Pulling my hair out

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garysbraccia

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Joined: 11/07/18

Posts: 8

Ok. in the middle of beginner lessons part 2. (major scales) whats the best practice to learn the notes on the fretboard and I jumped ahead to start learning Pentatonic boxes but I think it's causing me too much all at once. I know where all the A's and B's are on the neck. just trying to do too much too fast i think.

#1

Ok. in the middle of beginner lessons part 2. (major scales) whats the best practice to learn the notes on the fretboard and I jumped ahead to start learning Pentatonic boxes but I think it's causing me too much all at once. I know where all the A's and B's are on the neck. just trying to do too much too fast i think.

ChristopherSchlegel

Guitar Tricks Instructor

Joined: 08/09/05

Posts: 5264

Hey, Gary! I think you need to slow down & be patient with yourself. :)

Originally Posted by: garysbraccia

Ok. in the middle of beginner lessons part 2. (major scales) whats the best practice to learn the notes on the fretboard . . .

It can be confusing & overwhelming. But consider: it's only 7 letters and one pattern that keeps repeating. You just have to get used to how that pattern shifts around & looks going string to string.

One of the best ways is to use the octave method. First learn the pattern of the notes on the E string:

E |----|---|----|---|----|---|----|----|---|----|---|----|
B |----|---|----|---|----|---|----|----|---|----|---|----|
G |----|---|----|---|----|---|----|----|---|----|---|----|
D |----|---|----|---|----|---|----|----|---|----|---|----|
A |----|---|----|---|----|---|----|----|---|----|---|----|
E |-F-|---|-G-|---|-A-|---|-B-|-C-|---|-D-|---|-E-|


Then, visualize octaves of the same letter on the E, D, & B strings. For example, like this for E, F & G:

E |----|----|----|---|----|----|---|---|---|
B |----|----|----|---|-E-|-F-|---|-G-|---|
G |----|----|----|---|----|----|---|---|---|
D |----|-E-|-F-|---|-G-|----|---|---|---|
A |----|----|----|---|----|----|---|---|---|
E |-F-|----|-G-|---|----|----|---|---|---|


Then continue up beyond the G! Next, learn the pattern of the notes on the A string:

E |---|----|----|---|----|---|----|----|---|----|---|----|
B |---|----|----|---|----|---|----|----|---|----|---|----|
G |---|----|----|---|----|---|----|----|---|----|---|----|
D |---|----|----|---|----|---|----|----|---|----|---|----|
A |---|-B-|-C-|---|-D-|---|-E-|-F-|---|-G-|---|-A-|
E |---|----|----|---|----|---|----|----|---|----|---|----|


Then, visualize octaves of the same letter on the A, G & (high) E strings. For example, like this for A, B, & C:

E |---|----|----|----|-A-|---|-B-|-C-|---|
B |---|----|----|----|----|---|----|----|---|
G |---|-A-|----|-B-|-C-|---|----|----|---|
D |---|----|----|----|----|---|----|----|---|
A |---|-B-|-C-|----|----|---|----|----|---|
E |---|----|----|----|----|---|----|----|---|


Continue beyond C! So you can learn the pattern of the notes on just two strings and then repeat the pattern in octaves from there. One system of letters & spacing, two strings, repeating patterns. Practice identifying it a little every day. Work on the E string one day a week for a week. Move that to the D string next week, then the B string next week. In very little time you've got the whole fretboard memorized!

However, in my experience, the biggest single problem is that students don't really have a grasp on the system of musical letters in the first place. So start with that basic system.

A - (A#) - B - C - (C#) - D - (D#) - E - F - (F#) - G - (G#) - A

The point is that there is only one pattern of letters to learn. Then you apply it across the fretboard. :)

Make a little time everyday to call out notes. Make it a point of calling out notes when you play some music during your practing. You don't have to do it all the time. When you are playing music in real time there's no time for that!

It can also be confusing that you can play the same note in more than one place on the guitar. I address that issue in these tutorials on major scales.

https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=363

https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=445

Originally Posted by: garysbraccia

... and I jumped ahead to start learning Pentatonic boxes but I think it's causing me too much all at once. I know where all the A's and B's are on the neck. just trying to do too much too fast i think.

I think you are right! You can't do it all at once & learn to master music & guitar overnight. :) And overwhelming yourself is just going to be frustrating & hinder your learning process instead of helping it.

So, take a breath. Slow down & keep your focus on one thing at a time. You can be in the process of learning more than one thing at a time. But when you are spending time working on one thing, really focus on that one thing. Then put it aside for the day & focus on the other thing. Take your time & try to enjoy the process. It's going to take time, so you might as well try to make it as enjoyable as possible.

Hope this helps! Please ask more if necessary. Have fun!

Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory

#2

Hey, Gary! I think you need to slow down & be patient with yourself. :)

Originally Posted by: garysbraccia

Ok. in the middle of beginner lessons part 2. (major scales) whats the best practice to learn the notes on the fretboard . . .

It can be confusing & overwhelming. But consider: it's only 7 letters and one pattern that keeps repeating. You just have to get used to how that pattern shifts around & looks going string to string.

