Reply to Thread Bookmark Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Posts 1 to 50 of 84
  1. #1

    User Info Menu

    Hi, I wanted to ask you guys if you could recommend me any special techniques or practice habits to help me learn the notes on the fretboard smoothly. I have been playing for about 2 years (mostly messing around with tabs, learning familiar riffs, etc), I took lessons for most of that time until recently. I had at one point learned to play Autumn Leaves leading the melody somewhere on the 2nd string, 5th fret, and also one position of e minor scale starting @ the 12th fret (very basic application back then). I was still very new then so chords were very discouraging at that time. For the past few months I have been working out of a book my teacher lent me "The Sprague Technique - Peter Sprague". I have learned the C major scale, triad, and arpeggio, all 5 positions of each (before they repeat at the 12th fret). Only now I feel I won't be able to progress until I can know the notes I am playing on the fly, opening up things like improvisation, and more creative composition. Right now I know the notes for the open position and the first position in C major scale (G-A-B-C-D-E-etc.). My thing is that I am pretty slow at it. I read here Guitar Note Learning - How Do You Memorize The Notes on A Guitar Neck? that it could take a while to learn the fretboard, which makes sense. It also suggested learning the notes by fret. Any help or suggestions would be appreciated, thank you.

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

    User Info Menu

    quick way to do it if you have any sort of understanding of he 12 note system.

    memorize all the fret markers on your guitar and what notes they are. From there each note is # or Flat depending on which direction you are going.

    IE if you take the 5th fret of your D string and memorize that is G, 2nd line of the staff then the 4th fret should be Gb (F#) and the 6th fret should be G# or Ab. Then the next marker is the 7th fret.

    Or learn to read music in position and in closed fingerings such as only on 3 strings, 2 strings etc. That'll teach you fast.

    Or buy this book.

    Melodic Studies & Compositions for Guitar - By Fred Hamilton - 20392 | Mel Bay Publications, Inc.

  4. #3

    User Info Menu

    Nice Jake...I have my students start on the 1st string and learn up and down chromatically...sharps up and flats down....then the 2nd through 6th...only one string at a time..from one lesson to the next..just this string I tell them...it will take 6 weeks to learn them but they do learn them..my technique on that...time on the instrument...pierre...small steps inf.tank..

  5. #4

    User Info Menu

    I teach newbies to learn the 5th & 6th strings by rote using the key circle and fretboard dots. From there it is learning octaves. If we are in C, being able to visualize all the C notes and how to get to them from the C notes on the 5th & 6th strings you just learned, is pretty simple really.

    From there, I ALWAYS recommend the fretboard warrior freeware game. It is a fun, timed game that really helps reinforce fretboard knowledge. Found here:

    Fretboard Warrior

    Good luck

  6. #5

    User Info Menu

    I used to have a poster on my wall back in high school that had all the note on it. When ever I got stuck it was a quick reference for me to. I learned the fretboard pretty quick that way, that and it was always there.

  7. #6

    User Info Menu

    Hi,

    When I started taking lessons (seriously) my teacher had me learn all the "white" notes on each string up and down vertically. White notes mean the white keys on a piano (no sharps or flats: black notes or keys). An excercise to practice this is go up and down each string to a metronome and adjust your hand position Ie: 1st finger 1st fret, 3rd finger 3rd fret; then move 1st finger to 5th fret etc....

    It also helps to say the names of the notes as you play them until you can identify each one.

    This initial process helped out greatly when learning intervals and modes.

    Happy plucking!

  8. #7
    Thanks a lot for all the feedback everyone, I'm going to try some of this out a little later.

    Also, its cool that you have buttons to implement tab directly into posts, that very relevant considering the nature of this site/forum.

  9. #8

    User Info Menu

    If I'm not late here the following site helped me quite a lot in learning the fretboard:

    Welcome To The Essential Guitar Guide

  10. #9

    User Info Menu

    This may be too "commercial" and gimicky for some, but I've found these two software tools to be useful:

    Advanced Fret Pro v.2 (free download)

    Absolute Fretboard Trainer Pro

    Riff from Breezin' (George Benson)

    -------------------------------------------------------
    -7------------7----------8-------------3---------------
    -7------------7---7------7-------------4---------------
    -7------------7---7------9-------4-5---5---------------
    -5----5--7-9------7-9----7-----7-----------------------
    ----5---------7--------------7---------5---5---5-7--9--


