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?!