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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    Interesting takes...

    Thanks all for chiming in!

    It's strange how tricky it can be! Did I struggle like this learning the alphabet when I was 4 years old?! It's not all that abstract and there are patterns.... but man.....

    I think the culprit is TAB! While one can claim learning to read std. notation unnecessary, it does force note name recognition.

    I've been running drills and last couple weeks a lot better handle on it!

    I started the Vai exercise from Vaideology book where you record the notes "C on D string" etc and then find them on actual fretboard but noticed he adds ridiculous notes like E# B# C flat, F flat. Why would you ever refer to an F as E#?! Even if there is some weird jazz reasoning I never would so have abandoned that effort... Why not E# flat for E?! :D
     
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  2. Harry Styron

    Harry Styron Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    If I didn't do a lot of sight-reading and play in a big-band with charts (mostly chords, but with some notes written out), I would probably get rusty above the seventh fret.

    I have always enjoyed learning songs from printed music, and creating impromptu chord-melody arrangements from a big fakebook is one of my favorite pastimes.
     
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  3. rolandson

    rolandson Tele-Meister

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    The OP is looking to expand horizons, perhaps improve the view.

    What has surfaced is the distinction between a 'guitar player' and a 'musician'. Though one could easily substitute pretty much any other instrument for guitar in that sentence.

    My point is simple; why would anyone choose to remain illiterate in the language they love?

    The ability to read opened doors that I never dreamed possible.
     
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  4. howardlo

    howardlo Tele-Holic

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    Sure is essential if playing by reading musical notation (sheet music), which I often do.
     
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  5. JayFreddy

    JayFreddy Poster Extraordinaire

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    In that case, I just disagree with you.

    I can read music on the guitar. Conservatory education and Berklee... But I try not let that hold me back.

    Learn the notes on your neck. There are 35 natural notes. Do the sharps and flats later. It's not difficult.

    11 year olds do it everyday.

    Yes, learn arpeggios, scales, intervals and chord tones, but that is in addition to memorizing the notes as they lay out on the fret board.

    Keyboardists don't really need to expend much effort to memorize the keyboard because the pattern is much simpler.

    But the pattern of note distribution on the guitar is not complicated.

    To imply that rote memorization of the notes will interfere with one's ability to play arpeggios and musical phrases is not only incorrect, it is irresponsible.
     
  6. jhundt

    jhundt Doctor of Teleocity

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    I can certainly see where the names of the notes and their location on the fretboard might be important in that situation.

    I am reminded of the old Tommy Tedesco column in Guitar Player magazine, where he described his studio session work. He often was called upon to play another instrument - banjo, mandolin, etc. The part would be written in whatever was standard banjo/mandolin/etc tuning. Tommy Tedesco couldn't be bothered with all that; he had a banjo, and a mandolin, etc. But he tuned them the same as his guitars. When he got the music, he would look through for any important parts/ themes. And he would nail them. But the rest of the time he would just play something that sounded like a banjo part, or a mandolin part.
     
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  7. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    The difference between when he started and when he could 'just play something that sounded like' whatever contains a huge chasm. Living in studios would soak up a lot of material without really noticing the education.

    It seems like many big players when going through their beginning history you find other musicians. Like EVH had a mother that taught piano and a father that played professional clarinet in big bands. He and his brother played piano as kids as they sailed from Europe to the US, the family paying it's way with music. Annie Clarke of St Vincent has one or both parents that were in music. They soaked up a lot of material over their early years.

    Tiger Woods' father played a lot of golf (I think professionally but not entirely sure) but he moved the family South so his son could play year round.

    .
     
  8. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

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    You are saying that if you don't read music, you're not a "real" musican? And that reading notes off a page is the essence of "real" musicianship? I would suggest that that is not just elitist but a very, very limited and limiting way of thinking about musical skill. I pointed out that sheet music scores are generally unavailable / nonexistent for most of what people play - does that mean it's not real music?

    My brother and sister can sight read sheet music for piano and violin, but they know zero theory, have no understanding of the WHY of music, and have no ability to make music with other people or to write music, in fact all they can do is play what is printed on a page. Are they the "real" musicians and I'm the impostor? Okay....
     
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  9. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Telefied Ad Free Member

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  10. pugnax

    pugnax TDPRI Member

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    I've been playing for 20 some odd years, and never really learned the actual notes on the fretboard outside of the E/A strings, but just the other day I saw this video. Damned if it didn't actually work, and I can't believe this simple mnemonic never occurred to me before.
     
