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Thread: fretboard knowledge

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2002

    fretboard knowledge

    what would be the best way to look at the fretboard when you are soloing/improvising in a particular key.eg:
    1-- learn all the notes by heart and visuallize them when you are playing ,so you know where your notes are when you need to solo over a particular chord
    2--learn the major intervals from your root note so instaed of seeing letters you look at numbers and can create different scales and intervals as you are playing.
    3-- or learn to look at the fretboard both ways,seeing intervals when you need to and seeing letters when you need to.

    i have posted an image below to as part of my question. it is in the key of Cmajor and as you can see the circled notes are the pentatonic notes of Cmajor. dont take much notice of the mode names i have included as all they are there for is to show where the pentatonic for each mode is in Cmajor.

    to learn either way of looking at the fretboard whould be a mammoth task especially to get to the stage where you can play and name the notes/ intervals as you are playing so i really want to get your veiw on this to find out if it is worth going to the trouble of learning it. thanks folks, and see ya later,Peter

  2. #2
    i Breathe ... Admin Guni's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Austria & UK
    Hi Peter,

    I think this is a great question and there is no definite answer. I can only tell you how I see this.

    As the guitar is a very visual instrument I would set the order to

    1) intervals
    2) notes
    3) combination of 1 and 2.

    Step 1 includes learning all the roots on at least the E and A string so that one can apply all the different patterns. Within the patterns I do think in terms of intervals, eg here's a 9 and here's a 5th, etc....

    Over time (sightreading helped a lot) I was able to give note names to the intervals if needed.

    The overall approach to me is intervals. Again, this is due to the nature of the instrument. You couln't do this with say a trumpet. There you gotta think in notes. And that's the main reason for why guitar players do have problems with sightreading. It's not needed to know the actual notes while playing.


    Please don't email or send me private messages with music related questions as they will be ignored. Rather use the forums for this and I will try my best to take part as much as I can.

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2002
    thanks mate. i think i will add it to my practise and see how i go.
    see ya later

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