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Learning the fret board???

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Dirtyslappopper, Dec 17, 2002.

  1. I know this is prolly getting old already, but wut r some of the best ways fer learning all the notes on bass... Someone posted a real good lesson from activebass.com but i cant find it.
  2. Europa

    Europa Guest

    Dec 14, 2002
    Thousand Oaks, CA, USA
    Check out the thread at:

    > Bass Guitar > Ask a Pro! > Ask Mike Watt > Learnin' the Fret Board

    Good suggestions in there...

    "Music should never be harmless" - Robbie Robertson
  3. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    I never really had any particular method to learning it, that area(like most areas) of my bass playing is almost 100% self taught, someone gave me a push to learn it, so I just sat around and thought about it some.

    one thing that might help is to visualize a fretboard on your right arm, hold your right arm in a position similiar to where the neck of your bass may be when you play and use your left hand to do fingerings. that helps for a lot of general fingering issues ..etc.

    another thing that will probably help a lot is to run through scales saying every note you play aloud as you hit it, do every scale you know, arpeggios, random notes...get a friend to say random notes and you have to goto them(the first one you are closest to, or whichever one speaks to you at the moment...I.E your friend says G and you goto the 5th fret of the D sting, or the 10th fret of the A string or the 3rd fret of the E string...doesn't make a difference, each way you learn another way to hit a G)

    Also you might want to have a chart that shows all the notes plain and simple.

    I don't know, thats just some suggestions.
  4. Hilly


    Jan 10, 2002
    Ipswich, UK
    I was given an exercise that I found very useful for this, I still run through it regularly.

    Start on the E string (or B string) and play every E (or B), then do the same on each of the other strings. Having played up, then play back down again. Repeat this for each note in turn (F, F#, etc). Make sure you say each note as you play it, sharps on the way up, flats on the way down.

    Play this along to a metronome and you'll very quickly become acustomed to the position of the notes.

  5. beermonkey


    Sep 26, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    When I learned the fretboard, I started with the first 5 frets on all the strings. Learned the notes, memorized them by just doing scales and patterns on the first 5 frets and thinking the note that I was playing while I was playing it. Once I knew the first 5 frets, I moved up to the 7th fret, then the 12th. After the 12th fret, everything just starts over again.

    Playing a lot and thinking about what notes you are playing will be good at making you learn and remember the fretboard.

    Do people who don't know the fretboard just remember the patterns for how to play a song? I'm intrigued by this, I can't remember what it's like to not know all the notes on the fretboard!
  6. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    Practice your scales and arpeggios, both major and minor in all 12 keys in the order of the circle of fifths. Say the note name you are playing and its interval as you play it. And make sure you play them in every possible place on your fretboard. Meaning Start with a C major scale on the B string if you have one then play it all the way up the neck, then back down, then start on C on the A string, etc, etc.

    I also think its a good idea to write out the notes of the fretboard on a piece of paper, as writing things out helps to solidify them in your mind.
  7. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    these are great ideas. the only way i would modify the first one is instead of saying the note name, sing it while you play it. get some good ear and voice training in there along with learning the neck.