#1
Hello!

I'm a beginner and would like to learn the notes of the fretboard. Any tips (or websites/books) on how to best learn this?

I'd also like to start learning music theory and wanted to ask for a book recommendation. I'm pretty sure, I won't get bored by music theory at all, but want to avoid learning too much theoretical stuff, which in the end won't help my actual guitar playing or songwriting. So a book on theory, but with a practical focus would be great.

Thanks for any help!
giutar
#2
As for learning your fretboard:
1) Practice scales
2) Practice scales
3) Practice scales

Also think in advance, so how the note you're about to play will sound.

As for music theory. Don't know what you already know, but start with the basics:
http://www.musictheory.net/

There's plenty of stuff on the internet. If you really want to explore more specific areas of music theory (for example counterpoint, four-part harmony etc) you always can buy books.

But in general basically everything that's considered basic can be found on the internet.
#3
Hi giutar,

With regard to theory, all the information is out there but you should really get a good teacher. It's important to apply theory and make practical use of it every step of the way.

To learn the fretboard, just remember that B-C is one fret and E-F is one fret. Knowing this and the names of the strings you can count along the string to the note your looking for and get it right every time.

Try writing all 12 notes on a piece of paper in a random order e.g. :

E B D Bb F A Eb C Gb Ab G Db

...and then find them all on the 6th string. Repeat, then try it on the 5th string, and so on. You could try it with a metronome too for extra discipline.

I find that students find it easiest to count up the way I described 'E-F is one fret, F-G is two frets...' and then add the sharp or flat at the end.

I hope that helps.
#4
How can you learn too much theory? I mean, theory explains how music works. And I think you learn new stuff all the time, you can't know all theory and good knowledge comes over time. It won't do no harm to your songs if you know theory. Actually it might just make them better because you are more able to analyze your and other people's songs.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#5
Quote by deHufter

1) Practice scales
2) Practice scales
3) Practice scales


:|
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You win. I'm done here.
#6
deHufter, StuartBahn, MaggaraMarine,
thank you for your helpful input!

You're right, that everything regarding theory can be found on the internet. And www.musictheory.net is very helpful. I will use it, but I'm still looking for a good book, just because I prefer studying from a book over studying on screen.

I already have a good teacher, who can help me APPLY theory. But I don't want to waste my time with him on learning theory that I could learn just by myself.

I was wondering, whether there is some sort of consensus on the forum as to which book(s) are great for learning theory as a guitarist.

I found these two on amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Music-Theory-Guitarists-Everything-Wanted/dp/063406651X/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1362751784&sr=1-4&keywords=music+theory

http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Idiots-Guide-Music-Theory/dp/1592574378/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1362752848&sr=1-1&keywords=music+theory

Thanks to all again,
giutar
#7
I would recommend the first one. I have it myself and it has aided me greatly in understanding theory. Also thr first chapter is on reading notation, which is very handy.
#8
You need to learn how to use theory analytically before you can apply it effectively in composition. Theory is a lot more than how to build chords and scales. Music Theory is much more about how form, harmony, and rhythm affect the subjective experience of music.

Why, in a certain piece of music, does a note placed on beat 3 of measure 7 have a totally different effect than on beat 2? Why does it make sense to use out-of-key chords between in-key chords?

Once you understand those kind of minutiae, the actual use of those concepts becomes nearly intuitive - they're just the sounds you want to hear.

You should stick with the teacher. Music Theory isn't easy at first, and it will make a lot more sense when someone is there to say "here's what this sounds like". You can look stuff up online, but that's rather like trying to learn a new language from a dictionary, instead of a native speaker.

Quote by Hail
:|


learning the freatboard =/= being good at music. But it helps.

A lot of your advice seems to come from an assumption of limited practice time. Anyone with an open schedule or a lot of determination can find the time required to become a well-rounded musician.

