Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 27

Thread: What's the most fun way to learn the fretboard

  1. #1
    Registered User Nancyf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    33

    Default What's the most fun way to learn the fretboard

    I was thinking about my kids learning to type/keyboard by playing some kind of space invaders game, and wishing there was some fun way to learn the notes on the fretboard. Does it exist? I've played for longer than I care to mention without ever learning the notes and it's time. The struggle is real though.

    --Nancy

  2. #2
    Registered User DougC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    1,269
    Blog Entries
    3

    Default Re: What's the most fun way to learn the fretboard

    I don't know what the MOST fun method is, however I have a program that has taught me about the fretboard that is kind of fun. I seem to use it every time I use the computer. For me, it is a way of seeing the fretboard without getting the mandolin out of the case, a quick reference, I suppose. The program is called the Absolute Fretboard Trainer and it shows a picture of a mandolin fretboard with all of the notes, where you can change the method to learn one string's notes or all of the notes across strings on a certain fret, or the notes in a particular key, (it has all of the keys). Lots of ways to consider the fretboard.

    And it has and especially valuable feature where the note on a staff appears when you point to a position (like putting your finger on a fret). A great way to learn to read music! Here is a link to download a trial version. Good luck. And I'll watch for the MOST fun method.



    http://www.micrologus.com/orders#absolute_fretboard_trainer



    Decipit exemplar vitiis imitabile

  3. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to DougC For This Useful Post:


  4. #3
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    22,865
    Blog Entries
    51

    Default Re: What's the most fun way to learn the fretboard

    I dunno how important it is, actually. Playing a lot, doing scales and arpeggios a lot, and trying well known tunes in closed positions up the neck, all of that is fun. If I learn the names of the notes on every fret every string in the process that's great.

    I think the first thing that sticks in my head is the notes at the dots. Once that is in your head, I think the rest can be left to arrive on its own.
    Indulge responsibly!

    The entire staff
    funny....

  5. #4
    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Sweetwater, Texas
    Posts
    3,179

    Default Re: What's the most fun way to learn the fretboard

    This question invites opinions because the most fun way for one person is not the same for another. For me these are the most fun.

    1. Learn the major scales and their relative minors. Work out the note names of the scale(s) on paper or in your head if you can do that without paper. Then play the scales on mandolin, thinking about the names of each note.

    2. Learn about chords and the notes that make the chords. So learn about “chord building“ or “chord theory” then experiment with chord fingerings on your mandolin, thinking about the notes you’re playing on each string when you play the chords.

    3. Apply the above to tunes that you play, to the melody and the chords. Break down the tune’s chord’s and melody lines to the notes you are playing there.

    All that is fun because it gives me more information and insight to scales, chords and tunes, as well as learning my way around the fretboard.
    Technique, theory and fun, fun, fun. I love playing, studying and sharing MUSIC.
    "Life is short. Play hard." - AlanN
    ------------------------
    HEY! The Cafe has Social Groups, check 'em out. I'm in these groups:
    Newbies Social Group | The Song-A-Week Social
    The Woodshed Study Group | Collings Mandolins | MandoCymru
    - Advice For Mandolin Beginners
    - YouTube Stuff

  6. The following members say thank you to Mark Gunter for this post:

    Nancyf 

  7. #5
    Registered User DougC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    1,269
    Blog Entries
    3

    Default Re: What's the most fun way to learn the fretboard

    Both Jeff and Mark have excellent ways to learn, however Nancy mentioned Space Invaders game and that seemed to point to a computer game.

    Another idea I learned in a workshop, is to identify all of the notes of a particular pitch all over the fretboard. For example each student, in turn, would have to play the note A somewhere on the fretboard. We had fun and everyone knew that you could do the exercise with all of the notes, and even play a scale from that starting point.
    Decipit exemplar vitiis imitabile

  8. #6
    Registered User Nancyf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    33

    Default Re: What's the most fun way to learn the fretboard

    hmm, can't delete a comment somehow.

  9. #7
    Registered User Nancyf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    33

    Default Re: What's the most fun way to learn the fretboard

    Thanks y'all, Doug I'll check out the free AFT stuff first to see how I like it.
    Mark, I've found it's just not fun enough, and hasn't stuck. But then, I've never been a "work is fun" sort. It just feels like work. Which is why I just play and rarely practice. Which is why I'm still where I am... :-(
    Jeff you're right. After staring at a chart for a while today I realized going with the dots first might be my salvation.
    Truly, fun is in the eye of the beholder....

  10. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    In hills, FRANCE.
    Posts
    256

    Default Re: What's the most fun way to learn the fretboard

    Could learn tunes that you already know by ear that are in the key if G or D using ABC files. Maybe fun?

    For example two tunes chosen at random:

    X:1
    T:Speed the Plough
    M:4/4
    C:Trad.
    K:G
    |:GABc dedB|dedB dedB|c2ec B2dB|c2A2 A2BA|
    GABc dedB|dedB dedB|c2ec B2dB|A2F2 G4:|
    |:g2gf gdBd|g2f2 e2d2|c2ec B2dB|c2A2 A2df|
    g2gf g2Bd|g2f2 e2d2|c2ec B2dB|A2F2 G4:|

    X: 18
    T: Whiskey Before Breakfast
    I: Whiskey Before Breakfast R-69 D reel Set 26
    M: C|
    R: reel
    K: D
    "D"A,B,DE D2FG| AFBF A2EF| "G"G2BG "D"F2AF|1 "A7"EDEF EDB,A, :|2 "A"EDEF "D"D4 |]
    |:"D"F2d2 d2Bc| dcdA BAFA| "Em"e4 e2ef| gfed "A7"cABc |
    "D"d2fd "A"c2ec| "G"BABd "D"BAFD| "G"G2BG "D"F2AF| "A7"EDEF "D"D2 z2 :|

    https://abcnotation.com/

  11. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to atsunrise For This Useful Post:

    DougCNancyf 

  12. #9
    Registered User Nancyf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    33

    Default Re: What's the most fun way to learn the fretboard

    [QUOTE=atsunrise;1709604]Could learn tunes that you already know by ear that are in the key if G or D using ABC files. Maybe fun?

    For example two tunes chosen at random:

    X:1
    T:Speed the Plough
    M:4/4
    C:Trad.
    K:G
    |:GABc dedB|dedB dedB|c2ec B2dB|c2A2 A2BA|
    GABc dedB|dedB dedB|c2ec B2dB|A2F2 G4:|
    |:g2gf gdBd|g2f2 e2d2|c2ec B2dB|c2A2 A2df|
    g2gf g2Bd|g2f2 e2d2|c2ec B2dB|A2F2 G4:|

    X: 18
    T: Whiskey Before Breakfast
    I: Whiskey Before Breakfast R-69 D reel Set 26
    M: C|
    R: reel
    K: D
    "D"A,B,DE D2FG| AFBF A2EF| "G"G2BG "D"F2AF|1 "A7"EDEF EDB,A, :|2 "A"EDEF "D"D4 |]
    |:"D"F2d2 d2Bc| dcdA BAFA| "Em"e4 e2ef| gfed "A7"cABc |
    "D"d2fd "A"c2ec| "G"BABd "D"BAFD| "G"G2BG "D"F2AF| "A7"EDEF "D"D2 z2 :|

    It will take me a while to figure out what all that means, but I'll give it some thought, thanks.

  13. #10
    Registered User DougC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    1,269
    Blog Entries
    3

    Default Re: What's the most fun way to learn the fretboard

    [QUOTE=Nancyf;1709615]
    Quote Originally Posted by atsunrise View Post
    Could learn tunes that you already know by ear that are in the key if G or D using ABC files. Maybe fun?

    It will take me a while to figure out what all that means, but I'll give it some thought, thanks.
    The ABC 'code' makes a computer play the tune. I learned to play Irish fiddle by playing along with the computer. (It's very patient, because it will repeat endlessly without complaint, ha, ha). Every note is a quarter note unless it is modified. Lower notes on the staff are capitol letters and higher are lower case. It can be fun if you like puzzles, but it really works as a play-along program.

