Author Topic: Notes on the fretboard, intervals, and memorization  (Read 137 times)

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Offline mrapino

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Notes on the fretboard, intervals, and memorization
« on: March 08, 2018, 04:02:40 pm »
Hey all! I just started the Practical Music Theory book, and I wanted to get some opinions.

I went through the exercises for the note circle, and the ones where you put how many semitones are between the notes, as well as the exercises where you write down what note is on a specific string and fret.

Should I stay on these exercises, and continue to do them over and over until I can instantaneously know what note is on every fret and string, and how many tones and semitones are between each note?

So, basically, if I walked up to you and asked "hey there, what note is 8th fret D string?" should we be able to say "A#/Bb" right away, and if I can't, I should keep studying until I can?

Same question, but different situation ... I walk up to you with a guitar, and point to a string and fret ... should this be instant recall?

I'm sure the answer is yes ... I'm kind of spiraling into the same rut I always fall into. I get caught up with these little details, when I know that eventually I will just know this stuff by continuous practice. I've been stuck in this very spot in my guitar playing for YEARS. I quit, come back, quit, come back...

Anyway, thanks for listening :-)

Offline Majik

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Re: Notes on the fretboard, intervals, and memorization
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2018, 04:34:06 pm »
Knowing the notes on the fretboard is very useful, but I wouldn't stop learning other things.

IMO all of the the things in PMT are difficult to learn... I mean really learn so that they stay in your long-term memory. So I would continue with the other stuff and make sure to go back and review all the exercises regularly to keep drilling it into your memory. It will probably take months, and may take years, before it (any of it) is instinctive.

Also, one small point: for most people, being able to answer a random quiz question "what note is 8th fret D string?" is a different skill from fretting a random note on the fret board (which happens to be the 8th fret D string) and knowing which note it is.

The latter skill doesn't involve first parsing which string/fret it's on and is, IMO, a much more useful skill to have.

Hand in hand with this is being able to find, for instance, Bb on any string.

So, personally, I wouldn't spend a lot of time on fretboard knowledge quiz type exercises away from the fretboard. They are useful as a starting point but, IMO, there come a point where your learning effort is better spent with the guitar in your hand.


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