this. It hurts your fingers, shreds your ears, and annoys the audience, most of whom want to hear something that doesn’t sound like Detroit colliding with a tour truck. ...

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