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  1. #1

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    Hello, I’m new here. Not new to guitar playing, but new to this site and being serious about Jazz guitar.

    As a self taught musician, have played mostly by ear, musical theory has always been by weak point.
    I can find all notes on the fretboard, but it takes some time and after I find them I generally don’t see notes in licks as notes but as patterns. Same goes for chords.
    I’m now working through the JGO beginners course, and learning a lot of new chords, rhythms and accuracy in picking scales (up-down-up-down) before I move on to arpeggios.
    But most of the time (i.e. when I’m not in the scale of C) I don’t really know which note I’m playing instantly.
    Same goes for some chords. I know how they are constructed, I know how to play them and how they fit in a scale, but that doesn’t mean I know that exact chord when I play it, this’ll probably improve when I start playing progressions and songs with chord sheets.

    To improve my skills I’m looking into buying the Sølo app, they only use intervallic functions no note names.
    That leads me to the question, how important is it to have the place of the notes on the fretboard memorized?
    Only important for smooth communication? Will this knowledge seep in anyway, regardless of how you practice?

    Hope you can help me with this.

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Music is about relatve pitch (intervals) and not absolute pitch, at least since the advent of equal (well)tempered scale. in case you are thinking and hearing intervals, extensions, you have everything to listen and create music. (In your own :-)

    However we have to communicate, as you wrote, either in live with the band members, either in written form. Note names serve that purpose.

  4. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by BoogieKnight
    That leads me to the question, how important is it to have the place of the notes on the fretboard memorized?
    Only important for smooth communication? Will this knowledge seep in anyway, regardless of how you practice?
    I think it is important, and you have to make an effort to learn it. For a lot of guitarists, the territory between the third and the twelfth seems to be uncharted, which limits their music.

  5. #4

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    To me, note names are more than just for communicating with others. The names of the notes are the main connection between your musical knowledge and your playing.

    If my next chord is D7, I instantly know that my third is F#, my 7th is C etc. If I didn't know the notes on the guitar, then that knowledge would be completely useless. If I can't find connections between what I know and what I play, then I might as well not know it.

    So what I'm saying is, the two go together. People who know their fretboard, also know the note names of the intervals within the scales and chords they play. Natural 6th of A is F#, b6 of E is C etc. To me these are pretty much instantaneous, just like seeing the 6th or b6th intervals visually.

    Why do you need that? Can't you just memorize scale and arpeggio positions across the fretboard and also learn all the intervals visually. Then you can locate them with limited knowledge of the note names, just find the root. I think that would be really slow. Say if I'm going to D7, I'm not looking for D, If I happened to be near an A then I know I can target the 5th of D7. Once I'm there the visual relationships within that position may take over. Or visual relationships of relative intervals. If I know it's the 5th, then I can see the root and the 7th and the 3rd etc of the chords as intervals instantly. Of course the more you practice this way, these things become more automatic and aural as well.

    The point is the more ways you can internalize the fretboard , the easier it is to conquer it. If I didn't know the note names, I'd have felt partly blind.
    Last edited by Tal_175; 08-24-2021 at 08:11 AM.

  6. #5

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    Also you don't have to dedicate extra practice time to memorize these things. Sure, you can get a general overview with an app or what not. But you really internalize these things by integrating them into how you practice tunes.

    The only alternative to knowing the notes on the fretboard that I know is to play around the chord shapes. Make sure you learn various voicings for common chords, know what chord tone is each finger plays (3rd, b9 ext), work on creating new voicings by moving each finger to neighbouring notes (from 5th to 6th or 4th or #4th). Then when you're soloing use this knowledge. Work on connecting these chords when you're working on tunes.

    This is a viable alternative to knowing the notes I think. If you ever transcribed Wes, you'd know that his playing has a lot of that.

  7. #6

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    It's very important to know all the notes well on fretboard. Fortunately not too difficult - takes a few months.. or a week if getting seriously obsessed about it.
    Sadly it doesn't end there. It's also really important to know the connections between them. Most basic one is D > T function I guess. So if you know your dominant chord is F7, you automatically know that the tonic is Bb.
    That means you're not stuck with only 1 way to solve your F7, you could play the Bb anywhere you like.
    Fortunately you can get away with rather minimal amount of note-knowledge to start jamming.

    edit: oh, forgot to mention. If you learn such relations between the notes in chord progressions well, then your ability to memorize the chords of the tunes gets so much better. Luckily this also happens on the fly - when learning lots of tunes in various keys.

