Tip for learning the fretboard

This no doubt has already been covered on this forum- but wanted to share my experience for those that have not explored this yet.

I typically learn songs usually with a combination of tabs and then to a lesser degree by ear. I have tried within the last year or so to try and learn notes on at least the E and A string with mixed results. (Normally just from a fretboard chart I keep handy)

However, ive stumbled on to something just within the last 3 days that is actually excellerating my comprehension. I’m 62 and the learning process aint what it used to be!

For a couple years, ive played along with backing tracks on youtube for reggae- really just to get better at improv and coming up with simple bass lines. For some reason the other day I ventured into some genres of music I typically am not interested in: namely blues, jazz, metal, southern rock, funk, etc.

As a byproduct, as I am following along and the notes are popping up on the screen, I am quickly finding that my mind is suddenly making the connection as to where notes are. Suddenly I realize I now know where F is or A, etc. Quite a lightbulb moment!

Those tracks are ideal to experiment with different genres, throw in some 3rds and 5ths, get in the groove and really start connecting the dots. If you have not discovered this yet, and especially if you are hitting a wall just trying to memorize notes on a fretboard chart- i highly recommend you give this a shot! It will also give you confidence in experimenting and improv.

Just do a youtube search for backing tracks without bass. Most will show the current chord and the upcoming chord as well.


Good stuff, I like this tip. I recently realized that learning the notes and their position is a separate skill to learning the other patterns.

It still strikes me as funny that the notes seem to move up the neck towards the body when you tune the strings down. Or that the “high” notes are towards the floor, not the top.

Maybe thinking of the note names and their location should always go with patterns like scales. :thinking:


This is a great idea, going to use this. Thanks for sharing.