Daniel Compton

The personal blog of Daniel Compton - Projects

Learning the guitar fretboard

I’ve been learning the guitar fretboard for a while and thought that others might find my research and study useful.

I learnt the 5th and 6th string long ago but never really nailed down the rest of the fretboard really well.

Some of the things I used to learn the fretboard

  1. Picking a note name out of thin air and finding where it is on every string. This sounds really good but I found it hard to pick a random note each time, I would end up picking ones too close to what I’d just done.
  2. Finding anchor notes on the fretboard to base my knowledge around. For me I used G on the 2nd string at the 8th fret, E on the 2nd string at the 5th fret, C on the 3rd string at the 5th fret and G on the 4th string at the 5th fret. From here I could count up or down from the open or 12th or the 5th fret to quickly find the name of the note I was playing
  3. Learning interval shapes on the fretboard. This is really useful in all of your guitar playing but knowing that two frets down and one fret across is a minor third makes it quicker to read notes in succession.
  4. Using Advanced FretPro. This is a sweet piece of software which shows you a guitar fretboard and quizzes you on what note it is highlighting. It is Windows only unfortunately but is pretty awesome.
  5. Using Anki with a deck for the fretboard. Anki is a program that helps you learn and remember anything. You can download my guitar fretboard deck here. Anki runs on Mac, Windows, Android and iPhone with syncing between all of the platforms.

Coming from playing the piano I have found it difficult to think of music in a guitar fretboard style but I am getting much better at it now.