#1
I developed a fretboard training app for android and I just finished the web player version. You can find it here: Fret Master Online

Anyway, there are many reasons for knowing the notes of the fretboard such as:
  • It helps you gain a better understanding of the music you are playing and transcribe that music to different areas of the fretboard
  • It makes it easier to apply standard music notation to the guitar and communicate with other musicians about a piece of music
  • It makes it easier to improvise with new chord voicings or lead parts over a chord progression


What are some other reasons for learning or knowing the notes of the guitar fretboard?
#3
Can't agree more with graves. The guitar tends to teach guitar better than your smartphone.

I can't check out the app right now, but I agree that learning the fretboard is an invaluable skill. I just think that you could learn it through theory and actual playing, and by your ears.
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Last edited by Kevätuhri at Jul 22, 2015,
#4
Everyone learns differently, and this very well could cater to a market of hands-on learners, as opposed to audio/visually based learners. While that's not necessarily me, I can see the need for multiple learning paths.
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#5
The issue in my mind anyways is that it's not just about learning the notes on the fretboard. It's about building the connection with your hands.

You could totally memorize the fretboard but that doesn't do much for you until you build that hand connection. Which is why, whatever your learning style is, something like that needs to be used in conjunction with the instrument.

Also, I dunno if this counts as advertising or not, it's always a slippery slope with this stuff.

You aren't allowed to advertise on MT, so don't be shocked if 20T closes this.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
#6
I don't know guys. I think it actually helps for when you're away from your guitar. Use every resource you can get your hands on, you know?

I completely agree with what Jet Penguin said though - learning that connection with the hands is another thing.
Last edited by gio.cdsb at Jul 24, 2015,
#7
Right. It's the same way most everyone "knows" how to drive a car (even as kids), but actually doing it is a different story.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
#8
Quote by carljohnfred
I developed a fretboard training app for android and I just finished the web player version. You can find it here: Fret Master Online

Anyway, there are many reasons for knowing the notes of the fretboard such as:
  • It helps you gain a better understanding of the music you are playing and transcribe that music to different areas of the fretboard
  • It makes it easier to apply standard music notation to the guitar and communicate with other musicians about a piece of music
  • It makes it easier to improvise with new chord voicings or lead parts over a chord progression


What are some other reasons for learning or knowing the notes of the guitar fretboard?


Because it only takes 2-3 days to learn if you spend 10-15 minutes on it a day.

And the dividends of knowing the notes on the neck are quite huge the further you get into guitar.

Best,

Sean
#9
you don't need to learn the notes if you memorize all the scale shapes
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#10
Quote by Hail
you don't need to learn the notes if you memorize all the scale shapes


I'd rephrase that ... you don't need to learn the notes if you know the interval shapes ... then you can see them in scales and chords. Theory adds further the relationships (e.g. play a majo triad arpeggio two semitones below a minor 7 chord).

I never, ever think of note names as I'm playing, other than locating myself on the neck.

For MY playing, I derive zero value in for example knowing each note name in every possible triad (and then seventh chord and so on). Triad = 1, (b3), 5. Know the interval shapes. Know the octave shapes. Job done. While I'm playing, I know the effect I'll create by landing on the (b)3 or 5. That's all I need. (And of course, the shapes are internalised anyway).

I do see value from a reading (music notation) view ... but then only to extract the understanding of the intervals (hence chords etc).

But again, this is MY approach.

As for the OP's software, it's neat that it's tracking weaknesses in knowledge, and I think the ability to study hands-off guitar is also extremely valuable. You may be away without guitar (business), or travelling etc and can "top-up" your knowledge very easily like this.

cheers, Jerry
Last edited by jerrykramskoy at Jul 25, 2015,
#11
surprised somebody fell for it that quick

surprised somebody fell for that at all, really
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#12
Quote by Hail
surprised somebody fell for it that quick

surprised somebody fell for that at all, really



Yup, ya got me!! :-)

However, even tongue in cheek, you weren't far off. Do you seriously think it's necessary to know every note name in every musical structure on the guitar? I doubt it.
#13
idk i stick to playing instruments where you care what note you're playing
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#15
Necessary? Probably not, but being able to retroactively figure out what you just played and why it sounds like it does is a good skill.