    But you didn't mention degrees - thats where the real chemistry happens.

  8. #7

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    One advantage of playing around chord shapes is, it acts like a bullshit non-pass filter. It limits how much you can suck. Lol.

  9. #8

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    [QUOTE=BoogieKnight;1142113]Hello, I’m new here. Not new to guitar playing, but new to this site and being serious about Jazz guitar.

    As a self taught musician, have played mostly by ear, musical theory has always been by weak point.
    I can find all notes on the fretboard, but it takes some time and after I find them I generally don’t see notes in licks as notes but as patterns. Same goes for chords.
    I’m now working through the JGO beginners course, and learning a lot of new chords, rhythms and accuracy in picking scales (up-down-up-down) before I move on to arpeggios.
    But most of the time (i.e. when I’m not in the scale of C) I don’t really know which note I’m playing instantly.
    Same goes for some chords. I know how they are constructed, I know how to play them and how they fit in a scale, but that doesn’t mean I know that exact chord when I play it, this’ll probably improve when I start playing progressions and songs with chord sheets.

    To improve my skills I’m looking into buying the Sølo app, they only use intervallic functions no note names.
    That leads me to the question, how important is it to have the place of the notes on the fretboard memorized?
    Only important for smooth communication? Will this knowledge seep in anyway, regardless of how you practice?

  10. #9

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    BoogiK..you have found one of the best Jazz/Guitar/music sites..with many VERY talented Pro-musicians..Teachers..and all around players

    your going to learn alot if you hang around here..

    about learning the "notes"..

    suggestion: learn basic triads-major and minor and their inversions-learn the note names at each position-do this on all string sets--in all keys..do some research if this is new to you.

    if you dont know how read music..do yourself a big favor..learn how to..and learn how to write it as well..its like being in a library
    and only being able to read books with pictures then being able to really read !

    you will thank yourself for the rest of your life !

  11. #10

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    If you can understand just these two concepts of "note" and interval" by their correct definitions, a world of music theory clarity may open up before you.


    Note


    In casual music conversation the words "note" and "pitch" are used interchangeably. They are not the same and it is important to understand the definition of "note" in order for things to continue to make sense as you proceed learning the theory of music. In music theory a "note" is the name of a position - the space or line in the staff, and its name is the letter name for that space or line in staff. However, a note does not indicate a specific pitch - a note (a space or line of the staff) serves to indicate three different pitches (xb, x, x#), which of those three pitches depends on which of the thirty common key signatures that indicate up to seven accidentals is in effect. Furthermore, each possible pitch may take one of two different note letter names depending on the key signature.


    For example, if you play the pitch on the first string at the fourth fret, what is that note? If the key is A, E, B, F#, or C# that pitch's note name is G and will be accompanied with a sharp to specify that pitch as G#, however if the key is Eb, Ab, Db, Gb, or Cb that same pitch's name is A and will be accompanied with a flat to specify that same pitch is now Ab.


    The thirty common keys apply twenty-one names to the twelve chromatic pitches.


    [B# C] [C# Db] [D] [D# Eb] [E Fb] [E# F] [F# Gb] [G] [G# Ab] [A] [A# Bb] [B Cb]


    Interval


    Another important definition to understand; a musical interval has two parts, the interval name, and its quality. The interval name is the distance between notes labeled as an ordinal number, inclusive (ordinal numbers are like "first", "second", "third"...). For this to make sense you have to use the correct definition of "note" as the position of the space or line in the staff. You just count the spaces and lines, inclusive (meaning counting all the lines and spaces contained in the span of the interval; if you used cardinal numbers the distance would be "one short" as if measuring a physical distance because the unit length is not incremented until reaching full unit length - the beginning end of the first unit is not "1" yet).


    The names of intervals are based on counting the distance between notes inclusive, which is the number of notes, which is the number of spaces and lines (but remember that the same pitch may rest on different staff positions when accidentals are applied). The quality term is similar in function to the accidentals; it specifies the necessary adjustment in pitch displacement with respect to the distance based on note names.


    For example, the pitches of C to Eb and C to D# are identical (same semitone span), but take different interval names and qualities because C to Eb is a third, but C to D# is a second. C to Eb is called a third and its quality is minor - a minor third. C to D# is a second and its quality is called augmented - an augmented second.

