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I used to play violin so I know basic theory (several scales and the key signatures for the most part), but I have been very lazy and never learned the notes on the fretboard of a guitar. I want to begin writing songs now and I know I need to learn the actual notes before I move into theory.

In short, does anyone have any tips/suggestions of interesting ways to learn the notes on the fretboard easily? I searched online and most of what I could find was stuff like flashcards.
1. Draw an empty fretboard diagram. Write in all the notes.

2. Learn basic chord shapes. They are very helpful for interval reference.
Oh yeah.

Quote by hildesaw
A minor is the saddest of all keys.

EDIT: D minor is the saddest of all keys.
Another exercise Joe Satriani recommends is picking a note, then finding that that note on each string up and down the neck. You should get two notes per string, for the most part. Depends how far your neck goes up I guess. Also, I'd recommend learning all the natural notes first, that way you can kinda piece in the accidentals.
Well I started by learning all of the octaves. Since you say you know basic theory, I assume you know the notes and names of chords. Find the root note of any chord, and then trace the octaves (also keep in mind the notes on the high E and low E are the exact same). Once you learn all the natural octaves, you'll be surprised at how much of the neck that covers.
I hope I explained that in text right, I know how to show people but I've never had to type it up before.
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Online Video Guitar lessons, ebooks, and so on. This above blog is how you may contact me for more information, or email me at jayninelessons@gmail.com
I memorised the low E and A strings first then just worked my way back to them using octaves to find out the notes of other strings e.g 7 on B = 4 on D = 2 on E = F#
Learning the notes is rather dumb, just learn where your sharps and flats are
Learning the notes is rather dumb, just learn where your sharps and flats are

change "dumb" to "important" and you're pretty much there.

TS, just start using the note names, you'll struggle to learn them simply by trying to memorise them rote.
Actually called Mark!

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i wanna see a clip of a recto buying some groceries.

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Learning the notes is rather dumb, just learn where your sharps and flats are

i can't tell if you're trolling or serious.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
I'm being serious, learning more about the aesthetics of the notes on the fretboard is more important because when you start to mess around in different tunings, your gonna be like HURR DURR WATS DIS NOTE NOW
I'm being serious, learning more about the aesthetics of the notes on the fretboard is more important because when you start to mess around in different tunings, your gonna be like HURR DURR WATS DIS NOTE NOW

only if you don't learn well.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
Somebody posted a link to a program called 'Absolute Fretboard Trainer', I downloaded it with a degree of scepticism however after doing about 20 minutes a day on it I feel I'm already a third of the way; I only downloaded it sometime last week.

I wish I could remember the link so I could pass it on, maybe someone could post it again? Put it in a sticky cause I've found it pretty useful.
http://lmgtfy.com/?q=fretboard+notes

don't waste your time posting on UG or looking for silly ways to learn the notes and just look at a digram and remember them, i'm not trolling. it's not that difficult, you only have to remember the first 11 frets, they repeat after the 12th, and the 12th is the same as the open strings
Last edited by randomucker at Jun 11, 2010,
Quote by KingJustinian25
I used to play violin so I know basic theory (several scales and the key signatures for the most part), but I have been very lazy and never learned the notes on the fretboard of a guitar. I want to begin writing songs now and I know I need to learn the actual notes before I move into theory.

In short, does anyone have any tips/suggestions of interesting ways to learn the notes on the fretboard easily? I searched online and most of what I could find was stuff like flashcards.

Simplify it.learn one string at a time about 3 to 4 notes a day.put your finger on the note say it by name move to the next note do the same.repeate it as often as needed.the more you repeate things the more they get wired into your brain.do not rush,you have a lifetime to learn it.
Last edited by Ihatelovers at Jun 13, 2010,
I find that forcing yourself to learn something cold turkey is pretty difficult. I think it would be better if you became more familiar with the fretboard by just playing. I don't have every note on the fretboard memorized, and I'm perfectly fine with that. Because I know I'll have it memorized eventually. And because if I need to find a specific note, or name what note a fret is, I'll be able to do so pretty quickly.

On a side note, if you really do wanna memorize it the fretboard, a good excersice is to imagine a fretboard in your head, pick a fret at random, and name what note that would be. Good for when you're sitting in class or at the dentist's.
I use flashcards for music theory. You can download a program called Anki for free - run it, browse the decks you can download and you'll find a picture fretboard trainer already there. I've got a deck for music theory with about 200 cards - note location on the neck and stave, intervals, degrees, chord tones, modes, key signatures, etc. Really helpful - I do it for about 20 minutes a day. I figure in a month or so I'll have it all memorized.
"His name is Robert Paulson"
Try playing/learning all 12 major scales and play up and down the neck, and as you play them kind of yell in your head what the notes are. You say you already have several down so it shouldnt be that too hard for you. But start off with some easy ones and work your way up.
"Forget the rules. If it sounds good, it is good."
-Eddie Van Halen
On string 6 & 5 open is E & A.