  11. #10

    User Info Menu

    Thanks for the links folks.Very useful and will certainly help my understanding of the fretboard

  12. #11

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by inf.tank View Post
    Hi, I wanted to ask you guys if you could recommend me any special techniques or practice habits to help me learn the notes on the fretboard smoothly. I have been playing for about 2 years (mostly messing around with tabs, learning familiar riffs, etc), I took lessons for most of that time until recently. I had at one point learned to play Autumn Leaves leading the melody somewhere on the 2nd string, 5th fret, and also one position of e minor scale starting @ the 12th fret (very basic application back then). I was still very new then so chords were very discouraging at that time. For the past few months I have been working out of a book my teacher lent me "The Sprague Technique - Peter Sprague". I have learned the C major scale, triad, and arpeggio, all 5 positions of each (before they repeat at the 12th fret). Only now I feel I won't be able to progress until I can know the notes I am playing on the fly, opening up things like improvisation, and more creative composition. Right now I know the notes for the open position and the first position in C major scale (G-A-B-C-D-E-etc.). My thing is that I am pretty slow at it. I read here Guitar Note Learning - How Do You Memorize The Notes on A Guitar Neck? that it could take a while to learn the fretboard, which makes sense. It also suggested learning the notes by fret. Any help or suggestions would be appreciated, thank you.

    thanks for the website

  13. #12

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by nomelite View Post
    If I'm not late here the following site helped me quite a lot in learning the fretboard:

    Welcome To The Essential Guitar Guide

    hey thanks for the website

  14. #13

    User Info Menu

    My guitar prof (name of Tim Bedner) is a big advocate of saying and palying... Every day we do a 12 key routine of spelling a key, the arpeggio of the I ii and V in all of the CAGED positions, as well as spelling its ivnersions across the neck. It's a very efficient way of mapping out the fretboard.

    Otherwise, regular reading at varying tempos.

  15. #14
    I know I'm bumping an old thread here but I wanted to say thanks for the advice and links again. I ended up grinding an exercise so that I can now go up and down each fret on each string at a somewhat decent speed (I still have to think a little, but greatly improved over a few months ago). In maybe another month, I should reach a level of understanding that I'm happy with.

  16. #15

    User Info Menu

    You know, it may sound odd, but the fastest way to progress learning the fretboard and playing is practicing sightreading.
    It may sound counter intuitive to start reading before you know the fretboard, but it works very well if you have the patience and dedication, plus talk about killing a lot of birds in one stone.

  17. #16

    User Info Menu

    .......maybe try something like Guitar Pro (I have version 5 now), a well-known tab editor. Load a demo song file (or one you can find on the net) with the fretboard on the screen, slow the tempo right down, to about 10bpm. Press play, and the played notes flash up on the fretboard. At this speed, you have time to glance down to the notation (or you can move the fretboard and glance up) and back, to help with sight reading also. Increase speed as your skills increase! You could even mouse in a sequence of notes, for example around a certain area of the fretboard, and play looped for a real brain-crunching session. Just follow what you see and hear on your guitar.


    It's a snip of a programme at the price. You can download the demo....I think it has full functionality for a period. If you could find the old GP4 demo, that had a 24-bar save limit but lasted forever. Also has chord and scale banks, and so can be turned into a personalised study centre.
    centre. I don't consider it expensive.

    Nearly forgot......about the chord banks...the sounds are only midi, but if you time your mouse-clicking right, you can play chord tunes, and hear the differences in the voicing. I think this is well cool.
    (See, I've only been in the forum a few weeks and my English is already getting jazzified!!)
    Last edited by wordsmith; 02-07-2009 at 06:21 PM. Reason: change 'site' to 'sight'...........sigh!
    If only.....

  18. #17

    User Info Menu

    .........something came to mind yesterday, which made sense to me at least. Probably in common with others, I found it easy to learn the notes from the nut up to the fifth fret.....then it got a bit muddy. Like, look at the third string at the fifth....what's the note four frets up from that? The milliseconds drag by......oh, yes, an E!

    This is not rocket science, so why the hesitation? Maybe a kind of psychological blocking syndrome.....why, I would have no idea. I have talked with foreign language students for several years, and they still fail to use grammar tenses correctly.

    Why? They get stressed on Day One when the teacher first gives them the book, and immediately convince themselves they will never be able to get it. They slammed the door shut on themselves! I am sure there are books on the subject....none of them mine!