Scales, for example, aren't a big deal. It might take someone a few hours to hack through all 12 scales the first few times, but after that it's a breeze. I play dozens of scales every day as part of my warm ups. Takes about 15 minutes.
Last edited by cdgraves at Mar 8, 2013,
#9
Quote by giutar
Hello!

I'm a beginner and would like to learn the notes of the fretboard. Any tips (or websites/books) on how to best learn this?

I'd also like to start learning music theory and wanted to ask for a book recommendation. I'm pretty sure, I won't get bored by music theory at all, but want to avoid learning too much theoretical stuff, which in the end won't help my actual guitar playing or songwriting. So a book on theory, but with a practical focus would be great.

Thanks for any help!
giutar



If you're a beginner, I recommend putting that sort of thing on hold, and instead put some quality time in to playing fundamentals. Get yourself through a book or 2, learn some easy chords, and some easy songs. Get good at that stuff, and then with that foundation start looking into theory. You'll learn the fretboard gradually in the process, and in a way that will stick.
#10
Just memorize what every note sounds like in an absolute fashion so for example when something is a Db you can hear it and go "that was a Db".
#11
I recommend an exercise i do for 10 minutes everyday, it will greatly help you to learn your fretboard.

Now i use an application for my phone to do this, but you can write it down on pieces of paper or whatever.

What i do is i use this application that generates random root notes, then i play that note on each string as fast as i can (although keeping into consideration that it is better to slow down and get it right then speed up and get it wrong).

Start going from E -> A -> D -> G -> B -> e. Playing (for example) all the "A" notes. (You only need to do this between the open string and 12 fret though, cause it repeats after the 12th fret.

It's a great exercise. Then you can swap around and do maybe play all the "A" notes on the E string, then the D, then the A, then the G. (skipping one string each time).

Good luck and keep practicing!
Fusion and jazz musician, a fan of most music.

Quote by Guthrie Govan
“If you steal from one person it's theft, and if you steal from lots of people it's research”


Quote by Chick Corea
"Only play what you hear. If you don't hear anything, don't play anything."
#12
Quote by cdgraves
learning the freatboard =/= being good at music. But it helps.

A lot of your advice seems to come from an assumption of limited practice time. Anyone with an open schedule or a lot of determination can find the time required to become a well-rounded musician.

Scales, for example, aren't a big deal. It might take someone a few hours to hack through all 12 scales the first few times, but after that it's a breeze. I play dozens of scales every day as part of my warm ups. Takes about 15 minutes.


i just get antsy is all

with a dedicated teacher, absolutely i trust them to show scales as purely a warm-up/technical exercise to get your fingers up to snuff

but when it comes to being self-taught, there are waaaay too many kids on this site who only run through scales. and it's like, nigga, stop

Quote by GuitarMunky
If you're a beginner, I recommend putting that sort of thing on hold, and instead put some quality time in to playing fundamentals. Get yourself through a book or 2, learn some easy chords, and some easy songs. Get good at that stuff, and then with that foundation start looking into theory. You'll learn the fretboard gradually in the process, and in a way that will stick.


agreed with this, when you learn your intervals it becomes a lot easier to feel your way around the fretboard without putting so much thought into it
Quote by Kevätuhri
Hail isn't too edgy for posts, posts are not edgy enough for Hail.


Quote by UseYourThumb
You win. I'm done here.
Last edited by Hail at Mar 9, 2013,
#13
I guess I must have learned differently. For me, getting scales and intervals down by feel were self-same.

Sight reading is also a tremendous skill builder in finding intervals by feel.
#14
Without wishing to resort to hypebole, the TS sounds like an absolute fit for what we teach online.

But I have some questions and comments for a few respondents:

@cdgraves - you wrote:

You need to learn how to use theory analytically before you can apply it effectively in composition. Theory is a lot more than how to build chords and scales. Music Theory is much more about how form, harmony, and rhythm affect the subjective experience of music.