On string 4 & 3 on 2nd fret is E & A

On string 2 & 1 on 5th fret is E & A
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Memorizing the circle of fifths and fourths would help with learning the fretboard. Also, I like to do all my diatonic scale exercises in the key of C major - that way as I practice my scales, I'm also learning the location of all the naturals.
Quote by STONESHAKER
Memorizing the circle of fifths and fourths would help with learning the fretboard. Also, I like to do all my diatonic scale exercises in the key of C major - that way as I practice my scales, I'm also learning the location of all the naturals.

That's a good way of it and I memorized mine in A minor. That way I'm on the 5th fret and I got both ways to go.
Parker PDF30
Vox VT40+
I am working on this too, I found a really good site where it will pretty much show you a note on the fretboard, and you have to guess what it is...

go to musictheory.net and click exercises. Click the circle next to Fretboard Identification, scroll down, set the settings how you want them, then click start exercise at the bottom.

Keep practicing at that a ton, plus what everyone else suggested and you'll learn it in no time!
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Goddammit woman,
get back in the kitchen"
I had the same frustration as you for years, but I came up with a way to arrange all of the information you're looking for- how chords are built, what notes they're built from, where those notes are found on the fretboard, which chords sound cool together, etc., in a way that makes a lot of sense to me. I'd really appreciate any feedback as to whether or not this system makes sense to you as well. I posted a video about it on YouTube called "http://www.youtube.com/user/FretboardToolbox#p/u/0/Z_9hNa6UbMk ".

Hope it helps!

Scott
In this book I have it tells you to learn the frets in chunks. Learn frets 5 and 10 first because they do not contain any accidentals. Then learn 3 and 7 because they contain 1 accidental, then fret 8 because it contains 2, and so on.

http://img145.imageshack.us/img145/4753/guitarnecknotesqy6.gif
This may assist you, in your efforts.

fenderflyer...

PS depending on what you want to do, playing wise knowing notes is important despite comments to the contrary and I have 50 years experience as a pro to back my comment...

On the chart the sharps and flats are between notes like D and E Eb D#
Last edited by fenderflyer at Jun 14, 2010,
Quote by fenderflyer
This may assist you, in your efforts.

h depending on what you want to do, playing wise knowing notes is important despite comments to the contrary and I have 50 years experience as a pro to back my comment...

^ +1

Learning to read standard notation in all positions is a good way to get intimate with the notes on the neck.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Jun 14, 2010,
I figured it out for myself.. I barely learned any scales either. All those diagrams and "helpful" links would always confuse the shit out of me. I started just by counting along the frets to the note.. then I figured out where the notes were in relation to each other then I worked out the scales for myself. Would have made the process alot quicker if I learned the scales to start with though so you should probably learn the scales.. you could say or think each note in the scale as you play it aswell.
Cornflakes
i wonder why people wanna do that ...
well , learning the fretboard with position octaves helps alot ...
Quote by Sean0913
If you want it in 6 lessons, perfectly, PM me. I have taught it to guitarists in as little as 3 weeks. The entire fretboard. With your background in music you might be able to do it somewhere between 4-6 lessons I'd have to discuss your relevant knowledge to make sure though.

Best,

Sean

why not just give the advice here, rather than spam up the forum.
shred is gaudy music
Quote by DiminishedFifth
He was doing so good for awhile...

Now he's back to when he first joined :/

thats what I was thinking.
shred is gaudy music
Quote by GuitarMunky
why not just give the advice here, rather than spam up the forum.

Your comments are spam. I answered the guys question. I don't know what you exactly expect me to do here? Deny my own system? I'm not going to. If someone asks for help and I know that my way is a viable option, I will say so.

I frequently refer others to the Ultimate Guide here as well as Mike Dodge also.

If someone is going to ask, I'm going to answer honestly. I'm not starting topic after topic trying to advertise, I share the information in instances where I see the TS could benefit from it. There are plenty of topics where I don't even post. After 1000 posts you'd figure that Im not here to spam. Look at the content of the posts.

I am not going to pretend I can't help people when they ask for help. I'll give them the information and respect their ability to choose. But at least they can't say that they weren't given possible options.

Is there something in particular you take offence to? Was my comment not in line with the subject the TS made?

Best,

Sean
Quote by Sean0913
Your comments are spam. I answered the guys question. I don't know what you exactly expect me to do here? Deny my own system? I'm not going to. If someone asks for help and I know that my way is a viable option, I will say so.

If someone is going to ask, I'm going to answer honestly. I'm not starting topic after topic trying to advertise, I share the information in instances where I see the TS could benefit from it. There are plenty of topics where I don't even post. After 1000 posts you'd figure that Im not here to spam. Look at the content of the posts.

I am not going to pretend I can't help people when they ask for help. I'll give them the information and respect their ability to choose. But at least they can't say that they weren't given possible options.

Is there something in particular you take offence to? Was my comment not in line with the subject the TS made?

