Takin' Notes (notebooking)

A while back I found a long post on reddit from someone who was talking about learning guitar as an adult and maybe not having the same sponge-like brain as a young person (there’s a word for that, neuroplasticity, right?) but leveraging all the skills of a grown-up to learn more effectively.

I didn’t read all the post and now can’t find it again but the author mentioned using notebooks to journal about learning.

Anyway I was reminded of all this by reading this page on the Ableton site: https://makingmusic.ableton.com/active-listening

I was wondering if anybody here uses notebooks to help their bass learning and well… how?


I write a lot of stuff down. Sometimes I write down ideas for songs. Sometimes I draw out sheet music and practice reading notes. I might think of some riffs and try to arrange them into a song. Or I might draw the fretboard and see how quick I can guess a note I point to. Just random stuff.

I’ve also been known to hum into my phone using a recorder app when a melody pops into my head. Then I go home and figure it out on the bass.


I put things on spreadsheets (for example: the notes in scales, the frequencies of notes up and down the neck). Once I see patterns in them, it helps me to learn a little better.

I also went through Josh’s course and made my own notes from his lessons which I refer to as needed.



I write everything on papers, then I loose the papers.


It’s a good idea, journaling about your progress. Here’s another similar thread with some more ideas:


I ordered some of my favorite notebooks for just this purpose. Stinking porch pirates got them before I did. At least, Amazon refunded the money so I can reorder them.

Wow… that really is a thing!? What a world…

Hope you get them next time!! And order a little cam for above your door as well :grin:


@Jazzbass19 I have done this as well. I made a 20 fret bass neck in excel and filled in all the notes in the scale and then higlighted some progressions I was interested in learning.

I need to start doing this right now. I couldn’t wait for the course extras to get started so I don’t remember which days I checked which lessons off. I’ve got a notebook and a fine Parker 51 I need to put to use.


Great minds think alike, @GalleyCat . . . . :wink:

Cheers, Joe


I have many notes on which I’ve written various chord progressions in different keys, and use those as “offline” study or reference material. I’ve also created a chart in Photoshop with a diagram of all the notes on the fret board, which also “offline” I’ve used this diagram as a study guide to help me figure out and memorize the logic and patterns of getting from one note to another.
Aside from that, I just practice a lot and rely on muscle memory and the things I’ve committed to cerebral memory. My 70 year old brain is not what it used to be, but I keep it in good condition :smile: