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SoundGround >> Easiest way to visualize/understand the fretboard?


5/12/12 7:06 PM
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paradigmer
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I've been playing rhythm guitar on acoustic for over 20 years now. Nothing fancy, but I can fingerpick and play the ryhthm parts for most pop/rock/blues music.

I just recently purchased an electric and wanted to start learning how to play lead. I don't know why, but I still find the fretboard confusing when it comes lead and playing higher up on the neck.

I started playing piano as a kid and just always "got" the piano keyboard. That familiarity has just never transferred to the guitar.

And, I had a dual major in College, one of which was Music Composition, so I know my theory very well. Still, it's just the visualization aspects on the fretboard that stumps me.

Any suggestions on an easy way to become familiar with the fretboard?

The pentatonic scale is really getting old! lol
5/12/12 8:05 PM
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whaledog
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Edited: 05/12/12 8:36 PM
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Have you checked out Spytunes? Sounds like they may have the focus you want.


How to play guitar in 20 mins part 1 by SpytunesGuru


How to play guitar in 20 mins part 2 by SpytunesGuru


How to play guitar in 20 mins part 3 by SpytunesGuru


How to play guitar in 20 mins part 4 by SpytunesGuru
5/12/12 8:43 PM
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paradigmer
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No, I haven't, but will now!

I watched the first video. I like how he makes it simple.

I've looked through some instructionals on youtube and it seems alot of times the person is very interested in hearing himself talk.

The spytunes guys gets right into it.

Thanks,

Any more suggestions are very welcomed. Please, I need to get my thrash on!
5/12/12 8:58 PM
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whaledog
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Edited: 05/12/12 9:04 PM
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paradigmer - No, I haven't, but will now!

I watched the first video. I like how he makes it simple.

I've looked through some instructionals on youtube and it seems alot of times the person is very interested in hearing himself talk.

The spytunes guys gets right into it.

Thanks,

Any more suggestions are very welcomed. Please, I need to get my thrash on!

You're welcome.  

FYI, those videos are summary of what you learn if you buy his full course.  They're pretty condensed to learn from by themselves.  
5/14/12 8:23 AM
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DasBeaver
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Any suggestions on an easy way to become familiar with the fretboard?

The pentatonic scale is really getting old! lol


I know what you mean about the pentatonic, but don't discount it just yet - have you heard of the CAGED system? It really opens up the fretboard.

Try searching "Fretboard Logic pdf"
5/14/12 11:30 AM
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whaledog
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DasBeaver - 
Any suggestions on an easy way to become familiar with the fretboard?

The pentatonic scale is really getting old! lol


I know what you mean about the pentatonic, but don't discount it just yet - have you heard of the CAGED system? It really opens up the fretboard.

Try searching "Fretboard Logic pdf"

The spytunes stuff above builds off of those same concepts.

Also, justinguitar has free CAGED lessons and a free video on youtube which walks you through the basics:



5/14/12 1:03 PM
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paradigmer
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DasBeaver - I know what you mean about the pentatonic, but don't discount it just yet - have you heard of the CAGED system? It really opens up the fretboard.

Try searching "Fretboard Logic pdf"


I haven't, but will look for it now.

By the way, the guy in the videos posted above is pretty awesome. He plays lead on the acoustic as if it were an electric. Pretty impressive technique

He basically breaks it down to understanding all of your chords and then playing either a major pentatonic or minor pentatonic "around" the chord you are playing.

Then he gets into modes at the end.

I have to learn the various starting/middle/end points for the pentatonic scales as they will have a different pattern depending on where you're at on the fretboard.

What's frustrating for me is I can do this easily on the keyboard, but I look at a fretboard and i get all, "1 and 2 and 3 and POTATOE!"

5/27/12 3:09 AM
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BarkLikeADog
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I've had the same problem. I started out on organ/keyboard lessons; did brass in school, & switched to guitar in high school. I took classical lessons & worshipped at the temples of Kottke & Hedges, but I still didn't "understand" the fretboard.

Part of the problem is that keyboard is built to make theory easy & the math transparent, where guitar is arguably built to make faking it convenient & simple. You learn a random collection of open chords in a random order, decide on half a dozen or less that are comfortable, add in barres so you can tranpose those shapes up & down the board, & then you're ready to fake 95% of all pop music.

What got me over the hump, I think, was one day I was on a tablature site that offered dozens of potential fingerings/positions for each chord, so you could file through them all through the song & figure out which set was going to be the most optimal for getting the song together quickly while minimizing work during play.

That was the first time it was abundantly clear that we're dealing with shapes more than notes & math. The whole idea is that add shapes to your collection as necessary, which in the end isn't all that often.

So if you want to force yourself to learn more & understand what's going on, you need to force yourself to get away from the shapes you're comfortable with, & get into deep waters so you have to swim back.

