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Thread: Different ways to memorize notes on the fretboard

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2006

    Different ways to memorize notes on the fretboard

    I know of two:
    Learning scales in all the positions, and printing off fretboard diagrams and filling in the notes in till you memorize it.

    Are there any easier ways or short cuts?

  2. #2
    Jazzman Poparad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Akron, OH
    When I was learning my letter names, I would pick a different scale each day for the beginning of my practice time and just improvise melodies and try to visualise the notes I was playing and how they lay on the fretboard in the particular key/scale. This is a great thing to do because you're working on becoming fluent with scales, learning the notes of the fretboard, and improving your improvisational skills.

    I'd slowely run each scale in a position up and down saying and thinking the note names without actually looking at the fretboard most of the time. I'd also practice playing a note, then moving to the notes around in by half steps, whole steps, up or down a string or two, and so on. This helps learning where in proximity other notes are from a particular one, which is very important to know, becuase when you're playing scales, and especially when jumping around at different intervals, the hardest thing it knowing where that next note is. By knowing all the notes around, say a 7th fret, 5th string E, then jumping around to any other note near there is much easier.

    Reading through a lot of music also helps in visualising how things lay on the fretboard a lot as well.

    The next step to take is to keep practicing scales, but force yourself to change changes every measure or two. For example, you could play the A major scale for two measures, and then A minor for two measures. This is great practice for note names because you can learn to see the notes that stay the same and the notes that change by half step. Experiment with different chord progressions and key shifts to find ones you like and that keep you on your toes, mentally.

  3. #3
    Registered User Malcolm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Deep East Texas Piney Woods
    Ran across this site a few days ago, it's a different (for me) way of looking at your fretboard. Perhaps it will help.
    Click here

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    you can do a lot away from your instrument. just try and visualize the first 4 or 5 frets and then run scales and apreggios up and down in that one position. In the begining you might want to keep a diagram on hand to check yourself every now and then. But try and get away from aids as soon as possible.

  5. #5
    Did I say that out loud ? joeyd929's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006

    Interval movement

    Another way to memorize notes on the guitar is to understand and use the natural way the notes are laid out. For example if you go from low to high string it moves in perfect fourths, with the exception of the G to B string, which is a Major third. Then back to a perfect fourth from B to E.

    In reverse, from high to low string, you have perfect fifth, with the exception of B to G string, which is a minor sixth.

    My point is that if you know what intervals look like by position, you can literally move around the guitar in your mind once you understand the interval placement.

    Take the A bar chord at the fifth fret. Without a guitar in front of me, I can visualize the intervals of the chord.

    The notes are A, E, A, C#, E, A

    A to E is a perfect 5th
    E to A is a perfect 4th
    A to C# is a Major 3rd
    C# to E is a minor 3rd
    E to A is a perfect 4th

    So if you can visualize and understand the interval shapes you can virtuallly write out guitar parts without a guitar in hand. It's all right there in the form of intervals... Hope that helps.
    Last edited by joeyd929; 09-19-2006 at 11:15 PM. Reason: Forgot to add an important comment

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