#1
Hello, I am wondering how many of you know every note on the fret board? I mean, if someone was to be like 'show me the b note on the 4th string' you'd be able to choose it without any reference.

I have been playing for a year now (self taught) and I am trying to learn every note on the fretboard, but I don't know how thorough I need to be. Like when you skilled players improvise, do you refer on scale shapes to play, or do you know every single note you fret when you play.

I know scale boxes, and I can play notes up the neck on one string all day long but when I have to cross over strings that's where I have to stop and be like okay I'm on the fourth string, fith fret, and I refer to the open D and count down to G when I'm not using scale boxes, or not staying within one scale box.

If you do know every note on the fret board and don't rely on scale boxes, what would your best way of learning the matter be? I have been trying to learn the strings each string a day and I think that's why I struggle to switch strings.

Thanks for your help.
#2
I know the notes well but in my experience, I have never met someone who thinks entirely in notes. It will always be a combination of boxes, notes, tactile reference, ear reference, etc.
#3
I can say with confidence I know every note on the fretboard. However knowing every note is an effect of doing other things, not necessarily the goal. From reading music in every position, and learning shapes, soloing over chords in every key, and playing guitar solos and solos from other instruments and analyzing them, you eventually know every note quite handily.
Most of all of this came when studying guitar in college, and it doesn't happen in a year or 2 but its a very real possibility for all guitar players if they want to. Just don't try learning the notes by learning the notes, that would be the least practical way of learning.

Also the man above me is correct, even if you know all the notes you don't always think in terms of just notes (however it certainly helps).
#4
I only know the notes because I'd already had formal piano lessons before learning the guitar, so I transferred the notes from the keys to the fretboard so I could transcribe things.
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#7
forgot them ages ago. haven't used that knowledge in years
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#8
Played for 7 years, know all the notes without thinking now and since a couple of years.

However, that knowledge is only secondary for everything but finding the key I think. Otherwise I rely on my knowledge of the patterns of the scale, and more precisely where the different intervals is. My thinking goes like this - I start my solo on the root, then I end the phrase with a full bend from the fourth up til the fifth etc. The root and the fifth are the strongest notes, making the phrase sound complete, for an example. When you know these things, you will find which notes you prefer the sound of.
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#9
Quote by crazysam23_Atax
I know all the notes, and rarely think in patterns. I find this offers me a lot more freedom.


Pretty much what this guy said

Sometimes I get a little messed up when playing in a sharp/flat key and someone says something I'm not immediately used to (like a# instead of Bb, or Db instead of C#)
#10
Every inflection of every tonic framework is at my disposal at any rate at which I choose to let it spill forth into another's ear
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#11
I do know all the notes but I don't think I couldn't instantly name all of them. But if I had time to think for a couple of seconds, I could name them.

On the two or three lowest strings I could pretty much do it instantly. I have learned them by playing lots of chords. When you play barre chords, you pretty much need to know the note names on at least the two lowest strings. Because that's where the barre chord root most of the time is.

Naming notes on the G and B strings takes a bit more time (B string especially because I would say I'm more of a bassist than a guitarist). But if I wanted to do it, I could learn all the note names on the fretboard so that I could name them instantly.

I think you kind of learn them automatically (at least on the 2 lowest strings) if you just play lots of chords.
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#12
I know the notes on the fretboard, sort of. There is still a delay in playing the note and knowing what it is. I would actually love to be able to just strike up chords just from their triad notes, but I guess that will come in another 10 years of playing guitar.
#13
I know them, but almost never think in terms of notes, other than finding starting points (e.g for a section of music in a given key). I use awareness of intervals, sounds created, patterns, etc. Used to practice octave shapes a lot to fnd my way round, and reinforce what notes are where. I find the above a lot more important to be aware of on the guitar.
#14
For me knowing all the notes is immensely helpful Easiest way to learn them is to do reading studies, lots and lots of reading studies.
#16
not instantaneously but i can work them out given a second or two
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#17
Quote by Dave_Mc
not instantaneously but i can work them out given a second or two


This. Also, as was mentioned previously, it's easiest on the two lowest strings... especially since I play a lot of bass.

I find it's easier to think in intervals. Given any position on the fretboard, find me the major third up from that note. And the octave, and so on. That way you don't have to sit there and be all like, "okay, I'm in E-flat minor, the notes in that scale are this, that, and the other, and here they are..."

If you can work in intervals, you can construct a workable scale anywhere on the neck.
#18
my take: your using "training wheels"..scale boxes etc. and they are good to know .. time is the only method of learning all the notes..and you have to have a reason to know them..example..chord analysis..

what notes make up a C chord..CEG..ok..find the all the ways to form a C chord and its inversions on each set of strings...example on strings EAD .. play GCE - strings ADG play CEG-(open) strings DGB play E G(open) C -strings GBE ..play G(open)CE-(open)

now move to the next chord form on the same sets of strings..on EAD (@8th fret) CEG .. and do the same for each chord form on each set of strings..

