Are You Confused by the Guitar Fretboard?
You're not alone! I've been playing the guitar for over 20 years, but a few years ago I decided that I wasn't playing as well as I wanted to. After all, when you've been doing something for over 20 years, you should have become pretty good at it, right?
So, I decided to sit down and really analyze my playing and try to discover what was holding me back, and you know what I discovered?
I didn't really understand the fretboard!
That's right - despite over 20 years of playing, I could only quickly find notes on the E and A strings. And as for scale knowledge - sure, I could play the usual major, minor and pentatonic patterns in the most common forms, but my scale knowledge didn't stretch any further than that. Even those scales I did know, I could only play in one or two positions which seriously limited my soloing ability. My chord knowledge was not much better either, only stretching to the common open chords and barre chord forms and with little ability to find my own voicings.
When you think about it, this is really quite amazing. Imagine a piano player who'd been playing for 20 years admitting they don't know all of the notes on the piano keyboard. Unthinkable! Yet, due to the way guitarists often learn their instrument this is the case for a vast number of guitarists. All of their flash technique and cool sounding effects are often covering up a dirty little secret - that they don't really know their instrument as well as they should!
So, what's the problem? Well, whether they teach themselves or are taught by a teacher, most guitarists go about learning the fretboard through a repetitive process of mindlessly repeating a few scale patterns until they are committed to memory. Similarly, chord shapes are often learned purely by rote as and when required to play a particular song, without any consideration or understanding of why the chord is the shape it is.
This method of learning is usually enough to get the guitarist to the point where they can sound "cool", so many don't bother taking the extra steps to really understand what it is they're playing and as a result they're limited to the same old tired patterns and chord shapes, and they get totally lost if ever challenged to play outside the confines of their normal patterns.
How Would It Be If You Truly Understood What You Were Playing?
I realised that my lack of knowledge of the guitar fretboard was the main thing holding me back from achieving my dreams of being a really great guitarist. So, I resolved to do something about it. But, my attempts at learning fretboard theory from books was short lived - the books were just so boring, and I really couldn't keep motivated to work through them all.
So, I tried looking for some software to help me. But the only software I could find seemed content just to teach the names of the notes on the fretboard by repetitive questions, and I realized knowing the notes is not enough to understand the fretboard! What good is being able to find the G# on the fourth string if you don't know how to find the major sixth interval from it? Or how to use it as a root for a blues scale? Or a Phrygian mode? Or how to build a diminished chord from it?
So, I decided to write my own software so that I could learn the fretboard effectively, and Guitar Notes Master was born!
And, now I'm ready to share it with you, so that you can also understand the guitar fretboard...
Guitar Notes Master
Guitar Notes Master is an interactive teaching tool dedicated to enabling guitarists to gain a thorough understanding of guitar fretboard theory - notes, scales, arpeggios and chords - as quickly and effortlessly as possible. It achieves this through three modules:
While most "fretboard trainer" software programmes simply encourage you to learn through repetition, Guitar Notes Master features a wealth of interactive lessons covering all topics related to guitar fretboard theory, from the very basic level of learning the open strings right up to advanced topics such as Whole-Tone scales, modes and complex chord types. The lessons are interactive, so as you progress through them Guitar Notes Master will give you a few examples and then ask you to complete further patterns yourself on the virtual fretboard, thus ensuring that you really understand what you are reading. You can navigate back and forward through the lessons, and listen to the examples through MIDI playback functionality.
Here is a brief overview of the topics covered by Guitar Notes Master:
- Open Strings
- Root Shapes
- Note Names and Finding Notes on the Fretboard
- Diatonic Scales (Major and Minor Scales)
- Pentatonic Scales
- Pentatonic Lead Patterns
- Triads - Arpeggios and Chords
- Seventh Arpeggios and Chords
- Other Chord Types - Extended (e.g. 9th, 11th), Suspended Chords, 6, 6/9, Add9, Slash Chords and Power Chords
- Modes - Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Locrian
- Other Scales - Blues Scales, Harmonic and Melodic Minor, Phrygian Dominant Mode, Whole Tone and Diminished Scales
No previous knowledge is assumed, so it is suitable for beginners to the guitar as well as more experienced guitarists.
As well as "understanding", I realised that the other key to learning the fretboard patterns is repetition. But not just repetition of patterns on the guitar as you might be used to - this encourages mindless "practice" that might get a few shapes under your fingers but won't lead to the understanding of the fretboard that is really required to become a great guitarist.
Rather than mindlessly repeating scale patterns, Guitar Notes Master encourages you to get the patterns into your head first before you transfer them to the guitar. It does this through a Practice module that randomly asks you to answer questions based on the lessons that you have completed. The questions require you to think through your answer so you gain real understanding of how the fretboard patterns are built - understanding which you can use to create further patterns and really unlock the fretboard.
I also realised that it's important to be repeating these exercises as often as possible. This is where Guitar Notes Master can really be beneficial since the questions are always answered using a virtual fretboard, so you don't need to be anywhere near a guitar in order to practice. There's no minimum time you have to spend answering questions either, so it's really easy to fire up Guitar Notes Master at any time, answer a few questions and then get back to whatever else you were doing. Imagine how fast your fretboard knowledge could grow if you install Guitar Notes Master on a work laptop and use it to practice fretboard patterns in otherwise wasted time on trains, planes or just in five minute breaks!
