Finding notes on the fretboard

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Rav, Feb 3, 2005.

  1. Rav


    Dec 29, 2004
    Aurora, IL
    I'm trying to speed up my ability to quickly find a note on the fretboard by moving from the note I'm playing to the same note in a different position.

    My question is does anyone have any tricks to remember note placements? Anything you do specifically that helps you find alternate note locations without just memorizing the entire board.

    I know the up one string and five right to get the same note and the down 2 right 2 to get same note an octave higher. And of couse the 12th fret is the same as the open string one octave higher.

    I use the 12th fret vs open to remember locations for octave up notes like ( open string + 2 frets = 12th fret +2 frets up one octave )

    Any other tricks that help?

  2. dlloyd

    dlloyd zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Apr 21, 2004
    Learn to sight read. Simple stuff at first, in open positions. Once you're confident, try it at the fifth position.

    Don't try to fake it by referring to another string (like the notes on the G string are two frets up from the ones on the A). It works to a degree, but ends up slowing you down.
  3. Rav


    Dec 29, 2004
    Aurora, IL
    I know how to sight read. When I read I always play everything down in 1st position with the open strings and the first 4 frets. If I'm reading something that needs to go past this one octave range I've been traveling up the D and G strings.

    This works but it isnt exactly flexible. I fiind it pretty limiting and am looking for a new way to view the fretboard to start changing position more often.

    With what I'm doing now I'm eventually going to memorize the board but I was hoping someone had some mental queues they used to help speed this process.

  4. Draw a picture or get a fretboard chart or something similar and hang it on your wall so when you're doing nothin look at it
    Most've this stuff is mental if you can visualise the note on fretboard as well as on paper than you are on your way
  5. dlloyd

    dlloyd zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Apr 21, 2004

    I misunderstood. Sorry.

    I think it's just something you have to practice at. I try to practice everything in a number of positions, starting phrases with different fingers on different strings each time, then trying to shift between the positions half way through. It often puts a new twist on a line.

    I'm not there yet though.
  6. fr0me0


    Dec 7, 2004
    Winnipeg Canada
    Find B everywhere

    There's always a C just to the right of it and an E above it and an F to the right of that.

    So i memorized those little boxes

    Then found D everyhere. G and C are above it and A is below it. Then i just kinda put it together and filled in the sharps.
  7. Rav


    Dec 29, 2004
    Aurora, IL

    You rock.

    I can't beleive I didnt think of doing something like this. All the closed position scales are in patterns I never thought of breaking them into logical non scale blocks and memorizing them in sub patterns.

    This is the kind of thing I was looking for. Anyone else have any tricks they use?

  8. dlloyd

    dlloyd zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Apr 21, 2004
    IMHO, you're way better off learning the specific note. I refer back to my original reply. Sight read in other positions.
  9. I don't know if this is efficient or not but when I was a kid I would learn songs using only one string and move up and down that string accordingly. I did it out of necessity (broken strings) but I believe it helped me learn the fretboard as well as improve coordination.

    Sounds weird but that's what I did.
  10. You know I guess I do that too! This is a good suggestion.
  11. Minger


    Mar 15, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    on the forums,. someone had a program for this...

    But I heard a hintI'm gonna give a shot tonight...practice in the dark.
  12. Thinking of the relations of notes numerically is easy, though slightly alternative to what you have been wanting.

    Learn the scales and positions really well and know them up to the 9th atleast. When I play an octave, I don't think, where is the next D? My fingers already know where it is.

    Excercises to learn notes is very helpful too. If you can read in 1st position, you're in very good hands.
  13. WillPlay4Food

    WillPlay4Food Now With More Metal! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2002
    Orbiting HQ
    One thing my teacher suggested was to learn all the white notes. He called them white notes because on a piano/keyboard they are all the white keys. Basically, learn A B C D E F G. Once you have these down pat, start learning the sharped/flatted notes. After all, all the #/b notes are only a half-step/1 fret away from any of the white notes you've already learned.

    Alternatively, look at Pacman's sure-fire scale practice method. This will help you learn the fretboard as well.

    Myself, I've only got the first 7 frets down solid, once I get beyond the 7th fret I start getting lost. If you have the first 5 frets down solid, why not just add to fret 7? Then once you have 7 frets down, go up to 9, then 11/12 etc.
  14. Rav


    Dec 29, 2004
    Aurora, IL

    If you know the first 7 solid then move to the 12th and you already know the 12th-19th its the exact same one octave higher FYI.

  15. WillPlay4Food

    WillPlay4Food Now With More Metal! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2002
    Orbiting HQ
    Yes, this is why I only talked about going up to the 12th fret in my post.

    Still knowing that frets 12 & up are a mirror of the first 12 frets, and moving between, say, frets 9 through 15 can be tricky. I mean, if you start at fret 12 and only move up, then yes it's easy to see it's a mirror of the first twelve frets. But say you want to start waking down from the upper register, can you easily say that fret 10 on string 3 is x since fret 12 on string 3 is the same as the open string, just an octave higher?
  16. bluemonk


    Dec 17, 2002
    Isn't there a book that teaches about the little squares? Is it Fretboard Logic?
  17. CrackerJackLee

    CrackerJackLee Guest

    Oct 30, 2008
    I lost opportunities because I avoided learning to read music. I was just having too much fun playing in bands by ear. Fortunately, I eventually got on track. I hope that all beginning bassists don't waste years, like I did, and train to read, at least, the bass clef in Open Position.

    If a beginning musician wishes to make a living and play professionally as a bassist, that is, for dances, parties, functions, studios - all they will ever need is to train to read music in the Open Position.

    The Open Position contains all the notes on the open strings and the first four frets (and also the fifth fret). Higher notes can be reached up along the G string (often with help from the D string). In this way, the Open Position and G string contain every possible note playable on the bass. The rest of the neck simply repeats these same notes.

    If they wish to become a jazz improviser or rock star, then the other positions will be of more interest, however, take a cold look at your statistics for success first. Besides, one trained in reading the Open Position can always learn the other positions later when already making a living as a professional musician.

    The Open Position contains the "Money Notes". Everything you need is there. This is how to get paying gigs. It's a different career path. The Open Position is the position that every reading lesson book starts with. It covers about 1 1/2 octaves per key. The fingers are dedicated one-per-fret (EG. on the E string: fingers 1 2 3 4 cover f f# g g#).

    These eight keys include open strings, are readily available, and cover most music:
    KEYS: E A D FINGERING: Start on open string.
    KEYS: F Bb Eb FINGERING: Start on first finger.
    KEYS: G C FINGERING: Start on third finger.

    The remaining four keys are used less frequently and do not employ open strings:
    KEYS: Gb B FINGERING: Start on second finger.
    KEYS: Ab Db FINGERING: Start on fourth finger.
    These two fingerings can be continued up the neck later to cover anything you want.

    Write out (or buy) all 12 major scales on the staff and mark the fingering in below each note. Buy a good reading primer for bass (Filiberto's method?) - CAN YOU FIND A MUSIC TEACHER? - Ray Brown's Bass Method $12 already has the scales and chords written out - just pencil in the above Bass Guitar fingering for Open Position. This will get a beginner started out in the right direction.
  18. Shaky


    Jul 6, 2006
    Roanoke, VA
    I have used the guitar trainer just for the fun of it when work has been slow and a computer is near by.
    I wish there was a way to delete and add strings so you could get rid of the B and E making it more directly related to bass, but it is still helpful.