& if you really want to roast your brain, start playing with alternate tunings.
5/27/12 12:30 PM
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paradigmer
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Excellent post BarkLikeADog and right on point.

Since I knew theory well, I picked up the guitar, learned the open chords, bar chords, how to play different positions and voila...instant guitarist.

However, knowing chords and I, IV, V progressions, does not a guitarist make! It's ok for dabbling around, but really understanding the fretboard and being able to seamlessly go between chords, fills, licks, arpegios etc. all over the fretboard is where its at.

The videos posted above were helpful and I've been working through scales. (Which is a real blast /sarcasm) lol

5/27/12 10:17 PM
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Pokanghoya
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Edited: 05/28/12 2:39 PM
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I always thought the guitar was easier because you can transpose and the scales feel the same unlike the piano. Maybe thats because I started on the guitar. The guitar is mostly about remembering patterns and repeating them. Learning about "fretboard geometry" is helpful to some players. http://youtu.be/39NPAF2BJf0 Just don't get so into theory that you think you can't do this, or that, because it's "against the rules".
5/28/12 1:53 AM
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BarkLikeADog
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^Yes, guitar is "easier" that's exactly the point being made. Easier to play, harder to understand the geography. Keyboard is mathematically correct - I, IV, V is exactly how you see & play it on the keyboard; you have infinite option on the fretboard, most of which don't make visual sense intuitively.

For example, standard tuning open E major & open A minor, same shape starting 1 string higher. That makes zero sense geographically from a keyboardist's POV.
5/28/12 1:08 PM
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Pokanghoya
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BarkLikeADog - ^Yes, guitar is "easier" that's exactly the point being made. Easier to play, harder to understand the geography. Keyboard is mathematically correct - I, IV, V is exactly how you see & play it on the keyboard; you have infinite option on the fretboard, most of which don't make visual sense intuitively.

For example, standard tuning open E major & open A minor, same shape starting 1 string higher. That makes zero sense geographically from a keyboardist's POV.


I guess it depends on what you are used to. I never really saw the keyboard as being more mathematically correct. If you are using barre chords, the progressions feel the same on the guitar.
5/28/12 1:51 PM
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BarkLikeADog
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Edited: 05/28/12 1:58 PM
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^But that's just it; you don't START by using barres; you start by learning these weird shapes that only make sense when you break them down one note at a time; geographically, they are meaningless. Yes, each string's frets go up in the same order as a keyboard, BUT it's a chromatic scale, not a major one, & you aren't taking into account the added complexity of the adjacent strings.

I'll take another stab at this with a specific example:

When you learn keyboard, you start in the key of C, where all the keys in the major scale are white. You then learn the significance of the black keys, & everything you're learning matches geographically & mathematically. You want a C major, you put your thumb on the C, you go over two notes to the E, & then two more notes to the G.

That's not how you play either the chord or the scale on the guitar. You start by putting a finger three frets up on your A string, then your the next finger goes up a string & in a fret, then you go up two strings & but in only one fret - technically it's the exact same notes but geographically it's a mess. Plus you've got 3 open strings that coincidentally work but it's a nightmare wrapping your head around it from the keyboardist's points of reference. & 3 Es, but only 2 Cs, & only one G.

So now you've got this diagonalish line in your head & then you learn E major, which is more like the corner of a square. But A minor is the same corner one string up, & D major is an arrowhead on the edge, & G major is this nothing thing on either edge, & so on - none of that is intuitively related in any way.

Make more sense why it's confusing now?

& yes, absolutely it matters what you're "used to"; that's the whole point.
5/28/12 2:22 PM
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Pokanghoya
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I can see how it is different, just like the keyboard was very different to me when I started. The C Major scale and the B Major scale feel totally different on the piano. It's just a matter of learning new patterns.
5/30/12 10:05 PM
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Ali
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Here's a very different approach from CAGED. Might be less limiting for you, or might not. But AFAIK, you have to buy the book -- I don't think this stuff is online for free:

http://www.amazon.com/Guitar-Fretboard-Workbook-Barrett-Tagliarino/dp/0634049011/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1338429659&sr=1-1

I also have another book that has yet again another approach... I find this one less sympathetic. But some people learn some ways easier, so maybe, if you get out to a music store, you can have a look and see if it appeals. Certainly the three Amazon reviewers are nuts about it:

http://www.amazon.com/Fretboard-Knowledge-Contemporary-Guitarist-Clement/dp/0739031570/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1338429792&sr=1-1
6/17/12 10:57 AM
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jman
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Totally agree with the CAGED system (was doing it before there was name fore is leaving out the "D" so I was doing "CAGE").

I think honestly it is just time, repitition and brain programming. I've been learning some new languages the past few years (Chinese and French) and it is really no different than me working on the guitar...rinse, lather, repeat...rinse, lather, repeat.

