Learning the fretboard


Rob0013
Registered User
Joined: 12/10/07
Posts: 3

When I do free practice I like to experiment and see what kinds of sounds my guitar can produce. I'm thinking that memorizing the notes on the fretboard will help me find more sounds. Does anyone have tricks to help learn all the notes?


# 1
Tinpan
Full Access
Joined: 03/31/20
Posts: 361

Search the posts. It's a very common question with a lot of answers. I learned by finding all the a' s on each string (to the 12th fret ). Then b,s and so on. Then play them up and down on each string to a beat. Up and down on a, then b and so on. Look for prompts and patterns that make sense to you. There's heaps of tips and some good YouTube ideas too but ultimately it's a commitment that you have to make. 15 minutes a day religiously and it will suddenly dawn on you and your playing will change forever. There's a fretboard trainer on this site that can help a bit but not as good as guitar in hand. Hopefully you know the octave patterns. If not then I think that is required before filling in the gaps. Hang in there mate. I thought it was impossible, and then suddenly.......


# 2
ChristopherSchlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor
Joined: 08/09/05
Posts: 7,784
Originally Posted by: Rob0013I'm thinking that memorizing the notes on the fretboard will help me find more sounds. Does anyone have tricks to help learn all the notes?

At the beginner level you should work on learning the notes in the lower register of the fretboard. Start with the open strings & the first 5 frets. I cover that in depth in my Fundamentals course. Start here.

https://www.guitartricks.com/lesson.php?input=11078

After learning the natural notes, then learn the accidentals in between.

Once you are beyond that level & ready to learn the rest of the fretboard you can use the repeating octave method. I cover that in this lesson.

https://www.guitartricks.com/lesson.php?input=11526&s_id=495

Hope that helps!


Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory
# 3
ScubaCPA
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Joined: 05/11/20
Posts: 51

Here is my current project for learning the fretboard.

Memorize the Circle of Fifths as a means to learn the fretboard. I love these light bulb ? moments. In addition to the scale and chord construction that I’ve known since my long ago piano lesson days … I just found an extremely practical use for the Circle of Fifths to learn the guitar fretboard. Grab your guitar. Use your index finger to barre the last four strings at any fret, put your middle finger on the next fret on the B string (things always change when you hit the B string, right) and ring finger on that same fret on the high E. Now name the note where you are on low E (we all have the E string memorized for doing barre chords) find that note on the circle of 5ths, and start going one note at a time counter clockwise, and that’s the name of the note you are holding on each subsequent string. Easy example: Do the barre pattern stated above starting at G on the low E string. Now look at the Circle and find G. Going backwards you have G,C,F,Bb,Eb,Ab. Now look at your fingers. You are fretting those notes!


Gary

[Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plus Top Pro (2), Fender Player Stratocaster (2), Squire CV 60's Stratocaster, Hamer Ecotone, Yamaha APX600 (2)]

# 4
DraconusJLM
Registered User
Joined: 06/21/21
Posts: 360

"Going backwards", or anti-clockwise, is known as the "circle of 4ths".

Going forwards, or clockwise, is 5ths.

4th - e.g. G a b C

5th - e.g. G a b c D

Rock, country, blues, etc. tend to favour 5ths

Jazz players lean towards 4ths (mainly, I suspect, due to the number of Bb and Eb instruments in Trad Jazz).


I wish this forum had a "block user" feature. Possibly I'm not the only one......

# 5
ScubaCPA
Full Access
Joined: 05/11/20
Posts: 51
Originally Posted by: DraconusJLM

"Going backwards", or anti-clockwise, is known as the "circle of 4ths".

Going forwards, or clockwise, is 5ths.

Yup. And that's why the Circle of 5this backwards (making it - as you say - the Circle of 4ths) works to learn the fretboard because a guitar is tuned to 4ths.


Gary

[Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plus Top Pro (2), Fender Player Stratocaster (2), Squire CV 60's Stratocaster, Hamer Ecotone, Yamaha APX600 (2)]

# 6