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  • how to move around on fretboard

    I have a question about how you move your fingering on fretboard. 
    As of now i am trying to memorize all the notes on the fretboard because i saw my left hand always move the way that it is used to and i can't jump from say major position 1 (down on 1~5th fret) to position 4 (on 8~10th fret) because i am only used to moving the position gradually without knowing what notes i am playing. I have a relative pitch so the keys don't make difference for me as I find the right notes and build from there.
    However, on these days I feel like i really should expand my playing. So here comes the questions.

    1. Do you know all the notes on fretboard by heart? And are you aware of those when you are playing?

    2. Do you know what notes belong to what key and play based on what notes in what key you are playing rather than following fingering positions? 

    3. any helpful tips on expanding my eyes to see the fretboard that will make my playing more fluent?


  • #2

    strings4v wrote:

    1. Do you know all the notes on fretboard by heart? And are you aware of those when you are playing?

    2. Do you know what notes belong to what key and play based on what notes in what key you are playing rather than following fingering positions? 

    3. any helpful tips on expanding my eyes to see the fretboard that will make my playing more fluent?


    1. Yes, but don't always think about it when I'm playing.  I look at the notes on the fretboard like a keyboard, I don't say the letters outloud in my head when I'm typing but I know what they are.

    2. If I think about it, yes.  However, I use instinct to guide my fingers.

    3. Put on some music you like and jam, it builds your instinct.  

    Do you know any scales?  They are a good building blocks to what notes can be grouped together.  Once you know a few, you can deviate and mix them up to give your playing more flavor.

    One MIA Fender Strat, one Gibson Les Paul, one Martin Acoustic, what more do you need?

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    • #3
      1. Yes, but some spots I have to think about it for a sec. I tend to think "I'll play a 4th here" or "a flat 7th will sound cool... let me try that" rather than note names. I know keys, and think of steps within the keys often.

      2. I do, as well as the harmonized scale and what not.

      3. I'm not sure there. Diagrams would help me.
      <div class="signaturecontainer"><b>Guitars:</b> 3 Fender Strats, Fender Jazzmaster, Squier Bullet, 2 Gibson Les Pauls, Gibson ES-339, Gibson Les Paul Jr. Special, Epiphone Les Paul, Epiphone Dot, Epiphone SG, PRS SE Custom 24, Ibanez AS73, Hamer Duotone, Larrivee D-03R, Takamine EG5013S, 1951 Epiphone Devon, Ibanez SR305 (bass)<br><br><br><br><b>Pedal Chain:</b> BBE Green Screamer -&gt; MXR Distortion III -&gt; Boss CE-5 -&gt; EH Stereo Pulsar -&gt; Boss DD-20 -&gt; BBE Boosta Grande<br><br><br><br><b>Amps:</b> Vox AC4, AC15, AC30, Pathfinder 10, DA5<br><br><br><br><a target="_blank" href="http://soundcloud.com/andrewalderman">SoundCloud</a></div>

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      • BydoEmpire
        BydoEmpire commented
        Editing a comment


        1. Do you know all the notes on fretboard by heart? And are you aware of those when you are playing?

        Yes.  Sometimes, it depends on the music.  Usually it's a mix of shapes/patterns, actual notes and note function (i.e. I know I'm on the root here, so the b3 is here, here and here, the 5 is here, here here... etc).  I tend to think in terms of 'what is this note relative to the root' a lot.  Honestly, it's mostly patterns, particularly on faster runs, but I know what's going on within them even if execution is pretty much muscle memory.  I keep working on my ear - for brief moments I can play what I want without thinking about either notes or patterns, but I can't sustain that.  It's nice when it happens, though.

        2. Do you know what notes belong to what key and play based on what notes in what key you are playing rather than following fingering positions? 

        Yes, and it helps. If I'm playing over a -7b5 chord, it's nice to know what note the b5 is because if I want to accent that it's a lot easier than trying to find some pattern that happens to work.

        3. any helpful tips on expanding my eyes to see the fretboard that will make my playing more fluent?

        A subset of your question, learning the notes... I'm sure there are more efficient ways, but for me learning the notes was threefold: first and most important, learning to play songs in every key opened things up, because I got a better sense of where the "non-guitarish" notes are - Ab, Db, etc.  For me it was blues open mics and being in cover bands. Songs got called out in every key so you had to find your way around quick.  I started with patterns and applied those patterns to different keys, and then things sort of gelled.  Second, once you get your head around 'common' notes - A, D, E, G, etc. it's pretty easy to find the other ones.  Bb is just a half step up from A.  If you know where all the As are, you know where all the Abs and Bbs are.   Third, learning to read music helped solidify things a lot.

