If you want to learn guitar at a decent level, you have to memorize the fretboard. This is an essential task to do, because it will help enormously in learning chords and scales. For example, let’s take a simple chord: C major. It is made up of three notes: C (root), E (major third) and G (fifth). If you know the fretboard, you can play it at any position, because you know where every notes are.

First position is simple: first finger on the first fret (2nd string), second finger on the second fret (4th string) and third finger on the third fret (5th string). What if you want to play a C minor chord? Simply replace E major with E minor. In other words, replace E with Eb. But where is Eb? You have to know the fretboard, you know. If you know the fretboard you know that: the first string is called E and even the sixth string is called E. If you are playing the first position C major chord, you are pressing neither the first string nor the sixth string. But, wait: you can get Eb on the 4th string: D. Just press it on the first fret: you will get D#. D#  and Eb are the same thing, you know. So you realize that you have to press two strings on the same fret. In other words you need a barre chord.

When we talk about scales, things become more evident: you have to deal with notes. Yes, scales are notes. Let’s see pentatonic minor scales, for example. Notes are: 1, b3, 4, 5, b7. Five notes (PENTA-tonic). So the C pentatonic minor scale is made up of these notes: C, Eb, F, G and Bb. If you know the fretboard, you know where you have to put fingers on it immediately.

Ok, you get me: fretboard memorization is fundamental but now… how can I learn the whole fretboard? Well I know an effective exercise. You have to get a metronome. Set it at a very slow speed rate. Now press the first string on the first fret and tell what note you get. It is F, right? Then press the first string on the second fret and tell what note you get. It is F#. And so on. Go further along the fretboard. You have to press strings at each beat and, of course, you have to tell what you get every times. As soon as you feel comfortable with that speed rate, increase it and start over. I think this is a funny exercise. You will learn the whole fretboard quickly, trust me.

Well, now you know the whole fretboard, then? Now you can start learning guitar solos. I suggest you something: learn them by ear. It is easy and funny. If you have problems with fast licks, I suggest you a tool that slow down music. You could slow down guitar solos at a pace you can play without problems. As soon as you feel comfortable with that pace, increase it and start over. Again, you will learn guitar solos quickly.

Article Source: http://ezineseeker.com/?expert=Paul_Reedest

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