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Learning the notes, make it easier...

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by dbthump, Apr 23, 2009.

  1. dbthump


    Mar 20, 2009
    Since my first day playing tuba in 6th grade I've known how to read music, and of course I can find the notes on the fretboard but it's not as natural for me as with, say a piano. I want to introduce some learning tools into my practice time that help to engrain the notes up and down the entire fretboard, other than the dots, and so I'm asking what others might have done for themselves. Each night I first practice technique for at least and hour or two before anything else, and so I would add in verbally reciting the notes of any scale as I practice.

    For example, I was thinking of adding some stickers on the back of the neck (laugh all you want:p) just above the thumb. I would only reference certain notes and only on the E string. I should be able to figure out the rest from there.

    Any thoughts?
  2. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Play scales up and down the neck and say the note out loud as you do it. Also do a search for that topic in the forum search. You will find DOZENS of threads on that very thing.

    P.S. Welcome!!!!!
  3. dbthump


    Mar 20, 2009
    That's the plan for sure.

    Of course. Got a key word for me to make it bit more exclusive. :p
  4. i like to practice songs in different positions. this seems to help. also think about it and do some slides to a paticular not. you'll know when you miss!. you'll get it after useing them for a bit.
    then practice in a mirror so your not looking down when you do it.. then take the mirror out.
    thats next on my list!
  5. Raiven


    Nov 28, 2005
    To learn the fretboard there are a few things you can do. The sticker idea is an alright one but you can just do some sightreading or arpeggios or even scale work and learn the names of notes while doing something musical as opposed to just learning he names of the notes.

    Kind of killing two birds with one stone.
  6. dbthump


    Mar 20, 2009
    Thanks! I do a lot of scales but I just don't take notice of the notes I'm playing, rather just building up stamina and speed; mindless. I can say that over the last 2 months (how long I've been back at it) I'm starting to "see" more on the fretboard than I ever have before.

    Then again I've never practiced like I'm doing now. Before practice meant meeting up after work, getting a case of beer, and arguing for a few hours. Oh, and jam if possible. Now practice is sitting by myself and putting down at least 1-2 hours a night of nothing but fundamentals.
  7. jweiss

    jweiss Supporting Member

    Jul 5, 2007
    Park City, Utah
  8. Anthony Wellington suggests flashcards. I have the note on the front and on the back a string by string breakdown of what frets. I can "practice" learning the fretboard with or without my bass. You will also learn numeric patterns. If you don't know the cycle of fourths, you should learn that too. It is good for theory and also is the pattern of notes as you ascend strings. EADG open- on the 7th fret BEAD, etc.
  9. BillyRay

    BillyRay Supporting Member

    Jan 20, 2008
    The more and more I evolve musically, the less I think scale training, as it is presented now, has any musical use whatsoever. As you said, practicing the Dorian mode over and over just for the shear dexterity is not only mind-numbing, it leads to up and down improvisation. And there are better way to practice dexterity than scales. Actual songs where you'll learn actual harmony and bass lines building skills.

    When you practice a scale (let's say C major), do it slowly and say all the notes out loud or even sing them. Play them on two octaves changing positions. After a week, the notes will be engraved in your mind, you then pick the next key in the circle and do the same thing. You're only adding one more new note, so it should be easy.

    You'll memorize the scale and the relation between the various notes of the scale. Doing the same thing with chords is even more rewarding in my experience, but since you "run out" of notes more easily, scales are better to teach fretboard memorization.

    Playing songs in different keys and actually thinking about the notes you play and why you play them when you're trying to figure out something will also teach you a great deal about the fretboard. As Jaco said, a lot of cats play great, but they don't know what they're playing.

    Know what you're playing.

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