Hey guys, I decided to join the forum and for my first post to reveal how I look at the guitar fretboard. Most of us when we start learning we get confused cause we presented with many block shapes of chords arpeggios and scales we need to memorize and use. My suggestion to save ourselves from frustration is to find one way to view everything instead of 100 ways for 100 different things.
My way of viewing everything on the fretboard is simple: Intervals. Intervals are plain and simple the building blocks of music just like syllables are the building blocks of words. Just like children at the beginning we struggle with our syllables and later on we view them so fast that we see even whole sentences on the fly.
What I am proposing is to see everything on the fretboard as a sea of intervals. If you check out this image here
- this is what I mean. If you fret a random note at the fifth string for example, you must be able to tell immediately that the note on the lower string, same fret is a perfect fifth apart, that the note next to it is a flat second etc etc. And all that by heart without counting. Take your time and save a few minutes each day to learn how a flatten third appears on the fretboard or a major seventh etc etc etc. It doesn't need to happen by tomorrow.
After you see visually all the intervals on the fretboard or at least getting good enough you ll realize that you can play virtually anything IF you know their construction. Example: You want to play a diminished chord at a position completely unknown. No fixed block shapes in your memory nothing... But if you actually know the construction of diminished chords its like you already know how to play it. You simply see the root, the flattened third and the flattened fifth cause you spend some time to memorize the interval shapes on the guitar visually.
As you can imagine that is true for everything. Maybe its not a diminished chord maybe its the D phrygian mode on a certain position. All you need is the construction.If you know it by heart (root, flat second, flat third, fourth, fifth, flat sixth, flat seventh) the intervals just flash before your eyes on the fretboard. All you need to do is find the fingering you like and press them.
So practical stuff, how you proceed:You start by learning to play your major scale without prearranged boxed shapes, each time you play a note say its interval out loud in relation to the root. No shredding here folks. Spell the intervals slowly as you play them.
Doing these sort of drills will make you better and better and you'll reach a point that you wont even think about em. Take a note for example in the b string. Can you see the major third, perfect fifth and major seventh around it? Congrats you can play the Major seventh chord of that root etc etc etc.
You basically stack intervals to create anything you want on the fly. Make your own charts on a piece of paper and do them on the fly but don't rely on fixed positions. This way when soloing for example you can target the important intervals of a certain mode easier cause you see them clearly on the neck. You don't need to reinvent the wheel a billion times to play different things. Everything is played for a reason not randomly.
So if you actually replace the dots you see so far on your charts with interval names, you ll soon find out that this is the key of fretboard freedom. Learn them as well as your sullables and you have everything you want on the fretboard flashing before your eyes.
I hope my lesson helped you... Cheers.