Finally, you do want to transfer the patterns you've learned onto the guitar, so Guitar Notes Master will help you here as well. The Guitar module enables you to select a scale pattern or chord type from those covered in the lessons, choose a root note, and generate your own printable guitar tablature practice sheet that you can refer to as you practice the patterns on your guitar.
For scale patterns, Guitar Notes Master will generate a full set of practice exercises - not only straightforward ascending and descending patterns, but also exercises playing the scales in groups of notes, or jumping notes, so you can really learn them musically, not just as boring scale exercises. For chords, Guitar Notes Master generates a practice sheet of the chords of a similar type.
As well as this, Guitar Notes Master has a wealth of features to tailor the learning experience to your own liking, such as:
- Support for Left-Handed Fretboard Display
- A choice of 11 fretboard color schemes
- Choose to position the notes on the fret, behind the fret or centrally between two frets
- Playback displayed notes through any General MIDI compatible synthesizer/sound card (including built-in Microsoft Wavetable Synth)
- Switch the fretboard display to show the notes or intervals in the current pattern
- Guitar Notes Master can correct your answers for each note you enter, or for more of a challenge set it only to tell you when you've got the whole pattern correct
So How Much Is It Worth For You To Finally Understand The Guitar Fretboard?
I personally have spent the equivalent of hundreds of dollars on books that have failed to teach me the valuable fretboard knowledge contained in Guitar Notes Master, so how much are you prepared to invest in a software application that gets rid of all of the boredom and repetition of traditional book learning methods and practically forces you to understand the guitar fretboard?
I considered selling it for $99, as this seemed a fair price for all of the information contained in it. After all, how many guitar lessons could you get for $99? Not many! And you could be sure that those lessons would only cover a tiny fraction of the content included in Guitar Notes Master!
But, I decided that I wanted Guitar Notes Master to be accessible to everyone, and I realise $99 is a lot of money for many people to spend on a piece of software, so I thought about charging $79 for it instead, but I realised this would still put it out of reach for some people.
So, I did some research on the internet to see what my so-called "competitors" were charging. And I found one of the most popular fretboard learning software products around were charging $49.95 for their software. But their software does little more than teach you the notes of the fretboard by means of continuous drills - little theory, no understanding of intervals, scales, modes, chord shapes or any of these important concepts, so far far less content than Guitar Notes Master.
So, I thought I could charge more than $49.95 for Guitar Notes Master as I believe it is a vastly superior product. But I realised that some people comparing products might decide on another one simply because it is the cheaper option. And I don't want that to happen, because I want as many people as possible to take advantage of the unique learning experience offered by Guitar Notes Master to develop their fretboard understanding and become much better guitarists.
So, for a limited launch period, I'm prepared to offer the Guitar Notes Master software at a very special price of:
Yes, that's right! For a very limited time, you can buy Guitar Notes Master at the special price of only $39. But hurry - I'm setting this special offer launch price to undercut my competitors, despite the fact that I believe Guitar Notes Master is a vastly superior product, so the price could increase at any time. Act now to make sure that you lock in this special low price while it is still available and buy Guitar Notes Master today!
Click the button above to purchase Guitar Notes Master securely and lock in this low price. The product will be delivered to you immediately by download once your purchase is complete.
I'm sure that you will be more than satisfied with Guitar Notes Master, but if you are not then it is covered by our no-quibble 100% money back guarantee for a very generous 60-days from purchase. What's more, purchasers of Guitar Notes Master are entitled to free e-mail support and lifetime free upgrades, but please ensure that you register your e-mail address after purchase so we can let you know when updates are released!
Here are some comments we've received from users of Guitar Notes Master:
"I wanted to say thank you for a great program. It has helped improve and unlock the fretboard in my understanding in a short time of using your product." Michael, USA
"I bought your software GNM and I use it a lot ... I liked the fact that you can practice away from your guitar to increase the knowledge of the fretboard. You wrote a really useful piece of software!" Maurizio, Italy
"I want to thank you for your product. I find it is both fun and educational at the same time. It has also helped me vastly improve my knowledge of the fretboard and music theory. I have incorporated it into my daily practice regimen and I have recommended it to other guitar players that I know. Please keep up the good work." Rich, USA
"I have this and it is one the best tools that I have for guitar, encompassing step by step theory and practice blocks that progressively takes you from beginner to pro in a way that is both easy to understand and just as easy to assimilate. The only thing missing is a tone teacher but one of the best investments that any guitarist could make." Hugh, Posted on Facebook
Guitar Notes Master runs on PCs running Windows XP Service Pack 2, Windows Vista or Windows 7. Please Note: It does not run on the Apple Mac. It requires .NET Framework 3.5, which you probably already have, but the installer will download and install it for you if required. MIDI playback requires a General MIDI compatible synthesizer (the Microsoft GS Wavetable Synth shipped with Windows is just fine).