Bass Fretboard Note Map Decals/Stickers

I was thinking of getting Fretboard Note Map Decals. Has anyone used these to learn note position on fretboard?

Josh is this a big No No Don’t Do It…just Learn it?


Just learn it…

It takes awhile but you’ll eventually learn it if you practice enough.


If you’re doing or have done the B2B course Josh covers the basics within one of the modules and then as @PamPurrs has said practice and time makes perfect.
It’s frustrating at first ( or it was for me anyway) and can involve counting frets from the memorised ones recommenced by Josh but it does eventually start to sink in.


Sometimes slowly, sometime not so slow, but usually takes a while, but it is worth it.
I don’t see anything wrong with it, I just preferred to not use them myself.


Personally, I think something like those stickers are an impediment to learning the board. Just my humble opinion.


I’d just stick to what Josh says, 2 down 2 across learn the E and the A and the D and G are just that 2 down 2 across ,easy peezy, just takes time and practice.:+1:
Cheers Brian


I will be short here : no.


LOL perfect :slight_smile:

Unpopular opinion: you don’t need to worry about memorizing the fretboard. At all. For a long time, until way after finishing the course.

What you need will come with time, and when it doesn’t, you will have the tools to figure out the notes you need. This will get you a long way.

Josh teaches a really simple method. Just memorize where the first F, G, A, B are on the E and D strings, and where C, D, E are on the A and G strings, and you will be fine for a very long time. It’s easy - they are consecutive whole tones and if your bass has dot inlays there’s already dots on all of them except the first F, and some basses dot that too.

Assuming no dot on the first fret, it’s the first fret plus the first three dots on the E string, first three dots on the A string, first four dots on the D string, and the 2nd-4th dots on the G string. You can figure everything else out from there when you need to.

IMO memorizing the fretboard is a useless exercise before basic muscle skills and technique are built first. After that, go crazy :slight_smile:


There is, in my case at least, a problem with that. And that is, other teachers aren’t Josh. I’m taking several courses on and one on SBL and they both kind of require a knowledge of the fretboard notes. Yes, you could probably work around it, but it’s almost easier to just put in the effort of memorizing it. Which I am struggling through now.


Yeah, I agree with both sides. I like the simplified notes in the first 5 frets @howard pointed out, and it helped a great deal, I still rely on it much.

I am also with @itsratso

I am too, I am in the middle of the Scales Essentials.

I wouldn’t say it requires you to know it going into this course, it would help of course, but if you did know it already, you may not need the course. This kind of forces you to know the notes, but I don’t feel like I NEEDED to know it going in. This course not only helps with fretboard memorization, it explains the music theory behind it, so you understand the fretboard, and relation to the circle of 4ths and circle of 5ths.

I still feel like I struggle with it, and I beat myself up thinking I should know it way better then I do, but then I first ease up on myself, and remind me that I am only 6 months in, and the first two were pre B2B, so I probably only got about 1 good week worth of good sound bass lessons out of the first 6-8 weeks. and then when I do exercises, lessons, practice or just mess around on the bass, I find I know it a bit better then I give myself credit for.

I am maybe 25% to where I need / want to be, but if I can do 25% every 4-6 months, while learning scales, theory, chord tones, technique, slap, rhythm training, ear training, etc… that is good progress IMO


After 8 replies (don’t do it!) I guess it’s pretty clear, I just need to be patient, that in my next up a coming lesson that Josh will lead me to the holy grail of fretboard memorization! Thanks to all for your reassurance.


It sounds that like a lot of us you put a bit of pressure on yourself and expect that you should be doing everything at once. I know I certainly do.
Something I am trying to do and something Josh emphasises throughout the course is to enjoy it and although work at your skills don’t put so much yourself under so much pressure that it becomes a chore.
It’s not easy but I’m sure it’s the way forward :+1:


Are you taking lessons with Josh?


