Open Up the Fretboard - 003

Today, I talk about  the one thing that guitarists of all levels need to work on: How to better open up the fretboard. Also, Guitar News and Creating the Band




On today’s episode I’m going to try to tackle a huge subject:

The fretboard

I remember all those years ago when I first started learning the guitar. I had a tough time understanding how the guitar fretboard worked.

With every new song that I learned, I was using new places on the guitar that I just didn’t understand.

By using tablature, it was easy enough to get me playing in areas other than the open position, but I was just playing by numbers (just memorizing songs by putting a finger on a certain string on a certain fret).

I didn’t know what the notes I was playing were, and I sure didn’t know the reasons why these notes sounded good together.

So today we are going over the things that beginning guitarists should learn right off of the bat, and the things that intermediate and advanced players need to know to continue to move forward.


What’s going on at

I’m about finished with a series of blog posts that I’m proud of.

From teaching my classes over the years, I’ve started to see patterns in the questions students ask me.

Even between the levels of beginner, intermediate, and advanced, I can see some foundational information that students are missing today.


These are skills that most guitar players “back in the day” understood and these are the things that helped them move forward.

I don’t know if it is a sign of the times of how people learn guitar today but guitarists are just missing these foundational ideas. They are not hard to understand.

I guess they are not quite as fun as learning new songs or buying new gear. But let me tell you, once you understand these few key things, and your playing starts going in the right direction, the things you can play get cool real fast.

So I decided as my first bit of content I release, I would share this information and It has been so fun getting all of this valuable information out.

You can check out these posts at Just scroll down to the blog section and they will be the first five.

Even better I have the idea of combining all of these essential posts into a free ebook that you can download from my site. I still have a few more posts that I would like to finish up. Once I do I will combine all of the posts into one easy-to-read and very valuable ebook that is great for players of all levels.

So for today, check out the blog post that goes along with this podcast. It is called:

How do I learn guitar notes on the fretboard?

If you are by your computer go ahead and get that post up.


Open up that fretboard!

Today I am going over the main points from my blog post:

How do I learn guitar notes on the fretboard

Here is an overview of those main points. (To follow along more closely please open the link above)

  1. Why learning the notes on the fretboard is so important
  2. The alphabet of music
  3. Sharps and flats
  4. Notes on the single-string
  5. The fretboard repeats after the 12th fret
  6. What happens after the 12th fret
  7. Where do the strings overlap
  8. Simple octave shapes
  9. Knowing the notes on the rest of the  strings


Next, I speak about what intermediate and advanced players can do to better understand the fretboard! Like:


  1. Stop being so comfortable! Spend time doing things in areas you don’t use as much.
  2. Learn scale patterns in the five-position, seven-position, and 12-position methods.
  3. Spend time with symmetrical scales.
  4. Spend time learning new chord voicings. Like the jazz four-string chord voicings in all positions
  5. Practice things that sound bad
  6. Structure your practice time
  7. Practice and playing are two different things
  8. It’s tough to sound bad (brings back frustrations from starting guitar)



So my conclusion to this is…

…no matter where you are on your guitar journey, there are things you can work on to open up the fretboard.

Here’s the secret. Here’s what is so great about the guitar! …

…It never ends.

There is always something to learn, there is always someone you can learn from who approaches the instrument differently than you.

That sounds like It could be frustrating, never getting to the end of the guitar, but it isn’t. To me learning the guitar is so rewarding.

These small achievements feel so good, and when you break through to a new level of playing, you just get more focused to move up again.

It is immensely rewarding and I encourage you to move forward with me on the guitar.


Creating the Band


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