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Music Articles

Learn the Guitar Fretboard Notes

By Thomas Wilhelm

If you wanna go from basic guitar playing into the more advanced, it is advisable to learn the guitar fretboard notes in order be able to play chords in different positions and to be able to improvise over a known chord progression. Meaning that you in a way need to visualize the tones that actually is contained when pushing a fret on a certain string, and in addition knowing at the same time, what is the tones in neighbouring frets and the strings along the same fret.

As most of you already knows, the names of the open strings in normal tuning is E-A-D-G-B-E. The tricky part for me as I started learning guitar was that between 4 and 5 th fret there is 2 tone steps, or 4 ½ steps or frets difference, between all the rest string there is a tone intervall corresponding to 5 frets. I guess the reason for this was to make playing chord more easily, imagine like major and minor chords, if all the string intervals where 5 frets.

As an introductionary memorize lessons is good to focus on one tone, for instance you are playing a chord progression where it´s suitable to use a certain scale for improvisation or play chords in other positions. Try visualizing the reference tone from the scale over the fret board like the illustration below.

In order to learn to visualize more tones, it´s a tip to make your own riddle for rememberance out of a certain tone name propagation following the tones on the same fret, with exception of 5 and 6 th string, see below:

Remember the C major scale : C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C. You might combine this scale with imaging to follow the the tones on a fret upwards, it would give us the tones. A-D-G-C-F-A#-D#-G#-C#-F#-B-E . A# just means opposite of A flat, ½ tone above A, or similar to B flat. Try to make your own riddle or rime out of A -D- G - C- F - B- E. Maybe like this : - Adam (actually it was Eve) Demonstrated onto God the Choice Freedom, and it meant Beginning of Evil. A little stupid, but it´s a start before making some better riddle or rime.
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