One of the best ways is to use the octave method. First learn the pattern of the notes on the E string:

E |----|---|----|---|----|---|----|----|---|----|---|----|
B |----|---|----|---|----|---|----|----|---|----|---|----|
G |----|---|----|---|----|---|----|----|---|----|---|----|
D |----|---|----|---|----|---|----|----|---|----|---|----|
A |----|---|----|---|----|---|----|----|---|----|---|----|
E |-F-|---|-G-|---|-A-|---|-B-|-C-|---|-D-|---|-E-|


Then, visualize octaves of the same letter on the E, D, & B strings. For example, like this for E, F & G:

E |----|----|----|---|----|----|---|---|---|
B |----|----|----|---|-E-|-F-|---|-G-|---|
G |----|----|----|---|----|----|---|---|---|
D |----|-E-|-F-|---|-G-|----|---|---|---|
A |----|----|----|---|----|----|---|---|---|
E |-F-|----|-G-|---|----|----|---|---|---|


Then continue up beyond the G! Next, learn the pattern of the notes on the A string:

E |---|----|----|---|----|---|----|----|---|----|---|----|
B |---|----|----|---|----|---|----|----|---|----|---|----|
G |---|----|----|---|----|---|----|----|---|----|---|----|
D |---|----|----|---|----|---|----|----|---|----|---|----|
A |---|-B-|-C-|---|-D-|---|-E-|-F-|---|-G-|---|-A-|
E |---|----|----|---|----|---|----|----|---|----|---|----|


Then, visualize octaves of the same letter on the A, G & (high) E strings. For example, like this for A, B, & C:

E |---|----|----|----|-A-|---|-B-|-C-|---|
B |---|----|----|----|----|---|----|----|---|
G |---|-A-|----|-B-|-C-|---|----|----|---|
D |---|----|----|----|----|---|----|----|---|
A |---|-B-|-C-|----|----|---|----|----|---|
E |---|----|----|----|----|---|----|----|---|


Continue beyond C! So you can learn the pattern of the notes on just two strings and then repeat the pattern in octaves from there. One system of letters & spacing, two strings, repeating patterns. Practice identifying it a little every day. Work on the E string one day a week for a week. Move that to the D string next week, then the B string next week. In very little time you've got the whole fretboard memorized!

However, in my experience, the biggest single problem is that students don't really have a grasp on the system of musical letters in the first place. So start with that basic system.

A - (A#) - B - C - (C#) - D - (D#) - E - F - (F#) - G - (G#) - A

The point is that there is only one pattern of letters to learn. Then you apply it across the fretboard. :)

Make a little time everyday to call out notes. Make it a point of calling out notes when you play some music during your practing. You don't have to do it all the time. When you are playing music in real time there's no time for that!

It can also be confusing that you can play the same note in more than one place on the guitar. I address that issue in these tutorials on major scales.

https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=363

https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=445

Originally Posted by: garysbraccia

... and I jumped ahead to start learning Pentatonic boxes but I think it's causing me too much all at once. I know where all the A's and B's are on the neck. just trying to do too much too fast i think.

I think you are right! You can't do it all at once & learn to master music & guitar overnight. :) And overwhelming yourself is just going to be frustrating & hinder your learning process instead of helping it.

So, take a breath. Slow down & keep your focus on one thing at a time. You can be in the process of learning more than one thing at a time. But when you are spending time working on one thing, really focus on that one thing. Then put it aside for the day & focus on the other thing. Take your time & try to enjoy the process. It's going to take time, so you might as well try to make it as enjoyable as possible.

Hope this helps! Please ask more if necessary. Have fun!

Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory

garysbraccia

Full Access

Joined: 11/07/18

Posts: 8

THX Chris. That did help a lot. you are correct. I need to realize it's a lifelong endeavor and I need to be realistic in my expectations. I have learned so much in a month but since I started so late in life I am putting too much pressure on myself to learn quickly.

Thx for the response.

Gary

#3

THX Chris. That did help a lot. you are correct. I need to realize it's a lifelong endeavor and I need to be realistic in my expectations. I have learned so much in a month but since I started so late in life I am putting too much pressure on myself to learn quickly.

Thx for the response.

Gary

ChristopherSchlegel

Guitar Tricks Instructor

Joined: 08/09/05

Posts: 5264

Hey, Gary. Glad my reply helped.

Originally Posted by: garysbraccia

I need to realize it's a lifelong endeavor and I need to be realistic in my expectations. I have learned so much in a month but since I started so late in life I am putting too much pressure on myself to learn quickly.

That's exactly the right attitude. I'm glad you are making progress. And I sympathize with your desire to get better faster! It's something that I still have to remind myself. :)

Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory

#4

Hey, Gary. Glad my reply helped.

Originally Posted by: garysbraccia

I need to realize it's a lifelong endeavor and I need to be realistic in my expectations. I have learned so much in a month but since I started so late in life I am putting too much pressure on myself to learn quickly.

That's exactly the right attitude. I'm glad you are making progress. And I sympathize with your desire to get better faster! It's something that I still have to remind myself. :)

Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory