Get a fretboard diagram and write the letter names of all the notes in the key of C.

No accidentals.

Notice that the 1st and 6th strings are identical in letter names, but in hiigher/lower pitch ranges.

Then, learn the visual relationships of octaves across the fretboard...

To assist in learning the notes on the 4th string, notice the octave from the 6th string.

For the notes on the 3rd string, notice the octaves from the 1st string.

For the notes on the 2nd string, notice the 2 octave jump from the 6th string.

Then to absorb accidentals, notice that in between notes shown already in C, there are notes either sharp or flat.

Here is the note F on the 1st fret, 6th string...this note just above, the next fret, is F#.

Now the note G, is just above that, as learned prior in the basic layout, but now look to the note just below it, Gb.

Yes F# and Gb are the same pitch, but their names differ, depending on the key you are in (which is a fixed grouping of notes and pitches, creating a tonal center).

That should get you started.

I already knew this but this would be very helpful for someone who didn't. Although I learned it a somewhat simpler way by looking at this diagram of the chromatic scale.

True, your diagram is great!

What I'm trying to clarify is the visual memorization of the note locations on the fretboard.

Hope I dont get flamed...

One of the beautifull things about the guitar is that we dont have to learn the where all the notes are. When improvising/writing, we can think in degrees and intervals instead of notes THAN intervals and degrees (like saxophonist, harmonicist, pianist so on). You should be thininking in degrees and intervals when your improvising BTW, for any instrument (instead of playing randomly). It is handy to know the fretboard though...
Exellent Thread, 2 thumbs up, it really helped me
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I too used a diagram of the chromatic scale to learn the fretboard. That, and when I started everything I learned was powerchords on the 5th and 6th strings, so I learned the note names when I started analyzing the songs for my theory development.

In response to demonofthenight: I agree, sort of-it IS easier to think purely in intervals on the guitar than on a lot of other instruments, but I personally prefer thinking of note names and then intervals; that way I don't have to count frets or think in scale boxes as much.

Also, props to bucket bot. I hadn't heard of that site before but I like what I see so far.

Overall, good thread.
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I give all my students a simple exercise from day one.

Print off 12 flash cards containing all the notes.

The pick your string of the day.

For instance E. Then choose flashcards at random and find those notes on that string. Don't do the exercise for more than 3 mins a day as you need to get a life if you spend more than that on it. 2 weeks... you'll have it nailed.