The Second String

Notes on the second string

Now you are familiar with the first string, it's time to move on to the first position notes on the second string.

Playing in first position means that you start with your first finger at the first fret. When you start to move up the neck you'll use other positions.

B on the second string

Open B String

C on the second string

C on the second string

D on the second string

D on the second string

Exercise 1 - Notes on the second string

Second string notes

The Minim

So far each note you have played has lasted for one beat and these notes have been written using a crotchet. A note that lasts for two beats is written as a 'minim'. A minim looks the same as a crotchet but the circle is not filled in.


When you play a minim, let it ring out for two beats.

Second String Minims

Try this exercise with both crotchets and minims.

Second String Minims & Crotchets


It's a good idea when reading music to keep a count in your head. You can help this by either counting softly out loud or by tapping your foot. You can also use a metronome, which allows you to set a click going at timed intervals, which you can then speed up and slow down. If you have a smartphone, there are quite a few free metronomes available. When you are practising an exercise, start the metronome at a slow speed, about 60bpm (beats per minute). When you have played it a couple of times, speed the metronome up a bit and try again. Repeat until you can't keep up.

Now let's try playing across two strings using the notes you've learnt so far. Remember to still alternate up and down strokes, even when changing strings. Start slowly and gradually build up speed.

The top two strings - exercise 1

Top two strings - 1

The top two strings - exercise 2

Top two strings - 2