Why, in a certain piece of music, does a note placed on beat 3 of measure 7 have a totally different effect than on beat 2? Why does it make sense to use out-of-key chords between in-key chords?

I have a couple of questions for you:

1. Define "effectively" as you mean it in this context. That seems to be a word that has a lot of subjectivity.

2. Answer your own question, in this instance: "Why, in a certain piece of music, does a note placed on beat 3 of measure 7 have a totally different effect than on beat 2?" I'd like to know why, as well, since no music is referenced. I teach theory for a living with students from 32 countries around the world, and I don't understand a word of what you are saying here.

3. Why does it make sense to use out-of-key chords between in-key chords? This question makes no sense to me. Can you answer it? A key in some form is a tonal center idea. If you are talking about non diatonic chords, then okay, but why would it make "sense". That doesn't follow, because not all compositions have to have a bVI for instance. There are plenty of things that work great with I IV V - ii V I, without needing secondary dominants and the like.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

@macashmack - you said, "memorize what every note sounds like in an absolute fashion so for example when something is a Db you can hear it and go "that was a Db".

My question is, what do you call it in the key of A then, if that's all it takes?

Best,

Sean
Last edited by Sean0913 at Mar 9, 2013,
#15
The questions were rhetorical - Those are just the kinds of questions that theory helps you answer.

Putting a note on beat 3 instead of 2 could be for a suspension in the melody; a simple dramatic gesture. Out-of-key chords between in-key chords are usually secondary dominants that give greater weight to the chords of resolution.

The point is that theory should help you understand music on a deeper level than spelling chords and scales. Ultimately, you want to know why a composer/player made certain musical choices.
#16
Quote by cdgraves

Putting a note on beat 3 instead of 2 could be for a suspension in the melody; a simple dramatic gesture.


I agree that theory can and does help you see the big picture. It's very good for analysis, but I don't think it's essential for basic composition, unless you are of the opinion that the more applied theory and twists a piece has, the more "effective" it is.

A note on 3 and not 2 can be a lot of things. A note (chromatic or scale tone) moving to a leading tone in beat 4 for the next chord change in the following measure, for example.

Example: D to G - Beat 3 can be an E and beat 4 be an F# leading to G on the next measure. Of course, theory tells me that F# is great because it's also my major 3rd of the chord in the current measure, and E can be my 9.

Thanks for your thoughts!

Best,

Sean
Last edited by Sean0913 at Mar 9, 2013,
#17
If you know your alphabet A-G then youre pretty much up to speed on the notes of the fretboard. Always remember that B and E have no sharps or flats. So if you start at the fifth fret of the fifth string, (which is an A) and just move up the neck one fret at a time, you have this: A, A#, B, C, C#, D, D#, E, F,F#, G, G#, and then you're back to an A. That is the chromatic scale. It sounds like shit, but helps you learn the notes of the fretboard lol. Here's the tricky part: A#=Bb. C#=Db. The same exact note can have 2 different names. It sounds confusing at first but it's really simple. Hope this helps
#18
Lol sorry I messed that last part up. I meant A sharp = B. C sharp = D flat. Sorry for confusion. Once you have this down, definitely learn the major scale. Learn it in the key of C because it contains no sharps or flats. It is this: C, D, E, F , G, A, B, and then back on C. This is much easier to do on a piano because to play this, you would simply just run your finger across all the white keys
#19
Quote by Renots024Young
Lol sorry I messed that last part up. I meant A sharp = B.


#20
Quote by Renots024Young
Lol sorry I messed that last part up. I meant A sharp = B. C sharp = D flat. Sorry for confusion. Once you have this down, definitely learn the major scale. Learn it in the key of C because it contains no sharps or flats. It is this: C, D, E, F , G, A, B, and then back on C. This is much easier to do on a piano because to play this, you would simply just run your finger across all the white keys

You didn't mess it up in your first post but now you did.

A# = same pitch as Bb. They really aren't the same note and it depends on the context which one you should use. But they are the same pitch.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115