I've found that the biggest weakness i have in my playing right now is i do not have the entire fretboard memorized, and it is holding me back in my jazz combo class at school. I have the e and a strings understood and the rest up to the 5th fret, but i dont have the rest memorized (6-11....i know at 12th it all starts over). What are some ways that I can fix this problem fairly quickly? Thanks
I learned benchmarks first. Find a way to remember that 3rd fret is G, and 8th is C.

Once you have just those two down, add one or two more. Start using them in your playing routine.

I've played jazz for a while and you're right, it's essential to know your notes. Taking them one step at a time.
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Google it bro... there are quite a few websites out there with tricks, flash, etc which will help ya learn it.

If on the E A D G strings you can always look 2 frets up and 2 frets over to find the note your on as well...so if you've learned the E A strings, you also know all the D G notes...

Google..it's your friend.
Print out some of the "blank" fretboard charts.

Like these.

Write down the notes you know from memory. Start by finding a single note on every position of the fretboard (C is an obvious choice). Do that until you find all the notes. After that do, look for scales; find the notes of a scale you choose at random.
Remember to switch it up so you won't get board.

If you wanna transition this to the guitar, use the guitar as a sort of flash card. Keep your collection of diagrams face down and start physically playing all the notes, using the same method that you used with the charts. For each mistake you make, chop off an 1/16th of your finger (doesn't matter which one). I'm not saying it's the best way, but it certainly is helpful.
Uhm, just do it? There's no other way.

Play the natural notes on every string, memorise them. Then you will naturally know where sharps and flats occur.
For me, I used the method Satriani discussed in some of his articles. I started with F and found all of the F's on the guitar starting with the 6th string to the 1st string, then I moved through the circle of 5ths doing the same for every note. Like you I already knew the E & A strings and all strings up to the 5th fret. I'd cycle through all the notes about 3 times per day and it took me a couple of weeks to get really comfortable with all the notes.
Try going through my theory vids - you can cut the work down to less than a 3rd of the "whole" fretboard with just some simple ideas.

Here's some pointers -

Notes repeat from the 12th fret onwards.
Notes on E and E strings are the same ( obvo )
Learn the natural notes and the positions of the others are obvious.
memorise the E and A strings

from there skip a string and skip a fret

that`s the simplest octave shape

when you get to the D string it`s separated by 1 more fret and 1 string

once you`ve know the root the octaves are easy to find
Last edited by ibanezgod1973 at Oct 24, 2009,