    Hope this helps.
    Last edited by pauln; 08-25-2021 at 02:09 AM.

  12. #11

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    Hi, I'd like to offer some thoughts- with a disclaimer
    I'm by no means an expert guitarist, with only 5 odd years under my belt. In fact I am probably not far off you in your learning curve- and I use this App.
    Approach it with a broad mind. Here are some of my experiences/thoughts about it.

    a/ It wont teach you anything. It will help you to learn though. You do need to put in hard yards. It acts as a teacher with a ruler, not letting you proceed until you get the answer right. It does not force how long you must take , but it will not go the next step until you hit the right interval it instructs you to hit. You need to deduce that interval's position(s). It will not tell you where that interval is. You must figure it out. This is where it pays most dividends. Tom tunes in 4ths anyhow. So his B & E string locations for note pitch are on different frets to most. It does not force you to hit a specific pitch either. Just that interval relative to a root. This is great because you can aim for intervals pitched under a target root note. (ie go find the minor 3rd of C, below middle C)

    b/ It never says anywhere in the literature or videos to not worry about the notes. Far from it. In fact, the first video instruction I saw related to this App (which won me over) was about the importance of knowing the notes on the fretboard and how the App lets you learn them. Not pitch of the note. They highlight that most people know the note names on the Low E and A string, and high E pretty well. But most don't really focus on the 5th-12th frets of strings D,G,B. That was certainly the case for me.

    c/ it will not, nor claims to replace everything else. Instead it acts as another layer to reinforce everything else everyone above is describing, and also helps adopt what everyone else is describing. For me personally it has made it easier to quickly figure out an +4th Chord or a b9 chord without resorting to a chord dictionary like I used to.

    d/ I use it almost daily on several levels. Initially to refresh my fingers/memory on each string in all positions on the location of all the root notes in any chordal progression you select. I go string by string initially along the neck, then across the neck, then around the neck separated by an octave each time etc. Once I am feeling I am bedding that in, I work the initial intervals Root, 3rd, 5th, 7th the same way.

    at the moment I use it to also bed in my muscle memory of the inversions, often simply leaving the root out altogether.
    I use it to help Bed in the fingerings of the common Modal scales to practice, repeating each scale for each key in a different neck/octave, starting off different fingers. Trying to ensure I am not stuck in a single Box pattern. Playing them in the random order prompted is stretching my pea brain though but it is slowly sinking in.

    The (the most important bit for me) is I apply this work to the pieces I am currently playing. Contentious as it may be, I page up a version of the songs in IrealPro, slow it right down. Most times I first correct the chords in Ireal pro to match the sheet music I am working off. Then I work the modal scales over the chords with Ireal in the background. I normally set a song for something like 20 repeats. and play at a slow tempo of 90-100 bpm or often less. Sometimes I will just get Ireal to loop a 4 or 8 bar section. But it happens straight after I was first bedding in those specific scales in Solo. I focus on hitting guidetones within that particular modal scale to the next Chord tone. This has helped me Improv over an Altered Scale after a Locrian scale and all sorts of things I would not have been able to digest from books easily.

    e/ This brings me to my last observation- it is written and described by two phenomenal guitarists who are fusion jazz specialists. Comping and chord Melody is not what the app is really about. The App is to help you generate a link between your chordal progression and how to improvise lines around those chords to make free 'second nature' Solos. I suspect these guys make their living with modal music, but it does not limit you to just modes.

    Could it be better- yep. It would be great to generate your own tailored chord progression for really targeted practice. The songs in the chord changes don't really factor in playing 4 measures of the same chord as the sheet music would. This would be very hard to achieve, since there is no time reference. You need to keep you wits about you when a chord progression loop is starting and finishing

    That aside, the developers are really responsive and even added a missing scale in the last update I pointed out (probably with others) to include major blues as will as minor blues scales.

    I hope that missive was not too long winded. But some honest feedback to give a beginner user's perspective. I really don't post in forums much, but in this case I can see a lot of missed interpretation of this app (in other forums mainly) where some posters seem to have missed the point or had a different expectation completely. I find it a great App.

    Cheers
    Mike

  13. #12
    Thank jou for your input, I think it’s clear that it’s best learn the note names and position on the fretboard first before I can move on, actually what makes most sense to me too. I’m learning movable 7 chords right now (Jazz guitar for beginners on this site), and they don’t mean anything if you don’t now where to find a root.

