OK, So I'm trying to find a way to help me learn where all the notes are on the neck.

There's 12 different places any given note could be. How the heck do you remember where they all are?

Any little things like learning the staff (EGBDF = Empty Garbage Before Dad Flips)
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Well there are a few things i did when i started that helped me before i got to the point were i could just look at the fretboard and know.

One is understanding that from the open string to the 12th fret, and the 12th to 24th is the same, they are like mirror images of eachother.

Another was learning octave patterns, like if i had a note on the low E string i knew i could find the same note two frets higher on the D string. And if i found a note on the D string i knew i could find the same note one octave lower 2 frets lower on the low E string, or find the same note one octave higher 3 frets higher on the B string.

After you've gotten familiar with that it's just a matter of practicing finding the notes. I used to (and still do from time to time) practice one of the exercises Lee Ritenour talked about in a video somewhere. Where he would choose a random note, and then play it on all strings from the low e to high e between the open string and 12th fret as fast as he could (without messing up).

If you practice that for just 10 minutes everyday your awareness of the fingerboard will increase dramatically.

Hope that was to any help.
Cheers.
Sickz
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Thanx, Sickz. I like the idea of that exercise.

Maybe I'll try (as a start) to learn where all the A's are for example. Then I can use that as a gauge to know where the B's and C's, and the F's and G's lay around them.
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Sickz hit all the main points

1. Use the dots to guide you.
2. 5 Octave patterns are crucial.
3. Learn only the natural notes first and then fill in the gaps.
4. Own one string a week and be consistent naming the notes. Treat it like a game. Say a note and find it.
5. Practice saying the notes aloud on a lick you are learning.

What I didn't figure out until later is that learning all the notes is crucial if you want to do find the chord tones when soloing.
I agree that learning the octave patterns is one of the best ways to learn, but it wasn't the primary method I used. I would, each day for about a month, pick a string and go up every fret naming the note names. I did this repeatedly to drill the pattern into my head, and I still reference that in my playing. I feel that learning the notes using that method better prepared me to find the notes on the fly when I got into more advanced chord charts. The bottom line is that all of the suggestions thus far are great, experiment and find the one that makes the most sense to you.
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the way i learned it very fast was that i i learned one note at a time, Like two per day. On day one i learned where all the C's and F's were, and on day two G's and D's and so on. And you test yourself all the time, trying to find them on every string as fast as you can. I also Copied a lot of Fretboard Charts, like 100. And filled them out when watching tv or anywhere anytime
Apart from the octave pattern already mentioned, there's another kind of pattern that can help you identify the notes.
Take for example the E on the low e string (12th fret). To find the E on the A string, you go 5 frets lower -> 7th fret.
From there to find the E on the D string, same thing, 5 frets lower -> 2nd fret.

That works for all strings/position with a couple of exceptions.
- Going from the G to the B string you only go 4 frets lower instead of 5. (you'll find this difference in other patterns too, because of the way standard tuning is)
- When you find yourself low up the neck, continue your counting from the 12th fret. If we use the same example, 2nd fret D string is E, we go five lower (1st fret, open string or 12th fret, 11th fret, 10th fret then 9th fret) -> 9th fret G string is E.
Another thing to do is to physically draw out the notes on the neck. With a piece of paper and pencil. Draw out the neck, put the dots where they're supposed to be, and then write in the notes on the strings. Do it over and over again. I'm a very visually oriented with the way I learn, and just sitting down and writing it out helped me a lot.

Personally, I wouldn't do it exactly the same way I did it, though. I did the whole neck at once. Probably not the best idea, as your brain can only take in so much information at once. I'd stick to a certain area such as every note up to the 5th fret. Once you get those down, move of to every note up to the 10th. Then, up to the 15th. Etc.

You may even find it easier to use 3 frets at a time. Ex. 3rd, 6th, 9th, 12th, etc.

Also, when you learn scales, learn what notes you're playing in any given position on the neck. This will not only help you with learning the notes now, but it will help your improvising later on. You won't be "constrained" to a certain area, because you'll know the notes of the scale, rather than just positions.

EDIT: Here's something for confidence: There are only 12 notes in any given octave, and there are only 8 naturals in the same octave. That means that there are only 4 accidentals in any given octave, if you exclude the relative pitches like A# and Bb, of course.
Last edited by The.new.guy at Jun 6, 2013,
I like that idea.... (and I have a chart here...) thinking of the scale as notation rather than blindly fingering it....

A,C,D,E,G,A,C,D,E,G,A,C not 1,4,1,3,1,3,1,3,1,4,1,4
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I have a "Mind...Blown..." .gif image that I REALLY want to post, but I'm afraid it's a little inappropriate for UG's GT forum.
Another idea that works is to create and use flashcards.Lets say you want to learn the positions of all the natural notes everywhere on the fretboard.

You can print little rectangular boxes that you write things like "10th fret B string" or "7th fret D string" and you have to answer almost immediately in both cases that the note is A...if you dont do it fast enough or you find yourself counting from the nearest note that means you dont really know the position so you simply repeat this process and you can be certain that a few minutes a day of this ll help you learn every note on the fretboard by heart .
The most important thing is that you start USING the note names...there's no point spending time studying them if as soon as you start playing or learning a song you revert to referring to everything as "x fret on y string".
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The most important thing is that you start USING the note names...there's no point spending time studying them if as soon as you start playing or learning a song you revert to referring to everything as "x fret on y string".

Yes but what the "x fret on y string" does though is that for you to answer, you immediately have to visualize your neck in your minds eye.In that fashion you map out the fretboard faster than ever.Cause most people only can see with their mind the three first frets or a couple on the fifth and sixth string but rarely more .
Quote by Dreamdancer11
Cause most people only can see with their mind the three first frets or a couple on the fifth and sixth string but rarely more .

yeah, because they don't know the rest of the fretboard. Once you know where all the notes are and are used to playing them, it's hard not to know what you're playing.
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yeah, because they don't know the rest of the fretboard. Once you know where all the notes are and are used to playing them, it's hard not to know what you're playing.

Yes but thats the thing that exercise is usefull cause you dont know where the notes are.Thats the whole point.I know people that play songs that their notes combined cover the whole fretboard but in all seriousness they dont really know the neck instantly....the count.So its not really that obvious.You have to actually work on it .
another way i found is to play the same melody on diferent parts of the neck