#1
I can already figure out what a note on the fretboard is, but it takes a few seconds for me to figure out most of them. So, in what ways would being able to instantly know which note a fret is benefit me? (Besides reading sheet music.)
#2
in jamming situations, when you all need to play the exact same thing, it can be really important
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...sounds like music to me
#3
Ability to recognize any chords, key etc of a song.

It will make you more multi intrumentally talented, so rather than saying "play a 7 on the E" Youll be able to say "play a low B", and any other musician will know what note that is, and you will be able to tranlate your guitar music to piano/other intstruments better.
#4
you'll get to know that.... i mean you dont have to LEARN that stuff.. it comes with learning other things, composing, improvising.. =)
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#6
The laziness of guitarists has always amused me. Imagine a violin, trumpet, or piano player saying "I don't need to know what note I'm playing, I just go by feel". Imagine taking piano lessons and telling your teacher "I don't want to learn notes, or chords, or scales, I just want to play by ear". Better yet, imagine telling Scriabin, Bach, or Chopin "I don't want to learn any theory...it will ruin my creativity".
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
#7
Quote by __Pent__
I can already figure out what a note on the fretboard is, but it takes a few seconds for me to figure out most of them. So, in what ways would being able to instantly know which note a fret is benefit me? (Besides reading sheet music.)


You'll like, know your way around the fretboard better. How could it not be a benefit to you?
#8
I did that too, but I stopped it because I don't feel I need to do it.

It could be helpful but I rather memorize scales than that.
#9
Quote by hayan
I did that too, but I stopped it because I don't feel I need to do it.

It could be helpful but I rather memorize scales than that.

And what are scales made of?
Actually called Mark!

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#10
Think of learning the fretboard as being good at sex. You could always just feel your way around and hope it works, but it is alot better for everyone involved if you know where your going before you get there.
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#11
Quote by The_Sophist
Think of learning the fretboard as being good at sex. You could always just feel your way around and hope it works, but it is alot better for everyone involved if you know where your going before you get there.



Im gonna put that on my signature once I figure out how to make one.
Last edited by chris.23 at Jan 18, 2009,
#13
Well, it lets you know what you're doing, which is something that seems desirable to me...
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#14
For definite you want to learn all the notes on the E and A strings, so that you know where all your patterns and barre shapes start from. As for the others, I'm a little skeptical to be honest. I play classical piano, so I've been down that route before. It works for sure, but I think there are easier ways to understand what you're playing on the guitar.

Lets say we're in A, so I know my first position starts here (as above, you want to know you're bottom strings no matter what):

e|---
B|---
G|---
D|---
A|---
E|-5-


If my backing is moving from chord I to chord IV, then I know something like this will work:

e|------------
B|-8----------
G|---9b7-5h7~-
D|------------
A|------------
E|------------


The effect is moving from the 5th degree of the scale (the 5th of chord I) to the 4th (the root of chord IV). I can know that without having to know that this is moving from an E to a D. What's more, the effect of going from the 5th to the 4th over a I - IV progression is the same no matter what key you're in.

Coming from a very rigid classical view of the piano, I think there's something quite liberating about being able to think in terms of intervals rather than notes. I think it's much more fundamental to the music. I doubt you could get away with such an approach on the piano though, given that the patterns are different in every key.

In short: I'm sure it works for you, but I kinda like my way.
#15
While I agree with you that it's more important to think in intervals than notes on guitar, that doesn't mean you don't know every note instantly - there is a level of competence you must have with simple note names before you can make a valid choice about your fretboard visualisation.
#16
It bugs me when people say "learn intervals, not notes" - an interval is the space between two notes, if you don't understand the frame of reference then an interval is meaningless to you.
Actually called Mark!

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#17
You learn the notes on the fretboard, and someone tells you "Hey man, let's jam in the key of A," you don't have to be the jackass hitting accidentals all the time because you're "feeling your way through it." Notes are even more important then scales themselves; what the hell is the point of knowing a scale and not even understanding how to put the scale to use in a full extent?

Just because guitar has tabs everyone wants to be lazy and just read off the tabs all day -- just learn the notes, as you learn them you'll understand the benefits.
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#18
when you play a note and someone asks you "yo man what was that note you just played?" you will be able to tell them.
#19
Quote by Archeo Avis
The laziness of guitarists has always amused me. Imagine a violin, trumpet, or piano player saying "I don't need to know what note I'm playing, I just go by feel". Imagine taking piano lessons and telling your teacher "I don't want to learn notes, or chords, or scales, I just want to play by ear". Better yet, imagine telling Scriabin, Bach, or Chopin "I don't want to learn any theory...it will ruin my creativity".

if you know what the note sounds like, the name of it means nothing. i could call it "5" for all i care.

