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How do I learn the board?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Mr. Mig, Mar 25, 2009.

  1. Mr. Mig

    Mr. Mig

    Sep 7, 2008
    I am trying to learn the notes on the fretboard. Do you guys have any advice on learning the note locations? And, being able to just go to them when you need to?
  2. rokkitt


    Jun 7, 2007
    bronx, nyc
    learn the C scale up and down the board.....start there, no sharps or flats
  3. DudeistMonk


    Apr 13, 2008
    Newark, NJ
    I used to make charts over and over again while bored at school, but I would fill them in differently each time (down each string 1 at a time, by hand position) and shade in different patterns (scales, chords)....eventually through the processes of doing this you'll notice other patterns too (the B,C and E,F form a block shape, every time you go up 5 frets it is equivalent to going up 1 string..ext)
  4. Rypher


    Feb 4, 2008
    I had this problem recently. I first printed out a diagram of all the notes on the strings. Each night, I would learn a few notes on each string. Starting with E, I made sure I knew open - 5th fret, then 6th - 12. The next night, I did this with my A string, followed by D, and finally G. After this, I spent time reviewing each string and the corresponding notes.
    To finalize my knowledge, I had a friend tell (typed over AIM) me a note letter and a number, 1-4. I had to find that note on that string in under 3 seconds without looking. I did this for a few more nights, testing myself when my friends got bored of that. I eventually included sharps and flats. After that, "learning" the 13 - 24th frets was already done and I knew all the notes.

    Hope this helps.
  5. Mr. Mig

    Mr. Mig

    Sep 7, 2008
    good stuff guys.
  6. mambo4


    Jun 9, 2006
    I Memorized the notes on each "dotted" fret, from open string to octave. At the 12th fret/octave, the pattern just repeats. Not too hard to memorize.

    After that, I would just use knowledge of what a flat or sharp is to 'fill in the blanks' as needed, for example if someone said "find A sharp" I'd just find an A (already memorized) and slide up a fret.

    Eventually, within a year, the rest of the frets just ended up memorized, with no special effort.
  7. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    Look through TB's "General Instruction" forum for this same topic. It's pretty common, and we just had one about two or three weeks ago. Find that one, there's a lot of great stuff.

  8. derekd


    Feb 16, 2009
    The way I was taught was to learn the notes on the low E and A rote, using the dots, and then by applying octaves, you have the other 2. Takes maybe 2 weeks of applied practice.
  9. I am still not there, but there are pattern that helped me out a lot. Like the 5th fret in the E string is A, if you do a power chord and skip a a string you have A on the D string 7th fret, which gives you a lot of options when making a riff/progression. A regular power chord is a root and a fifth, giving you many options for a triad within a close space. There are other little patterns I have found either make finding a note easier or making arppagios easier to figure out. Know where the root note is key. I am by no means an expert, just stuff that has worked for me. Learning note by note is boring and discoraging, but playing with the ones you know leads to expanding and usable skills right off the bat. two birds with one stone kind of thing and a lot more fun. I hope this makes sense, I was out all night at a gig and a little on tired side
  10. Jeff K

    Jeff K Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2005
    Memphis, TN
    Another thing you can do: Start with the open E string. Pluck (or pick) each note going up the board on that string, but sing the notes as you go. (E-F-F#-G... etc., the whole way up the neck.) Then do the same thing on the A string, etc. I think singing the notes repetitively will help you learn them. You can include that little exercise every time you practice until it becomes second nature.
  11. phaneo


    Mar 14, 2001
    Fort Worth TX
    My bass teacher showed me the cycle of fourths.

    You play the I III IV of each note starting on E 12th fret on the E string. "E" Ab B, "A" Db E, D etc etc. Working your way back down the neck. Not sure if this makes sense or helps. Just google cycle of fourths. It got me going really quickly
  12. Bealsosc


    Oct 21, 2007
    Minneapolis, MN
    Read pacmans scale practice method, I have been doing that with the C Major scale to start and it has helped me improve much faster. Plus you will learn the fretboard and scales at the same time.
  13. Stickk


    Sep 2, 2008
    Here ya go.
  14. anon65884001

    anon65884001 Guest

    Feb 1, 2009
    It's easier than you think
    Don't try to memorize where each notes are located at, this drives me nuts
    Think about it,
    Say you are on D string, playing 7th fret
    There is two ways to find it (unless there's more, which is highly likely :smug:)
    Count it, start from D
    D Eflat E F Gflat G Aflat A
    0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
    But this is not the most efficient way of figuring the notes out
    So another method is starting from the 5th fret as you know that since the bass is tuned in 4th, if you go to a thicker string and add 5 frets, you will end up with the same note (just different tone)
    So it'll look like this
    G Aflat A
    5 6 7
    Not only this,
    If you start knowing where the notes are,
    You can use the second method,
    Like 5th on D string and 10th fret on A string are both G,
    So to figure out the 11th fret on A string
    Start from G, then go Gsharp or Aflat
    And one last thing
    This will make you memorize where the notes are on your fret board faster than just sitting down and memorizing
    That's how i do it :D
  15. Lissa


    Apr 21, 2009
    This image has the notes on the fretboard colored by octaves and shows the corresponding notes on the staff.
    I only noted the sharps, so just keep in mind A# = Bb etc.
    Now realizing the bass is a transposing instrument, the notes on the staff are written an octave higher...This was my big Ah-ha moment!

    Attached Files:

  16. NicJimBass

    NicJimBass Flossin'? I thought your name was Munson! Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Lancaster, OH
    64 Audio · DR Strings · Source Audio · Hipshot
    The way I learned- learn to read music! Start slowly, and don't get discouraged. Try playing different pieces of music on different parts of the neck. You won't consciously be learning the notes, but trust me, you'll learn them pretty quickly.

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