@401Blues Learning (not memorizing) the fretboard is something that happens over time and with repetition. Notice, I said learning, not memorizing.
The board is like a map, you just have to learn how to read it. Once you’ve pinpointed the location of a few notes, you can easily navigate to neighboring notes… you just have to know the direction and distance you have to travel to get there.

I’m attaching a graphic I made when I first started playing (I also made one for 5 string if you want it). Think of it as a roadmap. Use it as a study guide but don’t try to memorize it. You’ll soon recognize some of the patterns. Just learn things like: if you are on the 3rd fret of the A string ( C ), for example, one string up is F (4th), one string down is G (5th below), two frets up and two strings up is the octave, the octave is always one string above the 5th, etc. This same pattern applies no matter what key you are in.
Also notice that each fret follows the same pattern of 4ths: C, F, Bb, Eb, Ab, Db, Gb, B, E, A. D, G. For example, Bb is always one string above F. B is always one string above Gb. D is always one string above A, etc.
Once you are able to remember the location of a few notes, getting to other notes becomes a piece of cake, once you understand the sequence … and then eventually you’ll remember the location of those notes as well.
Practice practice practice. Study study study. Enjoy enjoy enjoy.


I say do it if you think it will help. I went a taught myself the basic major and minor scales to become more familiar with the position of notes. We all learn in different ways.


That is a great way to do it, the Major more so then the minor because all intervals are based off the major scale, but it is important to learn all the shapes eventually, and is key to then learning all the notes on the fretboard, so you are certainly off to a great start.
once you learn how the scale modes are build off the c major scale, and why they are built that way it gets easier and easier, at least for me, that was the big eye opener that helped most.


Welcome aboard @AcidAssasin , you will find Josh brings it all together bit by bit.


i have a hard time memorizing the notes of the fretboard, something i’m still currently struggling with. but recently i decided to use josh’s suggestions and modify them so they make sense to me, require little memorization, and don’t take a ton of time. i came up with this routine that takes less then 5 minutes. i do it to start each practice. it assumes you have some basic knowledge of bass either from the b2b course or his free video on the fretboard. the only thing to memorize is the word GAB, and the letters CDE (which if you have a hard time remembering, remember that most exercises start on C and you can just sing the alphabet song CDE). so here is mine, if you read it it may seem long and confusing, if you grab your bass and do it it takes about 3 minutes and is simple.

Play the 4 open strings and say the notes (OUT LOUD) EADG.
Play the 4 strings at the 12th fret and say the notes EADG.
repeat x3

Play the notes on the 1st, 2nd, 3rd dots on the E string and say notes GAB.
Do the same on the A string and say the notes CDE.
On the D string skip up a dot to dots 2nd, 3rd, 4th and say the notes GAB again.
Do the same on G string (dots 2,3,4) and say the notes CDE again.
repeat x3

use josh’s B/C “Buddied Close” rule:
Play GAB on E string again (start 1st dot) and say out loud but go up one more fret from B and say C (C follows B, buddied close).
Do same on on D string (start 2nd dot).
repeat x 3
Play CDE on A string (start 1st dot) but start one fret before and say B.
Do same on G string (start 2nd dot).
repeat x 3

use josh’s E/F “Extra Friendly” rule:
Play CDE on A string (1st dot) but play next fret up and say F (E follows F, extra friendly).
Do the same on G string (2nd dot).
repeat x3

as you become familiar with it, you can combine some steps to make it easier. for instance you could combine steps to play BCDEF and GABC all at once. there are 32 natural notes on a bass up to the 12th fret, this teaches you 26 of them, almost all. the fretboard is like a crossword puzzle, the more letters you fill in the easier it gets to find the missing ones. after you learn the natural notes you can figure out where sharps and flats are easily. that’s 3 easy’s in one paragraph, easy :rofl:


I did much everything you listed, and still do some of it, but
I not only did the 12th fret, I started at the 5th to the 12th

5th fret and say the notes ADGC
7th fret and say the notes BEAD
12th fret and say the notes EADG


yep, also a nice concise easy to follow plan.