#1
For some reason I just can't learn the fretboard. I have a friend who learned the fretboard in under a month but I'm a way better guitarist than them(I say this only because she is a beginner) but if I knew the fretboard it would make me a one hundred times better musician because I would understand my scales, modes and arpeggios in more than just their base finger positioning. I've tried fretboard warrior, I've tried intervals(which I still don't fully understand), I've tried just sitting down with my guitar and ascending up the neck saying every note and nothing seems to make it click. I still have moments where I'll be on a fret and wonder what it is only to do octaves or ascend up from the nut to find out that it's a note I should know and then shake my head at how stupid I am. Can anyone find a way to help me through this roadblock?
#2
Hey man,

This is a worthwhile undertaking, so don't fret if it is daunting. Here are a couple things I can tell you that should help out.

- Most people know the names of the note on the low E string because that's how they identify their barre chords. Using our knowledge of octaves, we now know the names of the notes on the D string -- starting at the 2nd fret of the D string, we have the note E, so you can think of the D string as having the same note locations the E string, only shifted down two frets towards the bridge.

- Most people know the notes on the A string for the same reason. Our little two fret shift trick can be applied to the G string using the note locations of the A string for the same reason.

Now, the note locations on the low E are the same as the note locations on the high E string, so really all you need to memorize is the E, A, and B strings if you use this trick...

... but if you're like me and you want to know them across the neck as well as up and down the neck, I have included a link to an article containing flashcards for your computer that will accomplish just such a thing.

http://www.onelightminute.blogspot.com/2013/12/building-your-arsenal-methodical-chaos.html
#3
I signed up for rnbacademy last night and that program really gives you the tools to master the fretboard in a short amount of time if you put in the work. Its 30 bucks, but soo worth it.
#4
STONESHAKER is correct. You should drill them brute force until you know it cold.

Here is how I did it:

1. Learn the names of the strings and start with the natural notes. The 5 sharp/flat notes can be added in later. This is a good way to learn the C major scale in the 5 patterns all over the fret board too.

2. Isolate the 5th and 6th strings and learn the notes there. Take note of the half steps between the E-F and B-C. The C - D - E and F - G - A are grouped by whole steps.

3. Note the octave relationship from the 5th and 6th to the 3rd and 4th strings. The 6th and the 1st strings are the same. Also, why are there 12 frets to the double dots? 12 notes. So stay within the first half of the fret board to learn those notes. Think of the fretboard as two repeating fretboards.

4. Now, make sure you associate the fret number/string with a letter, like for the sixth string 3 is G and 5 is A and 7 is B. You will get it down cold this way.

Finding patterns like these and breaking them up into chunks will help you learn the fret board.


Next task, learn the 12 major, minor, diminished and augmented triads and their 2 inversions. 12*4*3 = 144 possibilities. How?

Each triad is stacked thirds, so learn these as templates. Learning the intervals will help you figure out the sharps and flats and inversions.....

CEG
DFA
EGB
FAC
GBD
ACE
BDF
Last edited by sweetdude3000 at Feb 12, 2014,
#5
Quote by sweetdude3000
STONESHAKER is correct. You should drill them brute force until you know it cold.

Here is how I did it:

1. Learn the names of the strings and start with the natural notes. The 5 sharp/flat notes can be added in later. This is a good way to learn the C major scale in the 5 patterns all over the fret board too.

2. Isolate the 5th and 6th strings and learn the notes there. Take note of the half steps between the E-F and B-C. The C - D - E and F - G - A are grouped by whole steps.

3. Note the octave relationship from the 5th and 6th to the 3rd and 4th strings. The 6th and the 1st strings are the same. Also, why are there 12 frets to the double dots? 12 notes. So stay within the first half of the fret board to learn those notes. Think of the fretboard as two repeating fretboards.

4. Now, make sure you associate the fret number/string with a letter, like for the sixth string 3 is G and 5 is A and 7 is B. You will get it down cold this way.