I'm back to going over Jamey Ambersold's "Getting it Together" Jazz CD's now 5 days a week soloing over changes in all 12 keys in 4 different modes/scales: Ionian, Mixolydian, Dorian and Locrian (as well as throwing in the occasional Lydian, Blues Scale, Aeolian, etc).

Anyway, my point is that I still need to get this shit down and realize how bad I am at playing and even feeling comfortable on the fingerboard after playin 28 years.

So don't feel bad, join the club my friend, it's masochism at it's finest...but I wouldn't want it any other way.
6/17/12 12:03 PM
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paradigmer
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jman -I'm back to going over Jamey Ambersold's "Getting it Together" Jazz CD's now 5 days a week soloing over changes in all 12 keys in 4 different modes/scales: Ionian, Mixolydian, Dorian and Locrian (as well as throwing in the occasional Lydian, Blues Scale, Aeolian, etc).


Whoa! That's pretty awesome!

[/]So don't feel bad, join the club my friend, it's masochism at it's finest...but I wouldn't want it any other way.

thanks for the encouragement :)
6/17/12 1:05 PM
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whaledog
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Edited: 06/17/12 1:15 PM
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jman - Totally agree with the CAGED system (was doing it before there was name fore is leaving out the "D" so I was doing "CAGE").

I think honestly it is just time, repitition and brain programming. I've been learning some new languages the past few years (Chinese and French) and it is really no different than me working on the guitar...rinse, lather, repeat...rinse, lather, repeat.

I'm back to going over Jamey Ambersold's "Getting it Together" Jazz CD's now 5 days a week soloing over changes in all 12 keys in 4 different modes/scales: Ionian, Mixolydian, Dorian and Locrian (as well as throwing in the occasional Lydian, Blues Scale, Aeolian, etc).

Anyway, my point is that I still need to get this shit down and realize how bad I am at playing and even feeling comfortable on the fingerboard after playin 28 years.

So don't feel bad, join the club my friend, it's masochism at it's finest...but I wouldn't want it any other way.
That's a pretty impressive practice routine . . . and it goes to show that a person's idea of "bad" is pretty relative.  If I could do that I'd consider myself to be pretty damn good (and I'd be a hell of a lot better than I am today).

I realized that if I want to be decent on guitar, I need to do some structured studying rather than work on songs/solos and just play for fun.  I've been working mostly on right-hand technique to make my fingerstyle playing sound better, but I still have a long ways to go before I'm 100% comfortable throughout the neck in any key.  While I know the CAGED principles in theory, I cannot easily and seamelessly apply them in my playing.

I bought the Guitar Fretboard Workbook by Tagliarino that Ali recommended above.  It is pretty good so far.  The lessons have not explicitly referred to the CAGED terminology, but they have been based on the same principles (with a bit more musical theory thrown in).  Hopefully by taking my time and working through the book properly I can reach the next level in my playing.
   
6/18/12 12:44 PM
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jman
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Funny I "thought" I knew the CAGED system pretty well, but even today I found out there were quite a few "holes" in my game. Mostly the "D" and "C" positions. Just working on it a bit today, I noticed it helped making playing over changes (say C minor to Eb minor). I'm also noticing that practicing this stuff 5 days a week is starting to program my brain. I used to practice periodically, but now I'm doing it every weekday (as well as some other practice stuff). It's working out to about 6 hours a day or so...just like back in high school 25 years ago, lol.

I guess that's the main thing...just paying the dues and putting in the time...and continuing to keep practicing, because sadly, as much as I don't want to admit it, "if you don't use it, you lose it".

Cool good luck with the Guitar Freboard Workbook, keep us posted on your results and thoughts!
7/5/12 4:58 AM
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sreiter
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http://steviesnacks.com/free-lessons/category/series-improve-your-phrasing

tons of free lessons

this guy breaks down stuff incrediably

he shows patterns not scales - really parts of scales and shows you where you should be playing over the I IV and V in each of the 5 shapes -

the way i learned, was i learned all 5 major and minor pentonic scale shape positions, then i applied a quasi caged approach.

meaning, i would just play a E or A shape barre chord, and know the relative position to my shape

ex. if i'm playing a E shape barre A at the 5th fret, and i play a inversion if A @ the 12th, I know i'm in position to play the 4th position A minor pentatonic scale or 5th position Amaj pent. scale.

you can do the same with diatonic scales too

Caged is more for playing any chord and not moving around the fret board IMO,..from there, its about playing the same key scale as the chord you're playing, as opposed staying on one scale even if chords change, which is most modern music

its more important to know which notes to hit (land on) over a given chord when playing one scale / one key imo

so if you know only a minor pentatonic in the first position, learn the arpeggio and land on a chord tone, then when the song changes to the IV, land on the root of the IV, the root or the root of the I, on the V, land on the root of the V, or the root of the I

there's a few other good places to land...but if you start there, you'll always sound good/in
9/4/12 7:44 PM
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mexican jujitsu
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