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Learn The Notes, No Guitar Needed

John Rice (551) · [archive]
Style: Basics · Level: Beginner · Tempo: 120
Pages: 1 2



Learning The Notes Across The Frets



As previously discussed, learning the notes on the fretboard is one of the most powerful skills you can develop. In addition to being incredibly useful, it is also easy to do. Basically, there are two approaches, learning the notes across the frets and up and down the strings. You will need to do both. This article will teach you how to learn the notes across the frets.

To begin, make a set of flash cards. Each card will have a fret number on one side and the names of the notes at that fret on the other side. The notes are listed in string order 6th thru 1st.

You can make them from 3 x 5 index cards. You won't need a full sized card, so you can cut them in half if you wish. Reference the table below. You may print the table out and cut and paste the table below to your index cards or onto heavy card stock.


Side 1

Side 2

Side 1

Side 2

Side 1

Side 2

Open

E

A

D

G

B

E

1st fret

F

Bb

Eb

Ab

C

F

2nd fret

F#

B

E

A

C#

F#

3rd fret

G

C

F

Bb

D

G

4th fret

G#

C#

F#

B

D#

G#

5th fret

A

D

G

C

E

A

6th fret

Bb

Eb

Ab

Db

F

Bb

7th fret

B

E

A

D

F#

B

8th fret

C

F

Bb

Eb

G

C

9th fret

C#

F#

B

E

G#

C#

10th fret

D

G

C

F

A

D

11th fret

D# Eb

G# Ab

C# Db

F# Gb

A# Bb

D# Eb



To learn the notes across the frets, start with the frets with all natural notes (Open, 5th, and 10th). Work on one fret until you have it memorized. Say the fret position, flip the card over and say the names of the notes. Then flip the card over and say the names of the notes again. Flip the card over and check how you did. As you work, try to picture the fretboard in your mind.

Learn one fret at a time. After you learn a fret, add the card for the next fret to your deck. Also, after learning a new fret, go back and repeat all the frets you already know. You are building your knowledge and need to reinforce what you've learned.

After learning the frets with all natural notes, add the frets with one accidental (sharp or flat), then add the frets with two accidentals (and so forth). You should only need to spend 5 or 10 minutes at a time on this. It is best to spend a few minutes reinforcing what you've learned throughout the day. For example, review it while you're in the shower, driving to work, riding the bus, walking to school, or waiting at the dentist office. I find staff meetings at work are a good time to review. There are lots of opportunities throughout the day, it's easy, and you don't even need your guitar.

Using this method, you should have all the notes on your guitar under your belt in about 2 weeks. When you get really good, should be able to repeat the names of the notes for every fret in less than 30 seconds.