patience and a structured path.
1. First of all we need to know the order of our notes.It is: A B C D E F G
This is also called a natural minor scale. If we want to have a C major scale, we just start at C: C D E F G A B
2. Second we need to learn the structure of a major scale.It is: whole tone whole tone semi tone whole tone whole tone whole tone semi tone
3. Now we can learn these notes on the E-string. (Later it will be the same on the high E-string)Fret: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Note: E F G A B C D E
4. The base of our fretboard mastering is the low E-string.From there we move to everywhere else, so be sure to really really really know these notes. Therefore do some exercises with power chords or/and barre chords.
When you're familiar with the notes above just should fill in the sharps # and flats b in between.
For example try chord progessions like:
A C# F# D / Cb Bb Db Eb
This seems to be very easy at the beginning but you need to be really famliliar with this before you go on.
5. Now there are two methods to master the A-string and you should definitely know both.Number one: Do exactly the same like we did with the E-String and check out the notes by using the major scale.
Number two: We learn the relationship between the strings.
Therefore we should remember a basic method to tune the guitar. For example we play the 5th fret of the E-string which should be the same note as the A-string itself. From this we learn: You can find the same note on the next higher string 5 frets to the left! For example the
8th fret of the E-string is a C which is on the 3rd fret of the A-string. There is an exception to this from G to B-string with 4 frets to the left but that's not our topic now.
Next we should remember how to find the octave on the same string which is 12 frets up.
So this means you can also find the same note on the next string 7 frets to the right... just shortening up 12 frets to the right and then the usual 5 frets left on the next string. Try it out. It works!
6. Finally you have to actually play this and really burn it to your memory. This will be the base of everything to come up... and there's a lot!a) Play the power/barre chord progressions we already discussed but play each chord first with the root on the E-string and then on the A-string.
b) Play the same or other chord progressions always changing the root string.
c) Go through the complete circle of fifths with this idea. This is also a very cool exercise for barre chords.
Have fun and CU in part II.
About the Author:
Andreas Vockrodt is guitarist, composer, guitar teacher & organizer of the guitar world record from Stuttgart Germany. Check out his official website and Facebook page.