Finding patterns like these and breaking them up into chunks will help you learn the fret board.


Next task, learn the 12 major, minor, diminished and augmented triads and their 2 inversions. 12*4*3 = 144 possibilities. How?

Each triad is stacked thirds, so learn these as templates. Learning the intervals will help you figure out the sharps and flats and inversions.....

CEG
DFA
EGB
FAC
GBD
ACE
BDF


Solid addition to the discussion bro.

What you said about learning the locations of all the natural notes is definitely another very, very viable way to learn note locations. Wouldn't it be cool if there was a scale he might already know that had all those notes in it.. ? Oh, yeah.

C major / A minor diatonic. All natural notes. A B C D E F G, nukka. Sing 'em while you practice your scales. Once you know those, all you've got to do is fill in the accidentals in between the naturals. BAM.
#6
Quote by STONESHAKER
Solid addition to the discussion bro.

What you said about learning the locations of all the natural notes is definitely another very, very viable way to learn note locations. Wouldn't it be cool if there was a scale he might already know that had all those notes in it.. ? Oh, yeah.

C major / A minor diatonic. All natural notes. A B C D E F G, nukka. Sing 'em while you practice your scales. Once you know those, all you've got to do is fill in the accidentals in between the naturals. BAM.




And, for shits and gigs, learn the C# major/ Ab minor all over the fretboard to get your accidentals down.

Next, actually use the notes to learn them for musical purposes to hit chord tones and such.
#8
No...man. Just learn the notes of the WHITE KEYS on the piano.
In other words in the key of Cmaj.
That's the scale that's going be use as a reference piont for everything.
Obiviously it's one fret up to sharpen a note.

Just look at the CAGED system. Everything repeats itself again.
Thats cool too...but if you look at it as just playing towards the nut or towards the bridge
it's even easier. it just gose in a criss cross pattern or X.

When I play music...My mind is thinking am I playing a -3, -7, 4, 9...ect from the root note?...I personally dont really care what term they are. Im more conern about the
interals and the sound I'll make playing the verious interval from one note to the next.
If I know where the ROOT, 5th and Octive are at, it's all down hill from there.

Playing in different key just changes the pitch of the scale. There's 12 pitch in an octive.
Call them whatever you want.

Just put little tape markers in the 1/2 step notes. You can peel off the tape after you're familar.
It's going to happen in 5 different places just like everything else.
Just like there's 5 box shape to the pentatonic scale and CAGED.
Last edited by smc818 at Feb 13, 2014,
#9
Quote by smc818
No...man. Just learn the notes of the WHITE KEYS on the piano.
In other words in the key of Cmaj.
That's the scale that's going be use as a reference piont for everything.



I find this approach limiting, actually. Seeing C as the "norm" is what causes people to think there are inherently difficult keys/scales simply because of the number of accidentals. Unlike some other instruments, the guitar is pretty much key-neutral - F# isn't any more difficult to play than C.

I would start learning with C, F, and G (0 accidentals, one flat, and one sharp, respectively). Don't try to get each scale down pat before moving on, because practicing several keys at a time will help you to think in terms of intervals and relationships.
#10
I agree that the Major scale is the reference point for everything, but not that the C Major scale is a reference point for everything. The C Major scale does provide a nice easy "template" for the half and whole steps if someone forgets them, as does Am for the natural minor algorithm.

I really want smc818 to post up a chord tone solo, because I think there are some real flaws inherent in his approach that would be exposed.

Remember bad advice never costs those who give it, only for those who take it.

Thanks, bubbles516, for the nice shout out. To be fair, you finished our course in a single day, so I think you may have already had somewhat of a head start with knowing at least something about the notes on the neck, by the time you found us, because most people use a couple of weeks to finish that course. All that said, I'm glad our course brought it home. Just keep practicing and drilling on the notes, so that it sinks into long term memory, and you'll have a skill set that will serve you well.

I'm excited about having you as a new student and look forward to being a part of your evolution and development as a musician.

