#1
Sup, fellas,

Quick basic question: How long did it take you to remember every note on the fretboard?

I've been playing for about 5 months now and people tell me I've made gifted-level progress. When I mess around in music shops, customers and owners always ask me if I play for a living.

Only problem is, I don't feel like I'm making all that much progress. I know where all the basic chords are. I'm getting very good at bar chords. I can solo relatively well.

But I don't know why. I feel like I've ran into a brick wall with my progress because now I'm trying to learn voicing chords in different ways and this obviously demands that you know all the note positions. I've heard people falling into the habit of memorizing simple patterns, like the octaves and CAGED, but I feel like that would cripple me down the line so instead I'm trying to commit to memory every note position and it's coming along painfully slowly.

I've invented (or more like noticed, since I'm sure I'm not the first person to do these) like 14 mnemonic devices for the notes, such as "BEAD" below the B note on the E string, and D on the B string being moved up one semitone when starting BEAD on the A string.

I have a tendency to ALWAYS wind up fooling around by the little DEG triangle pattern (7, 9 G string to 8 on B string) and that's helping around that area.

Anyway, I'm rambling. How long did you take you all to memorize the fretboard completely? I feel like it would have not taken so long.
Last edited by J4y5()n at Oct 19, 2013,
#2
As for memorizing the Fretboard, in my opinion, Learn the Note names but more importantly, learn to see where every interval(degree) is and associate the degrees to how they sound.
It has a lot to do with ear training, without the ear training aspect knowing the interval degrees will only get you so far.
#3
I don't know how helpful it is. I mean Hetfield during the classic Metallica days according to him, didn't know the names of chords or notes.
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#4
Quote by Ignore
As for memorizing the Fretboard, in my opinion, Learn the Note names but more importantly, learn to see where every interval(degree) is and associate the degrees to how they sound.
It has a lot to do with ear training, without the ear training aspect knowing the interval degrees will only get you so far.


My ear is finally starting to develop. But I'm not fluent...I suppose would be the way to say it. It is very, very, very gradual. It's sort of like being a child again and hearing the word "duck" and understanding that it means that waddling animal over there by the pond. Duck being something like a simply G chord, understanding it is one thing, but learning the letters of a word (or in this case, notes of a chord) assists in learning the language much more. Then understanding the relationship between the letters that make the word (vowels, contestants, etc), or the notes in the chords I'm playing (Roots, 3rds, etc)

Sometimes I can hear the frequency and know it means "B" or "F". When I'm soloing, I can hear a few notes and intuitively know what would sound best, consequently knowing where to put my fingers next to make the sound I want.

As for Hetfield, I've heard that a lot of the best guitarists didn't know much about theory and just sort of knew what sounded good. But I've been reading theory and just want to increase my understanding of music. Not just knowing the how, but the why as well...if that makes sense.

Sometimes, if I'm trying to find a melody, I'll use my friends piano (because it's usually just easier for me to figure out simple tunes on one) and write the notes down, then take it to my guitar. So I figure if I keep up that habit, if I ever felt like playing another instrument, I could pick it up a lot easier by knowing the notes and relations rather than simply knowing where to put my fingers on my guitar, you know?
Last edited by J4y5()n at Oct 19, 2013,
#5
Listening to blues influenced country is what turned me into a good musician. Hearing the fourth intervals and so on really made the fretboard clear to me, and it just took off from there.
#6
The way I memorised the fretboard was to choose some key points that I already knew about and then just filled in the blanks. Like the 12th fret is the same as the open string. I would reference where the notes of the open strings would repeat in the frets of adjacent strings because that's how I tune the strings to each other by ear. Then it was just a matter of going up the note names.
#7
Start by learning just the 7 natural notes till the 12 fret, cause after the 12 fret the fretboard is the same so you dont have to relearn it and also the sharps and flats ll come easier later cause they fall between the natural notes you ll come to know by heart first.

Learn how to construct basic intervals and using that knowledge learn triads and their inversions all over the neck from the 4 major chord families(major,minor,diminished,augmented).

Doing these steps ll helps you immensly in learning the fretboard and you ll find out that by the interval knowledge alone you ll be able to construct any arpeggio,chord and scale you want.Just dont try to do everything at once.

For example start by learning where the A note lies on the first 12 frets."Where is the A on the high E?" answer without thinking "fifth fret" "Where is the A on the D?" answer without thinking "seventh fret". After you can answer such questions with ease go on to the B then C etc etc etc but dont rush it...learn them at a relaxed pace.

Then if you add the intervals and the triads you ll have a very detailed image of the fretboard and the tools to find anything you want on the fly .
Last edited by Dreamdancer11 at Oct 20, 2013,
#8
another way: learn the inversions of chords...on all sets of strings...take G on strings EAD...there are three G chords on that string set up to the 12th fret..now do the same on the three remaining sets of strings...that is a total of 12 G chords..now you can make arpeggio runs out of each form to reinforce the note positions..try building the complete G scale from each position also...and of course do this with as many keys as you can...

play well

wolf
#9
Look up the formula for the major scale and work that shit out. All the way up and down each string.
#10
Quote by cdgraves
Look up the formula for the major scale and work that shit out. All the way up and down each string.


