Learn Guitar Fretboard: Tips & Thoughts

Learning the guitar fretboard can prove itself to be quite the challenge. ¬†However, it’s a wonderful thing to be able to navigate across the guitar fretboard with ease and clarity. ¬†If you know your fretboard, you can solo and improvise very naturally. But, how do you even begin to learn the guitar fretboard? Let me share some of my own thoughts with you on learning the guitar fretboard and some resources that can help you.

Learning the guitar fretboard is a process

From my own experience, I think it’s unrealistic to believe that you’ll be able to have a full on grasp of the guitar fretboard in just a short period of time. Learning the guitar fretboard is definitely process. While I know where all the notes on the fretboard are, it’s still a process in understanding how those notes relate to one another and how they can be applied in the context of creating music. There is always something new to learn!

Learning the guitar fretboard does not just require you to learn scale patterns

While learning guitar scale patterns is very important and essential part to learning the guitar fretboard, it doesn’t stop there. It’s awesome if you know how to play every position of the minor pentatonic scale, but it’s also very important that you know how those notes of the scale pattern function and relate to other notes in the tonality of a particular key or chord progression. This might seem like a scary suggestion (although it’s really not!), but understanding the fundamental principles of music theory will help you out extraordinarily in your understanding of the guitar fretboard! Music theory can be pretty boring, but man, it’s so helpful.

Learning the guitar fretboard requires persistence in its application

Again, to kind of reiterate, it’s great if you know your scale patterns, and it’s also great if you know the note names of all the frets on every string, but it’s also very important you are applying this knowledge and understanding in the context of a song. Admittedly, this can be really hard to do just by yourself. That is why I would suggest some private lessons from someone who can give you the direction that you need in learning the guitar fretboard.

In fact, if you want spare yourself the money from private lessons, I did some reviews on some really affordable professional guitar lessons online that would really help you gain a full grasp and understanding of the guitar fretboard. These courses are outstanding. They are taught from highly qualified instructors, and the nice thing is you can learn right from your home. Check those out here.

My point in mentioning all of this is not to discourage you in anyways, but to really encourage you to put forth the effort and hard work required to mastering the guitar fretboard. You can do it! But don’t expect to come instantly. Again, the guitar lessons online mentioned above are excellent resources if you want to take your guitar playing to a greater level. Check ’em out!

About Brett McQueen

Brett McQueen is a musician, songwriter, and the founder and editor of Guitar Friendly and Ukulele Tricks. Learn more about him here and follow him on Twitter at @GuitarFriendly.