    Anyway, my little idea was this.....keep in mind that once you're at the fifth fret, there are always FOUR natural notes to go to the twelfth, on every string. And the note at the twelfth is the open string note, so that leaves only three to think about. And because there are four notes to go, each string must (and in fact does) have a half-step from one note to the next somewhere between the fifth and twelfth. Half-steps are always up to C and up to F. Get an old-fashioned piece of paper and an inked quill and mark these on a fretboard sketchout. Use this as your reference point.......all the other note spacings will be two frets.

    See what I'm doing for myself.....task shrinking, as I've just dubbed it. So if you are on third string G at the fifth-fret C and slide way up to just before the twelfth somewhere, it will obviously be nearer to G than C.....F or Fsharp, something like that. Slide up not so far, and you'll be on D or Eflat , somewhere closer to C. Keep doing this until you've got it on the G string. Then chose another string, and when you've got that, go back to the G string to re-inforce that in your brain, and so on.....

    Have a think about why the dots are where they are, and post up the reason as you see it, perhaps? I personally have no idea, but I will think about it when I've posted this up.

    Maybe others have their own ideas along this line of thinking....I would love to read them.
    Last edited by wordsmith; 02-08-2009 at 04:37 AM. Reason: insert 'natural' after FOUR...
    If only.....

  19. #18

    User Info Menu

    My guitar dots fall on fret# 3/5/7/9/12/15/17/19 on a 20 fret instrument.
    Every note if it's not on a dotted fret is adjacent to a dotted fret.
    I believe this is the main logic behind their placement .

  20. #19

    User Info Menu

    I have been using sight warrior to teach my students where all the notes are on the neck. It is very good but could be improved by adding the notes above the 12th fret.

    wiz
    Howie

  21. #20

    User Info Menu

    Something I found useful was to stop playing in certain areas. I know the first four frets really well (like most guitarists) so I stopped using them and started playing, reading, noodling etc. in the 5th position. Now I actually feel more comfortable reading there and I find it a nicer place to hang out for melody playing.
    At some point I'll move to to the 9th - that'll cover the whole fretboard so slotting in the other positions shouldn't then be too difficult.

  22. #21

    User Info Menu

    Barre chords worked for me. I wasn't particularly wanting to know the notes, but chugging through popular songs (beatles for me) meant I had to know how to move basic E,A,D,C,G chords up and down to get the Ab, Eb ...etc
    Once I could do that I found when I did want to know the notes I already them at least on the bass strings.

  23. #22

    User Info Menu

    My basic idea is, we must know by instincts, without a blink and definitely not calculate. Like all we know without calculation that first string first fret is C#. But what about string G 11th fret? If you have to calculate this (like a) you step back an octave and see what is on string A 9th fret, or start counting from string G 7th fret which is a "well known" D, that's a trap. (well I know, start from 12th it is G, so 11th must be... Do not do that.)

    Here is a practice:

    Start metronome on a suitable tempo, can be very slow first.
    Pick a string, say G. Now say (literally) C, and in rhythm in the next metronome tick, pick C on your chosen string (sorry I just forget what fret it is :-) Then go in the circle of fifth, say G and pick G, say D then pick D. All must be done on the single string.
    Focus on your week points, probably strings D, G but you are free to practice on A and B or even good old E.

    Hell of stressing, and boring. but it works. The goal is, not thinking, not calculating, just knowing.

  24. #23

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Gabor View Post
    Like all we know without calculation that first string first fret is C#.
    my life has been a lie
    White belt
    My Youtube

  25. #24

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by joe2758 View Post
    my life has been a lie
    I need to buy a new guitar...mine isn't working.

  26. #25

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by joe2758 View Post
    my life has been a lie
    Just for the record that was intentional. Putting smile after it would ruin the whole thing.
    I hope you all will read the part after it.

  27. #26

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by wizard3739 View Post
    I have been using sight warrior to teach my students where all the notes are on the neck. It is very good but could be improved by adding the notes above the 12th fret.

    wiz
    Sight Warrior? Never heard of it. What is it?
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  28. #27

    User Info Menu

    Lots of good ideas here. What's been working for me is (finally) forcing myself to work thru the 2nd half of the Mickey Baker which is in standard notation (no tab).

    I feel like I'm killing 3 birds with 1 stone. Learning to read standard notation, the learning the notes on the fret board, and learning some useful Jazz language at the same time. It's working better than anything I've tried before. I still find myself calculating at times, but I'm doing it less and less.

