I know that learning music theory or guitar fretboard notes or memorize these fretboard notes that looks like a mountain that is climbing is a bit challenging task.
Well, super easy to learn these guitar fretboard notes if you just understand them and with just simple methods only.
I am not kidding! If you don’t believe, read it out and then let me know at the last.
Importance of Music Theory
Music theory is not as challenging to learn as some people might think. It’s not rocket science. It makes sense in it, and it’s actually really cool.
Music theory explains why some fretboard notes sound good when played together. That’s everything you do, your whole purpose. It’s your map and helps in building good music. Or someone with a fantastic talent for musical skills beyond understanding, you can still get many benefits from understanding music theory.
Understanding music theory means that you know what sounds good together, whatnot, and why. Just a tool to help you achieve more freedom from your playing and learning the guitar well. It is also necessary to be able to communicate effectively with other artists. No need to say that for this reason, knowing at least its basics is as essential to your progress as every guitar player.
How to easily find and learn all the guitar fretboard notes
For most guitarists, the idea of learning the shape of all the notes on all the guitar fretboard is evident he’s crazy. But it does happen when you just take a step back and try to get a little out of it better every time you practice. That is the essence of Kaizen’s philosophy. You can enter it here to get the best and fastest results.
How do we do it to do this seemingly ‘impossible’ task of learning the positions of the notes, and why should we worry about it in the first place?
Have you ever seen how pianists learn to play their instrument?
The first thing they start working on is understanding the structure of all the fretboard notes in the note circle on each piano’s key. While this may seem daunting, there is a small trick that piano players learn notes on fretboard.
The trick is in black order and white keys.
We know 12 notes in Western music and that between B and C, and E and F no punches (#) or flats (b). As each key for the piano corresponds to some note (rising voice from left to right – clockwise), whiten keys that match the specified letters will not have black keys in the middle to them. Black buttons for notes have only sharps and flats, and white keys are available with natural notes (except # or b).
These minor differences are easy to learn where each note is (where the piano key) is.
Why the heck I just talked about reading the notes on the piano keyboard ?! Yes, stringed instruments have a few similarities. For example, the one-string guitar is like a piano keyboard; expect you to have no black and white keys, which helps navigate your way.
Instead, you have dots (fretboard inlays) it serves as a point of reference, with open strings that you can use as a starting point. Only by knowing the notes in the guise can you ‘pick up’ how to play the piano very quickly, and vice versa.
Knowing how to get notes quickly on the guitar (which is a little heavier than the piano), will make it easier to find and play anywhere chord or scale anywhere on the fretboard.
Now that we don’t get them ahead of us let’s start with an easy way to get notes.
How to learn notes on the Fretboard
If you understand the note circle and the names of the open strings, this is relatively easy.
Example 1 – Finding the note on the 4th fret D string
If you want to figure out the note on the 4th fret D string, you will start from
the open D string and move clockwise around the note circle fret by fret.
– 1st fret would be D#,
– 2nd fret E,
– 3rd fret is F,
– 4th fret is F#.
Example 2 – 9th fret B string
Example 2 – 9th fret B string
If you want to find out pr confirm the note on, let’s assume 9th fret B string, you can, simply in the same way, start from the open B string and go fret by fret clockwise on the note circle until you reach to the 9th fret – which is G#. It might seem easy enough, but it takes some time.
In this example, since we’re trying to figure out a higher fretboard note (after the 6th fret), we can also apply the same process but in reverse to find the note faster.
First, we need to understand that the fretboard notes on the 12th fret of any string are the same notes on the open strings. This is because they are precisely 1 octave higher (12th fret – there are 12 notes in music). After the 12th fret, the notes repeat themselves. You should already know by now that an octave is 12 semitones (or frets on the guitar) higher than the starting note – exact as one complete way around the note circle.
So the note on the 12th fret is B. You can now move descending or counter-clockwise on the note circle to find out the note on the 9th fret.
– 11th fret will be Bb (same as A#)
– 10th fret will be A
– 9th fret will be Ab (same as G#)
Notice we’re using b’s instead of #s. This is because we’re going backward or counterclockwise on the note circle, and notes are becoming lower in pitch, so it is more accurate and convenient to use the flats. This simple rule can help you figure out scales and intervals easily.
Source : here
How to memorize notes on the guitar fretboard
Remember the positions of 6 key tones (notes) on guitar and use them as reference points for finding the notes on E and A strings quickly. Those are the notes on the 3rd, 5th, and 7th fret of E and A strings. Here are the notes:
These notes are often called 6 key tones because they are often used as ‘root’ notes (more on that later) for chords and scales in many, many songs.
You can use mnemonics to memorize them quickly.
For example: “3 Grumpy Cats with 5 Angry Donkeys scare 7 Big Elephants.”
This doesn’t make any sense, but hopefully, you can do a better job than me. 🙂 This way, it’s effortless to remember these keynotes and know where they are at any given moment.
Black/white dots (fretboard inlays)
Source : here
I think you must have noticed some black or white dots on the guitar fretboard’s sides facing the eyes or sometimes on the fingerboard. Have you ever wondered what they are, or why they are used for?
Mainly, they are used to serve two purposes”
1.Used as a reference point to navigating the frets and orientation.
2. Adornment or Enhancement – some guitars are decorated incredibly decorated inlays with different motives and purposes (for example, man transforming to wolf on James Hetfield’s guitar)
Black dots on the fretboard are used to help us navigate and find our way around the fretboard while Playing easily. These dots can also be used as a point of reference for finding and
memorizing the notes quickly without wasting the time to count the steps from the nuts or from the 12th fret.
You’ll notice that on most guitars, the dots are located on the 3rd, 5th, 7th, 12th, 15th, 17th frets. Some guitars might not have these on the fingerboard or fretboard. Some guitars have them but they are located sometimes on the finger frets or almost always located on the side of the neck facing the eyes.
Notice that the 6 key tones coincide with the dots on the 3rd, 5th, and 7th frets. Take your guitar and play each of these notes; play around with them a bit and learn notes on fretboard. This will help in remembering them. As you play the guitar fretboard notes at first, visualize their name and say it out loud.
Fretboard orientation and fretting hand motion
To clarify one thing regarding fretting hand movements, take look at this picture:
Assuming the guitar is on your lap (or hanging while playing standing) in a standard position of playing it, note that:
Horizontal movement can be left – towards the nuts, and then right – in the direction of the bridge.
The vertical position can be raised – up to the ceiling or floor – up to the floor. In some exercise, you will learn about it soon, whenever you see me means to move your fretting hand, or fingers, in some way – horizontally or horizontally, remember this, and you should not be confused. Anxious hand movements can also be detached in any direction. Each of your fingers can move freely in any direction without any issue.
It is impressive to see how well our hands can work technically on almost anything you can think of on the guitar. It looks Amazing too.
You can also check
How to play guitar step by step for beginners – 10 easy steps