  11. 57fenderstrat

    57fenderstrat Tele-Meister

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    Well I agree with both points and can attest to know people who play beautiful piano but can’t do anything with it unless they are reading sheet music and they can’t make up their own music or improvise.

    But I think he’s refering to the difference between someone who is making choices on the notes they are playing and when to play them and a player who is wanking around in a pentatonic box because anything within that shape will work. Both are fine but you can hear the difference. Not to be offensive to anyone. And I would never say someone isn’t a musician based how they approach the instrument

    I think the more you know the better you play and there is value for all things. You can know all the notes on the fretboard without having to read music everyday or write in standard notation.

    At the end of the day whatever you do to make you happy with your own playing is what is best because it’s about whatever brings ya joy
     
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  12. rolandson

    rolandson Tele-Meister

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    I went to a jam session once, hosted by a local fellow of some renown...he played the drummer in Otis Day and the Knights of Animal House fame, and is, in reality an extraordinary percussionist. When I walked in I was greeted with "oh great, another guitar player".

    I was asked if I brought charts and I said no, that I had no idea what and how many...but that I'd brought my book and hoped that would suffice. They said fine, that I was welcome to stay. They had neither the time or inclination to hold my hand as I got up to speed. I didn't blame them in the slightest, and welcomed the inquisition.

    Music is a language. It's not just about dots on a page, it's about what those dots mean, and all of the symbolism surrounding them, their relationship to each other and the overall piece of music.

    Anyone taking the time to enhance their familiarity and understanding of their instrument is doing themselves a serious solid by using that as an opportunity to also incorporate the ability to communicate with others in the conventional language of the art form.

    Yep, pretty much.

    Not that there is anything wrong with choosing not to. Being a guitar player in and of itself is absolutely fine. Just like there isn't anything wrong with not reading the written language of whatever culture one finds themself. Not necessary, but it helps. And it also opens doors one may never have known existed.

    Well...doubtful...and maybe... bull.

    First, a score is the set of charts for all instruments of a piece. Sheet music is generally for a single instrument. So if your statement of fact was intended to accurately represent a true score, perhaps, but doubtful.

    Then we get to ...who are these "most people" you speak of?

    If a piece of music has been recorded or released by a major in the last 75 years, it's been transcribed. though there are some who don't want to purchase the sheet music of the stuff they want to cover because they are comfortable ripping off the work of songwriters and composers. An unfortunate reality. But...producers and record companies always transcribe the work of their talent pool. The lawyers require it.
     
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  13. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    I know the location of all sour notes very well thank you!
     
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  14. Larry F

    Larry F Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    Ron Steen? Was this in Portland?
     
  15. rolandson

    rolandson Tele-Meister

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    Yes and Yes! (I went out looking for a clip of The Brain, ala Pinky And The Brain) saying "Yes!"

    But I couldn't find one.
     
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  16. ASATKat

    ASATKat Tele-Afflicted

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    Yes I know the fretboard, and I know her sister the strings. Such fun girls, I'll leave it at that but use your imagination.
     
  17. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Poster Extraordinaire

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    I know it, but on a completely ( hunting and pecking/curiosity) from repetition of playing licks, chords, up and down and all around for many years - so by memory, good ear and association of patterns, but did NOT by formal lessons, scale exercises- just a lot of playing, till it all sunk in!
     
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  18. DougM

    DougM Friend of Leo's

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    Whenever I'm playing, whether rhythm/chords or soloing, I know the name of every note (A, B, C, etc.) as well as each note's position in the key/scale (1, 2, 3, etc.) that it's being used in.
    I know every note everywhere on the fretboard.
     
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  19. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I prefer Telemnemonics.

    To each his own!
     
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  20. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Damn, 119? You've gotta be the oldest shredder in history!
    Even Segovia started slipping in his 90s...

    I always loved math and used to do basic math in my head using rhythms to store numbers.
    Strings reeds and brass use vastly different mechanical access to the notes, and of the three, brass has only three keys to access all notes, so the conceptualization cannot be the same. Different maths same answer.
    Reeds are in a way simpler than guitar, since the hands remain in place, only one set of notes are keyed and the desired octave for that keyed note is selected.
    But of course the guitar has a more simple visual layout that makes sense almost immediately, with no real mysteries. Also the same basic mechanical action is used to sound every note, where more different mechanical actions access notes on woodwinds.
    Oddly Jaco claimed he learned the harmonics on bass from trumpet?
    Never understood what he meant.

    Guitar is great for having a simple sensible visual layout to look at and learn.
    And many approaches lead to many personal styles.

    Given the versatility and accessibility to the masses, it's too bad guitar has lost so much ground in popular music.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2019
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