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Memorize the fretboard?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Norwegianwood, Mar 24, 2004.

  1. Hi!

    Do you have any tips on how to memorise the fretboard quicker? Do you sing the notes while playing scales? Do you play each note until you know what it is?
  2. Introvox


    May 21, 2001
    Ontario, Canada
    Same way you memorize a poem - one line at a time

    1)work on one string at a time - using dots as reference
    memorize to 5th, then 7th, 9th 12th etc.

    2)make up flash cards

    3)there is software available for this also

    don't forget - cookies for rewards!
  3. LoJoe


    Sep 5, 2002
    Concord, NC USA.
    Active Bass has a little Memorize the Fretboard excercise that you can do online:

    Name That Note
  4. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    Scales, Scales, Scales, and more scales. Singing each note and it's interval when you play it.

    It also helps to draw a little diagram of the fretboard on a piece of paper then write in all the notes in their respective places.

    Much Love
    Mama Cass :bassist:
  5. tim99

    tim99 Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2003
    Slow down. Look at the fretboard. Pick a note by name. Find that one note all over the fretboard. After all, that is what you will be doing when you go looking for a note. Pick another note, or go through the cycle of 4ths.

    Look at a song chord chart. Go through the song, slowly, playing each note in each chord, in one five fret area. If the chord is a simple major, play 1 3 5 8 (octive), if it has a 7, play 1 3 5 7. Put on the metronome. Slow. Force yourself to keep up with the metronome. Slow the metronome down if you can not keep up, or play each note for 2 or 4 beats. Ok, now go through the same song using 3 5 8 1 or 3 5 7 1 for each chord. Go through a chart playing only the 3rd, or the 5th, or the 7. You will be working on chords and on the notes on the neck. Thus you have a SOURCE for the notes you are looking for, and a PACE to keep up with, giving you a PURPOSE, and I little CHALLANGE.

    The reason I say slow, is that, when I usually practice scales, I am playing fast, and not thinking about the notes, it is more of a finger memory exercise. I know the starting point and the mode, but then my fingers take over. To learn the fretboard, each selection of a note on the fretboard has to be a mental exercise, not a finger skill exercise. The instant I am working on a scale or song I know the fingerings for, my finger memory takes over, and I am not thinking notes.

  6. Shoka42


    Jul 19, 2003
    heres what i do:

    there are 8 notes - a through to g

    they are spread like this

    a-bc-d-ef-g- with - being flats/sharps

    if you know the open string, using that pattern you can find any note!
  7. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    Casanuevo hit the nail on the head- at least that's how I learned the fretboard. Once you get a feel for the pattern that repeats itself over the entire fretboard, you'll begin to feel comfortable moving from position to position.
  8. Knavery


    Feb 24, 2004
    Westminster, CO
    That is a nice memorization technique. I will have to remember that one.

  9. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    While practicing, sing out the name of *every* note that you hit. Apply this to all your exercises. That's the fastest, most efficient way I know of.
  10. radi8


    Feb 10, 2004
    You might want to try Fretboard warrior,too....it has a nice demo you can download..you play against the clock...it moves up and down the fretboard...it plays note, you try to name it before time runs out..seems to be a cool memory tool

  11. Along with what everyone else has said just make sure you're always aware of where you are on the fretboard even when you're jamming with friends or whatever. If you're actively thinking about specific notes while playing all the shapes and sounds will start getting in your head and you'll begin to "get it".

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