Do You KNOW The Fretboard?

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by Texicaster, Oct 6, 2019.

  1. Texicaster

    Texicaster Tele-Holic

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    ¡Bueno!

    I don't know ...not cold... I've been concentrating and can reckon notes but to say I know each note as I'm playing would be false....

    I'm recording an exercise I found in a Steve Vai book where he randomly lists each note of string. So "F# on B string, C on D string" etc... You play it back and hit that note asap!

    Hopefully it leads to greater understanding of music.

    How bout you? How quick could you find C# on the G string? How about finding all the D notes on the fretboard quickly?

    Any other exercises to learn the fretboard? It's amazing how few effective means I've found..
     
  2. Toast

    Toast Tele-Holic

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    This a great lesson. It's helped me learn most of the fretboard. If I weren't as lazy, I'd have the whole thing memorized. I have almost all the natural notes memorized or can recall them quickly using the patterns. The sixth and first string notes are the same (different octaves) and that helps a lot.

    Fretjam - Guitar Fretboard Memorization
     
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  3. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Uh, we’ve met.
     
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  4. Larry F

    Larry F Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    The notes on the fingerboard are like family to me. When I'm in a certain area of the fingerboard, notes that I will play seem to light up and become more apparent. The individual notes in this area are like my sisters. I know them really, really well, and in a million different ways. When we're hanging out or whatever, I don't think of their names. They just are. Now, if desired, I can certainly recall my sisters' names, just as I can recall the note names.

    I learned the fingerboard in high school. It helped me when I moved to the big city (Portland) in 1970. I was able to get a lot of pretty good gigs based on my improvising and sight-reading ability. If anyone wants to learn the fingerboard, they will soon learn that they keep forgetting it. Constant gigging, jamming, etc. will help. So will teaching lessons. But if you don't have those opportunities (2019 ain't 1970), then you'll need to revisit the fingerboard notes regularly.
     
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  5. Pixie-Bob

    Pixie-Bob TDPRI Member

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    It all became clear to me when I started on Bass some years ago. You simply cannot function on Bass if you don't know where everything is, whereas on guitar you can obtain gratification by just knowing shapes and fretboard co-ordinates. So yes, now I can lay my fingers on any given note, at any time, in any register - thank's to fiddling around at the bottom end.
     
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  6. 57fenderstrat

    57fenderstrat Tele-Meister

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    I have memorized the fretboard , it’s not something I actively set out to do but It just kind of happens over time. At first there were just frets that I remembered and I could use them as my foundation to find other notes. For example if I just knew the third fret on the b string was a D it would verify that the first fret would be C and the fifth fret would be E etc.

    Also just understanding interval shapes. If I know the third fret on the low e is a g then my power chord shapes would prove that the fifth fret on the d string would also be a g.

    The e strings and a strings are easy to remember just thinking about the roots of chord shapes. And then everything just repeats at the twelfth fret.

    It can be like math in the sense that there are a lot of different ways and methods you can use to come to the same answer. And the more of them you know the more they prove each other correct when your thinking about them.

    Sometimes I still like to draw the fretboard on paper and plug in notes of different scales or maybe every note in an aminor chord over the whole fretboard or something like that.

    It seems daunting but there are just 12 notes to keep track of and most songs will only use 7 of them.
     
  7. Texicaster

    Texicaster Tele-Holic

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    This is how I know... in relation to certain notes. But tell me to get from A# on D string to F on A string takes a second longer than I can play smoothly...
     
  8. Pixie-Bob

    Pixie-Bob TDPRI Member

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    Little things that can you can do to internalise this stuff...
    On the bottom three strings, one string up is a fourth, one string down is a fifth as is one string up and two frets up. Two strings up and two frets is an octave.
    For the other strings, just add a fret.

    You know, you could set this to music and...
     
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  9. ronzhd

    ronzhd Tele-Holic

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    I have found that I missed them often, and that I needed a better regimen to study, hence intervals and some cheats. It started to register. You can't always bend out of trouble. Funny thing is I started learning some Rockabilly lines and that helped me. Like life, I learn mostly the hard way.
     