    Some of your replies do remind me of someone trying to teach geometry or calculus to someone who can count and add up and substract, but doesn’t know the symbols or how tot multiply or divide ?
    For instance:
    Most basic one is D > T function I guess. So if you know your dominant chord is F7, you automatically know that the tonic is Bb.
    That means you're not stuck with only 1 way to solve your F7, you could play the Bb anywhere you like.”
    That’s like advanced mathematics to my ears, Dominant? ?Tonic? ? What do I have to solve? ?
    and also, what are triads? ? etc. etc. Lots of googling to do for me….
    >> EDIT: There were a lot of smilies in this part, seem to not go though here

    Nevertheless, I’m determined to learn my fretboard before I proceed.
    I found this article very helpful and am going to practice with the examples in it.
    How to Memorize the Notes on the Fretboard (Two Methods) - Guitar Gear Finder

    I also downloaded te JustinGuitar Guitar Note Trainer App, but I prefer to practice on my own fretboard, not punching in notes on a virtual one, this App doesn’t “listen”, if anyone knows an app that works in a similar way (names a note you have to find all over your fretboard) and listens to your guitar, I’d love to hear!

  14. #13

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    I also downloaded te JustinGuitar Guitar Note Trainer App, but I prefer to practice on my own fretboard, not punching in notes on a virtual one, this App doesn’t “listen”, if anyone knows an app that works in a similar way (names a note you have to find all over your fretboard) and listens to your guitar, I’d love to hear!
    If you are into apps you can try
    Complete Music Reading Trainer – The ultimate music reading training app
    It is designed to help learning reading music notation (as mentioned this is of immense benefit) and can use microphone as its input. When doing exercises I would suggest to partition the neck - going either string by string (i.e. playing only on a single string for a series of drills) or using a sliding window of 5 frets - to counteract reluctance to go to unfamiliar places of the neck

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by BoogieKnight
    To improve my skills I’m looking into buying the Sølo app, they only use intervallic functions no note names.
    Here is a introduction of the Solo-App by Jens Larsen.
    Maybe this might help your decision:



    Greetings, Michael

  16. #15

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    Thanks to Boogie Knights and Eastwood Mike, I too am in the novice arena. Considering the cost is only $15, I think it will be well worth it, I only just downloaded and have yet to try, but anything that helps the ear and fingers is worth a try. I also follow Frank Vignola on trufire, he has some great stuff and enough to cover years of practice. Good luck

  17. #16

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    You can find brilliant players who are encyclopedias of theory and brilliant players who know absolutely no theory, at least not in words.

    In my circle of jazz guitar playing friends one of the best reads well, another one of the best can't read at all. He knows a bunch of theory but I don't know how he organizes it internally.

    So, you can take your pick based on what you want to accomplish with the instrument.

    I learned a lot with words rather than sounds. Probably to a fault. That's where I come from and what I can speak about. I don't know anything about how to do it the other way. So, take this accordingly.

    If a student came to me saying he wanted to learn jazz guitar, I'd start by teaching him to read. About 6 months work to get to the point where you can read an ordinary lead sheet anywhere on the neck. You learn the fingerboard. Learn a little bit of theory and you can construct chords. You're no longer dependent on figuring every song out by ear and memorizing it. You'll be able to play songs you don't know and discuss things with other musicians. You get access to the full world of written music and stuff written about music. You will have access to situations where you have to read to play -- and there are more of those than you might think.

    You still need to develop your ear, learn songs and learn jazz vocabulary. It is possible, I think, to overemphasize the linguistic side of this (theory, naming stuff and trying to find music with verbal logic), but you don't have to.
    Last edited by rpjazzguitar; 08-26-2021 at 10:50 PM.

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael1968
    Here is a introduction of the Solo-App by Jens Larsen.
    Maybe this might help your decision:



    Greetings, Michael
    This is how I learned the fretboard - not with the app, but thinking (and hearing this way)

    In the same way functional ear training - so hearing the note not as an interval compared to another note but as an interval against the root - is a good way to proceed.

    So, I give this app a qualified thumbs up. (Qualification being I don't know that much about it.)

  19. #18

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    Knowing the notes on the fretboard is a pretty essential skill, but knowing the theory behind everything you play isn't essential. It's natural for most players to go about it how you explained. Part framework, and part intuition.