    Just throwing in my 2 cents on this resurrected thread. There's more than one way to skin a (jazz) cat. Find what works best for you and then put in the work. There's no easy way.

  29. #28

    User Info Menu

    I learned by writing it all down on a sheet of music paper. I treated each stave as a string, drew vertical lines to mark the frets, and then filled in the natural notes. Then I practiced with the sheet in front of me. Then I threw it away and drew another. And again and again.

    It is nearly eleven years since this thread was started. The OP is probably a virtuoso now.

  30. #29

    User Info Menu

    What I find effective is to divide up the fretboard into three areas: frets 0-4, 5-8, 9-12, and to learn the natural notes on all six strings in each area. It takes time, even though there aren't that many notes to learn after all. This division makes sense because each area is the size of a playing position, starting with the open position.
    As you progress and to reinforce the learning, as a side exercise, it's good to mix it up and so I agree with suggestions like darrenj's to focus on certain areas you are not familiar with, like shifting those areas by 1 or 2 frets to the left or to the right (like frets 4-7 instead of 5-8). That also falls in between the fretboard inlays which can be disorienting and tell you if you have truly memorised the notes. Also, as Gabor says, knowing the notes on the fretboard is to be able to go direct to a note without "calculating". Octaves and the likes are good backups but you shouldn't rely on them.
    If I may toot my own horn, I released a book some time ago about learning the notes on the fretboard, called "Guitar Note Finder". It does focus on just that but also maps the notes to the staff, in case, like Joe Dalton and Jack E Blue, you want to kill some birds!

    Quote Originally Posted by Litterick View Post
    It is nearly eleven years since this thread was started. The OP is probably a virtuoso now.
    Gosh, that's true!

  31. #30

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by pinbridge View Post
    What I find effective is to divide up the fretboard into three areas: frets 0-4, 5-8, 9-12, and to learn the natural notes on all six strings in each area. It takes time, even though there aren't that many notes to learn after all. This division makes sense because each area is the size of a playing position, starting with the open position.
    That would help get rid of that cursed linearity – just one darn note after another – and open the student to intervals.

  32. #31

    User Info Menu

    Here's the culprit.

    Recommended way to learn the fretboard.-cmajor-copy-png
    If you can distinguish between rehearsing and practicing...you're better than half way there!

  33. #32

    User Info Menu

    First off, you have to account for enharmonic pitches, because they have at least two names, like C# and Db. Which letter names and which accidentals to use will depend on the key signature (whether the accidentals in the key are sharps or flats). What this means to learning the notes is that you may begin learning the notes without accidentals... so the notes of the key of C major / A minor - that is only 7 of the 12 pitches, but they are all "sure things", only taking their one note name. With those as the basis framework, the five remaining pitches (the ones that may be either sharp or flat) are up to the key, but easier to manage with respect to their natural namesake.

    Then, playing scales and chords in different keys, make sure you name the notes correctly with respect to the key... this is much easier and clearer if you play songs so you have a definite key from which to interpret the note names.

    If you are using a position system of fingering, take special notice of the placement of the scale tonics and chord roots. The mechanics of the guitar is such that you can map the positions (however many positions a system offers) and fingerings to the tonics/roots - as octaves, and recognize the configuration of the octaves, like this:

    - there is a position/fingering where the tonic/root/octave notes all occur on the sixth, third, and first strings - for example if you play a first position E chord and first position E major scale... those E notes are on strings 6, 4, and 1. Call that "641".

    - playing, still E chord and scale, further up the neck, the next one is "42", the E notes are now on the fourth string (fret 2) and the second string (fret 5). "42" is just the strings only.

    - still with E, the next up is "52"... fifth string 7th fret, second string 5th fret... get it?

    - last one is "631"... sixth string 12 fret, third string 9th fret, first string 12th fret

    If you keep going it repeats.

    I could have begun with Gb major or whatever, it works for the whole finger board, provides unique identification of the tonics/roots/octaves with respect to the various fingerings for each position, works in all keys, and serves as an organizational view until your fingers themselves learn how to recognize these fingering/position relationships.