anyway, i never really took much time to learn the notes of the fretboard. ive just sorta figured it out over time. i learned the bottom two strings first for root note purposes. and basically i just kept playing and playing and memorizing the scales and where the notes repeat and eventually i just pretty much knew the fretboard. but i rearely think in terms of what notes i use. like with solos, i never think of notes. even with chords i dont think about too much. guitar is too much instinct for me now i think. i just know where to go.

but id suggest you dont just take my advice and wait for it to happen. i didnt learn them properly because it seemed pretty time consuming. but i think it doesnt have to be. you could do something simple like while practicing scales, say the notes when you play them. if you go through all the keys, you will eventually know all the notes and where they are. plus you'd know the notes in the scale which is helpful.
#20
Quote by steven seagull
It bugs me when people say "learn intervals, not notes" - an interval is the space between two notes, if you don't understand the frame of reference then an interval is meaningless to you.


What does a note mean on its own? What emotion is conveyed by the note "A"? Sod all, that's what. Now a minor 3rd, that has meaning. Furthermore, this meaning is the same no matter if it is A to C, D to F, G# to B, whatever.

Does a Trumpetist care that when he plays what he thinks is a C he's actually playing a Bb? What if you retune your guitar to Eb, do you rememorise the fretboard in terms of the new notes? What about if you tune a 1/4 step down?

Note names are a middle-man to understanding the real music. You can memorise the notes and calculate the intervals if you like, but you're still playing intervals.
#21
I think there are a lot of advantages to learning the notes all over the fretboard. To me, the biggest is how easy it becomes to pick up new stuff.

Suppose, I know one scale - A minor. Now I want to play in B minor. If I've learned everything in terms of fretboard patterns, it's easy enough to shift everything up 2 frets. That is, if I'm only playing in one or two positions, it's pretty easy. If I've learned Am all over the entire neck, then shifting all of what I know up 2 frets is pretty darned confusing.

If I've learned Am in terms of it's notes, then all I have to learn in order to play in Bm is to sharp the C and the F. That, and be aware of which notes the important intervals lie on - the root, 3rd, 5th and 7th. Much easier!
#22
What emotion is conveyed by the note "A"?


None. The same is true of any interval, chord, or scale. Emotion exists solely as the interpretation of the listener, not as an inherent property of the music.

Furthermore, this meaning is the same no matter if it is A to C, D to F, G# to B, whatever.


By that "meaning" will change depending on its place in the chord, who's meaning will depend on its place in the progression, who's meaning will depend on the overall structure of the work, who's meaning will depend entirely on the state of mind of the listener. A interval means nothing.

Does a Trumpetist care that when he plays what he thinks is a C he's actually playing a Bb?


A competent player will be aware that he's playing a transposing instrument, yes.

What if you retune your guitar to Eb, do you rememorise the fretboard in terms of the new notes? What about if you tune a 1/4 step down?


Absolutely.

Note names are a middle-man to understanding the real music. You can memorise the notes and calculate the intervals if you like, but you're still playing intervals.


Notes are the foundation of music. Arbitrarily stopping the regression at intervals is just...arbitrary. The sound of an interval is every bit as dependent on context as the sound of a note.
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
#23
Quote by anotherbluesguy
What does a note mean on its own? What emotion is conveyed by the note "A"? Sod all, that's what. Now a minor 3rd, that has meaning. Furthermore, this meaning is the same no matter if it is A to C, D to F, G# to B, whatever.

Does a Trumpetist care that when he plays what he thinks is a C he's actually playing a Bb? What if you retune your guitar to Eb, do you rememorise the fretboard in terms of the new notes? What about if you tune a 1/4 step down?

Note names are a middle-man to understanding the real music. You can memorise the notes and calculate the intervals if you like, but you're still playing intervals.

A note on it's own mean a damnsight more than interval on it's own - a note is a discrete, measurable pitch; an interval is, as we've established, the space between two notes.

If you take away the notes then you're just left with a space. There's no way you can understand intervals until you first understand the frame of reference in which they exist which is a bunch of notes.
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Last edited by steven seagull at Jan 19, 2009,
#24
A major 6th has the same meaning no matter if it's played in B minor or C# minor, whereas a G# means one thing to one key and something completely different to the other. Transpose any piece and you have precisely the same meaning; all the notes are different, but all the intervals are the same.

Say we're in E minor. I know the major 6th exists for instance here...


e|---
B|---
G|-6-
D|---
A|---
E|---


...and I know its use will imply a Dorian flavour. I can know this without having to know it's a C# (which took me a quick glance at my piano to work out). So no, you don't need to know notes to understand intervals.
#25
And how will somebody know what "E minor" means without understanding notes and how will they know how to locate the scale they want to use without knowing the notes on the fretboard?

