notes on the fretboard

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by (hed)-less, Mar 1, 2002.

  1. hey everyone

    ive been playing bass now for bout 3 years. despite this i have only taken up lessons about 3 months ago. the lessons are going great so far, its just theres some things im having trouble with that most of you will see as the simplist of tasks. the task in question is knowing the notes of the fret board (i know...i know)

    the thing is, playing on my own in my bedroom for about 3 years i just messed around, learnt very little theory and just played mainly tabs (i was a foolish 13 year old at the time, lol). now im sort of paying the price...and sort of not. you see, my teacher, Daz, has actually said my technique is great and im coming along really well. im really good with playing slap and pop, finger, tap and plec styles and i can play with a good sence of time which im told is essential. i can play really steady too...even real fast finger lines that go on for ages, like the Prodigys "Breathe". its all in 16ths.

    yeah well anyway, you would think playing for 3 years id at least know my notes on the fret board...i dont. before i was finding ways around it for lessons but now its getting to the point where i HAVE to learn them!

    what im asking is, i know theres no easy way around it but, is there any advice or handy hints or helpful tricks or sumthing that you could tell me that would help me learn the notes quickly (as a week in time for my next lesson, lol). the only idea i can think of is just stare at a fretboard diagram for an hour or so, and that doesnt seem very effective to me.

    any help at all is much appreciated

    remember...GOD IS LOVE

  2. beermonkey


    Sep 26, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    Probably one of the best ways to memorize the fretboard is to practice 2 octave scales. As I recall that was one of the things that helped me waaaay back in the day.
  3. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Daz is a pretty cool bass instructor name.

    remember...puppies are love.

  4. stephanie


    Nov 14, 2000
    Scranton, PA

    Firstly, what have you been learning at your lessons? Hopefully you have been learning some theory? You said you want to be able to go to your next lesson and know the notes on the fingerboard. Did your teacher say "now you go home and learn all these notes by next week!!" or are you thinking "boy it sure would impress my teach if I knew all the notes on the fingerboard"? Have you told your teacher that you would like to learn all the notes on the fingerboard before you advance further in your lesson? It's important to tell your teacher if you're having trouble with something or if you'd like to learn something. Don't be afraid to ask. A good, understanding teacher will definately help you--that's what he's there for! :)

    Anyway, I go along with beermonkey's advice and learn your 2 octave scales. I know, as a beginner, high up the neck can be very unfamiliar. Playing these scales helps.

  5. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    I recomend that you get a pen and piece of paper and make a diagram of the fretboard and notes on it quite a few times untill it starts to sink in a bit more.

    Writing things out helps to solidify it in your brain a bit more than just reading it.

    I also recomend practicing scales, (starting with the chromatic) doing them all the way up the entire length of your fretboard, saying each note and its interval as you play it.
  6. Here ya go. I snagged this from somewhere else in this forum. Print it out, memorize it. This is your friend.
  7. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    iced tea is love.
  8. hujo


    Apr 18, 2001
    Stockholm, Sweden
    I think I've posted this before, but it's a pretty good exercise. Take a random note, say G, and play it first on the E string, 3rd fret, then an octave up, 15th fret. Then continue on the A string, with all the Gs you can find there, and so on. Do this with all the notes, and most importantly, try to do it in time! Set your metronome at a slow beat (you'll be stressed anyway) and try to play each note on the beat. Then gradually, speed it up.