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Thread: Suggestions For Learning The Fretboard

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2017


    I'm mostly sticking to cowboy low position chords. I know mostly only 1st string these days and have forgotten pretty much the rest.

    But I'm feeling pretty good in soloing with CEA strings up and down the neck using my ear.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Redmond, WA


    Here are a few exercise that have helped me. I got most of these from live instruction. They're not unique and I've seen the same or similar in several books and videos:

    • Saying the notes as you play them helps greatly in memorizing the fretboard.
    • Cover the fretboard by playing scales starting on string 4 and walking through the circle of fourths (C-F-Bb-Eb-Ab-Db-Gb-B-E-A-D-G-C). This jumps around more than a straight chromatic walk and so builds more random-access memory.
    • For chords rather than individual notes, walk the same chord down the fretboard starting with the open shape and then the nearest barre shape. Pay attention to where on each shape the root is.
    • The reverse: pick a barre shape and play it through the circle of fourths.

    I usually try to do at least one of these each practice session.

  3. #13


    So this obviously requires crossing strings, right? The other issue is a more technique-oriented one in establishing the best shifting of positions on the neck when playing scales and intervals.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Coastal SoCal


    Quote Originally Posted by AnalogJ View Post
    I don't come from a fretted instrument background. I did grow up playing the viola, and play the piano and sing. I didn't grow up learning to play the guitar, nor the ukulele. However, I picked up my first ukulele about 13 years ago and have become very good with strumming and accompanying myself as a singer. But I'd like to learn to know the fretboard up and down it the way I know a piano keyboard. I want to learn to become more of an instrumentalist.

    Living on the North Shore of Boston, there aren't a lot of very serious players that I am aware of. Perhaps I might explore Berklee School of Music for a teacher.

    In the meantime, any suggestions, or thoughts of online sources (or books) for learning to play/pick the fretboard? I'm not looking for right hand picking techniques. It's about becoming familiar with the fretboard, and being able to choose notes I want to play (I do a lot of improvisation vocally as well as on the keyboard, whether it be rock or jazz).

    Thanks in advance.

    get Ukulele Fretboard Roadmap by Sokolow & Beloff. It's about $15. Well worth the price. That should do you.

  5. #15


    I did take a look at it a while back and it didn't grab me. But I'll take a second look at it. Thanks!


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