Not to mention all the benefits that being able to translate notation (not Tab) to the instrument gives you.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
#16
Quote by Jet Penguin
Necessary? Probably not, but being able to retroactively figure out what you just played and why it sounds like it does is a good skill.

Not to mention all the benefits that being able to translate notation (not Tab) to the instrument gives you.


Hi Jet,

Unfortunately, Hail didn't take the bait :-) My comment was extremely tongue in cheek.

As for your first point, again, I do that by intervals, not by pitch names.

2nd point: absolutely

cheers, Jerry
#17
Quote by Hail
idk i stick to playing instruments where you care what note you're playing
YMMV.
I don't care about the note names, personally. They're just labels. Labels are handy, but they're only labels.

I agree with jerry (in a similar semi-serious way): I think in intervals (chord tone/extensions, key scale degrees) and see the fretboard in shapes and patterns - again based on interval relationships (to a keynote and chord roots).

I know the note names of course - and I accept it's better knowing them than not knowing them (so this is probably just splitting hairs ) - but whether this note is called "Bb" is not important. It's how it relates to the context that matters.

The great thing about guitar is I can play in the key of Gb major just by lowering my patterns for G, without having to think about what the note names are (or if or when it might be better to call it F# major).

When you know the routes you travel every day you don't bother to read the signposts. It's when you want to direct someone else that they become handy.
#19
Quote by jongtr
YMMV.
I don't care about the note names, personally. They're just labels. Labels are handy, but they're only labels.


what happens if you wanna learn an instrument where there isn't a fingering for every individual note and pitch

or if you get a big boy gig where you have to sightread
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#21
Quote by Sean0913
Because it only takes 2-3 days to learn if you spend 10-15 minutes on it a day.

Really? Maybe I'm doing it all wrong, but it feels like to me like it would take a LOT longer to actually get it to the point where a given note can be named without thinking for a second.
#22
Quote by Hail
what happens if you wanna learn an instrument where there isn't a fingering for every individual note and pitch

or if you get a big boy gig where you have to sightread
There's a few different issues here.

1. Being able to read music. (ie, knowing what all the blobs and lines mean.)

2. Being able to sight-read (ie, playing it straight off, as easily as you'd read this sentence).

3. Knowing the note names on the fretboard.

As you're saying, #2 is essential to a professional musician - or at least you'd rule yourself out of a lot of employment if you couldn't do it.
You'd rule yourself out of even more if you couldn't do #1! (You'd need to be some kind of whizz kid with a popular style and a good ear. I understand that describes Jimmy Page in the early 60s...)

Knowing #1 and #2 would mean you'd also know #3. (There would hardly be any point otherwise! )

At the same time, the more experienced you get, the more you can make direct connection between the sign on the page (or screen) and its place(s) on the fretboard. Your finger will be there before you consciously think "Bb" or whatever. In that sense, the note label becomes superfluous. You no longer look at the music, recognise a Bb, and then choose a Bb on the fretboard. You see the places on the neck at the same time (in the same fraction of a second) you see the place on the staff. Knowing it's called "Bb" becomes peripheral.

However, there are many people who know #3 (to varying extents) without #2, and maybe even without #1.

I'm pretty sure anyone who didn't know #3 to some extent would find it much harder to learn the fretboard - ie via patterns and shapes alone (and counting frets).
Those note name labels are really helpful markers, just in navigating the fretboard, whether or not one goes on to learn how they are represented in notation.

My own experience is of reading notation (learned at school) before I started teaching myself guitar. I found it immensely useful, and I'm not sure I'd have managed without, back in those pre-tab days, and without taking lessons (which I was adamant about refusing). I could teach myself from songbooks - as well as listening to records of course (and playing with friends) - not just from the extremely limited and low quality teaching materials we had back then. So I find it hard to imagine how anyone learns guitar - by themselves - without that knowledge.

