Yeah, i know ive posted 2 today, but i dont plan on putting up the article i wrote until ive worked out all the bugs and gotten a little more feedback. In the meantime, heres a little beginners lesson i wrote for learning the fretboard. See what you guys think.


Quick Learning: The Fretboard And Root Notes

Ok, firstly, this article is primarily for the beginner guitarist, so if your experienced and know the fretboard off by heart, this won?t be for you.

I?m pretty new to guitar myself, I?ve only been playing a year and a bit, and this is my first article. It?s not going to be longwinded or anything fancy, but it?s something I think is pretty essential in playing chords and scales.

When looking at the fretboard, it seems that the two most widely used strings for root notes are the E and A strings. These two strings can contain the root notes for major chords, minor chords, power chords, 7 chords, m7 chords, all the way up to such chords as m7b5 chords (no, we wont be playing them, don?t worry), as well as most, if not all scale shapes.

Ergo, if you were going to improvise, it would be nice to know instantly where to place your fingers for a chord progression or scale without having to sit there and count up the fretboard to find the note you want for the root.

Here?s an example, Green day?s American idiot opening riff:


So the Chords go :

G#5, C5, F#5, C5, G#5, F#5.

(If you?re not familiar with powerchords, then the root notes for the purpose of this article are on the E and A strings. That?s what we?ll be concentrating on.)

Imagine having never seen that tab and just been told to play that progression. If you don?t know the top two strings, it?s going to take far longer to work that out. A lot of people are put off learning the fretboard, because, lets be honest here, that?s a lot of notes. Even on a standard guitar like my squire, with 22 frets, there are 44 notes over those two strings alone, 132 notes in all. Who has the time to sit there and learn that?

Well, that?s where we need a little trick. How about learning, say, 4 notes per string?
Assuming you know the names of the open strings, all you really have to learn is the notes on the 4 fret markers between the open string and 12th fret. Those markers are there for a reason.

Therefore, on the 6th string, all you need to know is


And from there, the notes in between can be worked out in a matter of a second. It?s the same with the 5th string.


Noticed the pattern yet? Once you realise how it?s laid out, its an easy thing to master and memorise. The pattern repeats after the 12th fret, so you don?t need to worry about learning that too. You can do this for all 6 strings, but I personally think that if you?re just starting out, the E and A are the ones you need to make sure you know.

So if, for example, you wanted a root of C# on the 5th string, just find the nearest note, which is C and go up a fret. If you wanted an Eb on the 6th string, shot up to the 12th fret and come down one.

And there you go, you can now get to any of the notes on the top two strings instantly. With any luck, this will make you feel more comfortable when it comes to understanding chords, progressions and scales.

Thanks for reading, I know its basic, but I hope it helps.

God knows I don't want to be an angel

PSN ID: MattIgoe
Wii ID: 7810 3870 3554 5359
Gamertag: MattIgoe
Last edited by MattIgoe0108 at Sep 13, 2006,
Aaaaand done .

Cheers mate
God knows I don't want to be an angel

PSN ID: MattIgoe
Wii ID: 7810 3870 3554 5359
Gamertag: MattIgoe
Nice. This is certainly easier than learning every single note!!!
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