If this exercise is difficult..not to worry..it will get easier..and you are not just learning notes..your learning not to fear of any location on the fretboard..if you study this type of thing seriously and learn diatonic harmony and learn all the chords in a scale using this method..(YES this will take some time and effort..BUT..time is going to pass .. so ask your self..are you serious about learning guitar/music..do you want to grow/learn..or be in just about the same place you are next year..

hope this helps

wolf
#19
Quote by wolflen
my take: your using "training wheels"..scale boxes etc. and they are good to know .. time is the only method of learning all the notes..and you have to have a reason to know them..example..chord analysis..

Pretty much sums up my thoughts. I haven't used scale boxes in years. Why? Because if I want a melody in Aminor (for example), I know where to find the notes I want for my melody. I use my ear to find what sounds good and so on. I don't even think in scales anymore, just keys.
#20
Quote by 6stringstudent
Hello, I am wondering how many of you know every note on the fret board? I mean, if someone was to be like 'show me the b note on the 4th string' you'd be able to choose it without any reference.


I can do that

Quote by 6stringstudent

I have been playing for a year now (self taught) and I am trying to learn every note on the fretboard, but I don't know how thorough I need to be. Like when you skilled players improvise, do you refer on scale shapes to play, or do you know every single note you fret when you play.





Well, if you've only been playing a year, I don't think just memorizing the fretboard on its own, without any context, is going to do you all that much good.

I would suggest learning them gradually, and in the context of music. For example reading music in all position helps quite a bit…. so does thinking of chords/notes by their names rather than by the tab numbers.


Quote by 6stringstudent



If you do know every note on the fret board and don't rely on scale boxes,


I know every note on the fret-board, but I still play within scale "boxes" because that's what happens when you play a particular scale or chord… it makes shapes on your instrument.
I would say I recognize and utilize those patterns, rather than rely. I can play in, out and around those "boxes", because I'm familiar with them. There is no "stuck", theres no "rely". They are not "training wheels" that you grow out of.


Quote by 6stringstudent

what would your best way of learning the matter be? I have been trying to learn the strings each string a day and I think that's why I struggle to switch strings.

Thanks for your help.


I think you struggle because at this stage of the game, that information is not useful to you. (at some point it will be)

You need something to attach it to in order for it to stick, and be useful.

Try learning to read, get more experience in general.


Quote by rockgodman
I can say with confidence I know every note on the fretboard. However knowing every note is an effect of doing other things, not necessarily the goal. From reading music in every position, and learning shapes, soloing over chords in every key, and playing guitar solos and solos from other instruments and analyzing them, you eventually know every note quite handily.
Most of all of this came when studying guitar in college, and it doesn't happen in a year or 2 but its a very real possibility for all guitar players if they want to. Just don't try learning the notes by learning the notes, that would be the least practical way of learning.



I agree, well said
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Last edited by GuitarMunky at Dec 1, 2014,
#21
Quote by crazysam23_Atax
Pretty much sums up my thoughts. I haven't used scale boxes in years. Why? Because if I want a melody in Aminor (for example), I know where to find the notes I want for my melody. I use my ear to find what sounds good and so on. I don't even think in scales anymore, just keys.


But a section of music in a given key is based on a scale establishing the tonal centre? A minor, D Lydian etc.

If you're creating your melody, how does thinking in a key affect your thought process? For me, I think of the tonic chord members, and the tone tendencies of the other scale intervals, along with rhythm and phrasing. But I don't think in notes at all. I'll just transpose as needed to suit a singer by trying different tonal centres, but that done, use the above thinking.

cheers, Jerry
#23
Quote by CarsonStevens
This. Also, as was mentioned previously, it's easiest on the two lowest strings... especially since I play a lot of bass.

I find it's easier to think in intervals. Given any position on the fretboard, find me the major third up from that note. And the octave, and so on. That way you don't have to sit there and be all like, "okay, I'm in E-flat minor, the notes in that scale are this, that, and the other, and here they are..."

If you can work in intervals, you can construct a workable scale anywhere on the neck.


yeah i generally think in intervals too on guitar
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

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Et tu, br00tz?
#25
Quote by Shredwizard445
Every inflection of every tonic framework is at my disposal at any rate at which I choose to let it spill forth into another's ear


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#26
Quote by MaggaraMarine
I do know all the notes but I don't think I couldn't instantly name all of them. But if I had time to think for a couple of seconds, I could name them.