The only problem with that is I'd learn the notes in succession only, meaning I'd only know where the 5th was if I had already played the previous 4 notes.

I'm going to try out the arpeggio method Wolf mentioned.

At the moment, I'm trying to learn where each individual note is on each string where I can pinpoint it directly without thinking (mentioned by the poster above Wolf).

So far all I have is B, C and D and it still takes a minute to hunt/peck. It's coming along, just very slowly.
#12
With the time and practice you're gonna memorize all the notes on the fretboard. I don't think that mnemonic devices are the way to go. And for chords it's better if you know the intervals instead of the notes' names, wich you can learn while learning scales and arpeggios.
#13
Well, the octave system isn't that bad. Just try to know the notes that are in any chord you play, and when you learn things from tabs, try to find out what notes they are.
Learn everything on the lower strings, and use those octave shapes. You can practice this, but there might not be any need for that. Use it to know whatever notes you are playing in any song. As you do that, if you play for about 45 minutes (knowing what notes you're playing) every day, these positions should get into your memory.
For example, using octave shapes, if you figure out that the 7th fret of the D string is an "A", the 8th fret is an A sharp, etc. The next time you go to the 7t fret you probably won't have to use these shapes, and instead would already know that the 7th fret (on D) is an A
#16
I don't necessarily think it's super useful to know the names of all the notes, more know the shapes&intervals, so you'll always know where the notes you wanna play are. The reason is you're probably gonna be using many different tunings as a guitar player so to know the location of all your G#s and Bs on the fretboard and whatever in E is something I'd put very low priority on learning. It's not a piano
#19
If you ask me, you'll know the notes on the fretboard like the back of your hand ... eventually. When you learn it depends on the individual. Now ear-training is a life-long process. Don't rush things like this or else you'll just be fooling yourself. In conclusion, it's like they say, "Practice Makes Perfect".

Edit: I didn't read the other replies. It seems people are telling you to neglect basic music theory and misleading you. I'm sorry for that.
Last edited by RonaldPoe at Nov 20, 2013,
#21
I'd say that memorizing shapes and little visual connections between voicings is the way to go. Definitely keep learning the notes on the fretboard but the shapes and voicings are incredibly important.
I even played and studied jazz (so a lot of chords to learn) with some great musicians and everyone while knowing notes relies on shapes more than you think.
#22
Quote by Ignore
As for memorizing the Fretboard, in my opinion, Learn the Note names but more importantly, learn to see where every interval(degree) is and associate the degrees to how they sound.
It has a lot to do with ear training, without the ear training aspect knowing the interval degrees will only get you so far.

You can't go wrong with this advice. The intervals are definitely the most helpful things you will have to memorize the fretboard. I know my notes well, but I am still trying to get more comfortable with improvising and thinking much faster on guitar.
#23
I honestly believe you should keep on memorizing all the notes, but as many of these people have said, you need to eventually get used to the patterns and shapes of the scales and intervals. For example, the point I'm at with fretboard memorization is if you tell me to play A# major scale on the 6th string I would be able to do it for you in 3 different forms. I'm not thinking of every note I'm playing. I'm just starting on the 6th fret on the 6th string and from there playing the patterns that I know that are major scale. Does this make sense?
#24
Quote by Dreamdancer11
Start by learning just the 7 natural notes till the 12 fret, cause after the 12 fret the fretboard is the same so you dont have to relearn it and also the sharps and flats ll come easier later cause they fall between the natural notes you ll come to know by heart first.

Learn how to construct basic intervals and using that knowledge learn triads and their inversions all over the neck from the 4 major chord families(major,minor,diminished,augmented).

Doing these steps ll helps you immensly in learning the fretboard and you ll find out that by the interval knowledge alone you ll be able to construct any arpeggio,chord and scale you want.Just dont try to do everything at once.

For example start by learning where the A note lies on the first 12 frets."Where is the A on the high E?" answer without thinking "fifth fret" "Where is the A on the D?" answer without thinking "seventh fret". After you can answer such questions with ease go on to the B then C etc etc etc but dont rush it...learn them at a relaxed pace.

Then if you add the intervals and the triads you ll have a very detailed image of the fretboard and the tools to find anything you want on the fly .


This is good advice that you can apply in stages and build your knowledge gradually in a way that will stick in your memory.
#25
This worked for me:

Learn all the notes of common moved chords. Example, know that Aminor at the 5th fret is AEACEA from low to high. Then you an easily visualize the adjacent notes..... left, right, up, down, in and out. Do this with every single chord you know, especially moveable forms such as barres.