How to Master the Fretboard. Part I

Knowing all the notes on the fretboard seems to be a little scary for some people. But I can tell you it's easy. You just need a little bit of patience and a structured path.

How to Master the Fretboard. Part I
1
Knowing all the notes on the fretboard seems to be a little scary for some people. But I can tell you it's easy. You just need a little bit of
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.

5 comments sorted by best / new / date

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    henrihell
    It is a good way to learn for sure, but there's some linguistic errors that might make it difficult to move on from here. For example "the next string 5 frets to the left". I think you should teach how it really is so "5 frets lower on the next higher string" would be better in my opinion. And why not include the string names as well instead of referring to next higher or next lower, after all, we're here learning the notes. "There is an exception to this from G to B-string with 4 frets to the left but that's not our topic now." this kind of makes it seem not that important to know that it's only 4 frets between those to strings. I'd make it an important point that you have to notice this different relationship between those two specific strings.
    Patriciaburleso
    My last pay check was $9500 working 12 hours a week online. My sisters friend has been averaging 15k for months now and she works about 20 hours a week. I can't believe how easy it was once I tried it out. This is what I do... http://goo.gl/CGCFqz
    siriusb42
    henrihell - I didn't mention the names of the strings because this method works on all strings with one exception as you know. I didn't go deeper into the G/B-string situation (why should it be less important ? I only wrote, it's not part of this lesson) because this is a lesson for the E- and A-string which is the basic for things to come in the next part. What is really important. You should never teach more than one can understand in 10 minutes! This helps a lot:
    henrihell
    Okay, I get it. I didn't understand that this is only about the E and A strings, since it basically goes through the lot. And it would take 3 lines of text to properly go through the rest.