  14. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to DougC For This Useful Post:


  15. #11

    Default Re: What's the most fun way to learn the fretboard

    [QUOTE=DougC;1709640]
    Quote Originally Posted by Nancyf View Post

    The ABC 'code' makes a computer play the tune. I learned to play Irish fiddle by playing along with the computer. (It's very patient, because it will repeat endlessly without complaint, ha, ha). Every note is a quarter note unless it is modified. Lower notes on the staff are capitol letters and higher are lower case. It can be fun if you like puzzles, but it really works as a play-along program.
    You don't have to make the computer play the tune, you can just read the ABC. Each note is usually an eighth-note, not a quarter-note, but that is variable and is set for each tune.

  16. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to David L For This Useful Post:

    DougCNancyf 

  17. #12
    Registered User belbein's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    2,113
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default Re: What's the most fun way to learn the fretboard

    I've been playing around with an Android program on my Tablet called "Fretboard Learn.". You can choose a range of strings and a range of frets. Then it gives you a position on the fretboard and you identify it. Free. Fun (ish) .

  18. The following members say thank you to belbein for this post:

    Nancyf 

  19. #13

    Default Re: What's the most fun way to learn the fretboard

    Well, not sure it would be “fun” but you could get a method book. Probably wouldn’t take you very long at all to learn how to read music.

    Play tunes you know in a different octave or key. If you know Whiskey BB in D then you can do it in G and A so work on it, you’ll have to make some adjustments for A but that’s part of “learning the fretboard.”

    It forces you into different spots/patterns and you have to figure it out, you’ll find that if you know something in G you can play it in C, D you know A and G, E you know B and A so spend some time with it and see how it goes.

    Sometimes I play and watch my tuner...it tells you what the note is so you can learn that way too.

    It’s a bit frustrating at times so I don’t do it every day but when I’m in the mood I do the above and I’m becoming very comfortable switching keys for singers or just faking it over the chord changes in a song.
    Northfield F5M #268, AT02 #7

  20. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to bigskygirl For This Useful Post:


  21. #14
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    In hills, FRANCE.
    Posts
    256

    Default Re: What's the most fun way to learn the fretboard

    Another way could be to play that one favourite tune you have up the neck using FFcP. https://www.mandolincafe.com/eschliman1.html
    That way it's not just the names of the individual notes you're learning but also the distances and directions of notes that are in the certain key, maybe G or D to start with.

    -you'd basically be playing your tune starting using your first finger on the root, then second finger on the root etc. So there would be four ways to play it (at least!).
    I like the tuner idea.
    Each new technique learned, however small, is a joy -you're advancing! Good luck.

  22. The following members say thank you to atsunrise for this post:

    Nancyf 

  23. #15
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    22,865
    Blog Entries
    51

    Default Re: What's the most fun way to learn the fretboard

    To me the ultimate fun is in the playing. If I can take a traditional tune and fly it up an octave for kicks, or play it in a different key to match someone's voice, just by moving it up the neck, or do something faster by going down a string and up the neck, or anything like, well there is the fun. And if I learn the name of the note at every fret in the process of learning how to do this, that's great.
    Indulge responsibly!

    The entire staff
    funny....

  24. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to JeffD For This Useful Post:


  25. #16

    Default Re: What's the most fun way to learn the fretboard

    Challenging = Fun

    When something is too easy, it’s boring. When something is too hard it’s frustrating. The key is to stay in the zone that is challenging.

    The problem with the apps that are currently on the market is that they don’t adjust well to how well you know a note/location.

    Just make a set of flash cards. Put cards farther back in the deck as you get them right. Remove them after multiple successful attempts. Focus on learning the ones you don’t know.

    It’s simple and effective.

  26. The following members say thank you to JonZ for this post:

    Nancyf 

  27. #17
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Northern Wisconsin
    Posts
    371

    Default Re: What's the most fun way to learn the fretboard

    Knowing all the notes on the fretboard without hesitation to me is the key to playing anything in any key. I feel it is more important than scales. You can play bad notes on a break as long as you don't hang on it. Someone once said something like "savor the good notes and don't spend time on the bad". When you know where the notes are without having to rely on the dots or thinking to long about where to go it just opens the window for me.

  28. The following members say thank you to John Adrihan for this post:

    Nancyf 

  29. #18

    Default Re: What's the most fun way to learn the fretboard

    Yet, some people can play in any key without knowing any of the notes.

  30. The following members say thank you to JonZ for this post:

    Nancyf 

  31. #19
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Northern Wisconsin
    Posts
    371

    Default Re: What's the most fun way to learn the fretboard

    Quote Originally Posted by JonZ View Post
    Yet, some people can play in any key without knowing any of the notes.
    Ya well if I read one more post on here about how to play in “b” I may vomit.

  32. #20
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Seattle WA
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: What's the most fun way to learn the fretboard

    Learning the main bluegrass arpeggios got me to learn the fretboard better. I also used Fretboard Learn (mentioned above) on my phone. Not even an hour’s worth of time using the app spread out in 3-5 minute chunks at lunch time, now a plane, etc and my mastery really shot up.
    ________________
    Collings MT
    Kentucky KM 140

  33. The following members say thank you to johngdon for this post:

    Nancyf 

  34. #21
    Oval holes are cool David Lewis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    1,052

    Default Re: What's the most fun way to learn the fretboard

    Aren't there flash cards on this site? That's pretty fun...
    JBovier ELS; Epiphone MM-50 VN; Epiphone MM-40L; Gretsch New Yorker G9310; Washburn M1SDLB;

    Fender Nashville Deluxe Telecaster; Squier Modified Vintage Cabronita Telecaster; Gretsch 5420T; Fender Tim Armstrong Hellcat: Washburn Banjo B9; Ibanez RB 5string; Ibanez RB 4 string bass

    Pedalboard for ELS: Morley Cry baby Miniwah - Tuner - EHX Soul Food Overdrive - EHX Memory Toy analog Delay
    Fender Blues Jr Tweed; Fender Greta;

  35. The following members say thank you to David Lewis for this post:

    Nancyf 

  36. #22
    Registered User Nancyf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    33

    Default Re: What's the most fun way to learn the fretboard

    Thanks everyone. It's interesting to me that for some, theory is key (pun intended) and for others, just playing is best. I'm a good ear player, I can change keys relatively easily, my spotty childhood piano training has helped a bit. I've always been in the "just play and have fun" camp, but it just seems like not knowing the names of notes has gotten in my way of progressing - especially when it comes to learning a song (with chords I'm not familiar with, getting into diminished and 9th etc) from someone who refers to notes, and I just have to look at them blankly. So I will try all of the above - thanks for your input!

    --Nancy

  37. #23
    Registered User DougC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    1,269
    Blog Entries
    3

    Default Re: What's the most fun way to learn the fretboard

    Quote Originally Posted by Nancyf View Post
    but it just seems like not knowing the names of notes has gotten in my way of progressing - especially when it comes to learning a song (with chords I'm not familiar with, getting into diminished and 9th etc) from someone who refers to notes, and I just have to look at them blankly. So I will try all of the above - thanks for your input!

    --Nancy
    If this is your concern Nancy, then Scott Sharp is your hero. He has a book and online videos of how to learn chord patterns (including 9ths, diminished chords) in any key. I've found it to be invaluable. It is called Fretboard Toolbox (for mandolin).

    Decipit exemplar vitiis imitabile

  38. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to DougC For This Useful Post:


  39. #24
    Registered User Nancyf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    33

    Default Re: What's the most fun way to learn the fretboard

    I'll check it out, thanks!

  40. #25
    Registered User fentonjames's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Fenton, Missouri USA
    Posts
    378

    Default Re: What's the most fun way to learn the fretboard

    Take a song you know really well and play it, but find a different starting point. Say the solo starts on the open D string. Move to the D on the A string and start from there, using different frets than normal. Find another D and do it again. Etc. Makes you think and you will find different riffs and make up new stuff easily.


    1935 Gibson A-1 Wide mandolin
    Late 1800's Unbranded German fiddle

  41. The following members say thank you to fentonjames for this post:


Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •