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Learning the Fret Board

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Broncrider32, Feb 8, 2004.

  1. Broncrider32


    Feb 21, 2003
    Does anyone know some good methods of memorizing the fret board. Is there any certain excerises that help the most. I need some ideas to speed the process along a bit. Thanks for your suggestions

  2. Best way I found is play each note going from open E to the very last fret on your bass, naming each as you go by. Once you stick a fingertip on a fret and name it you should be good to go.
  3. LoJoe


    Sep 5, 2002
    Concord, NC USA.
    This little NAME THAT NOTE excercise over on Activebass helped me a lot. It's pretty frustrating until your memory starts to function, but then makes for a nice little diversion while you're sitting around at your PC.
  4. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Saint Louis, MO USA
    Instead of working on memorizing the board, I would suggest practicing 1, 2 and even 3 octave scales from various positions. Eventually, your goal should be to build up a practice routine that encompasses all of the various chord forms and modes and touches all keys. There is a great string on the circle of fifths here at TB that will give you a nice working form.

    I personally think you are putting yourself at a disadvantage if every movement takes place with the following process:

    1. Consider the note that you wish to play next.
    2. Consider the location of said note on the board.
    3. Contemplate the appropriate way to finger said note.
    4. Go there.
    5. Play it.

    It is simply too much to worry over when playing faster passages and improvisation.

    If you instead focus on learning scales and forms, you are, in effect, simplifying the process. By playing in a certain position and using a familiar fingering pattern, you are predisposed to play within the key.

    Couple this with ear training focusing on intervals and you will move forward fairly quickly and be versatile enough to play in a variety of keys.
  5. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
  6. WillPlay4Food

    WillPlay4Food Now With More Metal! Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2002
    Orbiting HQ
    This thread of Pacman's sure-fire scale practice method may help you learn the fretboard better.

    This is a weak point for me as well. I also practice 12-bar jazz blues walking lines in all keys to learn the fretboard but I think my next addition will be practicing 2 octave scales.
  7. I second the "Pacman's Sure-Fire Scale Method". It's the best thing I ever tried for learning the fretboard.

    As with any exercise, it won't work unless you do it to death.
  8. ya, thats wat i did to learn, naming notes out loud as u hit them, but also i printed out a neck sheet, it has all the notes on the neck and where they are *dont let the neck sheet be ur crutches though* us this for like 2 weeks at most, then throw it out. the fret sheet is just to get u started fast

    go for fret sheet at: http://www.cyberfretbass.com/first-fret/note-names/index.php'

    GL :smug:

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