Many guitarists want to become great, but very few actually take the time to learn the notes on the guitar’s neck. Instantly knowing where a note is can be extremely useful in music, and can help you to understand guitar theory.
Here are a few tips to help any guitarist learn all of the notes on the neck of a guitar.
Learn one note at a time, everywhere on the guitar. You’ll do best if you don’t try to cram; take your time, and learn one note’s location all the way up and down the neck of the guitar. If you go one note at a time, you’ll retain more, just like when you learned guitar chords.
Don’t forget to learn about note relationships. Say that you’re trying to learn all of the letters in the alphabet, for absolutely no reason. You could sit down and memorize them, but if you don’t know that letters are used in words, you might think of the whole exercise as pretty pointless.
Likewise, your memory will work a lot better if you realize how notes interact with one another.
Spend some time each day on ear training and theory. This way, when you learn new notes on the guitar, you won’t be thinking, “uh, wow, an A,” you’ll be thinking, “oh, an A! That’ll sound cool when I play in the key of C.” You get the idea: the more that you understand about music, the easier it will be to memorize notes on the guitar.
Think out the chords that you play. This can be a great way to learn notes; when you play a chord, name each note on each string that you’re playing. Do this for a few minutes per day.
After a while, you’ll automatically know which notes are in the chord that you’re playing, and more importantly, you’ll know where they are on the fretboard.
Always practice with a guitar in your hands. There are quite a few programs out there that claim to teach you all of the notes on a guitar’s neck, but they’re frustrating and difficult to use. This is because they’re on a computer, or on an iPhone, or on anything else other than a guitar. If you don’t have a guitar in your hands, you can’t get that automatic, awesome muscle memory that tells you were all of the notes sit, and computer software can’t emulate the feel of a real guitar.
Now, by all means, use computer software to learn guitar. Computers are great educational tools. Just make sure that the program requires you to actually pick up your axe.
Do you have any other tips for learning all of the notes on a guitar’s neck? Post in our comments section below.