Do you look at the fretboard while playing?

BrettFuzz

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Both my Teles have a maple neck and I have been GAS-ing for a rosewood tele for a while now. However, today I realized the true reason I want one is nothing other than the increased visual contrast of strings against rosewood vs .maple - it's just easier to see the strings (at least to me). All my other guitars are rosewood (or whatever they pass for rosewood nowadays) so I am used to that. Then I realized I should probably just learn to play without looking at the fretboard... o_O

Do you have to look at the fretboard while you play? If you do, is it because you have to or is it a habit? If you don't, did it take a long time to learn to play without looking?
 

stxrus

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I don’t look continuously but I do look to make sure I’m anchored. If I’m all over the neck I look more. If it’s a part I’m very comfortable with I look very sparingly.

A mentor of mine in Meridian taught me to work on something and when you feel comfortable with it go into a dark room and play. Muscle memory without the visual crutch

BTW, my mentor was a legally blind 60 year old black bluesman. His tutoring was invaluable. I wish I was more serious about my playing back then. But I did take away some points that I still adhere to today
 

pedro58

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Open chords or 1-4-5 chugging, not so much. But I look at the board. I also discovered that I need the ones on the edge of the fretboard A LOT when I played a guitar that didn't have them. I'd rather go without the ones on the face of the fretboard than the side-dots.
 

Chiogtr4x

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I play a lot of Blues in E or A,
Country/ Bluegrass in say, C, G,, D ( or those open chord positions, just as examples)
and over a lot of time/ repetition, you just learn a lot of runs, turnarounds, lead phrases that are ALL ( mostly) played between your open strings, and frets 1-2-3. These things I can play blindfolded.

Once I go up the neck ( and back), for barre chords, soloing, riffs, I know where I'm going, but I gotta look!
 

Chester P Squier

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If I'm playing chords, no. If I'm playing a movin part, then yes.

On Wednesday I will be leading the singing of some mostly old hymns at a senior living center. On of them has a moving bass line in the refrain that I plan to play to see if they notice. I will have to look at my fretboard.

For those of you conversant in old hymnody, it's the "Hasten glad and free" response in the bass part. It might be fun if I miss a few notes. But I want to pull it off perfectly.
 

bcorig

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Both my Teles have a maple neck and I have been GAS-ing for a rosewood tele for a while now. However, today I realized the true reason I want one is nothing other than the increased visual contrast of strings against rosewood vs .maple - it's just easier to see the strings (at least to me). All my other guitars are rosewood (or whatever they pass for rosewood nowadays) so I am used to that. Then I realized I should probably just learn to play without looking at the fretboard... o_O

Do you have to look at the fretboard while you play? If you do, is it because you have to or is it a habit? If you don't, did it take a long time to learn to play without looking?
Frequently, both hands.
 

Boreas

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Both my Teles have a maple neck and I have been GAS-ing for a rosewood tele for a while now. However, today I realized the true reason I want one is nothing other than the increased visual contrast of strings against rosewood vs .maple - it's just easier to see the strings (at least to me). All my other guitars are rosewood (or whatever they pass for rosewood nowadays) so I am used to that. Then I realized I should probably just learn to play without looking at the fretboard... o_O

Do you have to look at the fretboard while you play? If you do, is it because you have to or is it a habit? If you don't, did it take a long time to learn to play without looking?

Not for the strings. Sometimes if I start a tune up the neck, I need to see what fret I am starting on, but typically I play most chords in the cowboy area staring into space, watching TV, or with closed eyes. Typically, looking at the neck just confuses me. I never really did look at except when I was first learning my chords. Once I got the muscle memory I stopped looking. Not that I never make a mistake though...

I also was never able to learn much by watching others because it confused me as well. Still can't. Must depend on how my brain is wired. But I also never got very good because force myself to practice arpeggios and scales. I suck.
 

Killing Floor

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I don’t. We all locate once I a while but I really don’t have the habit.
And it’s not because I am any good at all. It’s because for years my violin teacher whacked us every time she caught us peeking so after a while you just cave in. So when I am playing I try to make eye contact ot at least look towards someone.
So my advice is to have a mean teacher.
 




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