Learn Your Notes
The Importance Of Knowing Your Fretboard
Ok so, I’m just going to go straight to the point with this blog post. This is maybe the biggest thing I see holding both guitar and bass players back!
The process of being able to identify ANY note on the fretboard at ANY time at a moment’s notice.
This is not something I see many people talking about too – However in my opinion it’s probably the number one skill that is overlooked from people picking up the instrument for the first time and more established players looking to improve their skills on the guitar.
I see this a lot from guys and girls that have been playing for a while and come to me for lessons to brush up on their skills.
They have visions of being able to play great blues solos, create super funky bass lines, write monster riffs and play every scale under the sun!!!
However – when I say: “Ok cool – play me every c# note on the fretboard”
I get a blank stare and this: “O yeah – I don’t know the notes on the neck”
Knowing your notes on your guitar neck equals musical freedom. You can know every scale shape and all the cool licks – However it means pretty much nothing if you don’t know the actual notes you’re playing, it’s like flying with no map or direction.
So instead of me rambling on like a cranky old guitar teacher. I will break this post down into “5 Reasons” why you should learn the notes on your guitar and bass fretboard.
NUMBER 1: It’s Musical Freedom – As I mentioned before knowing the notes on the neck is musical freedom. It lets you navigate seamlessly across all regions on the fretboard, putting all the pieces together.
NUMBER 2: It’s a Roadmap – The fretboard is a map and the notes are designations you can get too. Let’s say you’re playing a bass groove in A minor at the 5th fret? If you know where all the other A notes are on your neck it lets you expand your groove making way for cool fills and more dynamics.
NUMBER 3: It’s Identification – Knowing the notes freely on the neck lets you identify more scale and chord shapes all over the neck – The great thing about the guitar is it is very pattern based, once you know one pattern you can apply it to pretty much all keys. Let’s say you’re playing a F Minor pentatonic scale, well if you know where all the other F’s are on your fretboard? You can take that same pattern and completely shift it to a different octave – Giving you more options and ideas to expand on.
NUMBER 4: Chord Shapes – Most intermediate players know their basic barre chords and if you get all your notes down on the neck you have absolutely no limits on being able to play any chord. You can easily play a Eb Major Chord or a Db Minor – Because you know your notes you can apply the root note and play the appropriate barre chord.
NUMBER 5: It’s Communication – Knowing the notes on the neck lets you communicate freely with other musicians in a band or recording situation. If somebody calls out a different kind of chord progression like:
F minor / Ab major / Bb minor / C minor
Well – Because you’re a fretboard master you can follow along easily without any guesswork and slowing down the other musicians – Following along with the root notes of the chord and expanding from that.
Obviously there are going to be other major benefits from learning the notes freely on the fretboard – Like: Learning Songs Easier, Working Out Key Signatures, Improvisation and much more – But let’s just say in summing things up the benefits of sitting down and learning your fretboard is going to be great and will make you a more rounded guitarist or bass player.
There are many ways and systems I use with my students to learn the notes on the fretboard – But I will save that for another blog post.
However if you’re keen to dive a bit deeper into your guitar and bass playing? I offer online guitar and bass lessons and if you’re local to the Brisbane area I offer private one on one lessons from my home studio in Greenbank.
Thank For Reading and Remember – Learn Your Notes 🙂
Thank you for checking out my latest post – My name is Grant Robert Davies and I have been a professional musician for 20 years.
I started out on the bass guitar when I was in high school then progressed to acoustic and electric guitar a few years later. Music has been an amazing journey for me and has taken me on some very cool adventures – To this day I’m still learning and creating music, developing my skills and helping others build their careers in the industry.
Now with a strong focus on music production, I’m working more behind the scenes than actually performing music live. Ive been able to get my music published on many T.V shows and Films and currently work as a music library composer with multiple publishing company’s overseas. This has enabled me to learn a lot about music production, mixing, mastering and working to tight deadlines.
Along with music production I’m also very passionate about education and have been teaching both the guitar and bass for 20 years. From my home studio located in Greenbank I provide professional tuition to a range of students from all ages and playing levels – getting results quickly without skipping any essentials that make for a great musician.
If you would like to know anymore about myself please feel free to check out my webpage or contact me directly anytime
Grant Robert Davies
Grant Robert Davies
21 Angelsea Street, Greenbank, QLD, 4124
- 30 Mins South of Brisbane
- 5 Mins Off Mt Lindesay Highway
PH: 0414 524 912
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