You keep harping on about intervals but everything you're advocating still requires knowledge of the notes on the guitar to be able to use it.

Besides, that's not an interval you posted, it's a note
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Last edited by steven seagull at Jan 19, 2009,
#26
I've already said I regard knowledge of the bottom strings to be essential. Beyond this, I think you can do without.

Edit: and it's a degree of the scale, it is more abstract than a note because it is not dependent on pitch, only on relative pitch.
Last edited by anotherbluesguy at Jan 19, 2009,
#27
A major 6th has the same meaning no matter if it's played in B minor or C# minor, whereas a G# means one thing to one key and something completely different to the other


An interval has no "meaning". What it sounds like and how it functions is entirely dependent on the context in which it is placed, as well as the mental state of the listener.
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
#28
Because it makes ALL facets of playing guitar much, much easier.
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#29
No theory book I've ever read delves into the listeners mental state. I'd have thought a piece of music remains the same whether listened to by a psychotic or a neurotic. Whether they like it or not is neither here nor there.

I'm really not saying anything extraordinary here; musical meaning is independent of pitch. A perfect cadence means the same thing in C major as it does in Eb major. If you know where your notes are in relation to your tonal centre then it really doesn't matter whether you know the names of those notes.
#30
Quote by anotherbluesguy
No theory book I've ever read delves into the listeners mental state. I'd have thought a piece of music remains the same whether listened to by a psychotic or a neurotic. Whether they like it or not is neither here nor there.

I'm really not saying anything extraordinary here; musical meaning is independent of pitch. A perfect cadence means the same thing in C major as it does in Eb major. If you know where your notes are in relation to your tonal centre then it really doesn't matter whether you know the names of those notes.


You're equivocating like crazy here.
A C is a C regardless of the context in which it is placed. What you are arguing is that the note will function different depending on the context (e.g. the key). This is a completely reasonable statement by itself, but then you go and redefine everything when you start talking about intervals. Now, all of a sudden, an interval "stands on its own" because it is the same regardless of the context in which it is placed (and a note, despite being similarly the same regardless of the context, does not). Not only that, but a note by itself is meaningless because its sound and function depends on context (but an interval, who's sound and function also depends on context, is meaningful).

This is roughly similar to saying that, since the properties of an atom can differ depending on how it is bonded, there is no point in learning about atoms.
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
#31
We seem to be talking about different things here. The topic is "Benefits from memorizing notes on the fretboard".

Given a key, I can (going with the previous example) know where a major 6th above the tonic is, know its use within the Dorian mode, and know that it is the 3rd in chord IV. I can do this without knowing the name of the note. If I can use a note without knowing its name, what benefit does knowing it give me?
#32
as Frank Zappa once said 'Shut Up n Play Yer Guitar'

Good discussion tho i started learning piano recently and im totally embarrassed by my lack of theoretical knowledge. The keyboard makes everything so simple and puts all the pieces of the puzzle together. I was watching this guy explain the intervals in a major triad and its something that needs to be conveyed early to the student but its difficult to understand this on different strings for a beginner.
#33
any kind of question like this is dumb...

anything and everything you can learn about guitar or music will help you. period. the more you the know the better you are and the better you can GET.
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#34
Quote by anotherbluesguy
We seem to be talking about different things here. The topic is "Benefits from memorizing notes on the fretboard".

Given a key, I can (going with the previous example) know where a major 6th above the tonic is, know its use within the Dorian mode, and know that it is the 3rd in chord IV. I can do this without knowing the name of the note. If I can use a note without knowing its name, what benefit does knowing it give me?


I agree with this 100%.

I happened to be reading just this very thing in 1 of my books: (parphrasing)"The
cool thing about being a guitarist is you don't need memorize a different pattern
for every key. You don't even have to know how many sharps or flats, or the
note names. Position the right pattern in the right place and all the notes are there."

IMO, not taking advantage of something that the guitar automatically makes easier, is
dumb. It doesn't mean not to learn note names, intervals and what all that means,
but you don't have to PRIMARILY think like that when you're playing.

Without the patterns, if I had to try thinking scale formulas, note names, intervals,
what sharps/flats are in the key ... I'd find it very tedious and difficult trying to
actually play.
#35
If you dont learn notes, you will be reliant on various patterns and often, on very physiological playing (unless your one of the few people who when they say 'play by emotion' or 'play whats in my head' are not only actually doing that, but making music that sounds good that way). If you learn notes you can spend less time learning patterns, as you will be able to divise your own. The less relient on patterns you are, the more creative your playing will be. You need to be able to know the intervals (aurally, theororetically and on your instrument) but if you don't know the notes, thats all useless. People who think 'i dont need to know notes' are precisely the reason why many instrumentalists consider guitarists lesser musicians. because most of them are.