Clearly many do, however. And that's really all I was saying. You CAN learn to play guitar with no knowledge of note names - and certainly with no knowledge of notation. (It's kind of analagous to learning to speak without learning how to read and write. You can do it by mimicry, and - with the guitar - by visual memory and feel.)
But SOME knowledge of note names (at least to help you find the roots of barre chords) has to be essential, even if it takes you several seconds to work out any given string/fret note. And once you know a few, it's hardly difficult to put a little time in learning the rest. The interval patterns on the fretboard will of course help you with that.
Last edited by jongtr at Jul 27, 2015,
#23
Quote by RowanF
Really? Maybe I'm doing it all wrong, but it feels like to me like it would take a LOT longer to actually get it to the point where a given note can be named without thinking for a second.


Possibly. I'm speaking from personal experience. I teach this, online and for a living. If you do exactly as I say you can learn it very quickly where the outcome is 2 seconds or less.

You're welcome to have a look, and let me know if you have any questions.

Best,

Sean
#24
Quote by jongtr
There's a few different issues here.


i love when people act like they're disagreeing with me but just elaborate unnecessarily upon what i said and somehow still think they contributed
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#25
Quote by Hail
i love when people act like they're disagreeing with me but just elaborate unnecessarily upon what i said and somehow still think they contributed
Well, I aim to please.

I'm sure a lot of what I said was unnecessary, but there was a real (if small) disagreement with what I thought you were saying. Short posts are often enough, but sometimes they leave things unsaid which I think are worth teasing out.
YMMV.
#26
tease me more daddy
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#27
Quote by Sean0913
Possibly. I'm speaking from personal experience. I teach this, online and for a living. If you do exactly as I say you can learn it very quickly where the outcome is 2 seconds or less.

You're welcome to have a look, and let me know if you have any questions.

Best,

Sean

I'm not looking for payed lessons at the moment, so if that's what you mean by have a look I'd have to politely decline. Would still be interested in hearing a description of your method though, if you like.
#28
Quote by RowanF
I'm not looking for payed lessons at the moment, so if that's what you mean by have a look I'd have to politely decline. Would still be interested in hearing a description of your method though, if you like.

click his sig lol
Quote by Kevätuhri
Hail isn't too edgy for posts, posts are not edgy enough for Hail.


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You win. I'm done here.
#30
Quote by Hail
tease me more daddy
Ah, I know how you love it!
That's why I won't....

(not for now anyhow)


Seriously - having read a lot of your other posts - I disagree with maybe 1% of any of it. Hardly worth bothering about.
Still, you might well disagree with more than 1% of mine...
Last edited by jongtr at Jul 27, 2015,
#31
Quote by RowanF
I did, but I only found a thing advertising payed lessons.


I got you, and that's fine. You mentioned that for you, it might take way longer, and that you might be doing it wrong, and while I wouldn't say that your way is "wrong" per se, I get your point that your "way" cannot get you the results that I get.

And that's okay; everyone has their preferred means of learning. There's no right or wrong way though. Just do what works for you.

Best,

Sean
#32
I was just asking for a description of what your way was. You don't have to tell me if you don't want though.
#33
Quote by RowanF
I was just asking for a description of what your way was. You don't have to tell me if you don't want though.


Can you elaborate on that?

I'm not being elusive, but I'm just not clear on what you're asking, probably because I don't know what a "description" of the way is without teaching "the way". But here's the best I have:

It's 5 lessons, with very specific skill sets taught in each one, that taken together, allow for near instant recognition and location of the notes on any string and any fret generally in 2 seconds or less, by the time they get to their final exam. Historically (since 2009), many have completed it in as fast as a weekend. That's about as specific a "description" that I can give.

Maybe if you can tell me what "takeaway" or enrichment you're seeking from the description/answer, I can better zero in on if I can or cannot add details.

Best,

Sean
#34
Ah, okay. Yeah, two seconds sounds about right, I thought you meant instantly. Then again, I guess instant recognition isn't really as important as I was thinking, as long as you know your interval shapes and whatnot.