On the two or three lowest strings I could pretty much do it instantly. I have learned them by playing lots of chords. When you play barre chords, you pretty much need to know the note names on at least the two lowest strings. Because that's where the barre chord root most of the time is.

Naming notes on the G and B strings takes a bit more time (B string especially because I would say I'm more of a bassist than a guitarist). But if I wanted to do it, I could learn all the note names on the fretboard so that I could name them instantly.

I think you kind of learn them automatically (at least on the 2 lowest strings) if you just play lots of chords.


I'm similar deal for the same reason. I could find any note quickly enough, but I only really know very strongly the bottom 2 strings.

Except I know the B string pretty well also, because it roots the D shape voicing, and the D string roots the maj7 and m7 "D voicing". That only really leaves the G string in the darkness of only known by association. But it's an easy, 2 strings 2 frets octave, from the A string.

To answer OP's question, I am more of a patterns guy. I rarely think of note names while I play, but there are moments where I do. Sometimes I'll be playing over frets I know off by heart, and it won't be until I wonder what note it is, for whatever reason, that I clue in to what it is.

It's definitely a worth it skill to have, some of it will just come without really studying it specifically. It's one of those things I wish I knew better, but I make do quite well without it nonetheless.
Last edited by fingrpikingood at Dec 1, 2014,
#28
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#29
I would say i do, years of internalizing changes for improvisation requires you to know where all the notes are.
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#31
I'm usually kinda subliminally aware of what notes I'm playing, or at least the nearby chord tones. I can tell you instantly what any note on the fretboard is, but I don't really consciously think about the name of every single note I play. They're kinda there in the back of my mind, but I mostly only think about what the tonic and main chord tones are and for the rest I think primarily about the intervals.


The most important strings to learn are the E and A strings, and once you know those and you know your basic octaves and 5ths it makes it easier to learn the other strings.

I think I sorta learned the notes decently well (took a few seconds to work out a note name) after playing for a couple of years, but I think what really made me extremely familiar with them was that once I learned how to name chords I would screw around and have fun making up all kinds of crazy chords and then trying to figure out what to name them. I did this a LOT because it was just so fun and satisfying to pick notes that sounded good (or bad), having never seen the chord before, and then name it. I still sometimes do something similar when composing, but it's much less me picking random notes that look crazy and more of me trying to find a particular sound.
Last edited by The4thHorsemen at Dec 7, 2014,
#32
Quote by rockgodman
I can say with confidence I know every note on the fretboard. However knowing every note is an effect of doing other things, not necessarily the goal. From reading music in every position, and learning shapes, soloing over chords in every key, and playing guitar solos and solos from other instruments and analyzing them, you eventually know every note quite handily.
Most of all of this came when studying guitar in college, and it doesn't happen in a year or 2 but its a very real possibility for all guitar players if they want to. Just don't try learning the notes by learning the notes, that would be the least practical way of learning.

Also the man above me is correct, even if you know all the notes you don't always think in terms of just notes (however it certainly helps).


Word, me too.
#33
Quote by jerrykramskoy
But a section of music in a given key is based on a scale establishing the tonal centre? A minor, D Lydian etc.

If you're creating your melody, how does thinking in a key affect your thought process?

Well, if I'm in a certain key (let's say Aminor), then I know what my tonal center is. I can, of course, find a tonal center by listening. But the main thing is, once I know my tonal center (whether by listening or because I arbitrarily decided that my tonal center is X), I write/play to emphasize that center when appropriate.

In an improv situation, this is rather natural for me. I'm to the point where I don't have to think about it too much.
#34
Quote by crazysam23_Atax
Well, if I'm in a certain key (let's say Aminor), then I know what my tonal center is. I can, of course, find a tonal center by listening. But the main thing is, once I know my tonal center (whether by listening or because I arbitrarily decided that my tonal center is X), I write/play to emphasize that center when appropriate.

In an improv situation, this is rather natural for me. I'm to the point where I don't have to think about it too much.


We use the same approach, in that case.
cheers, Jerry
#35
A lot of great posts on this thread. I would also like to get more proficient at naming any note on the fretboard instantly. As others mentioned, if you know the first two strings, it helps a lot. Figure if you know the low E string, then you know the high E string. Additionally, I rely on using octaves. Also, remember that everything repeats at the 12th string. These are little crutches that have helped me out. I do believe learning to read in various positions would help greatly.
#36
Definitely know all of them - need to for sight-reading, on-the-spot modulations, etc.

That being said, most of the people that have posted hit the nail on the head - I'm much quicker thinking in terms of intervals, particularly when improvising, hence knowledge of chord formulas and scale construction are just as important.
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