         

        How to make your playing more fluent - most importantly work on your ear!  From your original post it sounds like you would gain a lot from learning some scales all over the neck, in every position.  Once you can do that and are really comfortable with that it will open up a lot.  Also, learn the styles of players you like and figure out how they got to sound fluid.


    • #4

      I don't think about the notes when I'm playing... I think more in shapes.  The thing that has helped me a lot is the CAGED system.  If you're not familiar with it, it is basically the open chord shapes that can be moved up and down the fretboard.  So if you know that, you can play pretty much any chord at any position on the fretboard.  Then you want to learn the scales around all of those chord shapes.  And not just the minor pentatonic scale that we all know... the various modes of major scales too.

      Please visit my website www.treeguitarworks.com

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      • billybilly
        billybilly commented
        Editing a comment

        stormin1155 wrote:

        I don't think about the notes when I'm playing... I think more in shapes.  The thing that has helped me a lot is the CAGED system.  If you're not familiar with it, it is basically the open chord shapes that can be moved up and down the fretboard.  So if you know that, you can play pretty much any chord at any position on the fretboard.  Then you want to learn the scales around all of those chord shapes.  And not just the minor pentatonic scale that we all know... the various modes of major scales too.


        That's interesting, now that I think about it, I think more in shapes too.  Once upon a time, many moons ago, I spent some time on the CAGED system, that's probably why.


      • FrankenSteinberger
        FrankenSteinberger commented
        Editing a comment

        stormin1155 wrote:

        I don't think about the notes when I'm playing... I think more in shapes.  The thing that has helped me a lot is the CAGED system.  If you're not familiar with it, it is basically the open chord shapes that can be moved up and down the fretboard.  So if you know that, you can play pretty much any chord at any position on the fretboard.  Then you want to learn the scales around all of those chord shapes.  And not just the minor pentatonic scale that we all know... the various modes of major scales too.


        The CAGED system is the thing I recommend when this question comes-up. Different people obviously learn differently, but for me this had been key to allow me to visualize the fretboard and allow me to think about where I am, and where I want to go. Some people who might be less visual, and instead thrive on the mathmatical relationships of the notes, might not care for this visualization approach. 

        Many things in life can be made better when you understand your own personal strenths and weaknesses---especially in educational situations.

        Of couse, actually getting around the fretboard in a smooth, musical way is a whole other kettle of fish invovling finding the most efficient, ergonomical movements. Oh, and practice, practice, practice (repeat as needed)  


    • #5

      1. Do you know all the notes on fretboard by heart? And are you aware of those when you are playing?

      For the most part, yes, and definitely no.  I think in terms of scales, modes and progressions.  I basically try to replicate a melody that I have going in my head, and thinking too much about what notes those are gets in the way of doing that.

      2. Do you know what notes belong to what key and play based on what notes in what key you are playing rather than following fingering positions? 

      Yeah I know what goes in what key, but more to the point I know what notes go in what major, minor and modal scales. I really try to not think about that stuff when I'm playing, though.  I'm typically combining pieces of chords, and runs off those, so I guess I'm more in the fingering position camp, though I can pull off a run over eight frets or so on occasion.

      3. any helpful tips on expanding my eyes to see the fretboard that will make my playing more fluent?

      Play lots of scales a lot of times while trying to sound musical.  Start doing the scales slowly, and only ramp up your speed as long as you are playing error-free.  Learn all the standard chord variations, and get comfortable playing them all over the neck.  Learn arpeggios.  Pay more attention to your right hand, because a lot of sounding more fluid has to do with your attack on the strings and when you don't play a note, not only where you play a note.

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      • wankdeplank
        wankdeplank commented
        Editing a comment

        I'm no expert, more of a hobbyist that took it up as recreation at the ripe old age of 47 (been playing about ten years).  I don't know all the notes on the fretboard and have no real desire.  I do read music and know all the notes up the board on the first, fifth and sixth strings.  Important to know all these notes if you plan to play with others so you can easily find your fifth and sixth string barre chords and corresponding scales.  Once I'm in a key, I can easily find all of my root notes up the board and know the corresponding shapes and have a pretty good feel for intervals If I lose my place. 

        At this point I'm self-taught - tried a few instructors but found most to be a waste of money.  Three things I like to do which keep me challenged and are germaine to this discussion.  First: Continue to play new music in standard notation.  I have two books which are excellent, both by Mel Bay.  One is Position studies and the other is Chord Melody System, both of which force me to play written music up the fretboard.  Second: Take any melody I've heard and play it by ear in one position after another - this is fantastic for feeling the intervals irregardless of the scale shape.  Third: Study styles I enjoy such as Blues, Rock and most recently Surf using primarily tab.  This is a lot more fun than just practicing scales and memorizing notes on a fingerboard.

         

            

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