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memorizing the notes on the fretboard

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by funkybass, Nov 18, 2006.

  1. funkybass


    Oct 19, 2006
    I've been trying to memorizing the notes on the fretboard. I'm starting with the natural notes, up to fret 5 as on now. Does anyone have any tips to make this easier?
  2. BrandonBass


    May 29, 2006
    keep practising scales and say the note names as u play.
  3. Bassist4Life


    Dec 17, 2004
    Buffalo, NY
    If you do a search on this topic, you will find a TON of great stuff to help you out. I know that I participated in several of those threads.

  4. thelibster


    Oct 19, 2006
    I have a lesson on learning the fingerboard on my site - just click the fingerboard button.
  5. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    There are many ways but here are two:

    Play scales and say each note out loud as you play it. Don't just play the scales in the same order (e.g., C D E F G A B C). Try different patterns for learning your scales such as (C D E C D E F D E F G E F G A F etc) or (C D E C D F E D E F G E F A G F G A B G etc) or in 3rds

    Do this in 4th's (if you start on C scale then next scale with be F and then Bb etc).

    Play arpeggios (start with all the triads and then add 7th's after you have all the triads learned).

    After you have done this then do everything descending (it makes you think). One of the key things here is saying each note out loud (this slows down your fingers b/c you can't speak as fast as your fingers can move) and creating new patterns for scales (mixing up the order).

    Start on different fingers too.
  6. 905


    Jul 23, 2006
    Every night, before I go to bed, I start on fret 1 of the E string and work my way up to the 24th on the G.

    I always say the name of my notes, and I've heard it helps ALOT to "sing" it - of course, as high as your voice allows.
  7. learn how the same notes re occur, i.e the d string is just the e string moved 2 frets down.
  8. I do that exept I play scales
  9. Its probably not AMAZINGLY helpful just to memorize the notes of your fretboard..i mean it helps if you know where you are, but youre cutting out a huge amount of info in regards to how those notes fit into scales and chords etc. Whats far more helpful is to play scales up and down the neck, so that not only do you know where the notes on each string are (and where they reoccur on different strings) but you know how they fit into any given intervallic structure, so you know how they relate to each other.

    That way you can work with far greater ease on interpretting what it is your brain is hearing, and to actually play that.
  10. steveb98

    steveb98 [acct disabled - multiple aliases]

    Mar 15, 2006
    Venice, CA
    I when I first played bass back in the dark ages I was like some and learned my E and A string and just realized that the octaves were two strings over and two frets up. It worked, but not optimal.

    Coming back to bass again I have done my best to avoid using that trick. What has helped me is to start learning scales and arpeggios from G string down instead of E or A string up. Then finally working on my reading really did the trick. When you have read shift up for some notes, or start reading in higher postitions you start remembering where they are so you can focus on sightreading.
  11. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    Scales, Scales, Scales, and more scales. Practice both major and minors, and arpeggios. Keep these up and youll have your board down in no time flat.
  12. Guys, if he doesn't know the names of the notes, he probably doesn't know the scales. Let him crawl before you ask him to walk (yes, pun intended).

    I also don't think it is good to just start at the first fret and name the notes as you go up. This doesn't relate them to anything.

    The best way (IMO) is to start and play every E on the neck:

    Then play an A, then a C, and so on, until you have all of the notes.
  13. disenchant

    disenchant You can't plagiarize yourself.

    Aug 9, 2006
    Elgin, IL
    First I memorized the "musical universe" which is all the notes in order including sharps or flats. That's easy.

    A A# B C C# D D# E F F# G G#

    To remember which notes do NOT have sharps, I used "Eater Beater" B TO C (which is like saying Beater C) and E TO F (which is like saying Eater F)

    Each string goes in order of notes, with the open string being the starting point. (You probably already know that). So the E string open, obviously, is E, and then the first fret is F (E TO F) and so it goes up the board. So its always easy to go up the board on one string, each fret is up ONE.

    To memorize the notes on the fretboard I drew one out and filled in the notes over and over and in different sequences. I memorized the 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th frets first because fret 2, 4, 6 etc would be one up or down from fret 3, 5, 7, 9.

    If you fill out the board on paper, you can start to make your own connections. For example, fret 7 spells the word "BEAD" (on a 4 string). Fret 5 , the note is the same note as the next string up (the 5th fret of E is A) If you go up two and over two it's the same note. (Fret 3 of the E string is the same as Fret 5 of the D string)

    You prolly knew all that...but what the hey. It makes me feel good to type it all out :)
  14. http://www.AbsoluteFretboard.com

    This is pretty cool. They send you an email every day with a lesson in it about mastering the fretboard. In like 3 weeks you should know it forwards and back. I signed up for it and saved all of the emails because I know the fretboard pretty good. But I guess I could always know it better.

    Oh and it's FREE!
  15. MistaMarko


    Feb 3, 2006
    Well one is to lay off the easy tablature and start reading actual music. Reading music absolutely requires knowing the notes on the fretboard, so that is probably the quickest way.

    If you choose not to read music, I would say first learn that open and 12th fret are the same note, then learn that the 7th fret from the open is the 5th of the open, then learn 3rd and 5th frets, then just go from there.
  16. +1,000. Great idea! I'm going to adopt this idea into my practice, I never thought of doing it this way, thanks for sharing it.
  17. MakiSupaStar

    MakiSupaStar The Lowdown Diggler

    Apr 12, 2006
    Huntington Beach, CA
    I used to draw four vertical lines with 24 hashes and then put their corresponding note next to each one. Then when I got on my bass I would say the note aloud and play scales. More important was learning what note worked in what key and especially what note didn't. My guitar player and I do a lot of improvising practice and we'll sometimes do stuff where he yells out a key and and we switch our jam into that key, or we'll do something where we yell out keys and play only the notes that work in that key but not the root note itself. You haven't really mastered the fretboard until you can picture it in your ear and head at the same time... does that make sense? Now, 15 years later, I've almost gotten to the point where now I can "picture" where notes are on the fretboard. Almost...
  18. MonetBass

    MonetBass ♪ Just listen ♫ Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2006
    Tulsa, OK
    Never did this on bass since I started formal training right away, but used a similar method when teaching myself guitar. Learned how to play each chord in at least four different spots on the neck. It worked very well. Excellent suggestion!
  19. I gave my self refernce points to memorize rather than E,A,D,G, and memorizing that B and E don't have sharps and counting up *which many people i know do) I give reference

    Most guitars/Basses the inlays are on 3,5,9,12,15,17,19,21,24

    working on this system for the E string I would Say that it is "G,A,B,C#"
    the A string is "C,D,E,F#"
    D strng-"F,G,A,B"
    G string- "Bb(A#),C,D,E,

    it sounds complicated but with the guitar/bass in front of you its easy. so if a note is on the 8th fret instead of going up from open E go from 7th fret knowig that that is B.

    If you need to make up a menomenic (spellin) for the fret things like (Great Apples Bring Cranberries(#)) That phrase sucks and I thought it up n a second and it doesn't make sense but I was just giving an example and maybe use taht octave method in conjuction with this to make the D and G easier to learn, but don't rely on that only start on that

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