learning the notes on the fretboard

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by left foot charl, Apr 28, 2005.

  1. left foot charl

    left foot charl

    Apr 28, 2005
    hello all... fairly new bassist here (less than 2 yrs exp.). I have never taken lessons. I am becoming quite a pattern player (know how to play songs but have little clue what notes they are). I feel like I should know the fretboard by now. so here are my questions: what is the best way to learn all the notes on the fretboard? in other words, I want to be able to put my finger on the xxxx fret on the xxx string and know exactly what that note is. for those of you out there who know the fretboard, how long did it take you to learn the notes and "memorize" where everything is... any suggestions would be much appreciated. thanks!
  2. Syeknom


    Oct 17, 2004
    Leuven, Belgium
    This site has a good mini lesson on tips for learning the neck:

    (Sorry, the site is a little advertisement heavy)

    My personal advice is to learn what the open strings are off by heart, learn which notes have a half step in between them (A-B does, B-C doesn't for example) and practise.

    Also try to learn the relationship between strings. 5th fret on any string is the same note as an open on the string above. 7th fret is the same as an open on the string below. That kind of relationship really helped me to learn.
  3. left foot charl

    left foot charl

    Apr 28, 2005
    Syeknom, thank you. How long have you been playing, and how long did it take you to lear the fretboard?
  4. Syeknom


    Oct 17, 2004
    Leuven, Belgium
    I haven't even been playing a year unfortunately =/
    I just spent a lot of time "noodling" on my bass and learnt how the fretboard worked that way along with the above site.
  5. Correlli


    Apr 2, 2004
    New Zealand
    Learn the C Diatonic Major Scale. It has no sharp or flat notes, just like the white keys on the piano. Another "trick" is learn the C Diatonic Major scale along two strings only:
    G  00  C
    A  00  D
    B  00  E
    C  00  F
    D  00  G
    E  00  A
    F  0|
       |0  B
    G  00  C
    As well as playing all the notes on C Diatonic Major Scale, you are also playing all the notes of G Mixolydian (Mode 5), which is also another Major scale.
  6. Bassist4Life


    Dec 17, 2004
    Buffalo, NY
    If you are good at patterns, then you'll be good at this. Learn the E string notes and the A string notes up to the 5th fret. You can find/visualize the notes on the D and G string quickly by playing/seeing an octave.

    An octave is 2 strings higher and 2 frets up.

    E string, 1st fret = F
    D string, 3rd fret = Also F

    A string, 1st fret = B flat
    G string, 3rd fret = Also B flat

    Hope this helps.

  7. burntgorilla


    Jan 24, 2005
    Learn the notes of the 3rd, 5th, 7th and 9th frets on each string, as that isn't too hard, and you can work the rest out from there pretty quickly, until they stick.

    To learn it well depends how much you actually use them. If you're just playing along to tabs, saying "oh, that's a G there!" then you won't get it too quick, but I find reading notation at the same time gets it really down in.
  8. whitedk57


    May 5, 2005
    Franklin, NC

    Here is one that I did up in Visio for myself. I converted it to jpeg format so that other's could see it.

    I only went out to 17 frets. I figured that was enough for me to use for now.
  9. Matt Ides

    Matt Ides

    May 12, 2004
    Minneapolis, MN
    A few lessons with a good teacher will do you right.
  10. Snarf


    Jan 23, 2005
    New York, NY
    If you reverse that, you'll be fine. Half steps are B-C and E-F.

    Yeah, get a good teacher, play scales and arpeggios, you'll get there pretty quick.
  11. Blackally


    Apr 24, 2005
    This is what really helped me out.. Just a few minutes per day and you go fast.... Great thing is that you can concentrate on one particular area of the fretboard, and when you become fast use the whole fretboard.

    You can do this excercise on the computer or with the bass in your hands..


    Good luck..

  12. Learn to read msuic...it is absoultely essential to mastering your neck!This cannot be stressed enough. Soon you not only will know all the notes but you'll discover you won't even have to look at your fretboard.