hi everyone, i'm a new comer on ultimateguitar.com and i come from Hong Kong, my English isn't too good that you may not be able to understand but i will try my best to explain what i'm talking.

i would like to ask something about remembering that note on fingerboard and i'm not too sure whether i should ask in here, if i'm asking in a wrong area please accept my apologize and please help my to move to the right area.

i have play for a electric guitar for not very long, i love to play some solo, and i understand learning scales is a must to get better playing in every musical instrument. i understand how scale built,as far as i know is only those major scales and i know how they work, but when i pick up my guitar, i just cannot remember the note on the fingerboard, i mean i know that string start from the top are E A D G B e for open string, but if you ask me what is the note on the seventh fret on third string, i will have to count start from the open sting and all the way down to seventh, i just cannot tell you right after you ask me. which make me confuse, the question come up to my head is, how i play those scale quickly if i don't even remember the note on the fingerboard??

please help me or tell me is there are some way that help you to remember the note on the fingerboard so that i don't have to count all the way from open string....

thank you very much for help me and i know i have type alot of words but i just want to make to make things more clear.

once again i'm very please for anyone can give me some advice, thank you very much.
If you are talking about remembering scales, you just have to play them many times and you will remember them easily. Its all about practicing many times.
I normally just octave my notes a step lower onto the 5th or 6th string, to find out what note it is, and it does work, not as quick.
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Well, it's not needed to learn where every note is on the fretboard. It can be very handy, I'll give you that, but not vital.

Just work them out on the low E string, which will help you find the root note of the scale. Then just play the 'pattern' of the scale, and viloa, you can play the scale.
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If you are talking about remembering scales, you just have to play them many times and you will remember them easily. Its all about practicing many times.

thank you for your quick replied, but what about note? e.g. i would like to please a c major scale start with C on somewhere around seventh fret on the third string, but i found it very difficult to find out where that C note is....some guitarist can tell very easy where those notes are but i just can't, they seems know all the notes on the board without counting...
according to #4 replied, mentioned about the pattern, can anyone tell me what is it about? i mean, what does it mean by playing the pattern and i can get the scales? thank you very much and apologize for my stupid question....

this truly come from my heart, i'm getting depress when i look at those note on the fingerboard.....seems that i stuck on the scales stuff, i try to learn them, c major and d major scale, and i can only remember how to play them on the first three frets...
Hey, Takuro. I know what you mean, the fretboard can be especially baffling when compared to a piano. Knowing your octave patterns really helps a lot. For instance, the 3rd fret of your 6th string (the low E) is G. If you move up a string and a fret, and move up another string and a fret, you're on the octave. G, again. Remember that the B string is only a third up from the G string, so the pattern is extended by one fret. Here's a little diagram I've drawn for you (CLICK):

It's still not as self-explanatory as the keys of a piano, but it definitely helps. If you play guitar for a long time, and use this method, you eventually become familiar with where all the notes are. It's also handy to know what inversions chords are. For example, most simple major/minor triad chords you'll be playing on guitar are, from bottom to top, 1st, 5th, Octave, 3rd. Like this (CLICK):

This is E Major in the first open position, but it applies to the majority of other triad chords you'll be playing. Another tool you can use, is playing the simplest form of triads on guitar. Starting from the root note, you go up a string, back a fret, up a string, back two frets (if we're just talking about the E, A, D, and G strings). Like so (CLICK):

This is probably one of the best tools for mapping out the fretboard that I ever came up with. So long as you know what your root note is, and what notes should be in that chords, you can find out where other notes are. It takes a long time to become confident in your fretboard knowledge, but persevere and you'll get there.

Hope this helps you

Edit: Made the pictures bigger.
Last edited by Martin Scott at Sep 13, 2008,
TS, it's not that big a deal...all you need to do is gradually increase the number of notes you know so you have less distance to count along. If you make a point of learning the notes smack bang in the middle of the ones you already know then you're halving the distance you have to count, you just keep doing that until there is no distance left.

1 - learn the open strings...E, A, D, G, B, E
2 - familiarise yourself with the pattern of notes along the low E string, you don't even need to learn it by heart yet, just have it for reference.

E F F# G G# A Bb B C D Eb

3 - realise that the 12 fret is the octave of the open string, and therefore the same note.
4 - realise that the pattern of intervals is constant, so 12 th fret onwards is identical to open string onwards.

... as far as working out notes goes you are currently never more than 6 frets away from a reference note. However, counting along 6 frets is kind of clunky and not particularly easy, but it's a start.

5 - learn the notes that correspond to the next open string, so 5th fret on the E, A, D and B strings, 4th fret on the G

...all of a sudden you're never more than 3 frets way from a known reference note. All of a sudden working out the notes you don't know became a lot easier...almost twice as easy, in fact.

6 - locate the other octaves of the open notes, first the ones on the next string... 7th fret on the A, D, G and high E strings, 8th fret on the B string. Then the octaves two strings away so 2nd fret on the D and G strings, 3rd fret on the B and top E.

7 - in the same way, locate the octaves of the notes you learned in step 5

...all of a sudden you're now never more than 1 fret away from a known reference note, which basically means you know them all!
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