    The clarity is this scheme does not need input knowledge of the key, note names, or the notes subject to accidentals - all it does is keep you instantly aware of each position's tonic/root/octaves with respect to a particular fingering; or with respect to a fingering, where the tonic/root/octaves are placed within the position fingering; or with respect to a fingering, which position supports the tonic/root/octaves of that fingering. It relates position, fingering, and tonic/root/octave placements mechanically and instantly, so it can relieve some of the complexity choosing positions and fingerings while learning note names reading music or charts.
    "Bent my ear to hear the tune and closed my eyes to see."

  34. #33

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by WILSON 1 View Post
    Here's the culprit.

    Recommended way to learn the fretboard.-cmajor-copy-png
    My understanding that's a fretboard, but then you missed me :-)

  35. #34
    The best way IMO is "the second finger reference", the way that Reg and Kurt Rosenwinkle talk about learning the fretboard. From another thread:


  36. #35

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by matt.guitarteacher View Post
    The best way IMO is "the second finger reference", the way that Reg and Kurt Rosenwinkle talk about learning the fretboard. From another thread:

    Hey, Matt, did you make a chart for triad fingerings (to use w PFJ ex)?

    I've resolved something about my picking and am wanting to solidify my approach to the PFJ exercises. I learned CAGED stuff, then 3NPS, and it's not like I can only know one way to do things, but with exercises---which are not part of tunes or associated with a key or even a style---I want a default I don't have to think about. ;o) When I'm running through 12 keys I feel I'm using too many different fingerings and making some awkward shifts....
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  37. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes View Post
    Hey, Matt, did you make a chart for triad fingerings (to use w PFJ ex)?

    I've resolved something about my picking and am wanting to solidify my approach to the PFJ exercises. I learned CAGED stuff, then 3NPS, and it's not like I can only know one way to do things, but with exercises---which are not part of tunes or associated with a key or even a style---I want a default I don't have to think about. ;o) When I'm running through 12 keys I feel I'm using too many different fingerings and making some awkward shifts....
    Yeah. I'd have to look back. I posted PDFs for the threads, until things kind of settled into similar diatonic patterns etc. Anyway, what I eventually arrived at was including all the previous ones in the newest PDF. So, once you find one of the later versions it's got most everything in it.

    EDIT.... This was the last one I think:

    Quote Originally Posted by matt.guitarteacher View Post
    The major scale patterns are good technical work if you really work on making them musical. I work on slurring into the beat as much as possible so that they swing more.

    The attached 3rd position pdf has some examples of this with tab on the last page. I'll post video later.

  38. #37

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by matt.guitarteacher View Post
    Yeah. I'd have to look back. I posted PDFs for the threads, until things kind of settled into similar diatonic patterns etc. Anyway, what I eventually arrived at was including all the previous ones in the newest PDF. So, once you find one of the later versions it's got most everything in it.

    EDIT.... This was the last one I think:
    Thanks, Matt! Printing now.
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  39. #38

    User Info Menu

    I'd recommend learning the fretboard and learning to read, all as one project.

    There are graded materials available. Start in the first position in the guitar's middle octave. Also, transpose everything up an octave.

    I did it, many years ago, by starting with a kid's beginner book by Belwin, then Mel Bay book 2, and then Colin and Bower's Complete Rhythms. I still think Complete Rhythms is a terrific way to learn to read.

    It's a few months of work at the end of which you know the fretboard and you can read conventional notation.

  40. #39

    User Info Menu

    Matt your getting very comfortable with playing and not staring at your fretboard... very cool. That skill, being able to play without staring at fretboard is developed pretty quickly when you use a fretboard system that is designed on the guitar. It seems like you've elevated your technical skills, I mean really improved your skills... really fast, like compared to a year ago etc... I'm impressed, I guess I need to start posting more...

    I also agree with rp... sight reading is also about the fretboard being together. But I would also push...working on fingerings, and getting the fretboard together by it's self. Many sight reading studies have micro fingering patterns. When sight reading, work on playing in a few octaves and different positions. The result of good fingerings and fretboard organization is being able to move around easily.

    Fretboard organization makes sight reading much easier, fretboard and fingerings are tools for sight reading as compared to sight reading being a tool for fingerings etc... But that is one of those egg and chicken things for some. Sight reading is about being aware of and recognizing melodic, harmonic and rhythmic patterns. (and knowing where to play them on the guitar).

    When you get down to what it take to get your musicianship skills together... it takes an organized schedule which covers everything and is organized in two parts, 1)technical skills, 2)performance skills. And you adjust the details as needed...


    Yea... 2008 it would be interesting to see how inf tank has improved.

