Learning The Fretboard

This isn't as much a lesson as it is a co-learning thing, as I am also an intermediate soloist, but this lesson is for learning the fretboard, an essential skill for learning scales.

Learning The Fretboard
15
This isn't as much a lesson as it is a co-learning thing, as I am also an intermediate soloist, but this lesson is for learning the fretboard, an essential skill for learning scales. 1. So after a few run-throughs of the C-major, I started playing all the whole notes on the first three frets (the first octave), which is essentially:
 e||F |   |G | 
 B||C |   |D | 
 G||   |A |   |
 D||   |E |F | 
 A||   |B |C | 
 E||F |   |G | 
First, fret these notes on your guitar, saying each note as you play it, or even sing it if you'd prefer to do so. 2. Now that you know all the whole notes of the first 3 frets, you can start learning the octave of the open note till the twelfth fret on each string individually. This is simple, all you have to do is navigate to the open note of the string then work this simple principle, every octave goes in this order "A BC D EF G A" where the spaces indicate a half note. The 12th fret is always the end of the octave and the same as the open. The chart for the above:
  e||F |  |G |  |A |  |B |C |  |D |  |E |
  B||C |  |D |  |E |F |  |G |  |A |  |B |
  G||  |A |  |B |C |  |D |  |E |F |  |G |
  D||  |E |F |  |G |  |A |  |B |C |  |D |
  A||  |B |C |  |D |  |E |F |  |G |  |A |
  E||F |  |G |  |A |  |B |C |  |D |  |E |
     1     3     5     7     9        12
This actually looks sensible now doesn't it? If you still don't understand, look at it this way: Taking the lower E suppose, look at it's notes till the twelfth:
 E||F| |G| |A| |B|C| |D| |E |
  ||1| |3| |5| |7| |9| | |12|
You can see that it starts with E and goes through the whole octave (E-F-G-A-B-C- D-E) and ends in the twelfth fret with the same note. 3. Now that you know how this works, you have to practice it. Use the A BC D EF G principle string by string until you got each note. Say each note as you play it. After that, you are ready to learn semi-tones or half notes. 4. Well, if you think Semi-tones are going to be another hassle like learning whole notes, you're mistaken. In the above diagram of notes till the twelfth, all the blank spaces between notes are sharps of the note before and flat of the note after. This is my first lesson, so don't be too harsh, I think this is a pretty easy method for learning the fretboard.

