Knowing the fretboard is very important if you want to become a great guitar player. When I started out, I would try to remember where all the A notes were on the neck. I began slowly memerizing where the notes were by using reference points. Such as... (this ones easy to remember)... The A note on the low E string at the fifth fret is also on the high E string at the 5th fret. There now... two places you know. Then... I always know that if the A note is at the fifth fret low E. It will also be two frets up at the seventh fret, D string. Now there is three places you know where the A note is. That will always be the same way (pattern) with every note starting on either the Low E, High E & D STRINGS. I use the fifth fret area because that's where you play the A minor Pentatonic Scale for Blues and Rock music in the Key of A. If you are starting out you might want to draw out a guitar neck with strings. Then put a circle on each fret and string... this is where you will write in the notes. Then after write in all the notes.... color each circle (note) with it's own color and name it. So now all the A notes are say red. E notes are brown, etc. Doing this will definitely help you remember where your notes are. Start out with whole notes first. No sharps or flats. So... that's seven colors in all. ~Scott
Fret board Knowledge by Scott Thomas
You may not think this concept isn’t very important, but I bet a lot of you starting guitar players out there can’t name all notes on the guitar neck if I called out notes at random. Where’s the D sharp on the 3rd string? Quick! Chop-chop! Tick-tock…. Tic-tock…. See what I mean… Believe it or not, learning this simple thing will increase your knowledge, enjoyment & playing immensely.
There are millions of guitar players out there who could play Van Halen solos all day long… However, can’t name a note on the fret board. Most guitar players just want to spend their time noodling and trying to play as fast as they can. Don’t get me wrong, if that’s your gig, then stick with it. I just don’t think you’ll progress very fast… I did this myself for many years too!
I know, I know… most of you are thinking what’s the point? When I play, I want to sound cool by playing flashy licks and riffs. You know, chord shapes and box lead patterns. These techniques are really good to learn but do not help you remember where you’re exactly at when it comes to improvising with others during a jam session. These licks won’t work when you only know how to play in one position and everyone is modulating to another key. Knowledge of the fret board can take the chains off so that you can learn to free form jam. You know… to do some soul gliding…. Now, that’s when all the blood rushes around your head and heart is pounding and you couldn’t hit a wrong note if you tried. Learning these notes will help you with chord inversions too.
Now, for the exercise…. Get a diagram of the fretboard with all the notes labeled on each string and fret. Each day for about 15 minutes, pick a string to study. Learn all the notes on that one string for that day. Study each string from first fret to the last fret. From the top string to the bottom string… get some index cards to help you. Make a game of it. Get a chord diagram and make copies and write the note name where the fingerings are. Have a relative or friend help you. Do this daily for two weeks. You will be amazed at all the different things you'll start to see that will help you remember where each note is at. I like to call them little Indian tricks. Like this easy one. All the notes on the top low E string are the same as the notes on the bottom high E string. Open your mind.... This will give you a real solid foundation for future endeavors in your guitar playing.
"Sometimes it the easiest and obvious things we over look when learning something new."