Yeah, so I've been practicing through songs and i've been getting better around the fretboard, but is there a better technique out there? I want to be able to get around the fretboard pretty decently
It's not really a technique thing as much as it is just knowing your fretboard and having a bit of theory.
I'm a musician/composer before I'm a guitar player.


R.I.P Jimmy "The Reverend Tholomew Plague" Sullivan.
if you know all the notes on the fretboard
and know what key your playing in
getting around it shouldnt be too difficult
Quote by Dynamight
Move your hand.


Jaco's Modern Electric Bass, a good insight to the fundamentals of a player with great technique. Check out 3:58 onwards for good practice methods of getting around the fretboard (arpeggios and doublestops).. there's a music book for the video floating around. It's definately a combination of familiarizing yourself with your own neck and fretboard. Not only in theory but in feel, the concept of how an upright player may play (muscle memory/feel of the neck) still definately applies to electric bass, just in a different way. This goes along with a strong right/left hand technique to follow your left/right hand (including muting along with basic picking technique). I may be describing a means that may or may not be more innate to some players but it can certainly be learned.

"You've got to learn your instrument. Then, you practice, practice, practice. And then, when you finally get up there on the bandstand, forget all that and just wail." ~ Charlie Parker
Quote by FbSa
Back in the 70's I decided to take all the frets off Jaco's Bass thinking he would play worse. Man did that backfire.

[quote="'[x"]Huffy[x]']FUCK YES.

Last edited by Gsaws at Jul 10, 2010,
Thanks, I've been kinda in a rutt lately, this might help! But are you saying arpeggio's are a good way to learn?
What is played in the video is not necessarily for beginners, but it is definately something to look forward to and an example of what you could (I don't want to say should) be aiming for in terms of technique and control of the instrument. As far as basic rock music goes and the like, you will most commonly find the Pentatonic scale being used. When I began playing guitar a few years ago I memorized for example all the shapes of the A minor pentatonic scale across all the strings across the entire fretboard. I could transpose these shapes to any key, familiarizing myself with every single note on that board. Jaco talks about this in that video as well, it's a really interesting resource if you just wanted to watch it all. Anyway, I transferred this theoretical knowledge to the 4 strings of my bass. However, I had to learn the feel of those in it's own way respective to the instrument. Here I'm talking about fluency and synchronocity between left and right hand technique. You can move your hand around the board as much as you want, but if your fingers can't keep up then what's the use? Take a look at the pentatonic scales and the major scales on this following site. It will help you learn the notes on the neck as well as how to get there. Develop a strong picking technique simultaneously and you're on your way. How each note works and moving between them fluently and expressively is a question of theory, which you should learn alongside this at least to a basic degree for now.


I am a self taught player and assure you that with time and practice you should be able to do this.
Quote by FbSa
Back in the 70's I decided to take all the frets off Jaco's Bass thinking he would play worse. Man did that backfire.

[quote="'[x"]Huffy[x]']FUCK YES.

Last edited by Gsaws at Jul 8, 2010,
A good first few steps to take are.

Play a note and find all of them on the fret board. play that note then play the same note on the next string, going up the strings, then if you can do it an octave above. do that for all the notes, then change the pattern of how you play them.

Next play arpeggio's of all the kinds of scales you can do, This is not only good for learning the fretboard it's insanely useful for, pretty much everything.

Then, play through all the scales, you can do the arpeggio's and the scales at the same time, playing the scale up, arpeggio down, then vice versa.

Next are the inversions of the scales and arpeggio's what that means is you play through the scale from the next arpeggio note, 3rd to 3rd, 5th to 5th, 7th to 7th then your back to the root position up an octave. keeping in mind its the exact same scale, just starting it in a different spot, also keep in mind what scale you're playing, as a lot of inversions will look similar to other scales.

doing that for every note will definitely help you memorize pretty much everything about the fretboard. Find chord progressions of some jazz standards or any kind of song and play through the arpeggio for each chord then go through the inversions, then play the first chord in root position then make every next arpeggio an inversion that is the closest/easiest next arpeggio to move your left hand to. then do it from the 3rd 5th and 7th inversion.

after you've practiced a chord progression through like that, you can just play, and when you look down at your hand, you'll know every next possible step you can take.
"Whats that noise??"

"... Jazz"
Learning the fretboard of a guitar or bass is a lot harder these days than it used to be. No, the fretboard didn't change, but the use of altered tunings has become widespread. Anymore, you have to learn the fretboard for all of the tunings that your band uses. There is no simple formula to compensate. If you tune down a full step, just saying to yourself "this is an F in standard tuning, so here it is...uh...let's see...D#!" You get the picture. Whatever tuning you are playing in; you have to learn the fretboard for that tuning - if you truly want to be competent in moving about.
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell?" - Aldous Huxley
So, playing scales is pretty important, so what if I wanted to play Unholy Confessions, thats in Drop D tuning, would I do Drop D scales to get the just of it?
Quote by Trent Armitage
So, playing scales is pretty important, so what if I wanted to play Unholy Confessions, thats in Drop D tuning, would I do Drop D scales to get the just of it?

How often you play in those tunings is whats going to decide how much work you do in them. But in drop D just remember that every note is two frets up, A on the 7th etc.
"Whats that noise??"

"... Jazz"
just learn some scales and arpegios,
or just learn more songs if you are too lazy, try to learn different songs from different genres, try some metallica/muse/scorpions/micheal jackson etc...

edit: by learning different songs you actually "learn" different styles, which is never bad
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