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Learning the fretboard inside out

Messages
579
I know a lot of music theory (I've been playing the flute for 15 years or so and my main "thing" with the flute was jazz) but I have pretty much just taught myself the guitar. I tend just to play shapes rather than know what actual notes I'm playing. I feel that learning all the notes on the fretboard would help me a load because then I could apply what I already know to the guitar.

Has anyone got any good ways of learning the fretboard?
 

Austinrocks

Member
Messages
7,020
write out the notes on a piece of paper, do this several times,

play all the A, A#, B ect on the fretboard as a regular exercise, all of them up to the 24th fret.
 

derekd

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
43,512
The way I learned and teach is to learn the notes on the 6th and 5th strings, and then by using octaves, see the rest of the notes. I also agree that Fretboard Warrior is a great tool to keep you sharp. Good luck
 

Austinrocks

Member
Messages
7,020
lots of sources for the knowledge, books sites, ect. really gets down to needing to know the fretboard, back in the dark ages, there were no tabs, so the player had to know the notes and how to read music if they wanted to play something from a book, as long as you can use tab, your not going to have to learn the fretboard,


really suggest getting a non tab song book and work up a few songs out of there, being forced to use it really the only way it will stick, having a book or website available, most folks will never learn the fretboard, knowing the notes, but not how they relate to keys, and the music really wont do you any good, sounds like you may be able to read music already from the flute, so your further along than most guitar players.
 
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Messages
579
, most folks will never learn the fretboard, knowing the notes, but not how they relate to keys, and the music really wont do you any good, sounds like you may be able to read music already from the flute, so your further along
than most guitar players.
Well, I can already read music (treble clef at least) and I think I have a good understanding of scale and chord theory. The problem is that on the flute I know very well which notes I need to play to play, say, G mixolydian---but on the guitar I'm just not sure which notes lie where!
 

Austinrocks

Member
Messages
7,020
Well, I can already read music (treble clef at least) and I think I have a good understanding of scale and chord theory. The problem is that on the flute I know very well which notes I need to play to play, say, G mixolydian---but on the guitar I'm just not sure which notes lie where!

from my previous post

write out the notes on a piece of paper, do this several times,

play all the A, A#, B ect on the fretboard as a regular exercise, all of them up to the 24th fret

I play key based, G mixolydian is key of C, if you can figure out the key, you have the notes, just them they are all over the guitar, of course using non diatonic notes is great as well, so use them also, however I do play a B or Bb F or F# depending on the key the song is in, and I know all the notes on the guitar, self taught on piano, and read music, mom taught me in a few minutes, bass and treble clefs, its aint that hard, course its a lot more obvious on a piano where you have only one note, and the up and down relate to right or left.

stop thinking of 5th fret E string, think A, 4th fret G string, think B, you can do it, start thinking while your are playing, you have the back ground, work up your favorite flute songs on guitar, wortk them up in several postitions, open 3rd, 5th 7th, 10th 12th, 15, 17th frets, you will find the notes are there learn to use them, I did that with Irisht fiddle songs when I started playing gutiar.

learn the notes that define a key, B or Bb, F or F# and beable to solo out of a key, modes are just stupid names for keys, I really relate to the keys, the modes come from or are the chords, G mixolydian when your playing a C chord aint G mixolydian, it may be pattern you learned, but its C major or C ionian.
 
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?&!

Member
Messages
1,712
The way I learned and teach is to learn the notes on the 6th and 5th strings, and then by using octaves, see the rest of the notes. I also agree that Fretboard Warrior is a great tool to keep you sharp. Good luck
This is exactly the method that I use and teach. It works great, and it's really easy.
 

vhollund

Member
Messages
3,523
It not really more difficult to learn where each note is
It might just take a little more time
 

?&!

Member
Messages
1,712
It not really more difficult to learn where each note is
It might just take a little more time
I don't have every note on the fretboard memorized, but I can figure them out in one quadrillionth of a second, which is just as good. Not to mention, it is much less time consuming to learn. The octave method is much less intimidating for beginner students than memorizing every note, fret by fret.
 

stevel

Member
Messages
14,737
The way I learned and teach is to learn the notes on the 6th and 5th strings, and then by using octaves, see the rest of the notes.

