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memorizing the fret board

Music Theory
nullnaught  
18 Jul 2010 15:14 | Quote
Joined: 05 Jun 2010
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Is memorizing 4ths the best way to memorize your fretboard? Since the guitar is tuned in 4ths. Except for the B string of course.
JazzMaverick  
18 Jul 2010 18:12 | Quote
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Memorize the notes on the dotted frets... 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th, 12th, and such...

Because then you can work out what the other notes are in between because it's only a small gap.

I hope this is useful info!
nullnaught  
18 Jul 2010 18:29 | Quote
Joined: 05 Jun 2010
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Thanks Jazzy. But other ideas can't hurt.
Guitarslinger124  
19 Jul 2010 01:24 | Quote
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Try playing chromatically along the 6th string (thickest string) and say the notes out loud as you play them. That is how I taught myself. Once you learn the notes on the 6th string and you realize that you can play all 12 notes in one finger position and you take notice that a notes 5th is only two steps up and one string up on the fret board, and you notice that a notes octave is only two steps up and twp strings up on the fretboard, the notes will come naturally.

Here is what I mean. The following is a partial fretboard. This is the fret board up to and including the 9th fret. I have left out the ever confusing, E# and B# from this diagram. Notice that I only added in the notes of the 6th string or low E string in this case.


1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
e||[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]
B||[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]
G||[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]
D||[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]
A||[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]
E||[F ][F#/Gb][G ][G#/Ab][A ][A#/Bb][B/Cb ][C ][C#/Db]


Now I am going to show you a trick to find the fifth of any note. I am going to use 'F' in this next example.


1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
e||[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]
B||[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]
G||[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]
D||[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]
A||[ ][ ][C ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]
E||[F ][F#/Gb][G ][G#/Ab][A ][A#/Bb][B/Cb ][C ][C#/Db]

As you can see, the Fifth of "F" is C. To get to this "C" I simply, starting from F on the first fret, I walked up two steps/frets to G and then jumped to the A string on the same fret (3rd). This method will work for any note on the low string. That is not to say it will not work on other strings, but right now, we are dealing with the low E string.

Using the above method, I will fill in the rest of the fifths on our chart:


1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
e||[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]
B||[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]
G||[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]
D||[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]
A||[ ][B/Cb ][C ][C#/Db][D ][D#/Eb][E/Fb ][F ][F#/G#]
E||[F ][F#/Gb][G ][G#/Ab][A ][A#/Bb][B/Cb ][C ][C#/Db]

As you can see, using the same method I have filled almost all the notes on the 5th string, or A string. The one note left blank should be easy to figure out, A#/Bb. So here is our diagram so far:


1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
e||[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]
B||[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]
G||[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]
D||[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]
A||[A#/Bb][B/Cb ][C ][C#/Db][D ][D#/Eb][E/Fb ][F ][F#/G#]
E||[F ][F#/Gb][G ][G#/Ab][A ][A#/Bb][B/Cb ][C ][C#/Db]


Now, for the last little trick, finding the octave of a note is just as easy. In fact, you will to the same thing, except you will jump up two strings in stead of one. Here is what I mean:


1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
e||[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]
B||[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]
G||[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]
D||[ ][ ][F ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]
A||[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]
E||[F ][F#/Gb][G ][G#/Ab][A ][A#/Bb][B/Cb ][C ][C#/Db]

Now using this same method, we will find all the octaves of the notes on the E string, on the D string or 4th string:


1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
e||[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]
B||[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]
G||[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]
D||[ ][E/Fb ][F ][F#/Gb][G ][G#/Ab][A ][A#/Bb][B/Cb ]
A||[A#/Bb][B/Cb ][C ][C#/Db][D ][D#/Eb][E/Fb ][F ][F#/G#]
E||[F ][F#/Gb][G ][G#/Ab][A ][A#/Bb][B/Cb ][C ][C#/Db]

Again, this leaves one fret blank, but like before, it should be pretty easy to fill in this blank, D#/Eb:


1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
e||[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]
B||[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]
G||[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]
D||[D#/Eb][E/Fb ][F ][F#/Gb][G ][G#/Ab][A ][A#/Bb][B/Cb ]
A||[A#/Bb][B/Cb ][C ][C#/Db][D ][D#/Eb][E/Fb ][F ][F#/G#]
E||[F ][F#/Gb][G ][G#/Ab][A ][A#/Bb][B/Cb ][C ][C#/Db]


Now you know the three lowest strings on the guitar in the tuning of E Standard. It is important to know how your instrument is tuned, as tuning affects where notes are on the fretboard.

