Learning all of the notes on the fretboard can be an intimidating task! I definitely struggled with learning all of the notes for many years. However, over the past several months, I've been thinking about ways to make this process easier and more efficient for my guitar students. In this blog post, I'm going to share with you four methods to help you learn the fretboard quickly so you can get back to working on all of the fun stuff!
- Learning First Position notes!
This has to be the first step, but it doesn't have to be difficult. You can easily learn your first position notes by working through a few strings at a time and finding connections between them. Start by learning the open string notes EADGBE. Learn their location on the music staff. Then learn the other two notes that are played in first position on each string. You may also notice that the notes repeat alphabetically from A to G. Check out the notes on the strings below, you can see that the first position note names on the 6th and 1st strings are identical. Notice that the B on the 3rd string is the same note as the B on the open 2nd string.
*Practice playing the notes in order to help! Say the names of the notes out loud to help you remember them faster!
2. Write in your notes on your sheet music!
I can't stress this one enough. Your brain is learning to process new information when learning the notes on the staff and the notes on the fingerboard. It's exactly like learning to read all over again. So treat it that way! Write in your notes to make it easier for you to practice. This comes with the added benefit of recognizing each note by writing the letter name. If you get confused by notes of the same name, pay attention to their location on the music staff. Notice that the 6th string E is way lower on the staff compared to the 4th string E and the first string E.
3. Learn your whole steps and half steps.
An easy way to remember your whole steps and half steps is to look at your frets. Whole steps are two frets apart, half steps are one fret apart. Notice that most of our notes are a whole step away from each other. However, the notes B and C are only a half step apart and so are the notes E and F. This helps with visualizing the notes on the fretboard and helps us think about where the next note is located.
*The major scale is also built on a series of Whole Steps and Half Steps. The pattern for the major scale is WWHWWWH. Play these starting on any note and you will figure out how to play your major scales!
4. Practice your notes Linearly and Vertically.
This may sound confusing, but once you get this down, there's no stopping your playing! Unlike most instruments, the guitar has multiple ways of playing the same note. This makes learning all of the notes just a little more difficult. A great method to counter this problem is to play some major scales linearly on each string! Check out the exercises below!
I hope this helps you on your guitar journey!
Looking to organize your practice routine? Check out my digital planner available at https://www.stringwerx.com/