I learned this way too, but I actually - on further reflection - wouldn't recommend it.

In my case, I knew the E and A strings down cold, and the high E.

It did help me learn the D and G strings yes, but for a long time, the D from 5 to 12 and the G from 4 to 9 was no-man's land. The B from 4 to 12 was also bad for me.

I actually remember working "back" from the 12th fret. So it was easier for me to start identifying notes on the 10th fret before say, the 6th fret.

I think writing them down is good.

You just need to know where every A is - on every string, in every octave, then move on to A#/Bb, etc. I literally started playing them this way, and that has helped out a lot.

I think it's also good to know notes relative to each other - C is always 2 frets below D, so in a pinch, if you can't find your C, you can find a D and work back.

It *is* also good to know where the octave of each note in either direction is, but for learning those "inside" strings I'm starting to see it as a bad method of hunting them down.

Better to go ahead and learn them on their own accord, then relate them to other pitches.

YMMV,
Steve
 

musicianjs

Member
Messages
36
Working through chord scales and triad arpeggios helped me a ton. George Van Eps wrote a guitar book back in the 40's that illustrates this nicely.
 
Messages
15,180
Well, I can already read music (treble clef at least) and I think I have a good understanding of scale and chord theory. The problem is that on the flute I know very well which notes I need to play to play, say, G mixolydian---but on the guitar I'm just not sure which notes lie where!
Make sure you can sight-sing your flute music. I was surprised how many people in my university music theory class played the fingerings of the notes instead of the notes on the sheet. They were unable to hear the music on the sheet without playing it first on their instruments.

Then try reading playing your flute music on the guitar, using your ear to find the notes. You'll learn the notes on the fretboard in short order.

I've been learning the viola arrangement of Bach's Cello Suite #1 Prelude on the guitar this way.
 

vhollund

Member
Messages
3,523
I don't have every note on the fretboard memorized, but I can figure them out in one quadrillionth of a second, which is just as good. Not to mention, it is much less time consuming to learn. The octave method is much less intimidating for beginner students than memorizing every note, fret by fret.
What i tell my students is "This month we will learn A"
In one year all 12 notes are learned if they do ehir homework
The thing is that you do not have a trillion of a secund to think while sigthreading or going to a note on the fly
You just have to know where it is on th fretboard

that aside I'm all for relative thinking
 

townsend

Member
Messages
1,520
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dMG7mRu6W4k

Think of the fretboard in relation with 6 string and the different points placed symetrical on the fretboard
That video clip really shows me how inadequate my fretboard knowledge. Great clip and great exercise. Thanks.

I learned this way too, but I actually - on further reflection - wouldn't recommend it.

In my case, I knew the E and A strings down cold, and the high E.

It did help me learn the D and G strings yes, but for a long time, the D from 5 to 12 and the G from 4 to 9 was no-man's land. The B from 4 to 12 was also bad for me.

I actually remember working "back" from the 12th fret. So it was easier for me to start identifying notes on the 10th fret before say, the 6th fret.

I think writing them down is good.

You just need to know where every A is - on every string, in every octave, then move on to A#/Bb, etc. I literally started playing them this way, and that has helped out a lot.

I think it's also good to know notes relative to each other - C is always 2 frets below D, so in a pinch, if you can't find your C, you can find a D and work back.

It *is* also good to know where the octave of each note in either direction is, but for learning those "inside" strings I'm starting to see it as a bad method of hunting them down.

Better to go ahead and learn them on their own accord, then relate them to other pitches.

YMMV,
Steve
My knowledge of the octave relationship between notes on different strings is fairly solid, but I agree with Steve that it hasn't served me well in locating notes, esp. on the third and second strings, and to a lesser extent, the fourth string. I think I need to work on going directly to the note on the 2nd and 3rd strings and ignoring the octave relationship.
 

Austinrocks

Member
Messages
7,020
would suggest playing single string scales, come up with the major and relative minor scales on a single string, might help you understand the notes, by doing that, the C scale, and A minor scales every string would be a good start then G and Em, F and Dm
 




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