  41. #40

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Reg View Post
    Fretboard organization makes sight reading much easier, fretboard and fingerings are tools for sight reading as compared to sight reading being a tool for fingerings etc... But that is one of those egg and chicken things for some. Sight reading is about being aware of and recognizing melodic, .
    I learned to read without ever consciously thinking about fingering patterns. Apparently, once you can read, you find the fingering (and picking) that works most efficiently for a given passage. Chicken and egg, as Reg said - there's always a good player who did it some other way. Finding the notes is the foundation. The real skill is in nailing the time and articulation so that you can melt into a horn section. Not that everybody will ever be in that situation. As you progress, common patterns start morphing into longer phrases, so that you're thinking in clumps of notes rather than one at a time.

    My thought is that learning to read, as you learn the fingerboard, is a very good way to proceed. The reading makes the fingerboard easier to learn, I think, and the note-name knowledge will help with every aspect of playing.

  42. #41

    User Info Menu

    Recommended way to learn the fretboard.-locrian-png
    The culprit Locrain
    If you can distinguish between rehearsing and practicing...you're better than half way there!

  43. #42

    User Info Menu

    Yea... anyway can get there.... but what is "there". Personally, there is when the fretboard just becomes one big 12 fret repeating pattern. Again personally, and these are my expectation from when I was a kid, I could perform at any tempo and still be looking at the other musicians and audience while doing so. Again personal thing, while sight reading or performing new music live.

    I generally never develop fingering to just be able to play something... but I don't believe there is anything wrong with that approach, again personal thing.

    Anyway... again in the end, the fretboard just becomes one big fingering. All the different approaches to getting it together, are just the road to get "there". I started classically and then moved on to 7 positions based on music and the guitar. I went to Berklee as a kid and Bill cleaned up my sight reading, I could already play, I had chops. I never think about positions, except if i choose to, which is a cool mechanical skill, helps with transposing and developing harmonic improv. Different fingerings have different natural articulations... helps with different styles etc...

  44. #43
    Quote Originally Posted by Reg View Post
    Yea... anyway can get there.... but what is "there". Personally, there is when the fretboard just becomes one big 12 fret repeating pattern. Again personally, and these are my expectation from when I was a kid, I could perform at any tempo and still be looking at the other musicians and audience while doing so. Again personal thing, while sight reading or performing new music live.

    I generally never develop fingering to just be able to play something... but I don't believe there is anything wrong with that approach, again personal thing.

    Anyway... again in the end, the fretboard just becomes one big fingering. All the different approaches to getting it together, are just the road to get "there". I started classically and then moved on to 7 positions based on music and the guitar. I went to Berklee as a kid and Bill cleaned up my sight reading, I could already play, I had chops. I never think about positions, except if i choose to, which is a cool mechanical skill, helps with transposing and developing harmonic improv. Different fingerings have different natural articulations... helps with different styles etc...
    Reg, I would be really interested in anything you could say towards yourprocess for learning to sight read at higher levels, as you seem to have a distinct and unique perspective.

    Did you use any kind of systematic limitation exercises , like working one position for certain amount of time etc or limiting things to certain key signatures for periods of time etc.? Where do you tell people to start ? How do you advise on filling in the in between cracks at the end of the process? And everything else in between?

  45. #44

    User Info Menu

    the illogical nature of the fretboard does make it a "solve the puzzle" task to see it as "one" thing.

    many methods have been presented to learn it..some say its easy if you do "this or that" others say it comes to you bit at a time

    for me it was determination and go over and over until it became part of my playing and less thinking..

    scales and chords/inversions in all positions and keys..I would also write out the chord shapes on grids and name the notes of the chord and their fret placement

    after several years of scale/chord/interval studies and drills..I began to actually see entire scales harmonized in many keys and chord names changing as voices moved in ascending and descending directions..and again with time I began to "hear" the movement..

    now there are those that "hear it" before they see it and just play..and not be concerned with theory of note.chord names..

    for many of us though..there is the fear of doing it "wrong" and we may freeze because we are not sure if that is really the C note we want..the 5th fret or the 10th??

    I went through the Howard Roberts Sight Reading manual years ago and it helped me alot ..I strongly suggest both reading and writing musical exercises to people I teach..it reinforces another way to see/hear the music and supports seeing the fretboard as one thing rather than "boxes" or sections

    these days I still study melodic patterns and use step wise and chromatic movements and apply them to my improv lines..now I find that tempo does not dictate how fast I have to play or which scales to play over chords..the melody is my guide and how to play it without playing it
    play well ...
    wolf

  46. #45

    User Info Menu

    Yea... wolflens approach is great.