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    LightxGrenade
    The way I alway imagined the fret board is like a circular track that people run competitions in. The positions for the race are all spaced differently to account for the outside of the ring have a larger circumference than the inner ring. In the same manner, the fretboard has different starting points but they all amount to the same distance. E and A start on the open 6th and 5th string, and on the 2nd fret of the 4th and 3rd string, as well as the 5th of the 2nd and 1st string and so on. So if you can identify a certain "block" of shift in position you can identify pretty much every note with ease. Another thing is to always be aware of the octave positions, if you don't know what note that is but you know a few of the different octaves of it, you can figure it out pretty quickly. Simple rules using open chords as diagrams for where the octaves are help like: a note played on the B string (like a C on the 1st fret) is the same note as 4 frets away (1st fret to 5th) on the G string and 2 frets up on the A string (1st to 3rd fret).
    breakinslash
    That's a great way of looking at it and yes, knowing all the octaves spread out through the fret board (at least till the twelfth) is very useful, getting to notes is easier that way; either way it all boils down to a few hours of practice regularly
    legriffith
    This was really good and well explained. I have been playing cords and solos for a long time and really never took a lesson. Now that I am getting more serious in my old age (48) I am getting back to the basics and picking up what was in my head but never knew in theory. I have been looking for something like this for a while and this really set in as a clean memorable approach. I really don't get the first reply... He's obviously gonna take a long time to learn if he did't get this! LOL!
    jimbojones5678
    OK cool, I understand what you meant - thanks. One more question - from the open string do I always start the sequence in the same order? Or do I have to change the starting point depending on the string? For example - one the A string you say that I go A BC D EF G A but if I do that on the B string, the notes include sharps/flats??? How do you know where in the sequence to start? Thanks for your help btw! Jim
    Koekoeksklok
    Well, you can't start the sequence on A on the B string. So the sequence there would be BC D EF G A B As for the article, I do something similar. Since I play many instruments I tend to imagine each fret/string combo as a black or white key. Basically superimposing an illusionary pianokeyboard onto my guitar that shifts on every string.
    breakinslash
    That's exactly what made me realize the A BC D EF G thing, I did a grade in piano as I mentioned so suddenly I just saw it that way lol
    Guitar potatoe
    Sorry this may sound really stupid but ive only just started guitar ... When reading music how are you suppose to know if your playing say a g chord or if you just playing the g on the fret board thanks
    Metalxorxdie
    dont feel bad to ask questions when you are learning...when you say "g on the fret board", I'm assuming you are just talking about the single note itself...the G chord itself however, is multiple notes played together at once (G just being the root note)...this is just a quick summary answer to what you've asked, but you can always check out music theory lessons on Google...hope this helps!
    wasabi209
    thank you for putting this down for us. great for me who was wondering how to make systematical sense out of the fretboard.
    jimbojones5678
    I have no idea what you are talking about with the open note octave thing??? And I can't see anywhere in the lesson where you apply that A BC D EF G A rule? I don't understand it at all. Sorry. I'm not criticizing the lesson - I just don't get it? What is a 'open note'? How do I "navigate to the open note of the string"? I don't understand how you applied that pattern to that example of the lower E string? It doesn't look like it's in the same order as the rule displayed? I really want to learn this stuff but I just don't get it. Anyway - thanks for the lesson and keep writing them, they are helpful.
    breakinslash
    An open note is when you pick a string without pressing down the string on any of the guitar frets. The standard open notes (from the thinnest to the thickes string) are eBGDAE (the first e is small because it is a different octave, or pitch as the next E) About the A BC D EF G thing, lets say you want to find all the whole notes on the 'A' string (The 5th string, or the second thickest) It would go like this: A|| |B |C | |D | |E |F | |G | |A | 1 3 5 7 9 12 As you can see, there is a gap between A and B, C and D, D and E, F and G and G and A; whereas there's no gap between B and C and E and F. It's as simple as that. As for navigating to the open note, I just meant play the open note Hope this helps and I'm always open to more questions if you don't get it
    happyamateur
    I also struggled to learn the guitar fretboard. Using guitar flash cards is the system that finally worked for me - with the cards, you test yourself with a few cards each day, and knowing the notes on the fretboard finally sinks in, thanks to the repetition. I'd recommend "Philip's Learn All the Notes on the Guitar Flash Cards." Don't give up - it can be done.
    Miyagi84
    This video
    has easily been the best method to learn the fretboard for me so far. As this teacher in the video says, the ocatve method, although forming a pattern, is still alot of information for the brain the process, especially when factoring in that when soloing or making a chord/chord voicing you will have to recall the positions by memory. Don't rush, take as long as you need to learn that note (A,B,C,etc.) is at this fret on this string. As my teacher says, whatever method helps you get to where you want to be is what you should do, and for me, this has easily been the most helpful, before I found this video I was getting really frustrated. Hope this helps and bonne chance!
    breakinslash
    Just realized comments dont work that way A|| |B|C| |D| |E|F| |G| |A| ...1...3...5...7...9.....12
    stratomaiden
    you guys find this frustrating because you cant read music. would it kill to read music? i read tabs but honestly when you already know how to read music it makes it easier
    KingBobert
    Many (I might even say most) people can't read music when they're first starting out. When I first decided to learn guitar I was like 13 years old and had zero previous music experience. Of course, now I can read music fine, but in those days tabs were a saving grace that kept me interested enough in music to keep going. Tabs = good
    proto77
    "1. So after a few run-throughs of the C-major, I started playing all the whole notes on the first three frets (the first octave), which is essentially" I think you mean natural notes. Whole notes is referring to rhythm.