Best,

Sean

It's not the information you give that's wrong and considered spam. It's the fact that thread after thread it seems like you're trying to reel in as many people as you can with posts like:

If you want it in 6 lessons, perfectly, PM me. I have taught it to guitarists in as little as 3 weeks. The entire fretboard. With your background in music you might be able to do it somewhere between 4-6 lessons I'd have to discuss your relevant knowledge to make sure though.

Who knows if your method is a holy grail and I understand that you don't want it disseminated all over the web, but come on, that's not providing any discussion whatsoever. If anything a wave of responses like this one over a number threads make you like like you're desperate trying to enroll people or just plain spam. The link to your website is in your sig, people can pick up on it and if not you can mention it like you mention other's but telling people in what basically is "I'll answer your question if you pay for 6 lessons" is considered spam even if it's coated in candy.

I know you must get people to join for your classes but you have to remember these are kids. Most have no real access to money or credit cards so they're here to have their questions answered and to learn off of guides here and on youtube. It's probably the last thing on a kids mind to start investing money in lessons off of the internet so answers like yours don't do anything of relevance for a lot of them.

just something im messing with that might help , its sort of a guitar game i guess.
click on "knockout", you start with a blank fretboard and you have to click the note it asks (you can only click a note once, so when youve used up all the ones low down the fretboard it forces you to start finding notes in places you mightnt normally)

http://www.aacweston.com/temp/quiz/

also someone mentioned satches tip of playing a note then finding it on every other string, you can even make a little solo like this!

EDIT: "time trial" is bugged so i wouldnt bother with that
Quote by Sean0913
Your comments are spam. I answered the guys question. I don't know what you exactly expect me to do here? Deny my own system? I'm not going to. If someone asks for help and I know that my way is a viable option, I will say so.

Ummm yeah.

Quote by Sean0913
If you want it in 6 lessons, perfectly, PM me. I have taught it to guitarists in as little as 3 weeks. The entire fretboard. With your background in music you might be able to do it somewhere between 4-6 lessons I'd have to discuss your relevant knowledge to make sure though.

Best,

Sean

^ thats not advice, thats a sales pitch. It's the only thing you've posted in this thread.
shred is gaudy music
Stop spamming guitarmunky!!
Oh yeah.

Quote by hildesaw
A minor is the saddest of all keys.

EDIT: D minor is the saddest of all keys.
you can try balance hard work with "fun" by learning songs using barre chords for the E and A strings and eventually you'll becoming somewhat capable.
you can then try barre chords for the D string (fourth)
(http://guitarsecrets.com/4th_string_root_chords.htm) this site has fourth string barre chords (i'm not trying to spam)

and remember 6th and 1st string are same though im finding it hard trying to find a methodical way memorize 3rd and 2nd strings
In looking at Pillo's response I see his point. The intent was not to spam but to let the person know they had an option, but I will keep this in mind.

For the record the response was meant to be a direct response to his direct question.

In short, does anyone have any tips/suggestions of interesting ways to learn the notes on the fretboard easily? I searched online and most of what I could find was stuff like flashcards.

My answer was, yes I do have a suggestion and that was what it was. That's all I did, and every point of my response was directly in response to this question even taking into account that I was not clear of what he may have already figured out and that based upon that I could better determine if he'd need 6 lessons or fewer. I gave him a direct and tailored resonse directed towards HIS needs, and if that sounds like a sales pitch, I apologize, but it is only to let him know there are options.

The guy said he'd already done searching, and apparently the means that he discovered were not sufficient, so he was looking for better ways. My way I believe is better, again directed towards HIM and HIS statement. It's contextual.

When I see a person post for help, and I know (and can demonstrate a proven track record with what I teach), and I sincerely believe that it works, I am going to let them know. I will at least let them know so they know they have an option, and it may be one that they would not have known they had otherwise, and from there, my work is done.

Those that know me best here do not question my motives. They know I struggle wanting to help others and watching them float by every day and knowing I can help them, is very difficult. The best I can do is let them know Im here, but Im not going to teach people for free, when so many others have to pay for these lessons, and do. And, they do learn.

Now, I could link you to the news articles, the TV interviews and hundreds of testimonials from around the world and even this forum that will testify far more than I could about what I do, and I have held my tongue in spite of the most ignorant and arrogant of remarks and innuendo. The fact is, it is demonstrable, it is well documented and open for anyones review should they wish to do so. But I'm not going to do that here, you can PM me about it.

For my part I will carefully frame my responses in the future. But I will let people know they have options. What they do from there is up to them.

Best,

Sean
Last edited by Sean0913 at Jun 17, 2010,
Quote by Sean0913

Now, I could link you to the news articles, the TV interviews and hundreds of testimonials from around the world and even this forum that will testify far more than I could about what I do, and I have held my tongue in spite of the most ignorant and arrogant of remarks and innuendo. The fact is, it is demonstrable, it is well documented and open for anyones review should they wish to do so. But I'm not going to do that here, you can PM me about it.

Dude, are you kidding? even THIS is a sales pitch. Man, you just don't get it.
shred is gaudy music