Learning the fret board

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Jopaha, Mar 25, 2014.

  1. Jopaha


    Mar 25, 2014
    New to Bass guitar and trying to learn the Note names on the fret board. Wow can't seem to get past the E string.
    Any suggestions on a method that sticks to memory better?
  2. tangentmusic

    tangentmusic A figment of our exaggeration

    Aug 17, 2007
    Try this:

    Draw a picture of a bass neck. Include the nut and all frets. Draw the strings too.

    With your bass plugged into your tuner and properly tuned, hit the first fret on the E string. Write the note the tuner indicates for that fret on your drawing.

    Do this for each fret on each string. You will then have mapped out every note on your bass. You will now have a chart to refer to.
  3. Jopaha


    Mar 25, 2014
    Thanks for the quick reply and good advice. I will do.
    And the links also, looks like a lot of help. I'm headed there for the next hour to read up.:bassist:
  4. Lorisco

    Lorisco Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2010
  5. lyla1953


    Jul 18, 2012
  6. MStrianese


    Jul 26, 2008
    New York
    A# or Bb
    C# or Db
    D# or Eb
    F# or Gb
    G# or Ab

    These are the notes of the musical alphabet. Yes, B# and E# exist (kind of), but only in certain key signatures to maintain consistency. As far as you need to know (at least until you become more comfortable with your theory) is that a half step from B brings you to C and that a half step from E brings you to F. These moves are not whole steps. A whole step from B is C# (or Db) and a whole step from E is F# (or Gb). Now, you can use this and sequentially move up the fretboard starting with the open string.

    (C six strings)
    G (highest pitch string on four strings)
    E(lowest pitch string on four strings)
    (B five strings)

    So, take the E string for example.

    OPEN : E
    FRET 1: F
    FRET 2: F#
    FRET 3: G
    FRET 4: G#
    FRET 5: A <--- String below E is A
    FRET 6: A#
    FRET 7: B <--- String above E is B (on 5/6 strings)
    FRET 8: C
    FRET 9: C#
    FRET 10: D
    FRET 11: D#
    FRET 12: E

    Fret 12 is an octave higher than the open string.
    The fifth fret reflects the open string below the string being fret in the fifth position.
    The seventh fret reflects the open string above the string being fret in the seventh position.

    Take the A string.

    OPEN : A
    FRET 1: A#
    FRET 2: B
    FRET 3: C
    FRET 4: C#
    FRET 5: D <--- String below A is D
    FRET 6: D#
    FRET 7: E <--- String above A is E
    FRET 8: F
    FRET 9: F#
    FRET 10: G
    FRET 11: G#
    FRET 12: A

    You should do this for the D and G strings, and then turn the page over and do it for all four of them.

    Just remember that there are no accidentals between B and C and E and F-- otherwise every note moves up to a sharp, then the next note. That is called a half step.

    F -> F# - Half Step
    F -> G - Full step
    B -> C Half Step
    B -> C# Full step