Print this page out and try and fill in the rest of the blanks if you want.


Hope this helped!

«Rock on!»
Guitarslinger124  
19 Jul 2010 01:28 | Quote
Joined: 25 Jul 2007
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Not sure why that is so messed up^^^^. Sorry about that.

EDIT: *Chuckle* actually I do know, OOPS. Too late for me to fix it... MOD!

«Rock on!»
nullnaught  
19 Jul 2010 01:53 | Quote
Joined: 05 Jun 2010
Karma: 22
Tried that already Guitarslinger124. Its a good suggestion. But it just doesnt work for me.
AlexB  
19 Jul 2010 02:57 | Quote
Joined: 13 Jul 2009
Mexico
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remember shapes...

learn the major chord shape starting on the 6st string....simple right? then play it in the third fret,wow thats a G major,if you play it on the0 fret,is an E major...on the 5th is an A major...

the same applies to every chord that its shape starts on the 6th string..

now learn the major chord shape for the 5th string... if you play it on the 0 fret is an A..on the 3rd fret is a C,on the 5th its a D...

so if you know that the third fret is C and the fifth is D,then the fourth is...?? YES C sharp,and if the 5th is D then the 6th is...D#!!

So when you know the notes on both 6th and 5th string..use the Octave method of learning... (IF 3rd fret 6th string is G,THEN 5th fret on the D string is G) thats a simple and easy rule

I dont know if you get it...but i used this method and it rocks..stil i dont use it anymore,i dont know the notes on the fretboard at all..
carlsnow  
19 Jul 2010 05:47 | Quote
Joined: 29 Apr 2009
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this is basically what , i just realized, Alex has written, but laid out the way i do for my students...
still the key is Octaves

Memorize the low E & A strings to 12th fret (as well as the High-e, but thats kinda expected, as its the same note-value(s) as the Low E)
Now ya only have the D, G, and B strings to plot out
This can be done easily, painlessly, and within a year BY
Using the first four 'Octave shapes' as tonal-tools (Used to give name to the note in question Via its lower or higher half)
you learn the rest easily

RAWK!
Cs


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Carl Snow is an old, jaded & slightly bitter old man who cannot be held accountable for anything, much less his opinionatedly opinionated opinions or those of his imaginary friends. We sincerely apologize if this Carl Snow and/or its behavior have infected you or others with its ugly brain and its juices.
JazzMaverick  
19 Jul 2010 08:09 | Quote
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Problem sorted GuitarSlinger :)

Yeah, I'm with Alex; I would also say remember shapes - it's the best way to know your guitar. I didn't tell you to do that yet incase it all went over your head.

@ Carl, great way to explain it dude :D Very nice!
nullnaught  
19 Jul 2010 13:46 | Quote
Joined: 05 Jun 2010
Karma: 22
With a piano you can tell the notes instantely just by looking. I want that to happen with my guitar. The E strings are easy. I mainly want this knowledge to sight read. Thanks everyone for the advice.
macandkanga  
19 Jul 2010 14:37 | Quote
Joined: 03 Oct 2008
United States
Karma: 21
For me it's a combination of memorizing the dotted notes, like Jazzy suggested above, and knowing octaves and the shapes of octaves. There are notes that I just know for whatever reason but if I don't know just looking, I'll look at the dots to tell me where I am and figure out the note that way.

And yeah, understanding chord shapes helps too.
guitarmastergod  
20 Jul 2010 17:06 | Quote
Joined: 09 Sep 2008
Canada
Karma: 8
there is a tool on music theory.net that helps with this.

http://www.musictheory.net/exercises/fretboard
macandkanga  
20 Jul 2010 17:19 | Quote
Joined: 03 Oct 2008
United States
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Great site guitarmastergod! I'm gonna add it to my favorites.
btimm  
20 Jul 2010 21:15 | Quote
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What guitarslinger wrote I found very helpful when learning verious blues progressions. Easy to see the I, IV, and V chords with that thinking.
nullnaught  
20 Jul 2010 21:47 | Quote
Joined: 05 Jun 2010
Karma: 22
www.musictheory.net/exercises/fretboard is really great.
MoshZilla1016  
24 Jul 2010 13:47 | Quote
Joined: 10 Jul 2010
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Have you ever tried to recall notes and chords without the aid of a guitar. I mean to visualize it in your mind. Think of a note and try to recall all the places it occurs on every string. Also, use the CAGED method and visualize chords in all five positions then check your guitar to see if you've got the right string and fret. I drive a truck so this is how I exercise my memory without my guitar. I'll even try to picture a Major chord and it's relative minor in various positions throughout the fretboard.


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