Adding to what STONE SHAKER indcated about sight reading, if you go to my profile here you'll see that two lessons I have contributed to UG are on Sight Reading and you might find a very easy approach I have shared, for those interested in learning the notes on the staff for Treble Clef.

Also, David Oakes of MI Press has an amazing book called Music Reading for Guitarists that's one of the best ever, in my opinion.

Hope that helps!

Best,

Sean
Last edited by Sean0913 at Feb 13, 2014,
#11
Quote by cdgraves
I find this approach limiting, actually. Seeing C as the "norm" is what causes people to think there are inherently difficult keys/scales simply because of the number of accidentals. Unlike some other instruments, the guitar is pretty much key-neutral - F# isn't any more difficult to play than C.

I would start learning with C, F, and G (0 accidentals, one flat, and one sharp, respectively). Don't try to get each scale down pat before moving on, because practicing several keys at a time will help you to think in terms of intervals and relationships.



You must see Cmaj as nutural. it has no sharps or flats.
You must get this down pack in your brain....1/2 step betwwen (3,4) (7,8)
The diatonic scale is the referance piont. You must have a piont of reference.

Like i said it's a no brainer to raise a note 1 fret if you want to sharpen it.

Once you learn everything in C then it's using the fretboard to work for you,
as a slide ruler. You must rule the fret board.
Thats how the CAGED system works.
There's a thing call a CAPO...alot of guitar player uses it without racking their brain.

Playing a whole tone scale is really easy on a guitar. It'll freak out a keyboard player , thou.....

You simply must understand KEYS are just PITCH of a diatonic scale.
A maj diatonic scale has 1/2 between (3,4) (7,8)
Chord structure are just every other notes ODDLY enough...1,3,5,7,9,11,13.lol

Or you'll spend years trying to remember D#, Fb , Gbb,...ect.
That's like learning all those algeba equations that you nevered applied in your life.

Yes, the 4th and 5th....circle up to the 5th and cycle down to the 4th.
You know that as C, F, G.....
Last edited by smc818 at Feb 13, 2014,
#13
C major is only "neutral" on paper. Musically, it's no more or less "normal" than other scales. Tackling multiple scales concurrently helps drill the intervalic relationships and the sound.

I really recommend taking the time to write out all the major scales and trying to practice them back-to-back. Will take a few hours of your time at first, but eventually you'll be able to whiz right through them.

Mind you, knowing the scales/keys on the guitar isn't the same as putting them to good use. Only practicing music in every key will get you instinctively familiar with them all.
Last edited by cdgraves at Feb 13, 2014,
#15
I +1 using notation for learning the fretboard.


It's a practical way to memorize the notes on the guitar and a pretty useful/fun skill.
#16
Another way is to start with one note and learn it all over the fretboard.

An easy way to start is with E

6th/1st string: open, 12th fret (and 24 if you have a 24 fret guitar)
5th string: 7 and 19
4th string: 2 and 14
3rd string: 9 and 21
2nd string: 5 and 17

After you have learned these positions, repeat the process with another note, e.g. A.

It is not necessary to repeat this process over and over with every single note, as once you have 2 notes memorised, it will be easier to find surrounding notes.
#17
I belong to your kind. After triyng a shitload of stuff. I figured out something that is working great for me.

Just start thinking about the notes you are playing when you play or learn a new song. Riffs you love will male it even easier. Start by learning the first two notes of every song you play. Proceed to sing them as you play them as well as before and after you play them, finally stare at your fretboard and see them!
This works especially well when you are learning/composing a new song.

It is evident that you will learnt he fretboard in a very disorganized matter, however you will also be working on anither skill advanced guitarists possess, which is knowing what sound to expect from a fretboare before even laying a finger on it.

glhf
Quote by Hail
i'm the internet equivalent of ripping the skin off my face and strangling you with it right now


Quote by Steve Albini
Remixing is for talentless pussies who don't know how to tune a drum or point a microphone.
Last edited by Slashiepie at Feb 18, 2014,