FretBoard theory/Scales/Practice Session

Discussion in 'Beginner's Q&A Forum' started by newbie79, Jun 30, 2005.

  1. newbie79

    newbie79 New Member

    My current level of playing: I can play sweet child o mine's starting lick; was able to play it reasonably fast in about 5hrs of fragmented practice. I play on a hobner acoustic.

    I have developed fairly decent technique already (read finger control, speed, accuracy). Now I want to understand what I am playing, instead of just numbly playing.
    Right now I just go to the net to see the tab of a lick and play it as tabbed. What I want is to be able to play it anywhere on the fret board! I can probably think very hard and write down all the notes to a particular riff/song and then try shifting around the fret board.

    In a way I want to be a able to identify what scale a piece is in and be able to play it in some other scale (else where on the fretboard).

    Please help me build a practice session that would help me build up these advanced fretboard skill, as I don't have access to a tutor.

    For what it's worth, I want to play classic rock mostly - like beatles, pink floyd, dire straits, santana, eagles, doors, clapton and some newer stuff like some gnr songs.

  2. ssslayer

    ssslayer Banned

    yaar ...

    i'll tell u ... even if u dont have access to a tutor ... u try to get one ...
    u know y ... coz u practice along with tutor ... u 'll get the concepts in 1 week ... the same stuff on your own will take u 1 month ...

    well as to music theory ... there is plenty ...
    but hey i remember there was one person in this forum who was going to start a music lesson thing ...
    just keep checking him ... he hasn't started yet ...

    but the way he gave the primer ... it seemed good ... i guess he'll start from this sunday onwards ...
  3. ronnieanand

    ronnieanand n00bier th@n th0u

    Get the book Fretboard Logic SE. Dont need any tutor. Most tutors are just fake. Nothing beats a good book and sincere practice.
  4. real_illusions

    real_illusions Clapton Is GOD

    From what you said you want to do, the main thing you have to do is learn INTERVALS.

    Intervals are the relative difference in sound between any two notes.
    It is much more important to learn what you are playing rather than where you're playing at first.

    For example, you'd probably have learnt the following version of sweet child of mine intro:



    For this, you'd have learnt your hand positions and the pattern that you have to play this song in.
    Instead of that try and learn the difference between the notes, that way you can play this song anywhere on the fretboard, not just shifting the entire pattern but the sound.

    The following are the notes you play in the 4 bars of the tab:





    Given below are the note relations(intervals) in number of semitones i.e frets and its name in western classical music system.


    D to D - 0(unison)
    D to A - 7(perfect fifth)
    A to G - 10(minor 7th)
    G to G - 0(unison)
    G to A - 2(major second)
    A to F# - 9(major sixth)
    F# to A - 3(minor third)

    If you see, the notes that you play form the Dmajor scale.
    If I want to play it somewhere elese, say in F, all I have to do is use the note relations and start from F.

    For first pattern,DDAG,
    the relations from 1st to 2nd, 2nd to 3rd, 3rd to 4th notes are : 0,7,10
    Using these for F,
    the pattern becomes, FFCD#

    Second pattern,GAF#A becomes, D#FDF

    Going like this the whole song becomes,




    Now you can find the notes and root note of the new scale on the fretboard and take off from there. This seems like a long process but once you get used to it, it will make you faster and you'll be able to improvise much better.

    Once you get used to this idea of intervals after a bit of practice, you should include a lot of scales in your practice to help with fretboard memorization.

    Also occasionally include a lot of chord voicings in your practise. Rather than playing the normal C-F-G-Am, E-A-D type simple chord progressions, try out seventh, sixths, diminished chords etc., they will really help you get used to the different sounds than an instrument can make.

    Most people start working on speed immediately after getting a guitar, but that should be your last concern because if you have really strong basics, it will take you a month of serious speed practice to get really really fast whereas most people take years.

    Hope that was helpful, and good luck.
  5. newbie79

    newbie79 New Member


    Thanks real_illusions for great great advice!

    I understand the concept of intervals in lay terms already; you gave a prefect introduction to the terminology. I can already take a tab work out the notes it plays on paper and then shift everything somewhere else (transposing is it called?). I have to count on my fingers to calculate which note to shift to :(

    When I have written down the new note sequence on paper I would have to struggle to find them on the fretboard.

    So after talking to you, I realise :-

    For the music part:
    I still can't answer off hand - F is how many half steps from C or things like that. This is important to know.

    For the guitar part:
    I don't know the fretboard at all. How do I memorise stuff? what scales should I practice?

    Thanks for your tip of mixing up chords a little bit by trying seventh, sixths etc.

  6. real_illusions

    real_illusions Clapton Is GOD

    It will take some time to get used to, so don't expect to find answers off hand immediately.

    As for scales, apart from the major and minor scales, I'd suggest the pentatonic minor, and the Dorian and Lydian to start off from. If you have any training in Indian classical music, then I'd seriously suggest you to skip everything else and apply those things on the guitar. I know that Sa Ri Ga.... gets pretty boring but as a learning tool Indian classical music is about a million times better than anything else out there.

    But that will take too long, so just ignore that last part.

    The pentatonic minor is my favourite, after I learnt that I forgot about all other scales and played EVERYTHING only on that scale for almost 2 years.

    That is one more thing to watch out for, as guitarists, we tend to fall into patterns and habits which are really unhealthy in terms of improvement. So don't overemphasize something in practice just because it is more fun than some other important but boring part.

    Fretboard memory will only come with practise. When you practise scales, apart from your hand movements, try and actually think about what notes you are playing at the moment.

    This is why keyboard players have a huge advantage over guitarists. Since all the notes fall in a line, it is easier for them to know the notes. On the guitar, we have to focus on hand movement so we tend to ignore the music part.
  7. sambitsatpathy

    sambitsatpathy New Member

    real_illusions thanks for the wonderful info u hav shared on this thread. one more thing i needed to ask. i guess learing the scales will help in tabbing songs. right now this art seems to me entirely as coming out of some magician's hat. man am i amazed by the guys here tabbing entire songs. i can't make a single note progression ever.
  8. deathdr_87

    deathdr_87 Awesome Guitarist

    relax.. itll all come in time once u start recognising the ntes y hearing.. u jsut keep ur guitar in hand and play a song.. keep playing the same part over and over.. and eventually ullget the lick on the guitar.. then simply write out wat u played on tabs... take ur time - itll come naturally as u hear and play.
  9. vagster

    vagster New Member

    Same here mates. Been playing the guitar for quiet some time in the church and stuff, didnt really join a class or work on lead and stuff. Just recently got myself an electric and now really want to work on playing goood Solo's. Have been working on Sweet child etc... and am getting them more or less. but really want to get it with ease.....

    any scales etc that you guys suggest. I am fine with chords.

Share This Page