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memorizing the fretboard???

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by 1dreday, Nov 22, 2013.

  1. 1dreday


    Nov 22, 2009
    any suggestions on what's the best way to memorize all the notes and their location,
  2. I'm interested in the replies. Straight up memorization is the only way I know.
  3. prd004


    Dec 3, 2010
    The pattern just repeats, it's really quite simple, it reads just like the alphabet only certain notes have sharps and flats. on your E String:
    E, F, F#\Gb, G, G#/Ab, A, A#/Bb, B, C, C#/Db, D, D#/Eb, And at the 12th fret you are back to E, and the pattern will be the same if you keep climbing!

    On your A String, same pattern only starting with A:
    A, A#/Bb, B, C, C#/Db, D, etc.......

    It's really quite simple once you memorize which notes have sharps and flats! There's only 12 of them!
  4. DeaconK


    Nov 17, 2006
    And...if you remember that two strings over and two frets down is the octave, thats helped you learn the notes on that string. So, if you have F on the first fret, first string, you find the next F on the third string, third fret, etc., etc. If you have an induction tuner (Snark) leave it on while you're fretting the notes and that reinforces the location.
  5. Babaghanoush


    Jan 21, 2011
    Ohio, USA
    If you have an android device, check out the MT Fretmaster app. It COMBINED with practice can speed up the process.

    Also, don't try to learn it all at once. Divide the neck into at least three sections and learn a section at a time.
  6. Pako

    Pako Are we having fun yet?

    Jul 31, 2002
    USA, Montana
    Wood Shedding scales in all positions. Getting proficient at these scales in all the different positions will grant you memorization of your neck.
  7. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    Scales and exercises. In my view, learning bass isn't like studying for a test at school. The point is not just to know it intellectually, but to have your fingers go to the right places automatically when you "hear" the notes in your head or see them on a sheet.

    It's also not something where you reach an end point and say: "There, I've memorized the fretboard." Rather, it's a lifelong pursuit to keep getting better at nailing more and more complicated material, or doing it more and more instinctively so you can devote more of your attention to other things going on in the music.
  8. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 17, 2005
    Bend, Oregon
    One week learn where all of the E's are. Next week all the A's. Etc. until you have covered all the notes.
  9. Art Araya

    Art Araya

    May 29, 2006
    Palm Coast, FL
    Like any other large learning task... break it down into smaller pieces. For example you could work on the E string only (up to the 12th fret). Or you could work on A & E strings up to the 5th fret.
  10. Pork_Chop


    May 11, 2012
    Boulder, CO USA
    I struggled with this for a long time when I just tried to memorize the fret board. About a year ago, I started practicing the circle of 4ths singing out loud the root. This has progressed into playing each scale and arpeggio up and down the fret board along with double stops and triads. This has made it much more musical and interesting to do, which has made it easier to learn each note, as well as improve my movement around the fret board.
  11. MalcolmAmos

    MalcolmAmos Supporting Member

    Not all of us have the same goals. I know where the notes are on the 3rd and 4th strings. After that I place the major scale box pattern over the note I need to play the scale, mode, arpeggio or chord tone I'm wanting.

    Here is Scott Devine's take on this - know your notes, but, know your geometric pattern as well.
    Scott and I use different patterns, I use the major scale box pattern for everything I do Scott's pattern is not the major scale pattern - he has found a pattern that works for him. That's my point in posting - find a pattern that works for you.

    You are on a C note, where is C's 5th note? Down one string same fret, or up a string and over two frets.

    Same C note where is the 3rd of C? Up a string and back a fret. Where is the 7 or b7? The b7 is up two strings same fret and the 7 is up two strings and over one fret. That just made a R-3-5-7 or b7 bass line.

    With my major scale box and knowing where the other notes I may need are located, within the box, seems to do what I need doing. It would be nice to know where all the notes are all over the fretboard, however, just knowing the notes on the 3rd and 4th string and with a little help from my major scale box pattern I'm happy.

    Couple of the posts talked about breaking down the fretboard. I guess that is what I did.
  12. Clef_de_fa


    Dec 25, 2011
    Scale and arpeggio with some simple melodies. I have a DB book where you do only that.

    one or two melodies using that scale/key signature

    the more your progress you moved up in the neck and have some difficult etude that used everything you've learn so far
  13. jdwhitak


    Mar 20, 2012
    Greenwood, IN
    I have that David Lucas Burge ear training series. In it you have to play and sing intervals. It has helped me tremendously. Not only do I know the location of all the notes I know how all the notes relate to each other. The course is pricey though. You could also get the bass version of Fretboard Logic ($20-$25). It's a valuable tool also.
  14. GKon

    GKon Supporting Member, Boom-Chicka-Boom

    Feb 17, 2013
    Queens, NY
  15. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota
  16. kalanb


    Dec 17, 2012
    I play the major scale, ascending and descending in all twelve keys, across the full range of the neck, sayin each note as I play it. I've found that playing the scale full range helps me avoid patterns. Sometime I may ascend all the way up the E string and then descend all the way down the G string.

    Also, play the scales by number. Had a lesson with a killer jazz guitarist buddy and he told me it was good that I know the notes but when you're playing no one says go up to E; they'll say go to the 6th, assuming you're in C.
  17. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    I teach my students the chromatic scale and then use reference points, like the 5th fret is the string above and the 7th is the string below. The 12th fret is the octave. The trick is learning how to read it both ways. One of the biggest things that helped me learn the fretboard was writing it out... so many high school classes wasted...
  18. Milk


    Sep 16, 2013
    Montreal, Canada
    I've memorized my fretboard. Without even having my bass around, i can tell you its rosewood, that there are 22 frets on it and i know where each of them is. That is, one next to the other.
  19. tbirddad


    Feb 22, 2006
    Learn a scale by the notes, saying them out loud, and also by their number.

    For instance, a C Major scale is C D E F G A B C; their numbers are 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 AND 1(THE OCTAVE or the root again).

    By knowing the numbers, you use those to play against the chords. For instance, if you are playing against a C7, the primary tones you want to use are the 1 3 5 b7.

    Check out using chordal tones - look up Carol Kaye and her many books on this. Very helpful.

  20. Reddog01


    Nov 3, 2013
    Georgetown, TX
    Learning where the notes are on the fretboard is one thing, but being able to play them in the heat of battle is another. I know where the notes are on the piano, but if someone put a piece of music in front of me and asked me to play it, I'd really have to work for a while to even make it recognizable. The same is with any musical instrument. It's really fairly easy to learn where the notes are, but it take a lot of practice to be able to get to them when you are reading. I once heard a musician say in jest that he was willing to do anything to get better, except practice. You really can't avoid the long hours of reading notes in order to get them under your fingers.