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  10. 24 track

    24 track Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I started by learning any note like say the G note based on th the 6th string then looked for each each note with in the block I was playing and then on every string up and down the fret board its easier than it sounds , from any note on the 6th and 5th string its 2 frets over 2 frets down gives you an octave note
     
  11. jhundt

    jhundt Doctor of Teleocity

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    many of the greatest and most famous and influential guitar players in all genres of guitar music could not (or would not, or did not try to) live up to this challenge.

    The names we give to the notes are just the names given to notes. They can be useful, but they are not essential. The notes themselves have no names. And they - like cats - do not respond to name-calling.
     
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  12. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Related, I'm not surprised by several posts on the "cool chord" thread where people post a chord then admit they don't really know what it is.
     
  13. Verne Bunsen

    Verne Bunsen Tele-Afflicted

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    I’ve been playing guitar for 25 years and thought I had a good grip on the fretboard. Then I started taking jazz lessons a couple of years ago and realized I knew nothing. It’s getting better.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2019
  14. Pixie-Bob

    Pixie-Bob TDPRI Member

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    There's a pattern emerging here - move away from conventional guitar learning, and everything gets better.
     
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  15. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I recall in the '90s guitar mags started talking about this new thing called "string skipping".

    A little later another new thing called "sweep picking" got press.

    As far as naming notes goes I never chose to learn that aspect of playing music.
    I guess because I struggle to remember names of people I know and streets in the town where I grew up.

    But knowing the fretboard well enough to find the note I want even if it's not near the last note is pretty essential.
    And to reduce boredom I tend to cycle through changes constantly when playing alone, so there is a new location for every interval every 30 seconds.

    Intervals will never let you down!
     
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  16. rolandson

    rolandson Tele-Meister

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    Yep. Just like I now the anatomy of all of my tools.

    But, I find it hard to think of as a function of memorization. It may have started that way a long time ago, but that was when I was learning to read.

    It's a part of language.
     
  17. bcorig

    bcorig Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Not that well but good enough
     
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  18. jhundt

    jhundt Doctor of Teleocity

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    the name of a note is meaningless within the music; only the relationship of the note to others within the moment matters.

    The name of the note can be essential when it is necessary to describe that note to others. Even then it can be quite difficult as the name might depend on which instrument the other party is playing, and in which key his/her music is written.

    If you are playing a nice little guitar piece written in C major, the orchestra will for the most part not be reading a C major chart. The Bb clarinet will not be seeing the same note as you are.

    There may be many reasons to learn the notes of the fretboard inside- and out. But I don't know if the effort will be rewarded.

    I loved the bit above from telemnemonics:
    "As far as naming notes goes I never chose to learn that aspect of playing music.
    I guess because I struggle to remember names of people I know and streets in the town where I grew up."

    I just want to stand up and shout "ain't that the truth!" We all learn and remember in different ways. I can quite easily switch keys at the drop of a hat just because I know what goes next. I can't always name it, because it would take too long to think about it. But I can play it.
     
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  19. viking

    viking Friend of Leo's

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    I don't even remember the name of chords on my bad days, LOL
     
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  20. rolandson

    rolandson Tele-Meister

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    I get the feeling that this is a concept that's subject to 'over thinking'...

    Does this come up when learning to drive a car or operate a television remote?

    I am also of the opinion that, because "playing" (using a generically broad definition for the moment) a musical instrument actually isn't terribly difficult, it circumvents the learning process. Making sounds and eventually stringing those sounds together into identifiable music, especially on a guitar, is easy.

    So...the new player isn't motivated to learn the instrument until the learning curve, from the perspective of the now slightly more accomplished new player, has exponentiated... making it seem an impossible task. Sorta like learning to add and subtract and then getting dropped into analytic geometry.

    If one truly wants to learn an instrument, learn to read. Just like the beginning of reading in any language, it starts slow, and soon...very soon...one doesn't even think about it.

    In the realm of all things difficult, this ain't on the list.
     
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