Several years ago a guitar manufacturing company contacted me and asked if I would head their guitar training program. The company had developed an electric guitar that featured led's (light emitting diodes) placed under every note on the fretboard, when the guitar was connected to a computer the computer software training system lit up the appropriate led's so the player would know where to place their fingers.
I was intrigued by the new technology and decided to give it a go. The first week was amazing, I had never seen such rapid progress by students.
Everything was going well ... until I decided to try something different for week two of the instructional program. We started one of our lessons with the computers turned off, boy was I in for a surprise ... I have never seen so many blank faces, nobody could play anything!
Long story short, while the students where plugged into the computers and the led lights were showing them where to put their fingers, they progressed. However, when the computers were disconnected they couldn't recall what they had learnt. In other words they had not internalized the information, the information was still on the computer and not in their brain .. they did not 'own' the information and until you 'own' something you can't use it!
My point is this ... life is really very simple, if you want to play guitar ... play the guitar! Don't sit around pressing keys on a computer keyboard, they might be fun as a game but for the serious guitarist you are wasting valuable guitar practice time, time that could be spent playing a real guitar.
Here's some simple tips to learn the notes on the fingerboard.
Starting with the six string, play the following sequence of notes entirely on the sixth string.
C /// ;F /// ;Bb /// ;Eb /// ;Ab /// ;Db /// ;F# /// ;B /// ;E /// ;A /// ;D /// ;G /// ;;
Let each note ring for four beats, I recommend using a metronome set at mm=60
Once you feel comfortable playing this sequence on the sixth string at mm=60 try increasing the tempo gradually over the next week. Our end week objective tempo is mm=72
Use the metronome to track your progress, don't set the metronome and try to keep up with it, this will only produce mistakes, you want 100% correct notes.
Over time bring your tempo up to mm=96.
Now you are ready to introduce the fifth string.
Play this sequence on the sixth and fifth strings.
C /// ;F /// ;Bb /// ;Eb /// ;Ab /// ;Db /// ;F# /// ;B /// ; E /// ;A /// ;D /// ;G /// ;;
Play the 'C' on the sixth string and the 'F' on the fifth string.You will notice that both these notes the C and F are on the 8th fret.
This pattern continues throughout the sequence the next two notes Bb and Eb are in the sixth fret. Bb = sixth fret string six and Eb = sixth fret string five.
As you combine the sixth and fifth strings remember to slow your metronome down until you feel comfortable with your left and right hand coordination.
Every aspiring guitarist must come face to face with the reality that without a through knowledge of the guitar fingerboard there can only be limited progress. Practice this sequence and you will begin to unlock the guitar fingerboard.