    You can't sightread what you can't play. Personally... two parts to learning, technical skills BS and the the performance BS

    The technical part should be obvious.... there are a few ways to become aware of what there is and the fingerings. What ever you choose, you just need to finish the process, develop you basic reference. What is your default fretboard reference. What you play naturally with out having to think about it. This is all very mechanical...

    The performance thing also take practice. I'm not a start slow and build tempo approach player. When you get your sight reading together.... your seeing the big picture, your not going note to note, your going section to section, phrase to phrase... depending on what your sight reading. So practice sight reading at tempo... get the target or most important notes right to start with while staying in time. With time, you'll become comfortable with tempo and you'll start filling in the notes you miss.

    The point is your teaching yourself to sight read, which also means... at tempo. Playing at tempo and missing a few notes... is much better than playing all the notes right and not in tempo. I learned this as a kid playing gigs.... You don't get better at sight reading trying to memorize what your playing. Reading music you've memorized is not sight reading... If you've put in the time to pre work out the music... play it from memory. When you use the music as a guide when playing, when you've already put in the time to memorize it.... your just training yourself to forget etc...

    Sorry for getting away from fretboard points...

  47. #46

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Reg View Post
    The point is your teaching yourself to sight read, which also means... at tempo. Playing at tempo and missing a few notes... is much better than playing all the notes right and not in tempo. I learned this as a kid playing gigs.... You don't get better at sight reading trying to memorize what your playing. Reading music you've memorized is not sight reading... If you've put in the time to pre work out the music... play it from memory. When you use the music as a guide when playing, when you've already put in the time to memorize it.... your just training yourself to forget etc...

    Sorry for getting away from fretboard points...
    I'm glad you wrote that; a fairly recent thread included the observation that the pit musicians playing a long running show were still using sheet music after they had played the show something like hundreds of times...

    Maybe pro pit musicians avoid memorization in order to maintain exclusive reliance on extraordinary sight reading skills for performance quality?
    "Bent my ear to hear the tune and closed my eyes to see."

  48. #47

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by pauln View Post
    I'm glad you wrote that; a fairly recent thread included the observation that the pit musicians playing a long running show were still using sheet music after they had played the show something like hundreds of times...

    Maybe pro pit musicians avoid memorization in order to maintain exclusive reliance on extraordinary sight reading skills for performance quality?
    remember that those musicians are in a union and sometime more than one..so it may be a "requirement" in the union/production contract that they must have the sheet music ..

    years ago a player I knew was doing his own compositions at a major hotel in los angeles and the union stopped him from doing so..he had to play from a songbook of approved tunes that were
    approved during contract talks with the hotel...go figure..
    play well ...
    wolf

  49. #48

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by pauln View Post
    I'm glad you wrote that; a fairly recent thread included the observation that the pit musicians playing a long running show were still using sheet music after they had played the show something like hundreds of times...
    Jimmy Bruno says that when he got the gig with Buddy Rich's band, Buddy wouldn't let him (or anyone else) take The Book home. Jimmy says he wanted to but Buddy wanted all the players to be reading the charts, not playing them from memory.
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  50. #49

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes View Post
    Jimmy Bruno says that when he got the gig with Buddy Rich's band, Buddy wouldn't let him (or anyone else) take The Book home. Jimmy says he wanted to but Buddy wanted all the players to be reading the charts, not playing them from memory.
    I have played a bunch of the Buddy Rich band charts. They don't require massive chops -- none of the passages are that hard to play -- but they do require good reading skills. That includes reading multiple notes on a stem in treble and bass clefs, unfamiliar rhythms, careful counting of rests, a lot of material in 6/8 (with the bar broken up in groups of two, three or six) and changes on the fly in key and clef. All that said, I don't know why Buddy didn't want anybody to memorize the charts, unless he figured it was to reduce errors in memory.

    Buddy's band sometimes used guitar only -- no piano.

  51. #50

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by inf.tank View Post
    Hi, I wanted to ask you guys if you could recommend me any special techniques or practice habits to help me learn the notes on the fretboard smoothly.
    Get a gig with a band that likes to change keys, A LOT!

    If you don't know all the notes up and down, you soon will, or you'll get fired.