Mind Blown…

Knowing where you are going & then going there is far more efficacious than going there & then figuring out where you are.

With that statement, I’m pretty sure I have raised the standard for my blog when it comes to being deep, insightful & intelligent.
Or trenchant (at this point, you’ve realized somebody got a new thesaurus app)

Here’s what I’ve noticed lately when it comes to fretboard navigation…

Frequently, while practicing the specifics of the guitar fretboard & vocabulary, people tend to go to a note first and then figure out its name, rather then thinking of the note name first & then proceeding to it’s corresponding fret on a particular string.

We’ve gone over this before- there are five things to know about a note on the guitar:

1. What string it is on

2. What fret it is at

3. What finger are you using to play it

4. What it’s letter name is

5. What scale degree is it

(Looks like I need a preposition-finder app… not that it would change anything)

Now, there are others qualities of a guitar note, of course, like techniques, dynamics, rhythm, etc. But I am distilling it down to the parameters of it’s location & music theory identity.
And the main ppoint here is to be cognizant of the note’s name before you arrive, like I said up top.

Now, if you are still in the process of learning the note names, then make sure you are carefully working that out for your mind & eyes & fretboard. One of the note name drills I use for students is a streamlined & focused “tai chi” kind of exercise designed to input the note names into the brain… not see how fast one can name the note names.

Try this out…

• Look at your fretboard & choose a string

• Call out a letter name (at first, just use the plain letters… no #’s or b’s)

• place your 1st finger on that note on that string

• Repeat (but stay on that string for a few minutes, choosing random notes)

• Do it all again on a different string

* Make sure you do this really really slowly… you know, like tai chi!  (it seems improper to use exclamation points when discussing tai chi)











What people will tend to start doing is placing their finger on a fret and THEN calling out the note name. Very different all together. Calling out the note name, then moving the finger to the location is what it’s all about. Watch yourself in your next practice session & see what you do.

No need to feel silly randomly calling out the first seven letters of the alphabet while sitting by yourself with a guitar. It beats being on stage performing a song & getting lost during your guitar solo.

And finally, what’s another word for “thesaurus” ?

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