Here is episode #4 of the Improv Loop for you to check out. This time we are taking a look at something you might not like too much… memorizing all of the notes on the fretboard.
I once heard Joe Satriani say, “If you want to be great at guitar and you don’t know the notes on the fretboard cold, you are kidding yourself.” That rang true with me, and I couldn’t agree more.
This is a super-important step to set yourself up for success with improvising in the future. It may sound like a monumental task, but you can do it. With that in mind, here are my best tips for memorizing all of the notes on the guitar.
1 - Be consistent with your practice. This is a long-term game that will pay off in a big way, so dedicate a tiny bit of practice time toward this every day for the next several months.
2 - Start simple. Start with one string, note, or key each day or week.
3 - Start with just the natural notes. Jumping into every single note on the guitar can be overwhelming. Starting out with just the natural notes can make it feel more manageable.
4 - Work on ascending and descending. Start out easy by ascending up the natural notes on the guitar. Don't forget to go backward also though. This is a great way to test how well you really know the notes.
5 - Throw in the sharps and flats. Once you have the natural notes on a string down, then you can throw in the sharp and flat notes without feeling overwhelmed.
6 - Play leapfrog with the natural notes. This is explained in the video.
7 - Play leapfrog with the natural, sharp and flat notes.
8 - Try to use the notes you are working on in your improv practice. The loop/jam track I've included for this lesson is a great example of how to do that.
Give the lesson a watch, and let me know if you have any questions or lesson suggestions for this series. If you don't have a looper, here is a jam track for you that is just like the loop I did in the video.